- Using ResWare To Your Advantage
Mason Title & Escrow Company uses one of the most advanced, sophisticated, title & escrow file management systems available–ResWare.
ResWare manages the entire transaction through a single interface, and puts the power in the users hands, and in the hands of the customers. We count on ResWare for:
- Workflow and Automation Management
- Vendor Management
- Document and Template Management
- Communications Management
- Title Production
Why does this matter to Realtors, Seller, Buyers, Lenders and Brokers?
- Parties to the transaction, when assigned access codes, can log into a customized Web site to view their files, download documents, enter orders online, and correspond with employees. Access continues after the closing, so documents needed later–title policies, settlement statements, surveys–can be retrieved at any time
- Customizable workflow ensures staff consistency, reduces missing information or documentation, improves communication internally and externally, making for smoother and error free closings
- Communication Management shares information about files across the employee base, making it possible for multiple persons to assist with files if assigned staff are not readily available
- ResWare turns all documents and communications into electronic files, reducing paper and document misplacement, and making those documents readily accessible to all authorized parties.
- Employees communicate quickly and effectively through e-mail, faxes and the ResWare interface directly from a customer file, and all such communications are logged and preserved.
- Incoming e-mail messages and attachments are automatically locked to a customer file when a valid file number is found in the e-mail’s subject line, making ResWare the central repository for all communications.
- Funding Requirements
Mason Title & Escrow handles millions of dollars for hundreds of real estate settlements every month, and our primary goal is to preserve the integrity of the escrow accounts, which contains Other People’s Money, including your money. We have adopted funding practices designed to protect everyone’s money while assuring a smooth closing.
If you are required to bring money to a closing or receive money after a closing, here are our requirements and procedures, designed to further the goals of smooth closings and protecting the money.
- Disbursements cannot occur until all the money necessary to fund the file is in Mason’s escrow account, at a minimum in the form of Good Funds as defined by Florida law.
- Wire Transfer is the preferred method of receiving funds necessary to close. This is the safest way for all parties to transfer funds in the large amounts required. Mason Title’s wiring instructions are here on this website.
- Cashier’s checks are still accepted by Mason Title, although many companies in the industry no longer accept them at all. They are risky for both the issuer and the company accepting them (see the discussion here on this website.) Cashiers checks are subject to verification with the issuing bank as well as clearance from the company escrow account which may delay disbursement.
- Intra-bank transfers from a Bank of America account to Mason’s Bank of America Escrow Account do not result in immediately collectable funds and may result in a hold of 24 hours or longer until verified, so they are not a good alternative to wiring funds.
- Personal Checks cannot be accepted except for minimal amounts of $100.00 or less which might be needed to balance a file when adjustments are made after closing numbers are issued.
- Earnest Money Deposits may be made by personal or company check, so long as there is sufficient time before the scheduled closing for the check to be “collected” in the account. Allow two weeks between deposit and disbursement in most cases. For closings occurring sooner than that, please bring cashiers checks or wire the funds.
- Proceeds disbursements after closing are typically made with a check from our escrow account to the Sellers. Since Mason Title uses a “positive pay” system, escrow checks immediately taken to the bank for cashing or deposit may be subject to manual verification at the bank. The positive pay feature lets our bank know that the check being presented is validly issued to the party payee in the amount shown on its face. The verification is done automatically periodically during the day, and presentation between automatic uploads will require manual verification, which only takes a few minutes.
- Proceeds can be wired. Please ask the closer to do so and provide a voided check or deposit slip, and sign the provided authorization to wire.
- Proceeds cannot be disbursed to third parties. Federal law requires disbursements be made only to the parties on the settlement statement.
These procedures are designed to protect the funds in the escrow accounts of all the parties. If the Title Company you use does not require these minimum steps to protect the accounts integrity, shouldn’t they? Are you needlessly being exposed to risk?
- American Land Title Association Best Practices
Mason Title & Escrow Company Complies with The American Land Title Association Best Practices
In 2012, a number of regulatory and market pressures brought scrutiny to the basic integrity of the title insurance industry. There were many stories of title agents involved in misappropriating closing funds or participating in real estate or mortgage fraud schemes. While it was only a small percentage of industry members, the publicity brought attention to industry members qualifications and practices.
One response was for the industry trade association, The American Land Title Association, to formulate Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices, found here, a set of minimum standards for industry members to comply with to improve the quality and integrity of our business. These Best Practices cover areas such as
- Employee and Company Licensing
- Escrow Trust Account Controls
- Privacy and Information Security
- Compliance with Federal and State Consumer Finance Laws
- Written Procedures regarding title policy production, delivery, reporting and premium remittance
- Maintenance of appropriate professional liability insurance and fidelity coverage
- Procedures for resolving consumer complaints
In every instance, Mason Title & Escrow Company meets or exceeds the standards established by the ALTA, particularly in the areas of escrow account and personal information security.
All of us in the industry want to get transactions completed, but for the benefit of all, they need to be done in compliance with all state, federal and local laws, protection of consumer privacy, and with security for financial transfers in order to avoid later consequences for any or all of the parties to the transaction.
You should always use industry professionals that comply with these standards as a minimum in order to uphold the integrity of the profession and maintain the security of the buyers, sellers and refinancers. Cutting corners in the industry is a short term game with long term consequences.