Effective date: 10/28/2015
(1) For purposes of this rule, the term “settlement agent” refers to the title insurance licensee or licensee’s designee who receives and disburses funds in accordance with section 626.8473, F.S.
(2) Any person disbursing escrow funds being held as part of a real estate transaction in which one or more title policies are to be issued must provide the parties to the transaction with the information required by this rule.
Terms Used In Florida Regulations 69B-186.008
- Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
- Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
(3) A written statement by the settlement agent must certify that he or she has reviewed the forms prepared for the transaction and agrees to disburse the escrow funds in accordance with the terms of the transaction and Florida law. Compliance with the aforementioned certification requires the settlement agent to certify to the truth of the following statement: “I have reviewed the Closing Disclosure, the settlement statement, the lender’s closing instructions and any and all other forms concerned with the funds held in escrow, including any disclosure of the Florida title insurance premiums being paid, and I agree to disburse the escrow funds in accordance with the terms of this transaction and Florida law.”
(4) The title agency must provide the parties to the transaction with the following information no later than the time such funds are disbursed:
(a) The name and license number of the title insurance agency issuing the title insurance policy and/or holding and disbursing the escrow funds. If there is more than one title agency involved in the transaction, a separate form is to be provided by each agency. Any agency not holding any escrow funds should disclose that to the parties to the transaction at this time.
(b) The name, and when applicable, the license number of the settlement agent responsible for disbursing the escrow funds.
(5) All buyers, borrowers and sellers involved in the transaction must provide written approval authorizing the holding of escrow funds and disbursement of escrow funds by the named title agency.
(6) In addition to the requirements listed above, the title insurance agency must provide the parties to the transaction with the following information when a Closing Disclosure form is completed by the lender and the cost for the title insurance policies being purchased differs from the premium calculated pursuant to rule 69O-186.003, F.A.C.
(a) A written comparison of the cost of the lender’s policy versus the cost of an equivalent policy based on Florida premium rates. The cost comparison must clearly disclose the premiums being charged for all endorsements in addition to the base policy.
(b) All sellers, buyers and borrowers involved in the transaction must acknowledge and authorize in writing that the title insurance premiums will be disbursed from the escrow funds in accordance with the premium disclosure certification.
(7) Any form or forms that satisfy the requirements of this rule will be considered part of a title insurance and escrow transaction in Florida. Such form or forms will not constitute loan documents.
(8) A completed and signed copy of the approved form or forms must be:
(a) Provided to the buyer, seller and lender who are named in the transaction; and,
(b) Maintained in the title insurance agency files for at least five (5) years.
(9) Form DFS-H1-2146, http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-05954, “Florida Insurance Premium Disclosure & Settlement Agent Certification,” (Effective 10/03/2015), meets all of the requirements necessary to comply with this rule and is incorporated by reference herein. The form is available from the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services, at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Agents.
Rulemaking Authority 624.308(1), 626.8473(6) FS. Implements Florida Statutes § 626.8473. History—New 10-28-15.