One of the most important aspects of our business is the fiduciary relationship that we have with our clients. This feeling of trust is developed by remembering some guidelines.
Information should not be given to foreign parties (anyone who is not a principal to the escrow) without written authorization by on of the principals. Furthermore, buyer or seller may only give authorization to release information regarding their respective portions of the escrow.
An example of an authorization letter follows:
“The undersigned Buyer/Seller hereby authorizes and instructs the escrow holder to discuss this escrow transaction with _____ and to furnish copies of all escrow instructions and/or documents pertaining to the Buyer/Seller to said _____ (person’s name).”
Care should be taken in admitting to anyone (who is not a principal) that any escrow on a certain property even exists.
Great caution must be exercised, especially in the case of telephone conversations, in order not to disclose information to a party not entitled to it. Transactions should not be discussed with friends, relatives, or anyone.
Escrow agents must be impartial. They cannot favor one party over another, nor can they give advice or an opinion.
It may be necessary to wait for a court issued authorization before releasing any information. All requests for information or documents should be referred to the Escrow Manager.
Information should not be given without first confirming the identity of the individual requesting it and determining if the individual is entitled to the information.
Refer any “official” looking visitors to the office manager. If the manager is not in the office, politely explain that due to the confidential nature of all escrows, no information can be given to anyone other than the principals without the express consent of the principals unless a subpoena is produced and served.