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  • Sunday, June 16, 2024 11:37 AM | Anonymous

    From the desk of the President – June 2024

    By: PJ Garcia

    Welcome to SUMMER 2024! Where did Spring go, anyway?

    Did you catch our 2024 Conference? Great sessions and networking at a beautiful location. Our enthusiastic support and thank you to all our Sponsors without whose help we could not have made it happen. Our deepest appreciation to every Speaker who took the time and effort to come to us and bring us up to date. I came away both inspired and frightened. Yes, some of the topics like Cybersecurity are terrifying, but fear grows in the dark and EIC is working hard to turn on the lights.
    If you enjoyed the Conference, spread the word!

    Membership in the Escrow Institute of California (EIC) means you are REALLY not alone.

    My PJ-isms are: “Look for the Unintended Consequences everywhere” and “The more we do things the same way, the better off we all are.” Hence our theme this year, Educate, Innovate & Collaborate. We are at a crossroads in our profession and I am afraid if we don’t make a mission of those three words we will not like where we end up. Take this journey with us to a better and brighter escrow future. Let’s leave it better than we found it.

    With EIC you have access to a robust network of seasoned professionals who are always willing to pick up the phone and discuss the problem in front of you.

    Take the “gateway drug” to that path by joining one of our Committees. All that is required is that your company be a member and you bring with you the spirit of collaborating and getting stuff done!

    Our 2025 Conference Committee is forming now. If you want to participate in creating the 2025 experience please contact to be added to the Committee roster. For other Committee information please watch for announcements from our CPR Committee via email. Our website committee is also working to post a signup sheet on our website so visit there periodically to see the new and improved resources they are working on for you.

    With a new spring in my step and gratitude for all of you in my heart,

    Respectfully submitted,

    PJ Garcia, EIC 2024 President

  • Thursday, May 16, 2024 10:41 PM | Anonymous

    What is E-PAC? This is our very important Escrow California Political Action Committee , the arm that funds our political activism statewide.

    There are certain constraints to this PAC fund per federal guidelines, so what can we do with your donations?

    • Lobbying efforts in Sacramento supporting or opposing ballot measures
    • Support (or oppose) candidates for political office who might benefit our industry

    There are certain constraints to this PAC fund per federal guidelines, so what can we do with your donations? What issues have we put your funds to good use in recent years and what do we see in the forthcoming future?

    • Attempts to pass legislation to exempt licensees from National Lease Accounting rule.
    • Opposed DFPI’s attempt to undo our hard-won flat licensing fee and return to the original structure (with NO limits on the DFPI budget and NO fee caps)
    • Opposed and defeated legislation to eliminate the Bulk Sale Uniform Commercial Codes, safeguarding those Escrow Companies that handle Bulk Sales.
    • Legislation to pass remote work
    • State Remote Online Notarization passed. Work with Secretary of State to craft definitive regulations to implement

    We know times are tough for all our members, but that does not mean events and issues that will impact our industry come to a standstill while we wait for the market to settle in 2024. We need your help now to replenish our PAC fund in preparation. Would you make a donation at the QR Code link below for any amount? Thank you for your support!

    Educate, Innovate & Collaborate!

    Escrow Institute of California
    P.O. Box 711369
    San Diego, California 92171
    Phone: (760)633-4EIC (4342)
  • Thursday, March 21, 2024 12:31 PM | Anonymous

    Hello members! This is an invitation from a fellow member (who just came back to serve after a sabbatical) to participate on the current Escrow Institute of California Board of Directors.

    EIC NEEDS YOU to join the Board!

    But first, as a matter of advance disclosure, when you take on the mantle, you will find that

    • You do have that creative talent hidden under layers of everyday (escrow) drudgery;
    • Your mad (escrow) organizational skills will be fully utilized and showcased;
    • When you are at the center of the (escrow) world you get first hand info on all that is happening;
    • You will find disclosing it on your (escrow) signature block gives you additional stature…
    • But most importantly, you will like that feeling of camaraderie with others in this (escrow) organization and satisfaction that comes from contribution!!!

      Join our Board and

      • You will meet interesting people (like me!)
      • You will learn how to avoid the sand while playing in the box
      • You will have another excuse to skip the gym (LOL)
      • You will love stretching all your intellectual (and emotional) muscles

      I hope you will seriously consider becoming an EIC Board Member. By educating, innovating and collaborating together, we can make this organization even better! Email me at or Come on, make my day!

      Juliana Tu, CSEO, CEO, CBSS, CEI, SASIP EIC 2024 Director and (I-give-CPR) Communications and Public Relations Chair

  • Thursday, March 21, 2024 11:29 AM | Anonymous

  • Thursday, March 21, 2024 11:23 AM | Anonymous

  • Thursday, March 21, 2024 10:48 AM | Anonymous

    And Effect of Proposed Rules on Escrow Agents, Settlement Agents, Title Insurance Agents and Others

    By Rose Pothier, Esq./Pothier & Associates

    The U.S. Congress passed the Bank Secrecy Act [officially known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act] in 1970. The Bank Secrecy Act requires covered financial institutions to report on customer activity, including banking activity, to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network [“FinCEN”] to further its objectives in fighting against money laundering and tax evasion.

    Since that time, FinCEN proposed and passed various regulations to further its efforts to control money laundering and tax evasion including enlarging the scope of the Bank Secrecy Act in 2016 involving real estate closings/settlements issuing geographic targeting orders [GTOs]. Since 2016, U.S. title insurance companies report on information regarding legal entity Transferees in GTOs in covered transactions identified by FinCEN. Reportedly, once the current proposed regulations are passed and in effect, FinCEN will ease out the GTO reporting by title insurance companies.

    FinCEN released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking involving certain U.S. residential real estate transactions [Notice] on February 7, 2024. Under the provisions of the Notice, after passage of final rules, escrow agents, settlement agents and others will be obligated to report to FinCEN about details in closings of non-financed transfers of residential real estate to legal entities or trusts. There will not be a geographical reporting reference. The new rules will apply to covered residential real estate transactions across the U.S.

    The Real Estate Report under the proposed rules would have to be filed with FinCEN within 30 days of closing the real property transfer. The Reporting Person would have to keep for five years after the closing/transfer copies of the Real Estate Report along with the form signed by the Transferee or the Transferee’s representative certifying the Transferee’s Beneficial Ownership information given to the Reporting Person is correct.

    Details about what detail must be reported to FinCEN on affected residential real estate transfers are in the Notice. You may obtain a copy of the Notice and read its provisions which was published in the Federal Register on February 16, 2024 as 89 Fed. Reg. 12,424 and is available online at /anti-money-laundering-regulations-for-residential-real-estate-transfers. In short, details on the beneficial owners of the Transferee entity or trust will be required, who will be the reporting person, due date for reporting and the like are set forth in the Notice.

    The provisions of this article are not intended to be nor are they a legal opinion on the content of the proposed regulations set forth in the Notice or any reader who is strongly advised to seek legal counsel from their own resources. Also, the provisions of this article may be changed at any time should there be additional thoughts on the part of the author or if there is clarification or changes to the original Notice filed on February 7, 2024.

    Given the length of the provisions of the Notice, and to give you a brief summary of some of its provisions, we set forth in highlight format some aspects.

    1. Covered Transactions. Covered Transactions will include the Reporting Person filing a “Real Estate Report” with FinCEN on various types of real estate transfers. The transfers include those of single-family residences, townhouses, condominiums and cooperatives, buildings for occupancy by 1-4 families, and vacant or unimproved land that is zoned or upon which a permit has been issued for building to be occupied by 1-4 families.
    2. Types of Covered Transactions. There is no limitation on the amount of the purchase price if the transaction is otherwise covered. Transactions involving cash, no cash or other consideration exchange, gifts and the like will also need reporting. There are limited exemptions, so most affected Covered Transactions must have Real Estate Reports filed with FinCEN. In the case of transactions involving easements for purposes involving the real estate which are effective after the death of the real estate property owner or which result from a divorce or are made as part of a bankruptcy estate, no reporting may be required. Also, if there is a loan/credit extended by a covered financial institution [meeting the FinCEN requirements] on which the subject property is security for the loan, a Real Estate Report may not be required.
    3. Types of Transaction Transferees. Where one of the Transferees of residential real property is a “transferee entity” or “transferee trust”, the Real Estate Report must be made regardless of the amount of interest the Transferee has in the transferred property. The Transferee may be formed domestically in the U.S. or be a foreign entity. The Transferees may include limited liabilities companies, partnerships, corporations along with common law and statutory trusts. There are other types of covered or non-covered entities set forth in the Notice.
    4. Types of Information to Report to FinCEN. The type of information to include in the Real Estate Reports may be different for various types of Transferees. Generally, it will include the names of the Transferee

      beneficial owners for the legal entity or trust who will take title to the real property along with the names of the persons representing the Transferee entity or trust. Additionally, the report requires disclosure of the name of the business acting as the Reporting Person, address of the residential real property being transferred or sold, the name of the Seller/Transferor and any payments made associated with the Covered Transaction.

    5. Who are Beneficial Owners of Entity or Trust Transferees. At this time, reference must be made to FinCEN’s recent regulations concerning reporting Beneficial Information Reports on existing and new corporations and other entities. In these regards, Transferees must disclose information to the Reporting Person about the business entity or trust Transferee and its beneficial ownership. The Beneficial Owner must directly or indirectly exercise “substantial control” over the Transferee entity or trust OR own or control 25% of the Transferee entity’s or trust’s ownership interest. Also, the Beneficial Owners of Transferee trusts are individuals acting as Trustees or in other position of authority to dispose of trust assets, is a Beneficiary with sole permission to receive income and principal from the Transferee trust or has the right to demand distribution of, or to withdraw, substantially all the assets of the Transferee trust, is a Grantor or Settlor of a revocable trust, or is the Beneficial Owner of a legal entity or trust who holds one of the positions set forth above.
    6. Who are Reporting Persons? Under the Notice, there are a number of levels of Reporting Persons who are required to file the Real Estate Report with FinCEN. It can become complicated when considering “The Cascade” of persons and entities, FinCEN states are in line for the position to act as Reporting Person. FinCEN suggests the obligation would fall to escrow agents, settlement agents, title insurance agents or attorneys involved in the Covered Transactions. Although seemingly incredible, FinCEN suggests the parties involved in the reporting procedure, presumably, collecting, compiling and filing the Real Estate Report will take 15 to 90 minutes to decide upon who is to be the Reporting Person and prepare the designation agreement.

    FinCEN sets forth a procedure called “The Cascade” to detail how the Reporting Person in various transactions will be selected. If there is a question about who is the proper Reporting Person, the persons in line would have to determine amongst themselves as to whether there is another potential Reporting Person higher in the line of Tiers of “The Cascade”. The Reporting Person is to keep for five years a copy of any agreement designating the Reporting Person.

    For detail, review the Notice as the following is only a brief summary of the provisions of “The Cascade” to determine the Reporting Person:

    1. First Tier of “The Cascade”. In the First Tier in “The Cascade”, the reporting obligation will fall with the closing or settlement agent as set forth on the Closing Statement. If no person is directly named on the Closing Statement, the next in line would be the person that prepared the Closing Statement. If no one prepared a Closing Statement, the next in line would be the person who filed the transfer Deed [or other instrument that transfers title] for recording transfer of title to the residential real property.
    2. Second Tier of “The Cascade”. If no one can be identified as set forth in subsection A above, the reporting obligation would then fall to a Second Tier in “The Cascade” procedure. In the Second Tier, the obligation to report would devolve to the title insurance underwriter on the residential real property transfer.
    3. Third Tier of “The Cascade”. If no one is identified as the Reporting Person in the First Tier or the Second Tier, then the reporting requirement would fall to a Third Tier in “The Cascade” procedure. In the Third Tier, the obligation to report would fall to the person who disburses the largest amount of funds involved in the residential real property transfer. However, the disburser of funds would rest with persons involved in the transactions and who are disbursing funds via third-party accounts and excludes direct transfers from Transferees to Transferors and direct disbursements from banks.
    4. Fourth Tier of “The Cascade”. If no one is identified as the Reporting Person in the first three Tiers of “The Cascade”, then the reporting requirement would fall to a Fourth Tier of “The Cascade” procedure. In the Fourth Tier, the Reporting Person would be a person who prepares a title evaluation on the subject residential real property, which would usually be a title check by a title insurance company given in lieu of providing actual title insurance, or may be an opinion letter provided by an attorney.
    5. Fifth Tier [Final Tier] of “The Cascade”. If no one is identified as the Reporting Person in the first four Tiers of “The Cascade”, then the reporting requirement would fall to a Fifth Tier of “The Cascade” procedure. In the Fifth Tier, the Reporting Person would be the Deed preparer involved in the transaction. It may be an attorney, but may also be an escrow agent, settlement agent or, in some events, the Deed may be prepared by the Transferee itself.

    Overall, the new Real Estate Report filings with FinCEN on Covered Transactions generally involving transfers of title in closings/settlements of non-financed transfers of residential real estate to legal entities or trusts will involve considerable time which should be carefully considered by escrow agents, settlement agents and title insurance agents who likely are the most common who will be selected as Reporting Persons.

    There is time now to consult with principals at FinCEN regarding the particular conditions of the Real Estate Reporting filings involving residential real estate of non-financed transfers to legal entities or trusts as the proposed regulations are not final. However, time is short, so if you want a copy of the Notice or name of a contact person at a professional organization to report your thoughts, you may contact the author. I am pleased to be working with the Escrow Institute of California, Government Affairs Committee who is working on comments to submit for changes to the proposed regulations.

    March 5, 2024

    Author: Rose Pothier, Esq.

    Pothier & Associates

    2122 North Broadway

    Santa Ana, California 92706

    (714) 953-8580-Office

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 8:33 PM | Anonymous

    Foreign Ownership Laws Generating Questions and Concerns for Real Estate Settlement Industry

    In the ever-evolving landscape of real estate, several states are considering taking action to limit foreign ownership of properties. Here in California, the introduction of Assembly Bill 475 (AB-475) in California and Senate Bill 264 (SB-264) in 2023 stirred discussions on national security, individual rights, and the potential impact on the real estate industry.

    AB-475, a California bill introduced in 2023, proposes restricting foreign acquisitions of real estate within a 50-mile radius of military bases. The aim is to safeguard areas surrounding the California National Guard and U.S. military installations. Similarly, SB-224 targets agricultural land, signaling the move to shield its farmland from foreign control. Though neither of these bills made it out of the legislature in 2023, it is reasonable to believe that these or similar bills will be up for consideration in California in 2024.

    Should these bills pass, real estate companies involved in property transactions, such as title and escrow firms, will likely be put in a position of vetting owners to determine whether ownership is barred by laws like these. Thus, compliance with these new regulations must be added to the long list of rules and regulations the settlement industry must navigate to complete a transaction.

    On the other side of the country, Florida considered and passed a similar law, namely Senate Bill 264 (SB-264) in May of 2023. Florida’s law prohibits individuals from certain countries, including Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, and Cuba, from owning property in proximity to military installations. The enactment of SB-264 places an additional responsibility on property sales companies to verify their clients’ national origins when dealing with properties in these restricted zones.

    Aside from the operational and practical issues created by these types of laws, there are concerns about discrimination engendered too. Critics argue that laws like this infringe upon Constitutional rights and the as it relates to residential property, the Fair Housing Act. The focal point of this debate is the delicate balance between safeguarding national security and upholding individual rights, with the big question being whether Florida is overstepping federal boundaries with this legislation.

    A pivotal case to watch will be Shen v. Simpson, where Chinese residents in Florida are challenging the constitutionality of SB-264. Their contention revolves around the perceived unfairness and specific targeting of individuals based on their nationality. Notably, major legal entities and even the U.S. Department of Justice are aligning with this challenge, asserting that the law is overly broad and discriminatory.

    As California and other states grapple with the challenge of regulating ownership of vital lands around military bases and farmlands, the repercussions extend beyond the legal realm. The intersection of national security imperatives and individual liberties creates a complex tapestry that is redefining the dynamics of the real estate sector. As these laws and legal battles continue to unfold, the real estate industry finds itself at the forefront of a transformative period, necessitating a vigilant eye on the horizon for any substantial changes.

    Jennifer Felten, Esq.


    2535 Townsgate Road, Suite 207

    Westlake Village, CA 91361

    Telephone: (805) 265-1031

    Facsimile: (805) 265-1032



  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 7:36 PM | Anonymous

    Building Business: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Real Estate Contracts

    By Carleen Moore

    For budding business owners, venturing into the world of real estate can often be a complex and intimidating journey. Real estate contracts, with their dense legal jargon and detailed stipulations, can especially pose a challenge. This comprehensive guide from the Escrow Institute of California is designed to demystify the process and provide you with the essential tools to understand, create, and negotiate these contracts effectively. By breaking down the fundamental aspects of real estate contracts, this guide aims to empower you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate this crucial aspect of your business ventures.

    Decoding the Purpose and Scope of Contracts

    The first step in mastering real estate contracts is to fully grasp their purpose and scope. These documents are not mere formalities; they are legally binding agreements that outline the specifics of your real estate transactions. Understanding the contract's purpose involves recognizing what property is being transacted and the obligations each party is undertaking. By thoroughly comprehending the scope, you ensure that all aspects of the deal, from property boundaries to usage rights, are explicitly addressed, leaving no room for misunderstandings.

    Crafting Clear and Unambiguous Terms

    Clarity is paramount in real estate contracts. The significance of crafting terms that are clear and unambiguous cannot be overstated. Every clause and condition should be articulated in a way that leaves no room for misinterpretation. This involves a meticulous review of the contract to ensure that the language used accurately reflects the intentions and agreements of all parties involved. By doing so, you safeguard against potential disputes and ensure that the contract serves as a robust framework for the real estate transaction.

    Seeking Legal Expertise

    Navigating the legal complexities of real estate contracts often requires professional expertise. Consulting with a qualified attorney provides an invaluable perspective, especially in understanding the legal implications of various clauses and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations. An attorney's expertise can guide you in identifying potential risks, negotiating terms favorably, and ultimately protecting your business interests in the contract.

    Understanding Active Option Contracts

    In the realm of real estate, the concept of an "Active Option Contract" plays a pivotal role. This type of contract involves a period during which the buyer, after having their offer accepted by the seller, retains the option to carry out inspections and evaluations of the property. Understanding the dynamics of this period is crucial for making informed decisions, as it allows for thorough due diligence and, if necessary, renegotiation of terms based on the findings.

    Strategizing Payment Terms

    When negotiating payment terms with customers and clients in real estate contracts, it is crucial to establish clear expectations upfront to avoid misunderstandings later on. To ensure prompt and on-time payments, having a well-defined invoicing process is essential. An online tool can streamline this process, enabling you to select from a range of customizable templates that incorporate text, images, logos, and other essential elements. Moreover, a reliable online invoice generator offers the convenience of downloading invoices in PDF format, making it easier to maintain a professional and organized payment system.

    Incorporating Payment and Invoicing Provisions

    Incorporating explicit provisions for payment and invoicing is a critical aspect of drafting real estate contracts. These provisions should detail the agreed-upon payment terms, including timelines, amounts, and methods, as well as the invoicing process. By clearly outlining these aspects in the contract, you ensure a streamlined and transparent financial transaction, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and disputes over payments.

    Addressing Intellectual Property Considerations

    In certain real estate transactions, particularly those involving unique designs or innovations, addressing intellectual property rights is crucial. Including specific clauses that protect your intellectual property ensures that your creative assets and contributions are legally recognized and safeguarded. This is particularly important in transactions involving properties with unique architectural designs or technological innovations.

    As a new business owner stepping into the complex world of real estate, understanding, and effectively managing real estate contracts is key to your success. From grasping the contract's purpose and scope to negotiating favorable terms and seeking legal advice, every step is crucial. This guide has equipped you with the foundational knowledge to confidently handle real estate contracts, paving the way for successful and secure transactions in your business journey.

    Image via Pexels

  • Thursday, December 28, 2023 2:31 PM | Anonymous


    California’s Insurance Issues

    The California Association of Mortgage Professionals held a seminar on November 7, 2023 regarding California insurance issues. EIC is happy to share notes from that webinar and many conversations with insurance agents and escrow professionals throughout the state:

    1. Homeowners - It is imperative that you pay attention to the mail from your insurance companies. If existing insurance premiums are not paid on time, companies are canceling or increasing the rates astronomically on lapsed insurance.

    2. California Fair Plan - Is this a viable choice? In some areas, plans will increase by 40% in December of 2023. Fair Plan historically only provided fire insurance, leaving other insurance coverages  like liability, personal property, etc. to be covered elsewhere. A lawsuit between DOI and Fair Plan was upheld and Fair Plan may now need to look into providing more “comprehensive homeowner’s insurance policy options.  Furthermore, our insurance agents state that due to a new system installed at this very inauspicious time, Fair Plan must “approve the insurance agent submitting the application first,” before they will consider the application for new insurance. For further news, please contact your insurance agent. A reminder that it may take 10-15 days OR MORE after application is made for approval and issuance.

    3. Forced placed insurance - this insurance is placed by Lenders when Borrowers do not provide their own coverages. They only protect the Lenders.

    4. Restrictions - many companies are looking at the following:
      1. Age of structure
      2. Type of roof
      3. Evidence of whole house leak detection kit installed
      4. Automatic gas shut off valve installed
      5. Contractor’s statement that all gas, electrical water systems have been updated
      6. Claims history of property
      7. Insurance claims history of potential insured
    5. Amount of coverage - companies may limit the amount of structure coverage. It may be difficult to find coverage for the amount needed for properties with a high value. May need to go to a surplus line for additional coverage.

    6. HOA Master insurance - Do not allow insurance to lapse! Insurance companies may not renew or will allow renewal at a very unaffordable rate. Do give a copy of coverage to Lender for review early in the application process. Lenders may require additional HO3 “walls in” coverage (structure insurance). HO6 and common area policies may not be sufficient

    7. HOA condo unit insurance - some companies are not insuring condo units at all. Farmers Insurance states that they will only insure owner-occupied single family homes, not condos.

    8. Bundled insurance - some companies will only give you insurance if you will allow them to insure all of your assets, including auto, RV, boat, etc.

    9. Other types of insurance - be aware of the types of insurance a company will offer.  Some will not offer tenant, landlord, or condo insurance. Commercial properties are separate.

    10. Changing the insured names - changing insured names may trigger a decline to continue coverage. Example - from individuals to their LLC or vice versa.

    11. Insurance companies have had instances of canceling existing coverage if they ascertain that the property is listed as vacant in the multiple listing services.

    12. Rejection/return of premium payment - certain insurance companies have cashed an escrow check for payment of premium and then returned the amount to escrow after closing, without notification or explanation to the client. Clients have to immediately find alternate insurance, maybe at a much higher cost, possibly affecting their insurance impound amount. Rejection may be due to any of the reasons stated above.


    1. Potential Buyers or existing Borrowers need to immediately research coverage (when opening the transaction).

    2. Ask the Buyer/Borrower to have his preferred insurance company research and run the claims history for the property immediately. They may also look at Buyer/Borrower’s past history on claims filings. What you don’t know may prevent you from getting the necessary insurance.

    3. PAY for the binder coverage in advance of closing. Insurance companies are giving a 30-45 day time period to allow for closing and occupancy. However, companies may not be amenable to changing the effective date, so be careful when you ask for any changes.

    4. Buyer/Borrower to obtain Lender insurance underwriting requirements immediately upon opening escrow and convey to potential insurance brokers. This includes Condo unit HO6 insurance.

    5. Obtain Lender approval (or disapproval) of HOA Master insurance policy early in the transaction. Make sure they are not asking for Buyer/Borrower to obtain more structure coverage (HO3).

    6. Borrowers with existing insurance - do not change title and vesting unless absolutely necessary. Do not give insurance companies a reason to cancel.

    7. Borrowers with existing insurance - watch your mail! Do not miss an insurance renewal notice. Insurance companies are not renewing insurance that lapsed because the insured forgot to pay.

    8. To better service your clients, Escrow Holder should consider sending the payment by overnight/tracked mail service to the insurance company at closing.

    9. Escrow Holder should consider checking their outstanding check list weekly for uncashed insurance checks. Alert your client immediately.

    As always, ask your client to check with their insurance agent for questions and particular concerns.

    Do you have stories to share? Please forward them to

    Educate, Innovate & Collaborate!


  • Friday, December 15, 2023 3:35 PM | Anonymous

    President’s Message. – December 2023

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all!

    Thank you for joining or maintaining your membership in the Escrow Institute of California. I decided in the first couple of years of opening my business that I needed a voice for my very small business. EIC was it.

    Looking back over the years, it has been a very valuable investment. Just a few things we have taken up in the last momentous decade:

    • EIC has had a major impact on keeping our licensing fees reasonable. Ask me for details.
    • EIC stepped in when the State Controller wanted to make all escrow companies disgorge back interest on funds that qualified for escheatment when they re-interpreted the rules.
    • Through its work via legislation and the Escrow Law Advisory Committee, a number of harmful “ideas” promoted by our regulators have been pushed back and a number of beneficial ideas have been implemented.
    • Lender Vetting was a cause that we took on and pushed back
    • We talked to the CFPB regarding our concerns with solar systems financing.
    • We talked to the CFPB regarding concerns on how TRID was going to roll out.

    As I near retirement age (fingers crossed) and plan to leave my company to my son I feel the obligation to remain active and involved so that I will leave him an environment that he can survive and thrive in.

    The 2024 Annual Conference is coming up! We have secured the date – May 17 through May 19th, and the place - the Mission Bay Resort in San Diego. Now our Conference Committee is forming and will be busy planning the EDUCATION series. We are looking for volunteer voices to make it a great event. It may be work but it is also FUN!

    What additional VALUE can we bring to our membership? We are considering what you need

    and the ways we can bring that to you. If you have ideas or suggestions, contact our

    Membership Committee. The more voices the merrier!

    As we transition from a crazy hot housing market to a more normal and even cool market, stay abreast of the trends. Follow our Publications, Alerts and Events. Let’s have those important conversations about “WHAT WE ARE DOING vs WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING”. I plan to escalate those conversations and hope you will all participate. We want to create a standard of good practices; the more we do things the same correct way, the better off we are. Otherwise, we are just shadowboxing.

    Having the last word for this year at our Dec. 5 Escrow Advisory Board meeting, the DFPI reminded us that the transfer of our CORPORATE STOCK is restricted, as any transfer requires approval by the DFPI. New stockholders must have the same background checks as we did. In addition, your stock certificates should be held by an Attorney or CPA who is acting as your “escrow holder” for the certificates. Do you know who is holding your certificates? And one more thing: they have alerted us to expect another SPECIAL ASSESSMENT in 2024. Ouch. Be prepared.

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve as your president once again! It has been my honor and privilege.

    Email us at if you are able to contribute your ideas and expertise to any of our committees. Educate, Innovate & Collaborate!

    Respectfully submitted,

    PJ Garcia, EIC 2023 President

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