General Definitions

“Escrow” means any transaction in which a neutral third party holds documents of ownership of either real or personal property for a buyer and seller. The buyer and seller provide instructions on the terms and requirements of the transaction to the neutral third party. When all the terms and requirements are met, the neutral third party transfers title to the buyer and the seller receives their funds. (See Financial Code section 17003.)

"Escrow agent" means any person engaged in the business of receiving escrows for deposit or delivery.

"Internet escrow agent" is any person engaged in the business of receiving escrows for deposit or delivery over the Internet.

"Joint control agent" means any person engaging in the business of receiving money or other property for disbursal or use in payment of the cost of labor, material, services, permits, fees, or other items of expense incurred in the construction of improvements upon real property.