COMMISSIONER'S BULLETIN # B-0042-06
December 13, 2006
TO: ALL INSURERS WRITING TITLE INSURANCE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS AND ALL DIRECT OPERATIONS AND AGENTS THEREOF
RE: ESCROW OFFICERS; PERFORMING WORK BEFORE AUTHORIZATION
It has come to the attention of the Texas Department of Insurance that some escrow officer applicants are performing the duties of an escrow officer prior to the Department's issuance of a license. In certain cases, title agents, direct operations, or fee attorneys responsible for supervising the applicants are permitting employees to perform the duties of an escrow officer without determining whether the person is properly licensed. Except as provided by provisions of the Texas Insurance Code, an individual may not act or be permitted to act as an escrow officer unless the individual holds a license issued by the Department and maintains a surety bond or deposit as required by law. See Texas Insurance Code §§2652.001 - 2652.002. The applicant must refrain from engaging in the duties of an escrow officer until the Department issues the license even if an application is pending.
Acting as an escrow officer before a license is issued is a punishable offense. The Department may deny an application for a license or discipline an escrow officer for performing the duties of an escrow officer prior to licensure pursuant to Texas Insurance Code §2652.201. In accordance with Texas Insurance Code §4005.102(4), remedies for violating insurance laws or administrative rules may include fines. Disciplinary action may also be taken against the employer for permitting a person to act as an escrow officer without a license pursuant to Texas Insurance Code §§2651.301, 2652.003(b), 2652.003(c), 4005.102, and Administrative Rule L-2., I., B., which prohibits a title insurance agent or direct operation from employing any person as an escrow officer who is not licensed and bonded in accordance with the provisions of the Texas Title Insurance Act.
If you have any questions regarding this bulletin, please contact the Title Division at (512) 322-3482 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert R. Carter, Jr.
Deputy Commissioner - Title