another real estate question from Oaklandmom

<p>Yes folks, I've moved. In deed there seems to be more drama unfolding so I thought I'd ask the brilliant minds here for advice - my search of the internet is turning up nothing. </p>

<p>I did close on my new home on March 4. (I moved in Feb 29 but that is another story). I do love it here. & once the boxes are all unpacked and I've figured out where things are, I'm sure I'll head over to SA for some bubbly. </p>

<p>But for now, I need some advice. The house I bought was bank owned. The bank that owed the property dictated the escrow/title company. We closed on March 4 and I thought everything would be automatically taken care of. But starting on March 14 I began to learn that some bills that were to be paid out of escrow were not paid by the escrow company. I've tried calling the escrow company. My real estate agent has called the escrow company. Today I called the lender to let them know thinking maybe they could lean on the escrow company. They are now also working to get the escrow company to pay up. But none of our calls are being returned. There are several outstanding items which total almost $10,000.</p>

<p>A web search indicated I should try the Dept. of Corporations. But the Department of Corporations will only help if the company is licensed in Calif - and the escrow company the bank(that owned the property) insisted we use does not seem to licensed in CA as an escrow company(a mortgage broker but not an escrow company). </p>

<p>Any suggestions where I start or how I get the escrow company to do what they*were suppose to do? ( the escrow company is in southern California - otherwise I'd go sit on their doorstep until I got answer to where the money is). Any suggestions would be really appreciated. (Maybe I have it all wrong - maybe it takes several weeks for the escrow company to write checks?). But then wouldn't they return calls....</p>

<p>In the meantime, DS flies home for spring break tonight. I'd much rather get the house a little more ready for him than worry about the escrow mess. But I can't stop thinking about it(and wondering why me?)...</p>

<p>Poor oaklandmom! Glad you moved, and hope this latest "problem" has a simple solution. sorry I can't help.</p>

<p>But do come on over to SA for some bubbly...or something stronger if needed...it's been kind of empty in there for a couple days now.</p>

<p>Registered mail, return receipt required. Send them a letter stating what hasn't been paid and that you will be contacting them to verify payment. If there's still no response: call the police in the town they're located in and report fraud.</p>

<p>^^^ Yes, it is called a "demand letter" ... see wiki or nolo.com</p>

<p>List ALL the amounts owed, plus penalties. Certified or registered letter. No need to have a lawyer, just follow the outlines. Put in a firm deadline, your contact info, cc all the parties ... bank, mortgage, those owed . And then if they don't answer, follow through.</p>

<p>Enjoy some blu cheese and a full body red wine. </p>

<p>I can think of other things you can do with blu cheese that would not be nice.</p>

<p>No doubt you and the seller both signed escrow instructions prior to closing. In CA these instructions are typically very comprehensive and should clearly define the responsibilities of the parties and should also provide that any financial obligations are guaranteed through the escrow.</p>

<p>The escrow company is obligated to follow the escrow instructions, and though they may not be immediately returning your calls, you can probably rest assured that they will comply with the escrow documents.</p>

<p>Are you referring to representations made by the seller that didn't make it into the escrow instructions? That would be an entirely different sort of problem.</p>

<p>oaklandmom,
My H is a real estate lawyer on the other coast from you. California does things quite differently than they do in our state. He says that the escrow agents in CA can be sort of "mom and pop" operations, rather than the large, reputable title companies with millions of dollars in assets that he is used to dealing with. Your escrow "agent" may be out of business. My H believes that you should be contacting the bank which insisted that you use this particular escrow agent and make them get involved. They may have some liability.
Seriously, he also thinks that you need to contact a local lawyer. Not that you needed to hear this, and I am truly sorry for your latest aggravation, but he says that he has seen California deals and knows that they don't get lawyers involved and always wonders, "Who's protecting these people?"</p>