[photopress:check.jpg,thumb,alignright]The times they are a changing.
Personally, I don’t see any reason why anyone except the closing agent, should view my buyer client’s personal check. A “qualified reperesentative” from the escrow company, picks up the check and gives me a receipt for it. When they deposit the check at escrow, I get a second receipt showing the funds were deposited.
When the seller’s agent wants “a copy of the Earnest Money check”, I give them a copy of the “Deposit Receipt” instead. In my mind this is proof enough that the Earnest Money is on deposit where it needs to be, with the closing agent. I received a fax last week from a seller’s agent saying “My company needs the buyer’s account number from the bottom of the Earnest Money check”. Isn’t this an outdated policy? Why do they need my client’s personal checking account number? And why do I care about the internal policies of a company I am not associated with?
When I represent the buyer, I don’t really care what the “policy” of the seller’s agent’s company is. When I represent the seller, I don’t really care what the “policy” of the buyer agent’s company is. If a “deposit receipt” that contains NO personal information of the buyer’s account is good enough for the DOL, and it is, then it should be good enough for all of the real estate companies.
Protecting my client’s information against identity theft and fraud, is my only concern, once complying with the State’s requirements. Multiple copies of the personal check of the buyer floating around in everyone’s files, is a policy to be changed…not complied with for the sake of making someone’s little checklist, designed in the dark ages, complete.