Escrow Institute of California Code of Ethics
The Escrow Licensee is the entity that processes most real estate transactions, personal property and business transfers. It acknowledges that the responsibilities and obligations undertaken in escrows are of the utmost importance. Therefore, it maintains and improves the standards of its profession and shares with fellow practitioners a common concern for the integrity and fiduciary responsibility of the profession.
Licensed by the State of California, the word “Member” used in this code shall mean a Corporation accepted for membership by the Board of Directors of the Escrow Institute of California. Every Member pledges itself to observe the spirit of and conduct its business in accordance with the following Code of Ethics:
I. A Member shall maintain a professional level of knowledge as to current legislation and laws relative to or affecting escrows.
II. A Member shall maintain the confidential nature of all escrow transactions, shall relate the facts or materials relative to such transactions to entitled persons only, and otherwise shall require the issuance of an official document pursuant to the laws of the State of Jurisdiction.
III. A Member shall be timely and expeditious in the processing and closing of all escrow transactions.
IV. A Member shall sustain its fiduciary responsibility to the principals in each transaction by remaining an unbiased and neutral third party.
V. A Member shall conduct its business without any corruption, dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation, or unethical practice for the benefit of the profession and the protection of the public.
VI. A Member shall not engage in activities that constitute the unauthorized practice of law and should never hesitate recommending that a principal seek appropriate counsel in connection with an escrow.
VII. If an employer/employee, family, stockholder or director relationship exists between a principal to a transaction and a Member, it shall be disclosed to all principals immediately.
VIII. A Member shall conduct its profession in such a manner as to avoid controversies; shall never disparage the professional practice and/or knowledge, seek unprofessional advantage nor volunteer an opinion of the processing of a competitor’s transaction. If its opinion is sought, it should be rendered with strict professional integrity and courtesy.
IX. A Member shall disclose to any client its lack of knowledge as to a given type of transaction and shall refer said client to at least two fellow Members who have professed to have knowledge of transactions in that field.
X. A Member shall acquire and maintain sufficient professional knowledge to process all transactions accepted.
XI. A Member shall maintain fees in accordance with sound business practices by charging for services performed, liability imposed and shall not unfairly undercut the competition nor unfairly overcharge the public.
XII. A Member shall endeavor to oversee that all employees maintain integrity, honesty, objectivity; are not taken unfair advantage of; and encourage employees to obtain education, thru schooling, seminars, and the membership in industry organizations available to them such as their local escrow association, California Escrow Association, etc.
XIII. A Member shall at all times abide by the Codes and Statutes of the State of California, as required under its License.
(Adopted June 28, 1988)