Home » Finance » Loans

How Escrow Accounts Work

Aug 17, 2007
An Escrow Account is a savings account where you deposit money for paying off your home insurance and taxes. The lender who loans you money for the mortgage opens the account. Once you have paid a percentage of the mortgage amount, without defaulting on the payments, then the lender might decide to excuse you from any further payments through the Escrow Account.

Another type of Escrow Account is maintained by an Escrow Agent as part of an agreement between the agent, the buyer, and the seller. The account is maintained until the conditions of the seller are fulfilled. The buyer regularly transfers funds to the Escrow Account and the agent hands over the accumulated amount to the seller in due time. The escrow agent may either be a person who specially deals in escrow accounts, or an attorney.

Why Have an Escrow Account?
An Escrow Account is meant to protect the lender, more than anything else. An earthquake or accident may destroy your property, leaving the lender without the collateral on which you borrowed from him or her. If your property is insured, then the lender can breathe easy knowing that he will not lose out in case of an accident. Similarly, if the state confiscates your property because you were unable to pay taxes, the lender loses the collateral. Therefore, the lender want to make sure that you pay your taxes on time. When an Escrow Account is opened for you, you have to regularly deposit money into it to pay your taxes and insurance premiums.

Escrow Agents
Most buyers and sellers of property, valuable real estate or art prefer to deal through an intermediary called the escrow agent. The escrow agent oversees the implementation of the deal between the buyer and the seller. He sees to it that the buyer puts the agreed amount of money in the Escrow Account, and then hands it over to the seller when the time for payment comes. Escrow Agents can be attorneys, real estate agents or even software source code escrow agents.

Online Escrow Services
To make escrow transactions easier in the digital age, online escrow services have sprung up. These agents allow remote buyers and sellers to conduct transactions online. Since there are high chances of fraud on the part of the buyer and seller when they are geographically distant, online escrow agents work as reliable intermediaries.

Guidelines Regarding Escrow Account
Escrow Accounts are based on certain guidelines put down by the authorities concerned. In the US, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act restricts the amount that can be put into the Escrow Account. For example, there must be at least one day in the year when the amount in the Escrow Account is no more than one sixth of the total you owe in insurance premiums and projected tax amount.

If your mortgage or any other transaction involves an Escrow Account, it becomes necessary for you to start planning how you are going to save for that account. If you find it difficult to understand the nuances of the Escrow Account, or are unsure of the implications of the account on your income and business, then you can approach an Escrow Account consultant for help. The consultant will guide you to the best options you have, and ensure that the Escrow Account does not become a liability for you.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 150
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources