At Ambergris Daily we wondered “What standards should a real estate office adhere to it comes to holding their client’s money in escrow?” Certainly as a minimum standard the real estate company should handle the funds per their client’s wishes. So, if the clients say “Pay so and so $70,000US because we owe them for the land purchase you brokered and we are already past due” then the real estate company should do that promptly, especially if the request was made formally in writing.
We also believe that if the clients wants all of their funds returned to them then that request should be carried out without delay. This must be complied with INSTANTLY especially if the real estate office has already been paid their commission for any work they have done and both sides of any deal are happy.
There should never be a delay of weeks or months when such requests are made by their clients. If such delays have already occurred then we think it’s both alarming and newsworthy and we know it’s a public duty to expose it before others suffer the same fate.
There are other obligations that the real estate company has to their clients but the following list DOES NOT APPLY:
1. Lying to their clients about non existent matters in order to delay release of clients funds. (Lying/Misrepresentation).
2. Spending clients funds for personal needs/wants. (Theft).
3. Delaying of closing of a sale because their clients funds are missing or misappropriated causing great anxiety and suffering on both sides of the sale. (Obstruction, Dereliction of Professional Duty).
4. Lying to their close friends about alleged future sales in order to try and borrow money from them. (Lying/Misrepresentation/Betrayal of Trust/Fraud).
5. Refusing to prove to their worried peers in the real estate business that they still hold the funds and that said funds are safe. (Obstruction/Lying/Lack of Professional Courtesy).
6. Attempting to make a deal with their clients such that the money is released over a period of years instead of immediately. (Cover-up)
7. Calling their own clients insane and liars behind their backs because clients get angry when they realize their money is missing. (Slander/Libel).
8. Falsifying signatures and/or contracts in order to “prove” to their clients that any delay is necessary (Forgery/Fraud).
9. Threatening to sue those who would expose such scandalous and criminal behavior. (Threats/Blackmail).