[Rev. 11/21/2013 12:56:04 PM--2013]

CHAPTER 645A - ESCROW AGENCIES AND AGENTS

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 645A.010        Definitions.

NRS 645A.015        Applicability.

LICENSES

NRS 645A.020        Application: Requirements; issuance; restriction.

NRS 645A.021        Application: Educational prerequisites; regulations.

NRS 645A.025        Payment of child support: Submission of certain information by applicant; grounds for denial of license; duty of Commissioner. [Effective until the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings.]

NRS 645A.025        Payment of child support: Submission of certain information by applicant; grounds for denial of license; duty of Commissioner. [Effective on the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings and expires by limitation 2 years after that date.]

NRS 645A.032        Contents of license; escrow agent may associate with only one escrow agency at one time.

NRS 645A.034        Delivery and possession of license of escrow agent; display of licenses.

NRS 645A.036        Specification of place of business required for escrow agency; designation in license; effect.

NRS 645A.037        Prohibition on administering escrows in same location as or in conjunction with other businesses; exceptions.

NRS 645A.038        License not transferable.

NRS 645A.039        Continuing education: Standards; regulations.

NRS 645A.040        Expiration; renewal; fees; deposit of money received.

SURETY BONDS

NRS 645A.041        Duty of escrow agency to deposit surety bond with Commissioner; escrow agents must be named as principals on bond; form and amount of bond; exceptions.

NRS 645A.042        Escrow agency may deposit substitute form of security in lieu of surety bond; amount deposited must equal amount of bond; interest or dividends accrue to depositor.

NRS 645A.043        Cancellation of bond: Notices required; revocation of license unless equivalent bond or substitute form of security furnished.

NRS 645A.047        Action on bond: Procedure; limitation of time; duties of Commissioner; preliminary payment by surety; action for interpleader; payment.

SUPERVISION; DISCIPLINARY ACTION

NRS 645A.050        Duties of Commissioner.

NRS 645A.060        Powers of Commissioner: Subpoenas, oaths and examination of witnesses; penalty.

NRS 645A.065        Fees for supervision, investigation and examination of persons; standards for supervision of escrow agents.

NRS 645A.067        Payment of assessment and cooperation in audits and examinations.

NRS 645A.070        Records of transactions in escrow: Maintenance; filing.

NRS 645A.080        Records of Commissioner: General provisions governing public inspection and confidentiality.

NRS 645A.082        Records of Commissioner: Certain records relating to investigation deemed confidential; certain records relating to disciplinary action deemed public records.

NRS 645A.085        Change in ownership of voting stock of escrow agency.

NRS 645A.086        Duty of Commissioner to take disciplinary action for certain violations.

NRS 645A.090        Grounds for refusal to issue license or for disciplinary action; orders imposing discipline deemed public records.

NRS 645A.095        Suspension of license for failure to pay child support or comply with certain subpoenas or warrants; reinstatement of license. [Effective until 2 years after the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings.]

NRS 645A.097        Disciplinary proceedings, fines and penalties not affected by expiration, revocation or voluntary surrender of license.

NRS 645A.100        Notice of refusal to issue license or of disciplinary action; hearing; limitation on time to apply for hearing.

NRS 645A.110        Investigation by Commissioner; powers of Commissioner; injunctive relief; enforcement of subpoenas.

NRS 645A.130        Procedures following decision on appeal.

NRS 645A.140        Powers of Commissioner when agency’s affairs in unsafe condition.

NRS 645A.150        Receivership.

MONEY DEPOSITED IN ESCROW

General Provisions

NRS 645A.160        Money deposited in escrow must be deposited in escrow or trust account.

NRS 645A.170        Limitations on execution or attachment of money deposited in escrow; commingling prohibited.

NRS 645A.171        Limitations on disbursements of money deposited in escrow account.

 

Escrows for the Sale of Real Property

NRS 645A.173        Duty to record certain information concerning real estate brokers and salespersons, mortgage brokers and mortgage bankers.

NRS 645A.175        Duty to execute documents necessary to release money deposited in escrow; exception for good faith disputes; recovery of damages for failure to execute; award of attorney’s fees.

NRS 645A.177        Action to recover money deposited in escrow; discharge from further responsibility for holder of escrow; right of holder to bring action for interpleader.

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

NRS 645A.193        Attorney General to represent Division.

NRS 645A.195        Escrow agency that is not natural person to designate natural person as qualified employee.

NRS 645A.196        Termination of employment of escrow agent: Duties of escrow agency; prohibited actions.

NRS 645A.199        Proof of licensure required in action for collection of compensation.

NRS 645A.200        Statutory and common-law rights unaffected.

NRS 645A.201        Exercise of jurisdiction over party to civil action; service of summons to confer jurisdiction.

UNLAWFUL ACTS; PENALTIES; REMEDIES

NRS 645A.210        Unlawful to engage in escrow business without license.

NRS 645A.220        Transactions by foreign corporations.

NRS 645A.221        Contracts for escrow transaction voidable for certain violations; administrative fines.

NRS 645A.222        Civil action authorized for certain violations.

NRS 645A.224        Employee of Division prohibited from interest in escrow agency.

NRS 645A.225        Charge for statement of interest payments prohibited.

NRS 645A.230        Penalties for violations.

NRS 645A.235        Restitution.

_________

 

GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 645A.010  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

      1.  “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Mortgage Lending.

      2.  “Construction control” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 627.050.

      3.  “Division” means the Division of Mortgage Lending of the Department of Business and Industry.

      4.  “Escrow” means any transaction wherein one person, for the purpose of effecting the sale, transfer, encumbering or leasing of real or personal property to another person, delivers any written instrument, money, evidence of title to real or personal property, or other thing of value to a third person until the happening of a specified event or the performance of a prescribed condition, when it is then to be delivered by such third person to a grantee, grantor, promisee, promisor, obligee, obligor, bailee, bailor or any agent or employee of any of the latter. The term includes the collection of payments and the performance of related services by a third person in connection with a loan secured by a lien on real property and the performance of the services of a construction control.

      5.  “Escrow agency” means:

      (a) Any person who employs one or more escrow agents; or

      (b) An escrow agent who administers escrows on his or her own behalf.

      6.  “Escrow agent” means any person engaged in the business of administering escrows for compensation.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1305; A 1985, 536, 1809; 1991, 1847; 1993, 1891; 2003, 3539; 2011, 3596)

      NRS 645A.015  Applicability.  The provisions of this chapter do not apply to:

      1.  Any person:

      (a) Doing business under the laws of this State or the United States relating to banks, mutual savings banks, trust companies, savings and loan associations, common and consumer finance companies or industrial loan companies; or

      (b) Licensed pursuant to chapter 692A of NRS.

      2.  An attorney at law rendering services in the performance of his or her duties as attorney at law, except an attorney actively engaged in conducting an escrow agency.

      3.  Any firm or corporation which lends money on real or personal property and is subject to licensing, supervision or auditing by an agency of the United States or of this State.

      4.  Any person doing any act under order of any court.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1312; A 1985, 1818; 1987, 1314)

LICENSES

      NRS 645A.020  Application: Requirements; issuance; restriction.

      1.  A person who wishes to be licensed as an escrow agent or agency must file a written application in the Office of the Commissioner.

      2.  The application must:

      (a) Be verified.

      (b) Be accompanied by the appropriate fee prescribed in NRS 645A.040.

      (c) State the location of the applicant’s principal office and branch offices in the State and residence address.

      (d) State the name under which the applicant will conduct business.

      (e) List the names, residence and business addresses of all persons having an interest in the business as principals, partners, officers, trustees or directors, specifying the capacity and title of each.

      (f) Indicate the general plan and character of the business.

      (g) State the length of time the applicant has been engaged in the escrow business.

      (h) Require a financial statement of the applicant.

      (i) Require such other information as the Commissioner determines necessary.

      (j) If for an escrow agency, designate a natural person to receive service of process in this State for the agency.

      (k) Include a complete set of the fingerprints of the applicant or, if the applicant is not a natural person, a complete set of the fingerprints of each person who will have an interest in the escrow agency as a principal, partner, officer, director or trustee, and written permission authorizing the Division to forward the fingerprints to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its report.

      (l) Include all information required to complete the application.

      3.  If the Commissioner determines, after investigation, that the experience, character, financial condition, business reputation and general fitness of the applicant are such as to command the confidence of the public and to warrant the belief that the business conducted will protect and safeguard the public, the Commissioner shall issue a license to the applicant as an escrow agent or agency.

      4.  The Commissioner may waive the investigation required by subsection 3 if the applicant submits with the application satisfactory proof that the applicant, in good standing, currently holds a license, or held a license, within 1 year before the date the applicant submits his or her application, which was issued pursuant to the provisions of NRS 692A.103.

      5.  An escrow agent or agency shall immediately notify the Division of any material change in the information contained in the application.

      6.  A person may not be licensed as an escrow agent or agency or be a principal, partner, officer, director or trustee of an escrow agency if the person is the holder of an active license issued pursuant to chapter 645 of NRS.

      7.  If the Commissioner finds that additional information is required to consider the application, the Commissioner shall send a letter to the applicant which specifies the additional requirements that the applicant must satisfy within 30 days after receiving the letter to obtain a license. If the applicant does not satisfy all additional requirements set forth in the letter within 30 days after receipt of the letter, the application will be deemed to have been denied, and the applicant must reapply to obtain a license. The Commissioner may, for good cause, extend the 30-day period prescribed in this subsection.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1306; A 1985, 1810; 1987, 117; 1991, 1848; 1995, 1003; 1997, 2169; 2005, 2779, 2807; 2011, 3596)

      NRS 645A.021  Application: Educational prerequisites; regulations.

      1.  In addition to any other requirement, an applicant for an original license as an escrow agent or agency must furnish proof satisfactory to the Commissioner of the successful completion of a course of instruction in the principles, practices, procedures, law and ethics of escrows, which course may be an extension or correspondence course offered by the Nevada System of Higher Education, by any other accredited college or university or by any other college or school approved by the Commissioner.

      2.  An applicant for a license as an escrow agent or agency pursuant to NRS 645A.020 must meet the educational prerequisites required pursuant to this section not later than the date on which his or her application is received by the Office of the Commissioner.

      3.  The Commissioner shall adopt regulations setting forth standards for the educational prerequisites required pursuant to this section. The regulations must address standards for instructors, the scope and content of the instruction, required hours of instruction and such other criteria as the Commissioner considers necessary.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1552)

      NRS 645A.025  Payment of child support: Submission of certain information by applicant; grounds for denial of license; duty of Commissioner. [Effective until the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings.]

      1.  In addition to any other requirements set forth in this chapter:

      (a) A natural person who applies for the issuance of a license as an escrow agent or escrow agency shall include the social security number of the applicant in the application submitted to the Commissioner.

      (b) A natural person who applies for the issuance or renewal of a license as an escrow agent or escrow agency shall submit to the Commissioner the statement prescribed by the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services of the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to NRS 425.520. The statement must be completed and signed by the applicant.

      2.  The Commissioner shall include the statement required pursuant to subsection 1 in:

      (a) The application or any other forms that must be submitted for the issuance or renewal of the license; or

      (b) A separate form prescribed by the Commissioner.

      3.  A license as an escrow agent or escrow agency may not be issued or renewed by the Commissioner if the applicant is a natural person who:

      (a) Fails to submit the statement required pursuant to subsection 1; or

      (b) Indicates on the statement submitted pursuant to subsection 1 that the applicant is subject to a court order for the support of a child and is not in compliance with the order or a plan approved by the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order for the repayment of the amount owed pursuant to the order.

      4.  If an applicant indicates on the statement submitted pursuant to subsection 1 that the applicant is subject to a court order for the support of a child and is not in compliance with the order or a plan approved by the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order for the repayment of the amount owed pursuant to the order, the Commissioner shall advise the applicant to contact the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order to determine the actions that the applicant may take to satisfy the arrearage.

      (Added to NRS by 1997, 2168; A 2005, 2779, 2807)

      NRS 645A.025  Payment of child support: Submission of certain information by applicant; grounds for denial of license; duty of Commissioner. [Effective on the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings and expires by limitation 2 years after that date.]

      1.  In addition to any other requirements set forth in this chapter, a natural person who applies for the issuance or renewal of a license as an escrow agent or escrow agency shall submit to the Commissioner the statement prescribed by the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services of the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to NRS 425.520. The statement must be completed and signed by the applicant.

      2.  The Commissioner shall include the statement required pursuant to subsection 1 in:

      (a) The application or any other forms that must be submitted for the issuance or renewal of the license; or

      (b) A separate form prescribed by the Commissioner.

      3.  A license as an escrow agent or escrow agency may not be issued or renewed by the Commissioner if the applicant is a natural person who:

      (a) Fails to submit the statement required pursuant to subsection 1; or

      (b) Indicates on the statement submitted pursuant to subsection 1 that the applicant is subject to a court order for the support of a child and is not in compliance with the order or a plan approved by the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order for the repayment of the amount owed pursuant to the order.

      4.  If an applicant indicates on the statement submitted pursuant to subsection 1 that the applicant is subject to a court order for the support of a child and is not in compliance with the order or a plan approved by the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order for the repayment of the amount owed pursuant to the order, the Commissioner shall advise the applicant to contact the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order to determine the actions that the applicant may take to satisfy the arrearage.

      (Added to NRS by 1997, 2168; A 2005, 2779, 2780, 2807, effective on the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings)

      NRS 645A.032  Contents of license; escrow agent may associate with only one escrow agency at one time.

      1.  The Division shall issue to each licensee a license which:

      (a) Shows the name and address of the licensee, and in the case of an escrow agent, the name of the escrow agency with whom the escrow agent will be associated.

      (b) Has imprinted thereon the seal of the Division.

      (c) Contains any additional matter prescribed by the Division.

      2.  No escrow agent may be associated with or employed by more than one escrow agency at the same time.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1807)

      NRS 645A.034  Delivery and possession of license of escrow agent; display of licenses.

      1.  The license of each escrow agent must be delivered or mailed to the escrow agency with whom the licensee is associated and kept in the custody and control of the escrow agency.

      2.  The license of each escrow agency and of each escrow agent associated with that agency must be displayed conspicuously in the agency’s place of business. If an escrow agency maintains more than one place of business within the State, an additional license must be issued to each branch office so maintained, and the additional license must be displayed conspicuously in each branch office.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1807)

      NRS 645A.036  Specification of place of business required for escrow agency; designation in license; effect.

      1.  Every escrow agency shall maintain a definite place of business within the State, which must be a room or rooms used for the transaction of escrows, or such business and any allied businesses, and which must serve as the office for the transaction of business pursuant to the authority granted in the license.

      2.  The place of business must be specified in the application for the license and so designated on the license.

      3.  A license does not authorize the licensee to transact business from any office other than that designated in the license.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1807)

      NRS 645A.037  Prohibition on administering escrows in same location as or in conjunction with other businesses; exceptions.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, a licensee may not conduct the business of administering escrows for compensation within any office, suite, room or place of business in which any other business is solicited or engaged in, except a notary public, or in association or conjunction with any other business, unless authority to do so is given by the Commissioner.

      2.  A licensee may conduct the business of administering escrows pursuant to this chapter in the same office or place of business as a mortgage banker if:

      (a) The licensee and the mortgage banker:

             (1) Operate as separate legal entities;

             (2) Maintain separate accounts, books and records;

             (3) Are subsidiaries of the same parent corporation; and

             (4) Maintain separate licenses; and

      (b) The mortgage banker is licensed by this state pursuant to chapter 645E of NRS and does not conduct any business as a mortgage broker licensed pursuant to chapter 645B of NRS in the office or place of business.

      (Added to NRS by 1993, 503; A 1999, 3764; 2003, 3540)

      NRS 645A.038  License not transferable.  A license issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter does not give authority to perform any act specified in this chapter to any person other than the person to whom the license is issued, or from any place of business other than that specified therein.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1807)

      NRS 645A.039  Continuing education: Standards; regulations.

      1.  The Commissioner shall adopt regulations that prescribe standards for the continuing education of persons licensed pursuant to this chapter.

      2.  The standards adopted pursuant to subsection 1 must:

      (a) Permit alternative subject material appropriate for specialized areas of practice and alternative sources of programs to ensure availability throughout the State and throughout the year;

      (b) Set forth procedures pursuant to which the Commissioner may qualify providers to offer courses of continuing education, including, without limitation, generally accredited educational institutions, private vocational schools, educational programs and seminars of professional societies and organizations and other organized educational programs on technical subjects;

      (c) Set forth procedures pursuant to which the Commissioner may qualify those continuing education courses that the Commissioner determines address the appropriate subject matter; and

      (d) Set forth required hours of instruction and such other criteria as the Commissioner considers necessary.

      3.  Subject to the provisions of this section, the Commissioner has exclusive authority to determine which providers and courses may qualify for the purposes of continuing education under this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1552)

      NRS 645A.040  Expiration; renewal; fees; deposit of money received.

      1.  Every license issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter expires on July 1 of each year if it is not renewed. A license may be renewed by filing an application for renewal, paying the annual fee for the succeeding year and submitting all information required to complete the renewal.

      2.  The fees for the issuance or renewal of a license for an escrow agency are:

      (a) For filing an application for an initial license, $500 for the principal office and $100 for each branch office.

      (b) If the license is approved for issuance, $200 for the principal office and $100 for each branch office. The fee must be paid before issuance of the license.

      (c) For filing an application for renewal, $200 for the principal office and $100 for each branch office.

      3.  The fees for the issuance or renewal of a license for an escrow agent are:

      (a) For filing an application for an initial license or for the renewal of a license, $100.

      (b) If a license is approved for issuance or renewal, $25. The fee must be paid before the issuance or renewal of the license.

      4.  If a licensee fails to pay the fee or submit all required information for the annual renewal of his or her license before its expiration, the license may be renewed only upon the payment of a fee one and one-half times the amount otherwise required for renewal. A license may be renewed pursuant to this subsection only if all the fees are paid and all required information is submitted within 2 months after the date on which the license expired.

      5.  In addition to the other fees set forth in this section, each applicant or licensee shall pay:

      (a) For filing an application for a duplicate copy of any license, upon satisfactory showing of its loss, $10.

      (b) For filing any change of information contained in the application, $10.

      (c) For each change of association with an escrow agency, $25.

      6.  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all fees received pursuant to this chapter must be deposited in the Account for Mortgage Lending created by NRS 645F.270.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1307; A 1985, 1811; 1993, 504; 1995, 1005; 1997, 2170; 2003, 3228, 3540; 2003, 20th Special Session, 265; 2005, 2781, 2807, 2817; 2011, 3597)

SURETY BONDS

      NRS 645A.041  Duty of escrow agency to deposit surety bond with Commissioner; escrow agents must be named as principals on bond; form and amount of bond; exceptions.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 645A.042, as a condition to doing business in this State, each escrow agency shall deposit with the Commissioner and keep in full force and effect a corporate surety bond payable to the State of Nevada, in the amount set forth in subsection 4, which is executed by a corporate surety satisfactory to the Commissioner and which names as principals the escrow agency and all escrow agents employed by or associated with the escrow agency.

      2.  At the time of filing an application for a license as an escrow agent, the applicant shall file with the Commissioner proof that the applicant is named as a principal on the corporate surety bond deposited with the Commissioner by the escrow agency with whom he or she is associated or employed.

      3.  The bond must be in substantially the following form:

 

       Know All Persons by These Presents, that ........................, as principal, and ........................, as surety, are held and firmly bound unto the State of Nevada for the use and benefit of any person who suffers damages because of a violation of any of the provisions of chapter 645A of NRS, in the sum of ............, lawful money of the United States, to be paid to the State of Nevada for such use and benefit, for which payment well and truly to be made, and that we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents.

       The condition of that obligation is such that: Whereas, the principal has been issued a license as an escrow agency or escrow agent by the Commissioner of Mortgage Lending of the Department of Business and Industry of the State of Nevada and is required to furnish a bond, which is conditioned as set forth in this bond:

       Now, therefore, if the principal, his or her agents and employees, strictly, honestly and faithfully comply with the provisions of chapter 645A of NRS, and pay all damages suffered by any person because of a violation of any of the provisions of chapter 645A of NRS, or by reason of any fraud, dishonesty, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts growing out of any transaction governed by the provisions of chapter 645A of NRS, then this obligation is void; otherwise it remains in full force.

       This bond becomes effective on the ..........(day) of ................(month) of ......(year), and remains in force until the surety is released from liability by the Commissioner of Mortgage Lending or until this bond is cancelled by the surety. The surety may cancel this bond and be relieved of further liability hereunder by giving 60 days’ written notice to the principal and to the Commissioner of Mortgage Lending of the Department of Business and Industry of the State of Nevada.

       In Witness Whereof, the seal and signature of the principal hereto is affixed, and the corporate seal and the name of the surety hereto is affixed and attested by its authorized officers at ........................, Nevada, this .............(day) of ................(month) of ...….(year).

 

                                                   ............................................................................. (Seal)

                                                                                    Principal

                                                   ............................................................................. (Seal)

                                                                                      Surety

                                                                           By..........................................................

                                                                                             Attorney-in-fact

                                                                           ...............................................................

                                                                            Nevada Licensed Insurance Agent

 

      4.  Each escrow agency shall deposit a corporate surety bond that complies with the provisions of this section or a substitute form of security that complies with the provisions of NRS 645A.042 in the following amount based upon the average monthly balance of the trust account or escrow account maintained by the escrow agency pursuant to NRS 645A.160:

 

AVERAGE MONTHLY BALANCE                              AMOUNT OF BOND OR

                                                                                               SECURITY REQUIRED

$50,000 or less................................................................................................ $20,000

More than $50,000 but not more than $250,000....................................... 50,000

More than $250,000 but not more than $500,000.................................. 100,000

More than $500,000 but not more than $750,000.................................. 150,000

More than $750,000 but not more than $1,000,000............................... 200,000

More than $1,000,000................................................................................... 250,000

 

The Commissioner shall determine the appropriate amount of the surety bond or substitute form of security that must be deposited initially by the escrow agency based upon the expected average monthly balance of the trust account or escrow account maintained by the escrow agency pursuant to NRS 645A.160. After the initial deposit, the Commissioner shall, on a semiannual basis, determine the appropriate amount of the surety bond or substitute form of security that must be deposited by the escrow agency based upon the average monthly balance of the trust account or escrow account maintained by the escrow agency pursuant to NRS 645A.160.

      5.  A bond used to satisfy the requirements of NRS 627.180 or a substitute for that bond which satisfies the requirements of NRS 627.183 may be used to satisfy the requirements of this section if:

      (a) The amount required by NRS 627.180 for a bond is not less than the amount required by this section for a bond; or

      (b) The amount required by NRS 627.180 for a bond is less than the amount required by this section for a bond, and the escrow agency deposits an additional bond in an amount not less than the difference between the amount required by NRS 627.180 and the amount required by this section.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1306; A 1985, 1810; 1991, 1849; 1993, 503, 1891; 1995, 527, 1004; 1999, 3762; 2001, 282; 2011, 3598)

      NRS 645A.042  Escrow agency may deposit substitute form of security in lieu of surety bond; amount deposited must equal amount of bond; interest or dividends accrue to depositor.

      1.  As a substitute for the surety bond required by NRS 645A.041, an escrow agency may, in accordance with the provisions of this section, deposit with any bank or trust company authorized to do business in this state, in a form approved by the Commissioner:

      (a) An obligation of a bank, savings and loan association, thrift company or credit union licensed to do business in this state;

      (b) Bills, bonds, notes, debentures or other obligations of the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or guaranteed by the United States; or

      (c) Any obligation of this state or any city, county, town, township, school district or other instrumentality of this state, or guaranteed by this state.

      2.  The obligations of a bank, savings and loan association, thrift company or credit union must be held to secure the same obligation as would the surety bond. With the approval of the Commissioner, the depositor may substitute other suitable obligations for those deposited which must be assigned to the State of Nevada and are negotiable only upon approval by the Commissioner.

      3.  Any interest or dividends earned on the deposit accrue to the account of the depositor.

      4.  The deposit must be in an amount at least equal to the required surety bond and must state that the amount may not be withdrawn except by direct and sole order of the Commissioner. The value of any item deposited pursuant to this section must be based upon principal amount or market value, whichever is lower.

      (Added to NRS by 1995, 1002; A 1999, 3764)

      NRS 645A.043  Cancellation of bond: Notices required; revocation of license unless equivalent bond or substitute form of security furnished.

      1.  The surety may cancel a bond upon giving 60 days’ notice to the Commissioner by certified mail. Upon receipt by the Commissioner of such a notice, the Commissioner immediately shall notify the licensee who is the principal on the bond of the effective date of cancellation of the bond, and that his or her license will be revoked unless the licensee furnishes an equivalent bond or a substitute form of security authorized by NRS 645A.042 before the effective date of the cancellation. The notice must be sent to the licensee by certified mail to his or her last address of record filed in the office of the Division.

      2.  If the licensee does not comply with the requirements set out in the notice from the Commissioner, the license must be revoked on the date the bond is cancelled.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1808; A 1991, 1850; 1995, 1006)

      NRS 645A.047  Action on bond: Procedure; limitation of time; duties of Commissioner; preliminary payment by surety; action for interpleader; payment.

      1.  Any person claiming against a bond may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction on the bond for damages to the extent covered by the bond. A person who brings an action on a bond shall notify the Commissioner in writing upon filing the action. An action may not be commenced after the expiration of 3 years following the commission of the act on which the action is based.

      2.  Upon receiving a request from a person for whose benefit a bond is required, the Commissioner shall notify the person:

      (a) That a bond is in effect and the amount of the bond; and

      (b) If there is an action against the bond, the title, court and case number of the action and the amount sought by the plaintiff.

      3.  If a surety wishes to make payment without awaiting action by a court, the amount of the bond must be reduced to the extent of any payment made by the surety in good faith under the bond. Any payment must be based on written claims received by the surety before any action is taken by a court.

      4.  The surety may bring an action for interpleader against all claimants upon the bond. If it does so, it shall publish notice of the action at least once each week for 2 weeks in every issue of a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the escrow agent or agency has its principal place of business. The surety may deduct its costs of the action, including attorney’s fees and publication, from its liability under the bond.

      5.  Claims against a bond have equal priority, and if the bond is insufficient to pay all claims in full, they must be paid on a pro rata basis. Partial payment of claims is not full payment, and any claimant may bring an action against the escrow agent or agency for the unpaid balance.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1809; A 1991, 1850)

SUPERVISION; DISCIPLINARY ACTION

      NRS 645A.050  Duties of Commissioner.

      1.  Subject to the administrative control of the Director of the Department of Business and Industry, the Commissioner shall exercise general supervision and control over escrow agents and agencies doing business in the State of Nevada.

      2.  In addition to the other duties imposed upon him or her by law, the Commissioner shall:

      (a) Adopt such regulations as may be necessary for making this chapter effective.

      (b) Conduct or cause to be conducted each year an examination of each escrow agency licensed pursuant to this chapter.

      (c) Conduct such investigations as may be necessary to determine whether any person has violated any provision of this chapter.

      (d) Conduct such examinations, investigations and hearings, in addition to those specifically provided for by law, as may be necessary and proper for the efficient administration of the laws of this State relating to escrow.

      (e) Classify as confidential the financial statements of an escrow agency and those records and information obtained by the Division which:

             (1) Are obtained from a governmental agency upon the express condition that they remain confidential.

             (2) Except as otherwise provided in NRS 645A.082, consist of information compiled by the Division in the investigation of possible violations of this chapter.

Ê This paragraph does not limit examination by the Legislative Auditor or any other person pursuant to a court order.

      3.  An escrow agency may engage a certified public accountant to perform such an examination in lieu of the Division. In such a case, the examination must be equivalent to the type of examination made by the Division and the expense must be borne by the escrow agency being examined.

      4.  The Commissioner shall determine whether an examination performed by an accountant pursuant to subsection 3 is equivalent to an examination conducted by the Division. The Commissioner may examine any area of the operation of an escrow agency if the Commissioner determines that the examination of that area is not equivalent to an examination conducted by the Division.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1308; A 1985, 1812; 1991, 1850; 1993, 1892; 2003, 3466)

      NRS 645A.060  Powers of Commissioner: Subpoenas, oaths and examination of witnesses; penalty.

      1.  In the conduct of any examination, investigation or hearing, the Commissioner may:

      (a) Compel the attendance of any person by subpoena.

      (b) Compel the production of any document by subpoena.

      (c) Administer oaths.

      (d) Examine any person under oath concerning the business and conduct of affairs of any person subject to the provisions of this chapter, and in connection therewith require the production of any books, records or papers relevant to the inquiry.

      2.  Every person subpoenaed pursuant to the provisions of this section who willfully refuses or willfully neglects to appear at the time and place named in the subpoena or to produce books, records or papers required by the Commissioner, or who refuses to be sworn or answer as a witness, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1308; A 1991, 1851; 2009, 1553)

      NRS 645A.065  Fees for supervision, investigation and examination of persons; standards for supervision of escrow agents.

      1.  The Commissioner shall establish by regulation the fees to be paid by all persons subject to the provisions of this chapter for the supervision, investigation and examination of such persons by the Commissioner or the Division.

      2.  In establishing the fees, the Commissioner shall consider:

      (a) The complexity of the various investigations and examinations to which the fees apply;

      (b) The skill required to conduct such investigations and examinations;

      (c) The expenses associated with conducting such investigations and examinations and preparing reports; and

      (d) Any other factors the Commissioner deems relevant.

      3.  The Commissioner shall adopt regulations prescribing the standards for determining whether an escrow agency has maintained adequate supervision of an escrow agent pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1991, 1847; A 2011, 3600)

      NRS 645A.067  Payment of assessment and cooperation in audits and examinations.  Each escrow agency shall pay the assessment levied by the Commissioner and cooperate fully with the audits and examinations performed pursuant to NRS 645F.180.

      (Added to NRS by 1993, 503; A 2003, 3542)

      NRS 645A.070  Records of transactions in escrow: Maintenance; filing.

      1.  All escrow agents and agencies shall maintain, for a period of not less than 6 years, complete and suitable records of all escrow transactions made by them. A record of a transaction must be maintained in the county in which the property to which it relates is located if the agent or agency maintains a place of business in that county. If a place of business is not maintained in that county, the record must be maintained in the agent’s or agency’s principal place of business.

      2.  Every escrow agent and agency shall, at the times required by the Commissioner, file in the Office of the Commissioner a correct statement, in the form and containing the data the Commissioner may require, of the business of the agent or agency.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1307; A 1985, 1813; 1989, 584; 1991, 1851; 1993, 505)

      NRS 645A.080  Records of Commissioner: General provisions governing public inspection and confidentiality.  Except as otherwise provided by law, all papers, documents, reports and other written instruments filed with the Commissioner pursuant to this chapter are open to public inspection, except that the Commissioner may withhold from public inspection for such time as the Commissioner considers necessary any information which in his or her judgment the public welfare or the welfare of any escrow agent or agency requires to be so withheld.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1312; A 1985, 1813; 1991, 1852)

      NRS 645A.082  Records of Commissioner: Certain records relating to investigation deemed confidential; certain records relating to disciplinary action deemed public records.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in this section and NRS 239.0115, a complaint filed with the Commissioner, all documents and other information filed with the complaint and all documents and other information compiled as a result of the investigation conducted to determine whether to initiate disciplinary action are confidential.

      2.  The complaint or other document filed by the Commissioner to initiate disciplinary action and all documents and information considered by the Commissioner when determining whether to impose discipline are public records.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 3466; A 2007, 2147)

      NRS 645A.085  Change in ownership of voting stock of escrow agency.

      1.  An escrow agency shall immediately notify the Commissioner of any change in the ownership of 5 percent or more of its outstanding voting stock.

      2.  An application must be submitted to the Commissioner, pursuant to NRS 645A.020, by a person who acquires:

      (a) At least 25 percent of the outstanding voting stock of an escrow agency; or

      (b) Any outstanding voting stock of an escrow agency if the change will result in a change in the control of the escrow agency.

      3.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5, the Commissioner shall conduct an investigation to determine whether the applicant has the experience, character, financial condition, business reputation and general fitness to command the confidence of the public and to warrant the belief that the business conducted will protect and safeguard the public. If the Commissioner denies the application, the Commissioner may forbid the applicant from participating in the business of the escrow agency.

      4.  The escrow agency with which the applicant is affiliated shall pay the cost of the investigation as the Commissioner requires. All money received by the Commissioner pursuant to this section must be deposited in the Account for Mortgage Lending created by NRS 645F.270.

      5.  An escrow agency may submit a written request to the Commissioner to waive an investigation pursuant to subsection 3. The Commissioner may grant a waiver if the applicant has undergone a similar investigation by a state or federal agency in connection with the licensing of or his or her employment with a financial institution.

      (Added to NRS by 1993, 502; A 2003, 3542; 2011, 3600)

      NRS 645A.086  Duty of Commissioner to take disciplinary action for certain violations.  If a person offers or provides any of the services of an escrow agent or escrow agency or otherwise engages in, carries on or holds himself or herself out as engaging in or carrying on the business of an escrow agent or escrow agency and, at the time:

      1.  The person was required to have a license pursuant to this chapter and the person did not have such a license; or

      2.  The person’s license was suspended or revoked pursuant to this chapter,

Ê the Commissioner shall impose upon the person an administrative fine of not more than $25,000 for each violation and, if the person has a license, the Commissioner may suspend or revoke it.

      (Added to NRS by 2011, 3595)

      NRS 645A.090  Grounds for refusal to issue license or for disciplinary action; orders imposing discipline deemed public records.

      1.  The Commissioner may refuse to license any escrow agent or agency or may suspend, revoke or place conditions upon any license or impose a fine on any person of not more than $25,000 for each violation by entering an order to that effect, with the Commissioner’s findings in respect thereto, if upon a hearing, it is determined that the applicant, licensee or person:

      (a) In the case of an escrow agency, is insolvent;

      (b) Has violated any provision of this chapter, any regulation adopted pursuant thereto or an order of the Commissioner or has aided and abetted another to do so;

      (c) In the case of an escrow agency, is in such a financial condition that he or she cannot continue in business with safety to his or her customers;

      (d) Has committed fraud in connection with any transaction governed by this chapter;

      (e) Has intentionally or knowingly made any misrepresentation or false statement to, or concealed any essential or material fact from, any principal or designated agent of a principal in the course of the escrow business;

      (f) Has intentionally or knowingly made or caused to be made to the Commissioner any false representation of a material fact or has suppressed or withheld from the Commissioner any information which the applicant, licensee or person possesses;

      (g) Has failed without reasonable cause to furnish to the parties of an escrow their respective statements of the settlement within a reasonable time after the close of escrow;

      (h) Has failed without reasonable cause to deliver, within a reasonable time after the close of escrow, to the respective parties of an escrow transaction any money, documents or other properties held in escrow in violation of the provisions of the escrow instructions;

      (i) Has refused to permit an examination by the Commissioner of his or her books and affairs or has refused or failed, within a reasonable time, to furnish any information or make any report that may be required by the Commissioner pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;

      (j) Has been convicted of, entered or agreed to enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, a felony relating to the practice of escrow agents or agencies or any felony or misdemeanor of which an essential element is an act of fraud, dishonesty or a breach of trust, moral turpitude or money laundering;

      (k) In the case of an escrow agency, has failed to maintain complete and accurate records of all transactions within the last 6 years;

      (l) Has commingled the money of others with his or her own or converted the money of others to his or her own use;

      (m) Has failed, before the close of escrow, to obtain written escrow instructions concerning any essential or material fact or intentionally failed to follow the written instructions which have been agreed upon by the parties and accepted by the holder of the escrow;

      (n) Has failed to disclose in writing that he or she is acting in the dual capacity of escrow agent or agency and undisclosed principal in any transaction;

      (o) In the case of an escrow agency, has:

             (1) Failed to maintain adequate supervision of an escrow agent; or

             (2) Instructed an escrow agent to commit an act which would be cause for the revocation of the escrow agent’s license and the escrow agent committed the act. An escrow agent is not subject to disciplinary action by the Commissioner for committing such an act under instruction by the escrow agency;

      (p) In the case of an escrow agency, if the applicant or licensee is a partnership, corporation or unincorporated association, has a member of the partnership or an officer or director of the corporation or unincorporated association who has been convicted of, entered or agreed to enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, a felony in a domestic, foreign or military court relating to the practice of escrow agents or agencies, or any felony or misdemeanor of which an essential element is an act of fraud, dishonesty or a breach of trust, moral turpitude or money laundering; or

      (q) In the case of a person who performs the services of a construction control, has failed to comply with the provisions of chapter 627 of NRS.

      2.  It is sufficient cause for the imposition of a fine or the refusal, suspension or revocation of, or the placement of conditions upon, the license of a partnership, corporation or any other association that any member of the partnership or any officer or director of the corporation or association has been guilty of any act or omission which would be cause for such action had the applicant or licensee been a natural person.

      3.  The Commissioner may suspend any license for not more than 30 days, pending a hearing, if upon examination into the affairs of the licensee it is determined that any of the grounds enumerated in subsection 1 or 2 exist.

      4.  The Commissioner may refuse to issue a license to any person who, within 10 years before the date of applying for a current license, has had suspended or revoked a license issued pursuant to this chapter or a comparable license issued by any other state, district or territory of the United States or any foreign country.

      5.  An order that imposes discipline and the findings of fact and conclusions of law supporting that order are public records.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1308; A 1985, 1813; 1991, 1852; 1993, 505; 2003, 2719, 3467; 2009, 742; 2011, 3600)

      NRS 645A.095  Suspension of license for failure to pay child support or comply with certain subpoenas or warrants; reinstatement of license. [Effective until 2 years after the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings.]

      1.  If the Commissioner receives a copy of a court order issued pursuant to NRS 425.540 that provides for the suspension of all professional, occupational and recreational licenses, certificates and permits issued to a person who is the holder of a license as an escrow agent or escrow agency, the Commissioner shall deem the license issued to that person to be suspended at the end of the 30th day after the date on which the court order was issued unless the Commissioner receives a letter issued to the holder of the license by the district attorney or other public agency pursuant to NRS 425.550 stating that the holder of the license has complied with the subpoena or warrant or has satisfied the arrearage pursuant to NRS 425.560.

      2.  The Commissioner shall reinstate a license as an escrow agent or escrow agency that has been suspended by a district court pursuant to NRS 425.540 if the Commissioner receives a letter issued by the district attorney or other public agency pursuant to NRS 425.550 to the person whose license was suspended stating that the person whose license was suspended has complied with the subpoena or warrant or has satisfied the arrearage pursuant to NRS 425.560.

      (Added to NRS by 1997, 2168; A 2005, 2807)

      NRS 645A.097  Disciplinary proceedings, fines and penalties not affected by expiration, revocation or voluntary surrender of license.  The expiration or revocation of a license of an escrow agent or agency by operation of law or by order or decision of the Commissioner or a court of competent jurisdiction, or the voluntary surrender of a license, does not:

      1.  Prohibit the Commissioner from initiating or continuing an investigation of, or action or disciplinary proceeding against, the escrow agent or agency as authorized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or the regulations adopted pursuant thereto; or

      2.  Prevent the imposition or collection of any fine or penalty authorized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or the regulations adopted pursuant thereto against the escrow agent or agency.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1552)

      NRS 645A.100  Notice of refusal to issue license or of disciplinary action; hearing; limitation on time to apply for hearing.

      1.  Notice of the entry of any order of suspension, revocation or placement of conditions upon a license or of imposing a fine or refusing a license to any escrow agent or agency must be given in writing, served personally or sent by certified mail or by telegram to the last known address of the agent or agency affected.

      2.  The agent or agency, upon application, is entitled to a hearing. If an application is not made within 20 days after the entry of the order, the Commissioner shall enter a final order.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1309; A 1985, 1814; 1991, 1853; 2003, 984; 2011, 3602)

      NRS 645A.110  Investigation by Commissioner; powers of Commissioner; injunctive relief; enforcement of subpoenas.

      1.  The Commissioner may conduct an investigation if it appears that an escrow agent or agency is conducting business in an unsafe and injurious manner or in violation of this chapter or if it appears that any person is engaging in the escrow business without being licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

      2.  If upon investigation it appears that the agent or agency is so conducting business or an unlicensed person is engaged in the escrow business, the Commissioner may:

      (a) Order the person to discontinue conducting business in an injurious manner or in violation of this chapter. A person may, within 30 days after receiving the order, file a verified petition with the Commissioner for a hearing. If the Commissioner does not hold a hearing within 30 days after the petition is filed or issue a written decision within 45 days after the hearing is held, the order is rescinded.

      (b) So advise the district attorney of the county in which the business is conducted or the Attorney General. The district attorney or the Attorney General shall cause the appropriate legal action to be taken to enjoin the operation of the business or prosecute the violations of this chapter.

      (c) Bring suit in the name and on behalf of the State of Nevada against the person and any other person concerned in or in any way participating in or about to participate in the unsafe or injurious practices or action in violation of this chapter or regulations thereunder to enjoin that person from continuing those practices or engaging therein or doing any such act.

      3.  If the Commissioner brings suit, the district court of any county of this State may grant an injunction to prevent and restrain the unsafe, injurious or illegal practices or transactions. The court may, during the pendency of the proceedings before it, issue such temporary restraining orders as may appear to be just and proper. The findings of the Commissioner shall be deemed to be prima facie evidence and sufficient ground, in the discretion of the court, for the issuance ex parte of a temporary restraining order. In any such court proceedings the Commissioner may apply for and on due showing is entitled to have issued the court’s subpoena requiring forthwith the appearance of any defendant and his or her employees and the production of documents, books and records as may appear necessary for the hearing of the petition, to testify and give evidence concerning the acts or conduct or things complained of in the application for injunction.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1309; A 1985, 1815; 1991, 1853)

      NRS 645A.130  Procedures following decision on appeal.

      1.  If the order of the Commissioner is reversed, the court shall specifically direct the Commissioner as to his or her further action in the matter including the making and entering of any order and any conditions, limitations or restrictions to be contained therein. The Commissioner may revoke or alter the order for any proper cause which is discovered after the order is issued.

      2.  If an order of the Commissioner is affirmed, the appellant is not barred after 1 year from filing a new application if the application is not otherwise barred or limited.

      3.  The appeal does not suspend the operation of the order appealed from during the pendency of the appeal except upon proper order of the court.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1310; A 1977, 93; 1985, 1816; 1991, 1854)

      NRS 645A.140  Powers of Commissioner when agency’s affairs in unsafe condition.

      1.  When the Commissioner ascertains that the assets or capital of any escrow agency are impaired or that an agency’s affairs are in an unsafe condition, the Commissioner may immediately take possession of all the property, business and assets of the agency which are located in this state and retain possession of them pending further proceedings provided for in this chapter.

      2.  If the board of directors or any officer or person in charge of the offices of such an agency refuses to permit the Commissioner to take possession of the property, the Commissioner shall communicate that fact to the Attorney General. Thereupon the Attorney General shall immediately institute such proceedings as may be necessary to place the Commissioner in immediate possession of the property of the agency. The Commissioner thereupon shall make or cause to be made an inventory of the assets and known liabilities of the agency.

      3.  The Commissioner shall file one copy of the inventory in his or her office and one copy in the office of the clerk of the district court of the county in which the principal office of the agency is located and shall mail one copy to each stockholder, partner, officer or associate of the agency at his or her last known address.

      4.  The clerk of the court with which the copy of the inventory is filed shall file it as any other case or proceeding pending in the court and shall give it a docket number.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1311; A 1985, 1816; 1991, 1854)

      NRS 645A.150  Receivership.

      1.  The officers, directors, partners, associates or stockholders of the escrow agency may, within 60 days after the date the Commissioner takes possession of the property, business and assets, make good any deficit which may exist or remedy the unsafe condition of its affairs.

      2.  At the expiration of such time, if the deficiency in assets or capital has not been made good or the unsafe condition remedied, the Commissioner may apply to the court to be appointed receiver and proceed to liquidate the assets of the agency which are located in this state in the same manner as provided by law for liquidation of a private corporation in receivership.

      3.  No other person may be appointed receiver by any court without first giving the Commissioner ample notice of his or her application.

      4.  The inventory made by the Commissioner and all claims filed by creditors are open at all reasonable times for inspection and any action taken by the receiver upon any of the claims is subject to the approval of the court before which the cause is pending.

      5.  The expenses of the receiver and the compensation of counsel, as well as all expenditures required in the liquidation proceedings, must be fixed by the Commissioner subject to the approval of the court, and, upon certification of the Commissioner, must be paid out of the money that he or she possesses as receiver.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1311; A 1985, 1816; 1991, 1855)

MONEY DEPOSITED IN ESCROW

General Provisions

      NRS 645A.160  Money deposited in escrow must be deposited in escrow or trust account.  All money deposited in escrow to be delivered upon the close of the escrow or upon any other contingency must be kept separate from money belonging to the escrow agent or agency and must be deposited in a financial institution that is federally insured or insured by a private insurer approved pursuant to NRS 678.755 unless another financial institution has been designated in writing in the instructions for the escrow. The money when deposited must be designated as “trust funds” or “escrow accounts” or under some other appropriate name indicating that the money is not the money of the escrow agent or agency.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1312; A 1985, 1817; 1999, 1539)

      NRS 645A.170  Limitations on execution or attachment of money deposited in escrow; commingling prohibited.

      1.  Money deposited in escrow is not subject to execution or attachment on any claim against the escrow agent or agency.

      2.  An escrow agent or agency shall not knowingly keep or cause to be kept any money in any bank, credit union or other financial institution under any name designating the money as belonging to the clients of any escrow agent or agency, unless the money was actually entrusted to the agent or agency by the client for deposit in escrow.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1312; A 1985, 1817; 1999, 1539)

      NRS 645A.171  Limitations on disbursements of money deposited in escrow account.

      1.  An escrow agent shall not disburse money from an escrow account unless deposits which are at least equal in value to the proposed disbursements and which relate directly to the transaction for which the money is to be disbursed have been received.

      2.  An escrow agent shall not disburse money from an escrow account on the same business day as the money is deposited unless the deposit is made in one of the following forms:

      (a) Cash;

      (b) Interbank electronic transfer such that the money deposited is available for immediate withdrawal without condition and payable in United States currency;

      (c) Negotiable order of withdrawal, money order, cashier’s check or certified check which is drawn from a financial institution authorized to do business in this State;

      (d) Any depository check, including any cashier’s check or teller’s check, that is governed by the Expedited Funds Availability Act, 12 U.S.C. §§ 4001 et seq.; or

      (e) Any other form that permits conversion of the deposit to cash on the same day as the deposit is made.

      3.  An escrow agent who disburses money from an escrow account pursuant to this section on the next business day after the day on which the money is deposited shall comply with all applicable federal laws or regulations with respect to the disbursement of money accorded next-day availability that is deposited in an escrow account.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 53; A 2011, 381; 2013, 1370)

Escrows for the Sale of Real Property

      NRS 645A.173  Duty to record certain information concerning real estate brokers and salespersons, mortgage brokers and mortgage bankers.

      1.  If an escrow for the sale of real property is established, the holder of the escrow shall, on the date of establishment of the escrow, record in writing the number and the date of expiration of the:

      (a) License issued pursuant to chapter 645 of NRS; or

      (b) Certificate of cooperation issued pursuant to NRS 645.605,

Ê of any real estate broker, broker-salesperson or salesperson who will be paid compensation from money held in the escrow for performing the services of a real estate broker, broker-salesperson or salesperson in the transaction that is the subject of the escrow. The holder of the escrow is not required to verify independently the validity of the number of the license or certificate.

      2.  If an escrow for the sale of real property is established and the real property is or will be secured by a mortgage or deed of trust, the holder of the escrow shall, on the date of establishment of the escrow, record in writing the number and the date of expiration of the license issued pursuant to chapter 645B or 645E of NRS of any mortgage broker or mortgage banker associated with the mortgage or deed of trust. The holder of the escrow is not required to verify independently the validity of the number of the license.

      (Added to NRS by 1999, 873; A 2001, 2463; 2003, 3542)

      NRS 645A.175  Duty to execute documents necessary to release money deposited in escrow; exception for good faith disputes; recovery of damages for failure to execute; award of attorney’s fees.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2 or in the escrow agreement between the parties and the holder of the escrow, upon the close of an escrow for the sale of real property or on the date the escrow is scheduled to close if it has not closed, each party shall execute the documents necessary to release the money deposited in the escrow.

      2.  A party may refuse to execute a document necessary to release the money deposited in the escrow only if a good faith dispute exists concerning that money.

      3.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 645.8701 to 645.8811, inclusive, if a party refuses to execute a document necessary to release the money deposited in the escrow within 30 days after the holder of the escrow makes a written request for the execution, the party injured by the failure of the other party to execute the document may collect from that party:

      (a) Actual damages of not less than $100 nor more than 1 percent of the purchase price of the real property for which the money was deposited in the escrow, whichever is greater;

      (b) The money deposited in the escrow which was not held to resolve a good faith dispute concerning the sale of the property; and

      (c) A reasonable attorney’s fee.

      (Added to NRS by 1995, 1527; A 1999, 1180)

      NRS 645A.177  Action to recover money deposited in escrow; discharge from further responsibility for holder of escrow; right of holder to bring action for interpleader.

      1.  If an action is filed to recover money deposited in an escrow established for the sale of real property, the holder of the escrow may deposit the money, less any fees or charges owed to the holder of the escrow, with the court in which the action is filed.

      2.  A holder of an escrow who complies with the provisions of subsection 1 is discharged from further responsibility for the money which the holder of the escrow deposits with the court.

      3.  This section does not limit the right of the holder of the escrow to bring an action for interpleader pursuant to N.R.C.P. 22 to determine the rightful claimant of the money deposited in the escrow.

      (Added to NRS by 1995, 1527)

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

      NRS 645A.193  Attorney General to represent Division.  The Attorney General shall act as the attorney for the Division in all actions and proceedings brought against or by the Division pursuant to any of the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1807)

      NRS 645A.195  Escrow agency that is not natural person to designate natural person as qualified employee.

      1.  If an escrow agency is not a natural person, the escrow agency must designate a natural person as a qualified employee to act on behalf of the escrow agency.

      2.  The Division shall adopt regulations regarding a qualified employee, including, without limitation, regulations that establish:

      (a) A definition for the term “qualified employee”;

      (b) Any duties of a qualified employee; and

      (c) Any requirements regarding a qualified employee.

      (Added to NRS by 2011, 3595)

      NRS 645A.196  Termination of employment of escrow agent: Duties of escrow agency; prohibited actions.

      1.  Whenever an escrow agent terminates, for any reason, his or her employment with the escrow agency with whom the escrow agent was associated, the escrow agency shall:

      (a) Immediately deliver or send by certified mail to the Division the escrow agent’s license, together with a written statement of the circumstances surrounding the termination.

      (b) At the time of delivering or mailing the license to the Division, address a communication to the last known residence address of the escrow agent, advising the escrow agent that his or her license has been delivered or mailed to the Division. A copy of the communication must accompany the license when delivered or mailed to the Division.

      2.  An escrow agent shall not perform either directly or indirectly any act for which a license is required pursuant to this chapter:

      (a) On or after the date the Division receives the escrow agent’s license from the escrow agency until the license is transferred or reissued or until a new license is issued.

      (b) Without being associated with or employed by a licensed escrow agency.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1808)

      NRS 645A.199  Proof of licensure required in action for collection of compensation.  No person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of an escrow agent or agency within this state may bring or maintain any action in any court of this state for the collection of compensation for the performance of any act pursuant to this chapter without alleging and proving that the person was a licensed escrow agent or agency at the time the alleged cause of action arose.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1808; A 1993, 2806)

      NRS 645A.200  Statutory and common-law rights unaffected.  The provisions of this chapter do not limit any statutory or common-law right of any person to bring an action in any court for any act involved in the transaction of the escrow business or the right of the State to punish any person for any violation of any law.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1312)

      NRS 645A.201  Exercise of jurisdiction over party to civil action; service of summons to confer jurisdiction.

      1.  A court of this State may exercise jurisdiction over a party to a civil action arising under the provisions of this chapter on any basis not inconsistent with the Constitution of the State of Nevada or the Constitution of the United States.

      2.  Personal service of summons upon a party outside this State is sufficient to confer upon a court of this State jurisdiction over the party so served if the service is made by delivering a copy of the summons, together with a copy of the complaint, to the party served in the manner provided by statute or rule of court for service upon a person of like kind within this State.

      3.  In all cases of such service, the defendant has 40 days, exclusive of the day of service, within which to answer or plead.

      4.  This section provides an additional manner of serving process and does not invalidate any other service.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 741)

UNLAWFUL ACTS; PENALTIES; REMEDIES

      NRS 645A.210  Unlawful to engage in escrow business without license.  It is unlawful for any person, unless exempted under NRS 645A.015, to engage in or carry on, or hold himself or herself out as engaging in or carrying on, the escrow business or act in the capacity of an escrow agent or agency without first obtaining a license as an escrow agent or agency.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1306; A 1985, 1818)

      NRS 645A.220  Transactions by foreign corporations.  It is unlawful for any foreign corporation to transact any escrow business in this state unless it:

      1.  Qualifies under chapter 80 of NRS; and

      2.  Complies with the provisions of this chapter unless exempted by NRS 645A.015.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1312; A 1979, 401)

      NRS 645A.221  Contracts for escrow transaction voidable for certain violations; administrative fines.  If a person, or any general partner, director, officer, agent or employee of a person, violates the provisions of NRS 645A.210 or 645A.220:

      1.  Any contracts entered into by that person for the escrow transaction are voidable by the other party to the contract; and

      2.  In addition to any other remedy or penalty, the Commissioner may impose an administrative fine of not more than $50,000.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 741)

      NRS 645A.222  Civil action authorized for certain violations.  In addition to any other remedy or penalty, if a person violates the provisions of NRS 645A.210 or 645A.220, the respective parties to the escrow transaction may bring a civil action against the person for:

      1.  Actual and consequential damages;

      2.  Punitive damages, which are subject to the provisions of NRS 42.005;

      3.  Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs; and

      4.  Any other legal or equitable relief that the court deems appropriate.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 741)

      NRS 645A.224  Employee of Division prohibited from interest in escrow agency.  A person shall not have a pecuniary interest in or act as an escrow agent for any escrow agency while he or she is an employee of the Division.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1807; A 1991, 1855)

      NRS 645A.225  Charge for statement of interest payments prohibited.  An escrow agent or agency shall not charge a fee for any statement or tax return regarding payment of interest which federal law requires the agent or agency to furnish and file.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 1068)

      NRS 645A.230  Penalties for violations.  Any person who violates:

      1.  NRS 645A.160, 645A.210 or 645A.220 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

      2.  Any other provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor.

      (Added to NRS by 1973, 1313; A 1985, 1818)

      NRS 645A.235  Restitution.

      1.  A person who engages in an activity for which a license as an escrow agent or escrow agency is required pursuant to this chapter, without regard to whether such a person is licensed pursuant to this chapter, may be required by the Commissioner to pay restitution to any person who has suffered an economic loss as a result of a violation of the provisions of this chapter or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto.

      2.  Notwithstanding the provision of paragraph (m) of subsection 1 of NRS 622A.120, payment of restitution pursuant to subsection 1 shall be done in a manner consistent with the provisions of chapter 622A of NRS.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 741; A 2011, 3602)