Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 55. Property and Conveyances
Chapter 27.3. Real Estate Settlement Agents
1/23/2019

§ 55-525.16. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Association" means the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

"Closing disclosure" means the combined mortgage loan disclosure statement of final loan terms and closing costs prescribed under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA) (12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Regulation X (12 C.F.R. Part 1024) and Regulation Z (12 C.F.R. Part 1026).

"Commission" means the State Corporation Commission.

"Escrow" means written instruments, money, or other items deposited by a party with a settlement agent for delivery to other persons upon the performance of specified conditions or the happening of a certain event.

"Escrow, closing, or settlement services" means the administrative and clerical services required to carry out the terms of contracts affecting real estate. These services include placing orders for title insurance, receiving and issuing receipts for money received from the parties, ordering loan checks and payoffs, ordering surveys and inspections, preparing settlement statements or closing disclosures, determining that all closing documents conform to the parties' contract requirements, setting the closing appointment, following up with the parties to ensure that the transaction progresses to closing, ascertaining that the lenders' instructions have been satisfied, conducting a closing conference at which the documents are executed, receiving and disbursing funds, completing form documents and instruments selected by and in accordance with instructions of the parties to the transaction, handling or arranging for the recording of documents, sending recorded documents to the lender, sending the recorded deed and the title policy to the buyer, and reporting federal income tax information for the real estate sale to the Internal Revenue Service.

"Lay real estate settlement agent" means a person who (i) is not licensed as an attorney under Chapter 39 (§ 54.1-3900 et seq.) of Title 54.1, (ii) is not a party to the real estate transaction, (iii) provides escrow, closing, or settlement services in connection with a transaction related to any real estate in the Commonwealth, and (iv) is listed as the settlement agent on the settlement statement or closing disclosure for such transaction.

"Licensing authority" shall mean the (i) Commission acting pursuant to this chapter, Title 6.2, Title 12.1, or Title 38.2; (ii) the Virginia State Bar acting pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 39 (§ 54.1-3900 et seq.) of Title 54.1; or (iii) the Virginia Real Estate Board acting pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 21 (§ 54.1-2100 et seq.) of Title 54.1.

"Party to the real estate transaction" means with respect to that real estate transaction, a lender, seller, purchaser or borrower, and with respect to a corporate purchaser, any entity that is a subsidiary of or under common ownership with that corporate purchaser.

"Settlement agent" means a person, other than a party to the real estate transaction, who provides escrow, closing, or settlement services in connection with a transaction related to real estate in the Commonwealth and who is listed as the settlement agent on the settlement statement or closing disclosure for such transaction. Any person, other than a party to the transaction, who conducts the settlement conference and receives or handles money shall be deemed a "settlement agent" subject to the applicable requirements of this chapter.

"Settlement statement" means the statement of receipts and disbursements for a transaction related to real estate, including a statement prescribed under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA) (12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.), as amended, and the regulations thereunder.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.20; 1998, cc. 69, 598; 1999, c. 647, § 6.1-2.32; 2002, c. 375; 2010, c. 794; 2016, c. 619.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.