Did You Know? GTS Good Funds Policy

Good Funds at the Closing Table

An issue currently being discussed by the Wisconsin Land Title Association is a change to the Good Funds Law. The Good Funds Law sets out the form in which settlements agents should accept funds from parties to a real estate transaction.The long-standing practice of accepting a cashiers or certified check by settlement agents is increasingly becoming an issue for the following reasons:

  • Cashiers or certified checks can be stop-paid...meaning that the check they present at the closing table is no longer good funds. 
  • Checks can bounce for lack of funds in an account. 
  • The check presented at the closing table could be fraudulent. 
  • New technology in the form of mobile banking applications allow the check holder to deposit the check into an account with their smart phone...so the check they present at closing may already be deposited somewhere else. 
  • Funds deposited by check into an account are not considered “collectable” funds immediately upon deposit.  Banks will hold the funds for 24-72 hours before the money is available for disbursement.  This means that any checks that the settlement agent disburses at the closing table are a float of funds in the escrow account.   The float is someone else's money and our underwriters do not allow this practice.

In response to these new and troubling developments, and the potentially devastating repercussions, Guaranty Title Services has chosen to adopt the following policy for accepting funds for closing:

Personal checks for amounts less than $1,000.00

Cashiers checks for amounts less than $10,000.00

Wired funds for amounts greater than $10,000.00

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your local GTS Branch Manager for more details.

Submitted by Diane Scherer, Vice-President

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