1. May a title company allow a real estate broker to use its fax machine to conduct real estate business (to receive offers, counteroffers, etc.) even if the title company is providing the title and/or escrow as part of the transaction?
No. This is specifically prohibited. See WAC 284-29-260(8) (leg.wa.gov) for details.
2. May a title company advance recording fees and only bill or invoice for the fees once a month, and receive a lump-sum payment for the monthly billing?
No. WAC 284-29-255(5) (leg.wa.gov) allows a title company to advance recording fees, but only if it is actually repaid promptly. Based upon title insurance industry practice, payment once a month is not “promptly.”
3. Can a title company teach a free title or escrow education course for a trade association and not have it count as one of its three sponsorship opportunities?
No. The title company must count the course as one of its sponsorship opportunities. It’s considered a donation or contribution for an educational seminar. See WAC 284-29-220(6)(b) (leg.wa.gov) for details.
4. Can a home warranty company that's affiliated with a title company give away free items of value the title company cannot give to producers? For example, free marketing templates the producer can customize with his or her contact information.
Yes, but only if the items are not given by, through, or in conjunction with the title company or its employees, agents, etc. The title inducement requirements don't apply to home warranty salespeople, but they do apply to title companies and their employees. See RCW 48.29.210 (leg.wa.gov) for details.