To:           Title insurance producers and underwriters

From:      Doug Ommen, Director - Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration

Re:          Certified Funds Requirement for Real Estate Closings

Date:       January 11, 2008

The Missouri Department of Commerce & Insurance issues this bulletin to provide guidance in compliance with the "good funds" requirements in 381.412, RSMo.

381.412.1, RSMo, requires that "A settlement agent who accepts funds for closing a sale of an interest in real estate shall require a buyer, seller, or lender who is not a financial institution to convey such funds to the settlement agent as certified funds." 381.410, RSMo defines "certified funds" as "United States currency, funds conveyed by a cashier's check, certified check, teller's check, as defined in Federal Reserve Regulations CC, or wire transfers, including written advice from a financial institution that collected funds have been credited to the settlement agent's account."

After review of this legislation, the Director has concluded that the legislature intended to require "good funds" for all material aspects of the real estate transaction, but that at closing small adjustments may be necessary. In order to prevent disruptions in the real estate closing process, the department will not initiate any enforcement action against licensees who accept or convey non-certified funds in the amount of $2500 or less.