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Statutes Text

Article - Business Occupations and Professions




§17–505.

    (a)    A real estate broker shall maintain trust money in an account authorized under this Part I of this subtitle until:

        (1)    the real estate transaction for which the trust money was entrusted is consummated or terminated;

        (2)    the real estate broker receives proper written instructions from the owner and beneficial owner directing withdrawal or other disposition of the trust money;

        (3)    on an interpleader filed by the real estate broker, a court orders a different disposition; or

        (4)    the owner or beneficial owner of the trust money fails to complete the real estate transaction for which the trust money was entrusted and the real estate broker, in the real estate broker’s sole discretion, decides to distribute the trust money in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

    (b)    (1)    Prior to distributing the trust money under subsection (a)(4) of this section, the real estate broker shall notify both the owner and the beneficial owner that the real estate broker intends to distribute the trust money to the person who, in the good faith opinion of the real estate broker, is entitled to receive the trust money in accordance with the terms of the real estate contract which established the trust.

        (2)    The notice required under this subsection shall:

            (i)    be in writing;

            (ii)    state whether the trust money will be paid to the owner or beneficial owner; and

            (iii)    disclose to the owner and the beneficial owner that:

                1.    either party may prevent distribution of the trust money under subsection (a)(4) of this section by submitting a protest within 30 days from the date the notice was delivered or mailed by the real estate broker; and

                2.    if neither party submits a protest within 30 days from the date the notice was delivered or mailed by the real estate broker, the trust money will be distributed in accordance with the real estate broker’s notice.

        (3)    The notice required under this subsection shall be:

            (i)    hand delivered to both the owner and beneficial owner; or

            (ii)    sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and regular mail to both the owner and beneficial owner.

        (4)    (i)    An owner or beneficial owner may protest the distribution of the trust money.

            (ii)    An owner or beneficial owner shall submit the protest to the real estate broker holding the trust money within 30 days from the date the notice required in paragraph (1) of this subsection was delivered or mailed by the real estate broker.

            (iii)    A protest shall be in writing and either:

                1.    hand delivered; or

                2.    sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and regular mail.

        (5)    (i)    If a written protest is received by the real estate broker, the real estate broker shall distribute the trust money in accordance with subsection (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this section.

            (ii)    If no written protest is received by the real estate broker holding the trust money, the real estate broker shall distribute the trust money in accordance with the terms of the notice as required in this section.

    (c)    When the duty of the real estate broker to maintain trust money in an account terminates, the real estate broker promptly shall account for all trust money.

    (d)    A real estate broker may invest trust money:

        (1)    as the owner and beneficial owner of the trust money instruct in writing; or

        (2)    as the real estate broker, owner, and beneficial owner of the trust money agree in writing.

    (e)    A real estate broker may not be liable to an owner or beneficial owner of the trust money for:

        (1)    a good faith decision to distribute the trust money under subsection (a)(4) of this section; or

        (2)    a decision not to distribute the trust money under subsection (a)(4) of this section.

    (f)    An agreement under which a real estate broker is entrusted with the trust money shall contain a statement that the real estate broker may distribute the trust money in accordance with subsection (b) of this section if the owner or beneficial owner of the trust money fails to complete the real estate transaction for which the trust money was entrusted.



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