2019 Florida Statutes
651.033 Escrow accounts.—
(1) When funds are required to be deposited in an escrow account pursuant to s. 651.0215, s. 651.022, s. 651.023, s. 651.0246, s. 651.035, or s. 651.055:
(a) The escrow account must be established in a Florida bank, Florida savings and loan association, Florida trust company, or a national bank that is chartered and supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency within the United States Department of the Treasury and that has a branch in this state, which is acceptable to the office, or such funds must be deposited with the department and be kept and maintained in an account separate and apart from the provider’s business accounts.
(b) An escrow agreement shall be entered into between the bank, savings and loan association, or trust company and the provider of the facility; the agreement shall state that its purpose is to protect the resident or the prospective resident; and, upon presentation of evidence of compliance with applicable portions of this chapter, or upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction, the escrow agent shall release and pay over the funds, or portions thereof, together with any interest accrued thereon or earned from investment of the funds, to the provider or resident as directed.
(c) Any agreement establishing an escrow account required under this chapter is subject to approval by the office. The agreement must be in writing and contain, in addition to any other provisions required by law, a provision whereby the escrow agent agrees to abide by the duties imposed by paragraphs (b) and (e), (3)(a) and (b), (5)(a), and subsection (6).
(d) All funds deposited in an escrow account, if invested, shall be invested as set forth in part II of chapter 625; however, such investment may not diminish the funds held in escrow below the amount required by this chapter. Funds deposited in an escrow account are not subject to charges by the escrow agent except escrow agent fees associated with administering the accounts, or subject to any liens, judgments, garnishments, creditor’s claims, or other encumbrances against the provider or facility except as provided in s. 651.035(1).
(e) At the request of either the provider or the office, the escrow agent shall issue a statement indicating the status of the escrow account.
(2) Notwithstanding s. 651.035(7), in the event of an emergency and upon petition by the provider, the office may allow a withdrawal of up to 10 percent of the required minimum liquid reserve. The office shall have 3 working days to deny the petition for the emergency 10-percent withdrawal. If the office fails to deny the petition within 3 working days, the petition is deemed to have been granted by the office. For purposes of this section, the term “working day” means each day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday as defined by Florida law. Also, for purposes of this section, the day the petition is received by the office is not counted as one of the 3 days.
(3) When entrance fees are required to be deposited in an escrow account pursuant to s. 651.0215, s. 651.022, s. 651.023, s. 651.0246, or s. 651.055:
(a) The provider shall deliver to the resident a written receipt. The receipt must show the payor’s name and address, the date, the price of the care contract, and the amount of money paid. A copy of each receipt, together with the funds, must be deposited with the escrow agent or as provided in paragraph (c). The escrow agent must release such funds to the provider 7 days after the date of receipt of the funds by the escrow agent if the provider, operating under a certificate of authority issued by the office, has met the requirements of s. 651.0215(8), s. 651.023(6), or s. 651.0246. However, if the resident rescinds the contract within the 7-day period, the escrow agent must release the escrowed fees to the resident.
(b) At the request of an individual resident of a facility, the escrow agent shall issue a statement indicating the status of the resident’s portion of the escrow account.
(c) At the request of an individual resident of a facility, the provider may hold the check for the 7-day period and may not deposit it during this time period. If the resident rescinds the contract within the 7-day period, the check must be immediately returned to the resident. Upon the expiration of the 7 days, the provider shall deposit the check.
(d) A provider may assess a nonrefundable fee, which is separate from the entrance fee, for processing a prospective resident’s application for continuing care or continuing care at-home.
(4) Any fees of $1,500 or less which are assessed with respect to prospective residents to have their names placed on a facility’s waiting list shall not be subject to the escrow provisions of this section.
(5) When funds are required to be deposited in an escrow account pursuant to s. 651.0215, s. 651.022, s. 651.023, s. 651.0246, or s. 651.035, the following apply:
(a) The escrow agreement must require that the escrow agent furnish the provider with a quarterly statement indicating the amount of any disbursements from or deposits to the escrow account and the condition of the account during the period covered by the statement. The agreement must require that the statement be furnished to the provider by the escrow agent on or before the 10th day of the month following the end of the quarter for which the statement is due. If the escrow agent does not provide the quarterly statement to the provider on or before the 10th day of the month following the month for which the statement is due, the office may, in its discretion, levy against the escrow agent a fine not to exceed $25 a day for each day of noncompliance with the provisions of this subsection.
(b) If the escrow agent does not provide the quarterly statement to the provider on or before the 10th day of the month following the quarter for which the statement is due, the provider shall, on or before the 15th day of the month following the quarter for which the statement is due, send a written request for the statement to the escrow agent by certified mail return receipt requested.
(c) On or before the 20th day of the month following the quarter for which the statement is due, the provider shall file with the office a copy of the escrow agent’s statement or, if the provider has not received the escrow agent’s statement, a copy of the written request to the escrow agent for the statement.
(d) The office may, in its discretion, in addition to any other penalty that may be provided for under this chapter, levy a fine against the provider not to exceed $25 a day for each day the provider fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection.
(e) Funds held on deposit with the department are exempt from the reporting requirements of this subsection.
History.—ss. 6, 25, ch. 81-292; s. 3, ch. 83-265; ss. 7, 33, 35, ch. 83-328; s. 47, ch. 85-321; s. 3, ch. 86-209; s. 6, ch. 87-136; s. 12, ch. 91-110; s. 12, ch. 93-22; s. 510, ch. 97-102; s. 8, ch. 97-229; s. 2, ch. 2002-222; s. 1676, ch. 2003-261; s. 6, ch. 2010-202; s. 7, ch. 2011-193; s. 15, ch. 2019-160.