2009 California Civil Code - Section 1052-1059 :: Article 3. Mode Of Transfer

SECTION 1052-1059

1052.  A transfer may be made without writing, in every case in
which a writing is not expressly required by statute.

[1053.]  Section Ten Hundred and Fifty-three. A transfer in writing
is called a grant, or conveyance, or bill of sale. The term "grant,"
in this and the next two Articles, includes all these instruments,
unless it is specially applied to real property.

1054.  A grant takes effect, so as to vest the interest intended to
be transferred, only upon its delivery by the grantor.

1055.  A grant duly executed is presumed to have been delivered at
its date.

1056.  A grant cannot be delivered to the grantee conditionally.
Delivery to him, or to his agent as such, is necessarily absolute,
and the instrument takes effect thereupon, discharged of any
condition on which the delivery was made.

1057.  A grant may be deposited by the grantor with a third person,
to be delivered on performance of a condition, and, on delivery by
the depositary, it will take effect. While in the possession of the
third person, and subject to condition, it is called an escrow.

1057.3.  (a) It shall be the obligation of a buyer and seller who
enter into a contract to purchase and sell real property to ensure
that all funds deposited into an escrow account are returned to the
person who deposited the funds or who is otherwise entitled to the
funds under the contract, if the purchase of the property is not
completed by the date set forth in the contract for the close of
escrow or any duly executed extension thereof.
   (b) Any buyer or seller who fails to execute any document required
by the escrow holder to release funds on deposit in an escrow
account as provided in subdivision (a) within 30 days following a
written demand for the return of funds deposited in escrow by the
other party shall be liable to the person making the deposit for all
of the following:
   (1) The amount of the funds deposited in escrow not held in good
faith to resolve a good faith dispute.
   (2) Damages of treble the amount of the funds deposited in escrow
not held to resolve a good faith dispute, but liability under this
paragraph shall not be less than one hundred dollars ($100) or more
than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
   (3) Reasonable attorney's fees incurred in any action to enforce
this section.
   (c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), there shall be no cause of
action under this section, and no party to a contract to purchase and
sell real property shall be liable, for failure to return funds
deposited in an escrow account by a buyer or seller, if the funds are
withheld in order to resolve a good faith dispute between a buyer
and seller. A party who is denied the return of the funds deposited
in escrow is entitled to damages under this section only upon proving
that there was no good faith dispute as to the right to the funds on
   (d) Upon the filing of a cause of action pursuant to this section,
the escrow holder shall deposit the sum in dispute, less any
cancellation fee and charges incurred, with the court in which the
action is filed and be discharged of further responsibility for the
   (e)  Neither any document required by the escrow holder to release
funds deposited in an escrow account nor the acceptance of funds
released from escrow, by any principal to the escrow transaction,
shall be deemed a cancellation or termination of the underlying
contract to purchase and sell real property, unless the cancellation
is specifically stated therein. If the escrow instructions constitute
the only contract between the buyer and seller, no document required
by the escrow holder to release funds deposited in an escrow account
shall abrogate a cause of action for breach of a contractual
obligation to purchase or sell real property, unless the cancellation
is specifically stated therein.
   (f) For purposes of this section:
   (1) "Close of escrow" means the date, specified event, or
performance of prescribed condition upon which the escrow agent is to
deliver the subject of the escrow to the person specified in the
buyer's instructions to the escrow agent.
   (2) "Good faith dispute" means a dispute in which the trier of
fact finds that the party refusing to return the deposited funds had
a reasonable belief of his or her legal entitlement to withhold the
deposited funds. The existence of a "good faith dispute" shall be
determined by the trier of fact.
   (3) "Property" means real property containing one to four
residential units at least one of which at the time the escrow is
created is to be occupied by the buyer. The buyer's statement as to
his or her intention to occupy one of the units is conclusive for the
purposes of this section.
   (g) Nothing in this section restricts the ability of an escrow
holder to file an interpleader action in the event of a dispute as to
the proper distribution of funds deposited in an escrow account.

1057.5.  Except for the normal compensation of his own employees, no
person acting as an escrow agent whether required to be licensed as
such or not, shall pay over to any other person any commission, fee,
or other consideration as compensation for referring, soliciting,
handling, or servicing escrow customers or accounts.
   No escrow agent shall enter into any arrangement, either of his
own making or of a subsidiary nature, or through any other person
having a dual capacity, or through any person having a direct or
indirect interest in the escrow, or other device, permitting any fee,
commission, or compensation which is contingent upon the performance
of any act, condition, or instruction set forth in an escrow, to be
drawn or paid, either in whole or in part, or in kind or its
equivalent, prior to the actual closing and completion of the escrow.
   The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to supersede,
negate, or modify any of the provisions of Section 12404 of the
Insurance Code.

1057.6.  In an escrow transaction for the purchase or simultaneous
exchange of real property, where a policy of title insurance will not
be issued to the buyer or to the parties to the exchange, the
following notice shall be provided in a separate document to the
buyer or parties exchanging real property, which shall be signed and
acknowledged by them:

1057.7.  All written escrow instructions executed by a buyer or
seller, whether prepared by a person subject to Division 6
(commencing with Section 17000) of the Financial Code, or by a person
exempt from that division under Section 17006 of the Financial Code,
shall contain a statement in not less than 10-point type which shall
include the license name and the name of the department issuing the
license or authority under which the person is operating. This
section shall not apply to supplemental escrow instructions or
modifications to escrow instructions.
   This section shall become operative on July 1, 1993.

1058.  Redelivering a grant of real property to the grantor, or
canceling it, does not operate to retransfer the title.

1058.5.  (a) A notice of nonacceptance of a recorded deed executed
by a holder of a security interest, which notice identifies the
security interest, contains a legal description of the property,
properly identifies the parties to the deed, the date of recordation
of the deed, the county in which the project is located, and the
county assessor's parcel number of the real property referenced in
the deed, may be recorded in the office of the county recorder where
the real property is located.
   (b) Where a trustee's deed is invalidated by a pending bankruptcy
or otherwise, recordation of a notice of rescission of the trustee's
deed, which notice properly identifies the deed of trust, the
identification numbers used by the recorder or the books and pages at
which the trustee's deed and deed of trust are recorded, the names
of all trustors and beneficiaries, the location of the property
subject to the deed of trust, and the reason for rescission, shall
restore the condition of record title to the real property described
in the trustee's deed and the existence and priority of all
lienholders to the status quo prior to the recordation of the trustee'
s deed upon sale. Only the trustee or beneficiary who caused the
trustee's deed to be recorded, or his or her successor in interest,
may record a notice of rescission.

1059.  Though a grant be not actually delivered into the possession
of the grantee, it is yet to be deemed constructively delivered in
the following cases:
   1. Where the instrument is, by the agreement of the parties at the
time of execution, understood to be delivered, and under such
circumstances that the grantee is entitled to immediate delivery; or,
   2. Where it is delivered to a stranger for the benefit of the
grantee, and his assent is shown, or may be presumed.

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