2016 Florida Statutes
651.033 Escrow accounts.—
(1) When funds are required to be deposited in an escrow account pursuant to s. 651.022, s. 651.023, s. 651.035, or s. 651.055:
(a) The escrow account shall be established in a Florida bank, Florida savings and loan association, or Florida trust company acceptable to the office or on deposit with the department; and the funds deposited therein shall 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 the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to approval by the office. The agreement shall be in writing and shall contain, in addition to any other provisions required by law, a provision whereby the escrow agent agrees to abide by the duties imposed under this section.
(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) In addition, the escrow agreement shall provide that the escrow agent or another person designated to act in the escrow agent’s place and the provider, except as otherwise provided in s. 651.035, shall notify the office in writing at least 10 days before the withdrawal of any portion of any funds required to be escrowed under the provisions of s. 651.035. However, in the event of an emergency and upon petition by the provider, the office may waive the 10-day notification period and 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 shall be deemed to have been granted by the office. For the purpose of this section, “working day” means each day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday as defined by Florida law. Also for the purpose of this section, the day the petition is received by the office shall not be counted as one of the 3 days.
(3) In addition, when entrance fees are required to be deposited in an escrow account pursuant to s. 651.022, s. 651.023, 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, shall be deposited with the escrow agent or as provided in paragraph (c). The escrow agent shall 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. 651.023(6). However, if the resident rescinds the contract within the 7-day period, the escrow agent shall 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 shall not deposit it during this time period. If the resident rescinds the contract within the 7-day period, the check shall 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. 651.022, s. 651.023, or s. 651.035, the following shall apply:
(a) The escrow agreement shall 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 shall 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.