93A-12. Disputed monies.

(a) An escrow agent may deposit with the clerk of court in accordance with this section monies, other than a residential security deposit, the ownership of which are in dispute and that were received while the escrow agent was acting in a fiduciary capacity.

(b) The disputed monies shall be deposited with the clerk of court in the county in which the property for which the disputed monies are being held is located. At the time of depositing the disputed monies, the escrow agent shall certify to the clerk of court that the persons claiming ownership of the disputed monies have been notified in accordance with subsection (c) of this section that the disputed monies are to be deposited with the clerk of court and that the persons may initiate a special proceeding with the clerk of court to recover the disputed monies.

(c) Notice to the persons claiming ownership to the disputed monies required under subsection (b) of this section shall be provided by delivering a copy of the notice to the person or by mailing it to the person by first-class mail, postpaid, properly addressed to the person at the person's last known address.

(d) An escrow agent shall not deposit disputed monies with the clerk of court until 90 days following notification of the persons claiming ownership of the disputed monies.

(e) Upon the filing of a special proceeding to recover the disputed monies, the clerk shall determine the rightful ownership of the monies and distribute the disputed monies accordingly. If no special proceeding is filed with the clerk of court within one year of the disputed monies being deposited with the clerk of court, the disputed monies shall be deemed unclaimed and shall be delivered by the clerk of court to the State Treasurer in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 116B of the General Statutes.

(f) As used in this section, "escrow agent" means any of the following:

(1) A real estate broker licensed under this Chapter.

(2) An attorney licensed to practice law in this State.

(3) A title insurance company or title insurance agent licensed to conduct business in this State. (2005-395, s. 12; 2011-350, s. 1; 2021-91, s. 11.)