31.16.03.02

.02 Definitions.

A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) "Act" means Insurance Article, §22-103, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) "Beneficial owner" means a person, other than the buyer in a real estate transaction, for whose benefit a title insurer or title insurance producer is entrusted to hold trust money.

(3) "Buyer" means a buyer in a real estate transaction.

(4) "Commissioner" means the Maryland State Insurance Commissioner.

(5) "Financial institution" means:

(a) A financial institution located in the State; or

(b) Subject to approval of the Banking Board in the Maryland Department of Labor, a financial institution outside the State that complies with the requirements of Insurance Article, Title 22, Subtitle 1, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(6) Law Firm.

(a) "Law firm" means an association of attorneys who are admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals of the State, and who:

(i) Are primarily engaged in the practice of law; and

(ii) Solicit, procure, or negotiate title insurance contracts only as an incident of the practice of law.

(b) "Law firm" includes a sole practitioner.

(c) "Law firm" does not include:

(i) An attorney or an association of attorneys who own, operate, or share an interest in a title agency; or

(ii) An attorney who is employed by a title agency as a title insurance producer or title insurance broker.

(7) "MAHT account" means an account established with a financial institution for the benefit of the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust.

(8) "Maryland Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT)" means the fund created under Housing and Community Development Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(9) "Mortgage" includes a deed of trust.

(10) "Person" means an individual, joint venture, partnership, corporation, trust, foundation, association, limited liability company, or any other legal entity.

(11) Title Agency.

(a) "Title agency" means a business formed for the primary purpose of acting as a title insurance producer.

(b) "Title agency" includes a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company.

(12) Title Insurance Producer.

(a) "Title insurance producer" means a person who, for compensation, in any manner solicits, procures, or negotiates title insurance contracts.

(b) "Title insurance producer" includes a person who provides escrow, closing, or settlement services which may result in the issuance of a title insurance contract.

(c) "Title insurance producer" does not include individuals employed and used by title insurance producers for the performance of clerical, stenographic, and similar office duties.

(13) "Trust money" means a deposit, payment, or other money that a person entrusts to a title insurer or a title insurance producer to hold for a buyer or beneficial owner in connection with a real estate escrow, settlement, closing, or title indemnification.