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dave, Renter in Los Angeles, CA

Can you get 15 year old escrow documents online or at City hall?

Asked by dave, Los Angeles, CA Wed Apr 17, 2013

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Escrow documents are usually stored for a required period of years by the escrow company.

I have never heard of them being stored with a governmental agency.

Deeds of Trust and Grant Deeds are recorded at the County Recorders Office in each of the 58 counties in California.

Copies of the escrow instructions are usually sent out to the buyer and seller and both agents. Each Broker the agent works for is required to have a copy in their files. The brokerage files are required to be kept by law for a certain number of years.

Let me know if you need any help.


Albert Goldberg
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
Dear Dave,
To my knowledge escrow docs would be either with the brokerage (stored) or with the escrow company( also stored). We are not required to keep documents past 7 years so it's doubtful that you will find what you are looking for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
Typically, no. Good answer by Meredith. City hall usually keeps documents related to development, building permits and the like. Transactional records such as deeds are kept at the county recorder's office. While the recorder's office will have a copy of any deeds and/or liens related to any specific property, they will not have the majority of other escrow documents that were not recorded, per se. There is also no place to go online that would have these either.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
At city hall you can get all kind of real estate deeds and sometimes loan docs with notes, but not escrow instructions unless they were instructed otherwise.
Is there any specific document you're looking for?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 17, 2013
Escrow documents are usually retained by the escrow company which managed the transaction as well as the real estate brokerage offices involved in the transaction. California law only requires escrow companies and brokerages to retain these files for 5 years. Often, escrow companies keep records longer than this and, sometimes, escrow companies go out of business and these records are destroyed.

Because you are seeking documents that are 15 years old, it is doubtful that you will be able to find them, unless you know the escrow company name, property address and escrow number. Even with this information, you may need a court subpeona in order to obtain copies of these files.

The LA County Recorder's office in Norwalk keeps 'recorded' documents (title, grant deed, easements, etc) on file and you can pay to obtain a copy. Unfortunately, this office does not maintain escrow documents that have not been recorded with Los Angeles County.

Meredith McKenzie
Associate Broker #01142186
Podley Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 17, 2013
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