Real Estate Deposits

If, during a real estate transaction, there is a disagreement about the ownership of a deposit paid to a broker or salesperson; the funds must be turned over to the General Treasurer within 180 days. The deposit is held by the Treasurer until the dispute is resolved. 

The text of Rhode Island General Laws 5-20.5-26 (v) is below:

"Whenever the ownership of any deposit monies received by a broker or salesperson pursuant to this section is in dispute by the parties to a real estate transaction, the broker or salesperson shall deposit the monies with the general treasurer within one hundred eighty (180) days of the date of the original deposit, those monies to be held in trust by the general treasurer until the dispute is mediated, arbitrated, litigated, or otherwise resolved by the parties. The parties to a real estate transaction may agree in writing to extend the time period by which the monies must be deposited with the general treasurer in accordance with regulations promulgated by the department of business regulation."

In accordance with the above mentioned law, the Office of the General Treasurer has made standardized forms available for download.

Sending deposits to the General Treasurer:

The real estate broker must submit a Escrow Deposit Transmittal Form to the General Treasurer's Office; with a copy sent to the Department of Business Regulation.

Please send completed forms to:

Office of the General Treasurer
82 Smith St., State House Room 102,
Providence, RI 02903

Release of the funds by the General Treasurer:

After the parties resolve the dispute, they may have the funds released by submitting the following forms to the Office of the General Treasurer:

  • Buyers Release: All of the buyers must sign and have notarized a release of the funds by stating how the funds shall be disbursed and to whom.
  • Sellers Release: All of the sellers must sign and have notarized a release of the funds by stating how the funds shall be disbursed and to whom.
  • Broker Affidavit: The real estate broker shall sign and submit this form to the General Treasurer's Office. Note that the real estate broker acting as an agent of the brokerage is the claimant.

or:

  • Court Order: The funds may be released by the General Treasurer once the dispute is mediated, arbitrated or litigated.

Please send completed forms to:

Office of the General Treasurer
82 Smith St., State House Room 102,
Providence, RI 02903