A Paymaster or Escrow Agent typically acts as a neutral third party, in any transaction between two individuals, entities or businesses, whereby the Paymaster receives funds from a buyer into an escrow account, maintains the account, then disburses those funds to the seller, per the instructions spelled out in a Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) or Services Agreement. After taking a contracted commission as payment for his services, the paymaster reconciles the escrow account. Placing the funds in escrow with a neutral and trustworthy third party reduces the risk to both buyers and sellers in these transactions. It assures the seller that sufficient funds are available for payment, and it allows the buyer to receive title to the goods in question.
Gonzalez Law Firm Paymaster Services are commonly used for transactions involving goods, products or commodities, which typically involve large sums of money. Therefore, our services are used to facilitate the payments and disbursement of funds. Additionally, the use of Gonzalez Law Firm’s Paymaster Services can also be one of the most effective means for intermediaries to insure they receive the fees, compensation or commissions which have been contractually agreed upon between the parties. The use of Paymaster Services is crucial to enforce payment of commissions, and it is the safest way to protect compensation in lieu of having a fee agreement between the parties alone.
The Paymaster Lawyer is not party to the transaction, and usually does not know the exact time that it will close. Part of our responsibilities as Paymaster or Escrow Agent, is to check periodically with the escrow account to ensure that the payment has been transferred in, then to disburse the funds as per the directions given. The Paymaster is not allowed to disclose the identities of the parties to the transaction.
Paymasters do not have to be attorneys. Notwithstanding, as attorneys, we often serve in the role of a Paymaster because we are able to use an Attorney’s Trust Accounts (also known as IOLTA accounts, which are used for short term escrow transactions). IOLTA accounts are monitored by the state bar where the attorney is licensed and provide an additional measure of security for handling large sums of money. As a licensed attorney, the Paymaster is subject to heavy penalties and stands to be disbarred if any funds are misappropriated.
Gonzalez Law Firm provides Lawyer Escrow and Paymaster services to private individuals, companies and corporations globally. We are a trusted, neutral, third party that collects deposits around international business transactions, holds funds in escrow and then releases those funds as per the parties’ contract.
To assist the U.S. government in the fight against financial criminal activity, Federal regulation requires certain financial institutions, Escrow Agents or Paymasters to secure, verify, and record information about the beneficial owners of legal entity customers. Legal entities can be used to disguise involvement in terrorist financing, money laundering, tax evasion, corruption, fraud, and other financial crimes. Requiring the disclosure of key individuals who own or control a legal entity (i.e., the beneficial owners) helps law enforcement investigate and prosecute these crimes. This, in turn, protects all parties and entities involved in assuring the transaction not fraudulent or illegitimate. As such, the following are the documents or proof required for all parties, individuals, and/or companies to submit in order to our firm to effectively and efficiently provide the Paymaster Services:
1) A copy of valid driver’s license and/or passport; 2) Complete IRS form W-9 for U.S. citizens or companies involved; 3) Completed IRS form W-8BEN for foreign individuals or companies involved; 4) Copy of all transactional documents, including payment agreements; and 5) Other forms related to a thorough “Know Your Client” (KYC) due diligence process.
In these and all transactions, time is a precious commodity. The information requested above is crucial for an efficient, smooth and successful transaction.