New conveyancing measure – Aug 1, 2011

Measures in place are a follow up after several cases lawyers fleeing the country with their clients' money. -AsiaOne

Fri, Jul 08, 2011

The Ministry of Law confirmed today that the legislation on conveyancing measures will be implemented on Aug 1.

The key measures that have been put in place are to better protect the clients' money and prevent lawyers from running away with clients' money from property transactions.

Under the new rules, lawyers are no longer allowed to receive and hold conveyancing money in their normal client accounts. A breach of the new rules will result in a fine of up to $50,000 and/or jail for up to three months.

Lawyers, however, can hold the money in a new type of account known as a Conveyancing Account.

It can only be opened in an Appointed Bank by the Minister for Law. CPF money will be stake-held in a Conveyancing (CPF) Account.

The approved banks are Bank of China Limited, DBS Bank Limited, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, The Bank of East Asia, Limited, and United Overseas Bank Limited.

It can also be held through the Singapore Academy of Law's (SAL) new Conveyancing Money Service, or for complex transactions, lawyers can receive and hold money from the property transaction under escrow agreements between both buyers and sellers' lawyers.

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has also set up an electronic payment instructions service for lawyers to initiate and counter-sign payment instructions.

It will also allow the appointed banks and SAL to retrieve and process these payment instructions.

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