CLEW Publications

Real Estate Trust Accounts in Wisconsin - A Broker's Guide to Complying with State Regulations

By Debra Peterson Conrad, Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, and Scott C. Minter, UW Law School 
2014 Edition; 99 pages; $22.00    Publications Order Form

Real Estate Trust Accounts in Wisconsin is a product of a long-standing cooperative relationship between the University of Wisconsin Law School and the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association. The goal of this publication effort is to provide real estate licensees with a clear, concise, and practical explanation of a broker's duty to handle trust funds according to procedures established by the Department of Safety and Professional Services and the Real Estate Examining Board. This handbook identifies problems that arise in a real estate transaction involving earnest money and other types of trust funds and suggests ways to comply with state trust account regulations.

The 2014 edition is again co-authored by Debbi Conrad, Senior Attorney and Director of Legal Affairs for the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, and Scott Minter, University of Wisconsin Law School.

The first part of this handbook explains the rules of the Department for accounting for trust funds. The second part explains the record keeping requirements of the Department to ensure that trust funds are properly held and accounted for after disbursement. Numerous samples of bookkeeping forms are included to help brokers develop a professional bookkeeping system that complies with Department rules.

The 2014 edition retains the features that made this publication a popular and useful professional resource since 1998, including: updated text, helpful practice recommendations, sample trust accounting forms, and a handy compilation of current statutory and administrative rule provisions. The 2014 edition updates the text to include current trust account issues and new administrative rules that took effect on July 1, 2014. 

Contents

Chapter 1        Introduction

Chapter 2        What Are Trust Funds?

Chapter 3        Account Requirements

Chapter 4        Handling Trust Deposits and Disbursements

Chapter 5        Disbursing Earnest Money

Chapter 6        Property Management Trust Funds

Chapter 7        The Bookkeeping System

Chapter 8        Step 1: The Cash Journal

Chapter 9        Step 2: The Ledger

Chapter 10      Steps 3, 4, and 5: Account Reconciliation, Trial Balance, and Validation of Account

Chapter 11      Computerized Trust Accounting

Chapter 12      Trust Account Problem Areas for the Broker

Chapter 13      Who is Responsible for Handling Trust Account Funds?

Chapter 14      Retaining Trust Account Records

Chapter 15      A Review of the Legal Requirements for Trust Accounts

Illustrations

  • Sample Cash Journals
  • Computer-Printed Cash Journal
  • Sample Ledgers
  • Broker's Funds
  • Rental Ledger
  • Computer-Printed Ledgers
  • Sample Reconciliation
  • Sample Trial Balance
  • Setup Class
  • Reconciled Bank Statement
  • Reconciliation Report Setup
  • Monthly Reconciliation
  • Customized Transaction Report
  • Trial Balance Report
  • Memorize Report
  • Journal Pages Report
  • Ledger Pages Report

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