What can we help you with?

General | Designated Trust Account Holder | Real Estate Agent | Buyers


  • Is the system secure?

    We take security seriously. TrustFunds maintains physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with or exceed industry standards to protect non-public, confidential information. TrustFunds utilizes third-party vendors for security and operational audits.

  • What is the Automated Clearing House (ACH)?

    The ACH Network is at the center of commerce in the U.S., moving money from one bank account to another through Direct Payment via ACH transactions. Each year, the ACH Network moves more than $40 trillion and nearly 23 billion electronic financial transactions, and currently supports more than 90 percent of the total value of all electronic payments in the U.S. As such, the ACH Network is one of the largest, safest and most reliable payment systems.

  • How long does ACH take to fully deposit into the Trust Account?

    The Federal Reserve’s Automated Clearing House (ACH) timeframe for processing and settling payments is the same whether submitting it electronically (online) or physically delivering a check to the bank. It takes approximately four (4) business days (excludes weekends and Federal holidays) to settle and deposit the funds into the recipient’s bank account. TrustFunds makes this process much more secure than carrying around a paper check, and begins the depositing process sooner than checks are typically delivered to the bank. Remember, the 4 day process does not begin until the bank receives the check. This can save numerous days in the settling process by using TrustFunds.

  • Can't I submit an electronic earnest money payment through Paypal, Venmo or my bank?

    With PayPal and Venmo, although payments through a variety of payment applications are electronic, it still requires the buyer in the transaction to ‘connect’ to the trust account holder’s bank account.  It is highly unlikely that a Designated Trust Account holder would connect its trust account to these applications.  With TrustFunds, all of the work is done for you!

    With the bank transfer, most payments made via a bank’s bill pay service are paper checks that are issued by a third-party vendor. Often the amount of time it takes for the payment to be processed and mailed will result in an untimely payment.  In addition, the buyer would have to input detailed information regarding the trust account holder’s account.  With TrustFunds, all of the work is done for you!


  • How long does it take to integrate TrustFunds in the MLS?

    TrustFunds is a fairly simple integration and, depending on the availability of the MLS vendor, the process is typically 2-4 weeks.

  • Can TrustFunds be used with our MLS platform?

    Yes.  Currently TrustFunds has integrated with all the major MLS vendors and would certainly work with any MLS that may have a different platform.  For the technology to function, MLS data is received via a RETS feed.

  • How can I start the process of bringing TrustFunds to my market?

    We’re excited to help you add more value for your members by adopting TrustFunds.  Click here to schedule a personal call to learn how you can join the electronic earnest money movement!

  • Can any MLS use TrustFunds?

    TrustFunds is available in participating MLS markets.  For a list of the participating markets, click here.  If you are interested in bringing TrustFunds to your market, click here

  • Why TrustFunds?

    TrustFunds provides a market-wide solution for your members by integrating into your MLS system. This greatly benefits your members by having the MLS research the product, resulting in a single tool in the market and greater market adoption. In addition, most of the transaction details are auto-populated from the MLS information for complete and accurate reporting.

Brokers, Escrow &
Title Companies, or Law Firms

  • Who is a Designated Trust Account Holder (``DTAH``)?

    A Designated Trust Account Holder is what TrustFunds calls the entity that holds earnest money in its trust account(s). These entities may include real estate brokers, title companies, escrow companies and law firms. When using TrustFunds, the buyer’s agent designates the appropriate party to hold the funds, as per the signed purchase agreement between buyer and seller.

  • Who needs to be a member of TrustFunds for the buyer to submit earnest money electronically?

    The MLS and the DTAH must be members of TrustFunds. Membership is not required for companies not holding earnest money in their own trust account. For example, if funds are held by the Listing broker, the Buyer’s broker doesn’t need to be a member for its agents to generate a payment request for the buyer.

  • What is the cost for a DTAH to join TrustFunds and how long is the contract?

    TrustFunds is a month-to-month service with no contract term. DTAHs pay a nominal monthly service fee (tiered based upon volume) and as little as $0.25 per earnest money transaction. All terms and fees are provided following an initial Authentication Process, and if considered unacceptable, simply abandon the registration process at any time with no obligation to join.

  • If a DTAH has more than one office, does it need to register each office?

    No. Registration is for the entire company (per MLS market) and individual office registration is not needed.

  • Can a DTAH have more than one trust account?

    Yes. A DTAH can have any number of trust accounts necessary to operate its business. TrustFunds is designed to direct earnest money payments from buyers to the correct trust account based on the management of the trust accounts. For example, a DTAH may have two trust accounts if licensed in two states; one trust account for transactions in one state and another trust account for transactions in another state. In addition, a DTAH may have different trust accounts for each office.

  • How long does a DTAH have access to transaction data in TrustFunds?

    The transaction information in the transaction table is available at any time. By default, the transaction table will show 60 days of activity and include properties that have not closed as per the MLS data. DTAHs continue to have access to the transaction data and the Deposit Reports indefinitely, provided they are an active member of TrustFunds.

  • Does TrustFunds receive the earnest money payment?

    No. An earnest money payment is sent from the buyer’s bank account to the designated trust account (typically a broker or title company). The transfer occurs via an ACH account the DTAH opens with TrustFunds’ ACH processor. DTAH does not need to change its trust account(s), nor manage them any differently.

  • How does a DTAH reconcile deposits to the trust account(s)?

    Full reporting and file export is available to DTAHs in the TrustFunds Account.

  • How soon can I use TrustFunds?

    The Designated Trust Account Holder registration process is a simple on-line process. The underwriting to activate the account takes about two business days.

  • Can a refund be processed via TrustFunds?

    Yes. TrustFunds is a full-service payment technology that not only allows buyers to make earnest money deposits but also allows a DTAH to refund the money electronically with all of the same reporting and notification benefits.

  • Are brokers required to register their company agents in order to use TrustFunds?

    Absolutely not! Every agent who is a member in good standing with the MLS is automatically set up to use TrustFunds. In addition, agent roster data is automatically updated via a data feed through TrustFunds.


  • Who needs to be a member of TrustFunds for the buyer to submit earnest money electronically?

    The MLS will integrate with TrustFunds first, and the company that holds the earnest money (e.g. broker or title company) will need to be a member.

  • What if a DTAH has two or more trust accounts?

    No worries! TrustFunds proprietary software will govern which bank account will receive the earnest money deposit. There is no risk that a human will select the wrong account, as they need only select the company.

  • How long will it take to complete an Earnest Money request?

    Seconds! TrustFunds is integrated with the MLS and much of the transaction data for the property, brokers and agents is auto-populated. No need for manually including all of the information which makes the process faster and more accurate. In fact, the fastest payment to date took less than 60 seconds from start to finish, with the agent AND the buyer completing all steps in that time!

  • Do both the buyer’s agent and listing agent automatically receive payment notifications?

    Yes! TrustFunds is a great communication tool in the transaction. Contact information about both agents are auto-populated from the MLS data to guarantee the notices are sent without any manual input. In addition, agents may set up their notification preferences in their personal profile.

  • What is the cost to agents to join TrustFunds?

    FREE! Nothing! Zilch! Nada!

  • Who is a Designated Trust Account Holder 'DTAH?'

    A Designated Trust Account Holder is what TrustFunds calls the entity that holds earnest money in its trust account(s). These entities may include real estate brokers, title companies, escrow companies and law firms. When using TrustFunds, the buyer’s agent designates the appropriate party to hold the funds, as per the signed purchase agreement between buyer and seller.

  • Can a buyer's agent use TrustFunds even if their broker is not a member?

    Yes, all agents of a participating MLS have the ability to use TrustFunds when representing buyers, as long as the DTAH is a TrustFunds member.

  • How does an agent facilitate the earnest money payment for the buyer?

    The buyer’s agent will create an Earnest Money Request for a specific property by populating a few pieces of information. This will automatically generate an email notification to the buyer that includes access to a secure payment form to pay online. This entire process takes just a few minutes, instead of the hours spent getting a paper check from the buyer to the DTAH.

  • Can TrustFunds be used if a property is not in the MLS?

    No. TrustFunds uses the MLS property data for all transactions.

  • How does the agent know the status of the earnest money payment?

    In the agent profile, an agent may choose to enable or disable notifications that will be generated each time the transaction status is updated. In addition, an agent may view all transaction data at any time in their Transactions table.

  • How does the buyer provide the lender with proof of the earnest money payment?

    Previously, a buyer was required to provide the lender with both a copy of their bank statement, along with a copy of the front and back of the earnest money check. With TrustFunds, the Buyer or Buyer’s agent may download PDF proof of TrustFunds Payment History, which provides all of the details of the earnest money payment.

  • Does a buyer have access to TrustFunds with the ability to submit earnest money prior to the final acceptance of a purchase agreement?

    No. Buyers will only submit earnest money in response to receiving an Earnest Money Payment Request Notification from their agent. Agents must certify as part of the Earnest Money Payment Request that there is a valid purchase agreement between buyer and seller.

  • What if the purchase agreement is canceled after the earnest money payment was made?

    The earnest money is deposited into the DTAH’s trust account and therefore, a cancellation of purchase agreement and the refund of earnest money is processed in the same manner as if the buyer had written a paper check.  One additional benefit of TrustFunds, the DTAH has the capability to electronically refund the earnest money to the buyer.

  • What if the buyer submits earnest money from someone's bank account other than their own?

    In the Earnest Money Payment Form, the buyer identifies the name of the bank account holder for the account from which the earnest money is coming. That information appears in the Payment History in TrustFunds. In such event, a buyer’s agent should confirm whether or not it is acceptable to the buyer’s lender that the earnest money is from someone other than the buyer (e.g. gift funds).

  • Can agent's assistants and team members use TrustFunds?

    Yes, TrustFunds supports the real estate team concept. An agent may simply modify their profile to establish their team. All team members have access to the transaction data in the transaction tables.

  • With TrustFunds, what, if anything, should the buyer include with the offer?

    TrustFunds provides the buyer a much more secure and convenient alternative to the paper check by allowing the buyer to submit the earnest money electronically. The buyer’s agent could certainly include language in the purchase agreement informing the seller that it is the buyer’s intention to submit the earnest money electronically using TrustFunds.

  • Is paying earnest money through TrustFunds different from writing a paper check?

    Yes and no. Both are processed through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) and therefore an earnest money deposit through TrustFunds is processed in the same manner and same time-frame as a check that has been presented to a bank. The difference is when the payment is made electronically through TrustFunds, the earnest money is deposited more quickly because the check is not being driven all around town. Plus, the transaction status is immediately available to all parties involved in the real estate transaction.


  • How do I pay my earnest money with TrustFunds?

    First, your real estate agent will create a request via TrustFunds which triggers an email to you. Click the button in the email to access your secure payment form and complete with the routing and account number from which the funds should be debited.

  • Will TrustFunds ask for your complete login information for your bank account?

    No. TrustFunds does not require you share your login information or any portion of your social security number.

  • How do I know the payment is going to a legitimate company?

    TrustFunds, through its ACH vendor partner, underwrites each and every company that registers as a DTAH to receive earnest money payments.

  • Is TrustFunds secure?

    We take security seriously. TrustFunds maintains physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with or exceed industry standards to protect non-public, confidential information. Your bank information is encrypted at rest and in transit, and deleted as soon as the transaction has begun processing. If a paper check were used, anybody who sees the check (or a copy, scan, or fax of that check) has access to your account information. With TrustFunds, your account information is kept private.

  • Can I pay with a credit card?

    No. TrustFunds allows payment from either a checking or a savings account, using the routing and account number.

  • How long does it take for my payment to process?

    TrustFunds uses the ACH network to process payments securely, and all payments will fully complete in 4 business days. You may see funds leaving your account as early as the first day, depending on how quickly your bank processes these transactions.

  • Where is the earnest money held?

    All earnest money payments are held by the party designated by your agent when sending the request. Typically, this is a broker or title company who maintains a real estate trust account, and is designated on your purchase agreement. Your agent will be able to provide more information if needed as well!

  • Where can I get proof of payment for my lender?

    As the Buyer, you will receive a confirmation email when your payment settles. This email will have a secure link to download a PDF version of your payment confirmation. This PDF shows the necessary information to prove the payment has been made, with time and date stamps as well.

  • My purchase fell through. How can I get a refund of my earnest money?

    Please work with your real estate agent to request a refund of your earnest money, if needed, from the Designated Trust Account Holder. This is the party chosen to hold the funds, and TrustFunds is not able to issue refunds on their behalf.

 Not Finding What You’re Looking For?