In escrow is known to most by its use on real estate signs, hanging belowthe placard for the indeterminate period of time after for sale and before sold. In this regard, being in escrow means that a buyer has shown committed interest in the property by making an additional mortgage payment designated for property taxes and hazard insurance. This is known as T&I, for taxes and insurance, which, in addition to standard mortgage insurance consisting of principal and insurance (or P&I) is referred to as PITI (pronounced “pity”).
LOSING THE HAND
More broadly, escrow is a contractual agreement in which a third party receives and holds assets for primary transacting parties. Disbursement is contingent on an agreement being met, or a set term of conditions being fulfilled. Again, in real estate, when withholding rent from a landlord one might put their rent in an escrow account in order to prove that you do, in fact, have the money, but that you won’t hand it over until say, the heating has been fixed. In essence, this is a principle of proving that you have something by putting it in the hands of a neutral third party. Putting one’s assets in escrow is an act of demonstrative forfeit. You’re showing your cards to prove that you have them, then losing the hand.