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SMT introduces third-party escrow for boats

Company taps into established real estate practice, claims it will safeguard buyers, sellers

Secured Marine Transactions, a leading supplier of financial services for the international boating marketplace based in Branford, Conn., said it is now offering a bonded third-party escrow service for boat and yacht sales transactions.

With secure funds, SMT assumes all fiduciary responsibility for acceptance and disbursement of funds according to contract, with each individual transaction insured for more than $1 million.

“Third-party escrow is a universally accepted practice when buying and selling real estate,” said James Nolan, CEO of SMT in a statement. “We believe the time is right to bring the same level of professionalism and confidence to the largely unregulated world of boating transactions, especially under the current weak economic conditions, when buyers and sellers alike can be vulnerable to uninsured loss. Many boats today sell for more than private homes.

“With the increasing globalization of the boating industry and rapid growth in e-commerce, we foresee a rising demand for regulated escrow to protect the interests of both buyers and sellers when dealing with unknown entities,” added Nolan. “The weak dollar exchange rate is creating a market in which U.S. boats are migrating to overseas buyers, who often do not have established relationships with U.S. dealers and brokers. Our escrow service minimizes risk for both parties and ensures security of funds transferred across national boundaries.”

Nolan observed that the British Marine Industries Federation has begun requiring independent escrow for boat transactions in Great Britain. “We expect this trend to continue across Western Europe,” he said.

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