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02-11-2018 2:39:29 AM CST

http://www.masontitle.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Bank-of-America-Short-Sale-Pkg.pdfShort Sale Package from BOA

Short Sale Package and Licensing Attest Statement.




02-10-2018 9:31:48 PM CST

Absent some other “saving” provisions or exceptions, payments from the mortgage company to the builder for referrals are prohibited.Affiliated Business Arrangements.   RESPA has particular provisions and regulations relating to affiliated business arrangements between real estate brokerage firms and affiliated mortgage companies or other settlement service providers, where there is a 1% or more common ownership between the companies. A referrer (who is a settlement service provider) may refer to affiliates (who are settlement service providers) if all of the following three requirements are satisfied:

(1)   Disclosure/notice is given to the consumer at or before the time each referral is made (or, if the referral is made by a lender to a borrower, by the time the good faith estimate of closing costs is provided), in the form prescribed by the regulations;

(2)   The consumer is not required to use any particular provider of settlement services (that is, the consumer is not steered or required to use an affiliated entity providing mortgage or other settlement services); and

(3)   The only thing of value that is received from the arrangement (other than reasonable payments for goods, facilities or services actually furnished) is a return on the ownership interest (such as corporate dividends or LLC distributions, as applicable, in accordance with the owners’ percentage ownership interests).

An Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure Statement form should be developed and used to comply with the first of these three requirements. If the referral is made verbally, then the written disclosure must be given to the consumer within 3 business days after the referral, and in such case an abbreviated verbal disclosure of the existence of the arrangement and the fact that a written disclosure will be provided within 3 business days must be made to the consumer during the telephone referral. The disclosure form in any situation must be a separate document, and not combined with other forms. The consumer should be asked to sign a receipt or acknowledgment of the disclosure; and if the consumer refuses to sign the acknowledgment of such disclosure, that fact should be noted in the records maintain by the referor regarding such referrals. The RESPA regulations require that the referor retain each signed disclosure document for 5 years after its execution.

With respect to the second of the three requirements, the disclosure form will provide some assistance, in that it will contain a notice stating something like this: “You are NOT required to use [the specified affiliated service provider] as a condition for purchase, sale, or refinance of the subject property.” The reality, however, needs to track that advisement.



02-09-2018 4:08:49 PM CST

The Department of State’s Administrative Code, Register and Laws Section is the filing point for rules promulgated by state regulatory agencies. Agency rulemaking is governed by Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, the Administrative Procedures Act. Rules are published in the Florida Administrative Code. The program is also responsible for publishing the Florida Administrative Register


The mission of the section is to file, preserve and make available to the public the rules and other public records it receives. To guide State agencies, staff provide training and consultation with respect to the requirements for filing rules and publishing rule, meeting and other notices. Finally, the section, as well as other programs of the Division of Library and Information Services, provide continuing access to materials that are files and have long term value.



02-09-2018 4:04:58 PM CST


Legal insights for Florida Realtors members are just a phone call away at 407.438.1409.


Florida Realtors Legal Hotline attorneys answer questions about real estate license law and related real property issues. Attorneys also offer legal interpretations of the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contract and other standard business forms and contracts.

What You Need:
Have your Florida real estate license number or NRDS number ready, since you must type in one of these numbers to reach the Legal Hotline. Once connected, calls for an attorney will be placed in a queue in the order they are received. Calls regarding ethics, MLS, or procuring cause may be redirected to someone who specializes in these areas.

Save time: Ask a question online
Legal questions may now be emailed to the Legal Hotline. Members will receive a live callback from a Legal Hotline attorney. Ask a question now. (login required) 

Who May Use This Service?
Current Florida Realtors members. If your license number does not appear in our computer system, you will not be able to speak with an attorney.

  • Local board/association attorneys, executive officers and staff.
  • Private attorneys who represent a current member as long as the member is also on the line for the call.

Cost: As a member service, there is no charge to access the Legal Hotline. If you are calling from outside the 407 area code, you may incur a long-distance telephone charge.  


02-08-2018 8:12:12 PM CST


475.5015 Brokerage business records.Each broker shall keep and make available to the department such books, accounts, and records as will enable the department to determine whether such broker is in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. Each broker shall preserve at least one legible copy of all books, accounts, and records pertaining to her or his real estate brokerage business for at least 5 years from the date of receipt of any money, fund, deposit, check, or draft entrusted to the broker or, in the event no funds are entrusted to the broker, for at least 5 years from the date of execution by any party of any listing agreement, offer to purchase, rental property management agreement, rental or lease agreement, or any other written or verbal agreement which engages the services of the broker. If any brokerage record has been the subject of or has served as evidence for litigation, relevant books, accounts, and records must be retained for at least 2 years after the conclusion of the civil action or the conclusion of any appellate proceeding, whichever is later, but in no case less than a total of 5 years as set above. Disclosure documents required under ss. 475.2755 and 475.278 shall be retained by the real estate licensee in all transactions that result in a written contract to purchase and sell real property. 


02-02-2018 5:05:07 PM CST


HUD NAID verification and info.

See policy in Handbook 4000.1 Section I.B.5.c.ii. at:   https://www.hudhomestore.com/Listing/NaidApplication.aspx   


Does a real estate broker have to be recertified by HUD each year in order to sell HUD Homes?
Yes, HUD-Registered Real Estate Brokers must be recertified by HUD each year in order to sell HUD Homes.  Name and Address Identification Number (NAID) certifications for Selling Brokers are valid for only one year from the date they are issued.
To find your NAID status and verify your NAID recertification date, please visit the following HUD Homestore website at: https://www.hudhomestore.com/Listing/NaidApplication.aspx  and click on, “Check current NAID status.” If you are unable to find your NAID, please call the FHA Resource Center at 1-800 CALL FHA (1-800-225-5342).  


01-31-2018 11:06:41 AM CST


Finally, RESPA requires that a referring company which is in some way financially tied to the company to whom business is being referred provide an Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure Statement to the buyer or seller. The disclosure must show the nature of the relationship between the person making the referral and the service provider and an estimated charge or range of charges generally made by the provider. A copy of the disclosure prescribed by HUD is attached to this paper. This disclosure form is required to be given to the consumers at the time that the referral is being made where the referral is made face-to-face, by electronic means, or in writing, and within 3 days if the referral is made by telephone. If the referring company is a real estate brokerage firm, it may be a good practice for the firm to routinely get the disclosure signed by all customers and clients of the firm (i.e. – at the time of a listing with a seller or at the time of contract with a buyer) regardless of whether an actual referral of these customers or clients will be made. The consumer is required to sign the disclosure in the space provided. If the person chooses not to sign the disclosure, a notation by the referring company must be made stating that the disclosure was provided and the consumer chose not to sign the disclosure at the time it was provided. The notation should be made in a written, electronic, or similar system of records maintained by the referring company in the regular course of business. It is important to tell the consumer that he or she will be required to sign such disclosure at or before closing or settlement even if the person has chosen not to sign the disclosure when it was provided.


See this link but always consult with an attorney before proceeding. http://aaronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/RespaWhtPaper.pdf/11/RespaWhtPaper.pdf 


01-31-2018 10:57:13 AM CST


Real estate broker or salesperson acting as mortgage broker. A real estate broker, salesperson, and any affiliate who receives a fee, commission, or other valuable consideration for selling residential real property cannot act as a mortgage broker unless he or she makes a disclosure to the purchaser, and the purchaser acknowledges it, before the purchaser signs a contract with him or her for mortgage brokering services. The disclosure must include the following in at least 10 point boldface capital letters:

I understand that the real estate broker or salesperson in this transaction has offered to assist me in finding a mortgage loan. Additionally, I understand that this real estate broker or salesperson does not represent any particular mortgage lender and will attempt to obtain the best terms available within the mortgage loan market for my specific home financing needs. If the real estate broker or salesperson does not fulfill his fiduciary obligation I may file a complaint with the Department of Banking. I also understand that I may attempt to find a mortgage loan to finance the purchase of my home without the assistance of the real estate broker or salesperson in which case I will not be obligated to pay a fee to the real estate broker or salesperson.


08-07-2017 8:00:12 AM CST


My former broker reduced my commission

By Joel Maxson


Aug. 7, 2017 – Question: I am a sales associate who switched real estate companies a few months ago. I thought everything was in order, but when my former broker gave me a check for one of my transactions, the amount did not match the agreed upon split we had when I worked there. My former broker can't do this to me, can he?

Answer: It generally depends on the terms of your independent contractor agreement, although additional office policies and procedures could also come into play.

An independent contractor agreement is a contract between a sales associate and real estate company. It could be a verbal agreement, but most are written and signed when an associate first begins working for a company. The terms of this agreement can vary from one associate to the next, even within the same company, so it's vital to read the actual contract to find out what rights each side has. Florida Realtors provides a form independent contractor agreement, form ICA-6, which we will examine as a sample, but beware: Many companies use their own form, and it could be wildly different from this form.

Florida Realtors' ICA-6 addresses compensation after termination of the agreement in Section 3(c)(6), which provides that "After termination of this Agreement, Broker will pay Associate any amount earned before termination less amounts owed to Broker and amounts Broker must pay another licensee to complete pending transactions for which Associate was responsible before termination." Under this clause, the associate can demand earned commission, but it might not be the full amount the associate would have received if the associate still worked for the company. The broker is entitled to deduct the former associate's debt to the company, as well as a reasonable amount to pay another licensee who helped close the deal after the associate left.

So, what can an associate do if the independent contractor agreement demonstrates the associate is entitled to commission but the broker refuses to pay? The short answer is that the next step is to sue, typically by hiring a lawyer for representation.

Associates are often disappointed to hear that the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) won't immediately intervene on compensation issues like the one discussed above because Florida Statutes 475.25(1)(d) requires the associate to first win the case. If a civil judgment awarding a share of a real estate commission has been obtained and the broker still refuses to pay, however, it would be the correct time to file a FREC complaint.

Please note: This article is just a broad-brush picture, so members working through this issue (brokers and associates alike) should consult a lawyer as soon as possible to get a firsthand opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of their prospective case.

Joel Maxson is Director of Member Legal Services

© 2017 Florida Realtors®


07-28-2017 9:11:26 AM CST


Does a real estate broker have to be recertified by HUD each year in order to sell HUD Homes?

Yes, HUD-Registered Real Estate Brokers must be recertified by HUD each year in order to sell HUD Homes.  Name and Address Identification Number (NAID) certifications for Selling Brokers are valid for only one year from the date they are issued.
To find your NAID status and verify your NAID recertification date, please visit the following HUD Homestore website at: https://www.hudhomestore.com/Listing/NaidApplication.aspx  and click on, “Check current NAID status.” If you are unable to find your NAID, please call the FHA Resource Center at 1-800 CALL FHA (1-800-225-5342).

Please note that the NAID application or recertification processing time is a minimum of 2 weeks.

HUD-Registered Real Estate Brokers must submit the completed form SAMS-1111 and SAMS 1111A (wet signatures required) to the Jurisdictional HOC for the area in which the broker’s office is located with the following supporting documentation: 

  • IRS Letter 147C or other official Internal Revenue Service (IRS) document reflecting their business name and Employer Identification Number (EIN) or, if operating under a Social Security Number (SSN), a copy of their Social Security card;
  • a copy of their active real estate broker’s license with an expiration date;
  • a copy of their current driver’s license with an expiration date; and
  • a recent utility bill or bank statement that lists the address and company or broker name shown on form SAMS-1111.


07-23-2017 9:38:27 AM CST



Goes to the front page of the Government Portal with Links 

To Register as a HUD Broker  Government Portal


07-12-2017 9:14:35 AM CST

How does a real estate brokerage remove or change a qualifying broker?

Published 08/08/2012 05:02 PM   |    Updated 02/02/2017 10:37 AM

How does a real estate brokerage remove or change a qualifying broker?

If the qualifying broker is not leaving by resignation or expired license, a copy of the minutes removing the broker from the brokerage needs to be submitted and to add the new qualifying broker please submit DBPR Broker Transaction Form (RE-13) and also if the new qualifying broker is applying for multiple license.

Please note: There must be at least one active broker listed as an officer, director, member, manager, or partner with the Division of Corporations in order for the real estate brokerage to continue operation.




F.S. 475.15

F.S. 475.215

Statutes & Rules for Real Estate

Division of Real Estate Page


02-23-2017 10:15:46 AM CST



Are you audit ready?



02-23-2017 10:14:19 AM CST



5 Year Requirement for all books and records. 



02-23-2017 10:11:50 AM CST


I hope everybody understands the importance of following the license law. 




02-13-2017 5:19:02 PM CST


Verification of Deposit Requirements. 



02-12-2017 8:36:20 AM CST


Teams have become a very successful business model for many Ohio REALTORS. While this can be an effective way for agents to maximize their time and efforts, they need to make sure that they aren’t running afoul of the License Law. One of the main areas teams need to be careful about is advertising. There were so many questions about team advertising that the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing actually adopted a rule a few years ago to clarify what is expected of teams to comply with the license law. But every day I see teams who are not in compliance with these requirements.

To keep you on the right side of the license law, here are the key provisions you need to watch:

  1. You must include your brokerage name in all forms of advertising. That includes print, websites, yard signs, billboards, etc.
  2. In addition to the team name, you have to include the name of at least one individual affiliated with the team in all ads. The only exception is if the team name itself includes the full licensed name of one of the agents (i.e., the Jane Jones Team)
  3. The team name can’t be more prominent than the brokerage name —  and neither can the names of the team members. Again that applies to all ads including yard signs, newspaper ads, your website, etc.
  4. If you include the name of an unlicensed team member in an ad (i.e., an unlicensed assistant) that person must be identified as unlicensed in the ad.

More info to follow. This info is from the Ohio Association of Realtors. 


02-12-2017 7:37:22 AM CST



Note - The Rules and laws are changing fast and all of my agents will be following all of them. Thank You. 


02-12-2017 7:27:54 AM CST


61J2-10.025 Advertising. (1) All advertising must be in a manner in which reasonable persons would know they are dealing with a real estate licensee. All real estate advertisements must include the licensed name of the brokerage firm. No real estate advertisement placed or caused to be placed by a licensee shall be fraudulent, false, deceptive or misleading. (2) When the licensee’s personal name appears in the advertisement, at the very least the licensee’s last name must be used in the manner in which it is registered with the Commission. (3)(a) When advertising on a site on the Internet, the brokerage firm name as required in subsection (1) above shall be placed adjacent to or immediately above or below the point of contact information. “Point of contact information” refers to any means by which to contact the brokerage firm or individual licensee including mailing address(es), physical street address(es), e-mail address(es), telephone number(s) or facsimile telephone number(s). (b) The remaining requirements of subsections (1) and (2) apply to advertising on a site on the Internet. Specific Authority 120.53, 475.05, 475.25(1)(c) FS. Law Implemented 475.01, 475.25, 475.42, 475.421, 475.4511 FS. History–New 1-1. 



02-11-2017 7:03:57 AM CST




More important info referencing Real Estate Teams. 


02-02-2017 9:18:32 AM CST




CFPB charges brokers, lender with RESPA violation


WASHINGTON – Feb. 1, 2017 – The nation’s consumer watchdog – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – takes RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) violations seriously and continues to monitor agreements between real estate brokers, lenders and others for violations.

The message for real estate brokers: CFPB may be watching.

In an action announced yesterday, CFPB says it took action against Prospect Mortgage, a major U.S. mortgage lender, for paying illegal kickbacks for mortgage business referrals. It also charged the businesses that allegedly accepted the kickbacks – two real estate brokers and a mortgage servicer.

Under terms of the action, Prospect will pay a $3.5 million civil penalty, and the real estate brokers and servicer will pay a combined $495,000 in consumer relief, repayment of ill-gotten gains and penalties.

“Today’s action sends a clear message that it is illegal to make or accept payments for mortgage referrals,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We will hold both sides of these improper arrangements accountable for breaking the law, which skews the real estate market to the disadvantage of consumers and honest businesses.”

Prospect Mortgage, headquartered in Sherman Oaks, Calif., is one of the largest independent retail mortgage lenders in the United States, with nearly 100 branches nationwide.

RGC Services Inc., (doing business as ReMax Gold Coast), is based in Ventura, Calif.; Willamette Legacy LLC, (doing business as Keller Williams Mid-Willamette), is based in Corvallis, Ore. CFPB says the brokers are only two of more than 100 real estate brokers that had “improper arrangements” which Prospect.

Planet Home Lending LLC is a mortgage servicer headquartered in Meriden, Conn., that referred consumers to Prospect Mortgage and accepted fees in return.

The CFPB is responsible for enforcing the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which was enacted in 1974 as a response to abuses in the real estate settlement process. A primary purpose of the law is to eliminate kickbacks or referral fees that tend to increase unnecessarily the costs of certain settlement services. The law covers any service provided in connection with a real estate settlement, such as title insurance, appraisals, inspections and loan origination.

The RESPA violation

According to CFPB, Prospect Mortgage offers a range of mortgages to consumers, including conventional, FHA and VA loans. From at least 2011 through 2016, Prospect used a variety of schemes to pay kickbacks for referrals of mortgage business in violation of RESPA:

·        Paid for referrals through agreements: Prospect maintained various agreements that served primarily as vehicles to deliver payments for mortgage business referrals. It tracked the number of referrals made by each broker and adjusted the amounts paid accordingly. Prospect also had other more informal co-marketing arrangements that operated as vehicles to make payments for referrals.

·        Paid brokers to require consumers – even those who prequalified elsewhere – to prequalify with Prospect: Prospect had some brokers “writing in” Prospect to their real estate listings. “Writing in” meant that brokers and their agents required anyone seeking to purchase a listed property to be prequalified with Prospect – even consumers who had prequalified for a mortgage with another lender.

·        Split fees with a mortgage servicer: Prospect and Planet Home Lending had an agreement under which Planet worked to identify and persuade eligible consumers to refinance with Prospect for their Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) mortgages. Prospect compensated Planet by splitting the proceeds of the sale of these loans evenly with Planet. Prospect also sent the resulting mortgage servicing rights back to Planet.

Under the consent order, Prospect will pay $3.5 million to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund for its illegal kickback schemes. The company is prohibited from future violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, will not pay for referrals, and will not enter into any agreements with settlement service providers to endorse the use of their services.

The two real estate brokers are prohibited from violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, will not pay or accept payment for referrals, and will not enter into any agreements with settlement service providers to endorse the use of their services. ReMax Gold Coast will pay $50,000 in civil money penalties, and Keller Williams Mid-Willamette will pay $145,000 in disgorgement and $35,000 in penalties.


© 2017 Florida Realtors


02-02-2017 6:36:24 AM CST



01-31-2017 8:13:08 AM CST



01-27-2017 9:35:02 PM CST


Notice of Meeting/Workshop Hearing



Florida Real Estate Commission


61J2-10.025 Advertising

The Florida Real Estate Commission announces a workshop to which all persons are invited.

DATE AND TIME: Monday, June 13, 2016, 2:00 p.m. or as soonest thereafter as possible

PLACE: 400 W. Robinson Street, Hurston Building, North Tower, Suite N901, Orlando, Florida 32801

GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: The purpose of the workshop is to discuss rule 61J2-10.025 as it relates to team advertising.

A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Lori Crawford at lori.crawford@myfloridalicense.com or Mike Davis at michael.davis@myfloridalicense.com.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this workshop/meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 5 days before the workshop/meeting by contacting: Division of Real Estate, (407)481-5662. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 1(800)955-8771 (TDD) or 1(800)955-8770 (Voice).


01-23-2017 7:38:42 AM CST



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