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The Florida Legislature has sent an overwhelming number of legislative changes to Governor Scott’s for his signature (or veto).  Some of the efforts in Tallahassee involve making new laws and increasing state regulation; others dismantled state oversight and decrease the State of Florida’s regulatory responsibilities.

It’s all about the budget.  Money.  The lawmakers are focused on trying to solve the economic slump in Florida.

One thing that’s happened is that the legislators took another look at Chapter 494 of the Florida Statutes, which was heavily revised in 2009.  The Legislature tweaked Chapter 494’s mortgage broker and short sale provisions in SB 1316 .

You can read the full text of SB 1316 here, as well as reading its previous versions and following its path from drafting through committee through voting.  If the governor okays the bill, it will become law in July 2011.

Freeing Up Short Sales

One thing SB 1316 does is bring Florida law closer to being the same as the federal statute known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (“SAFE Mortgage Act”) by doing things like defining terms based upon that federal law, e.g., “real estate brokerage activity” has the same meaning as in the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008.” (line 165 of the full text online).

Assuming that Governor Scott gives his okay, this new law – beginning in less than 60 days — will put an end to the need for a realtor to have a “loan originator license” (which you may remember as a “mortgage broker license”) before he/she can negotiate a short sale in some situations. (See Florida Statutes 494.00115(1)(f).)

What situations are those?  When the lender isn’t the one paying their fee.

What does this mean? Real estate agents will be able to help Florida homeowners gain short sale approval without the fear of breaking the law and being subject to additional regulation.  Good news.

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