Florida Regulatory Update

Florida Regulatory Update

FLORIDA RULES 69V-40

 

The Florida Financial Services Commission recently amended rules related to mortgage loan originators and mortgage brokers, effective November 9, 2015.

 

Disciplinary Guidelines for Mortgage Loan Originators and Mortgage Entities are applicable to each ground for disciplinary action that may be imposed by the Office of the Financial Services Commission (“Office”) against a person for a violation of the Florida laws regulating loan originators and mortgage brokers.  A copy of the Guidelines is available on the Office website at www.flofr.com.

 

In determining an appropriate penalty within the range of penalties prescribed in this rule for each citation as based upon the violation, the Office will consider the circumstances set below.  The Guidelines provides a summary of the statutory violations solely for the purpose of ease of reference.  Persons subject to the rule should review the full text of the Florida Statute cited for the complete description of the violation.

 

Depending on the severity and repetition of specific violations, the Office may impose an administrative fine, suspension of a person, or revocation of a person or any combination thereof.

 

The Office may impose a cease and desist order, a suspension, or both in conjunction with and in addition to any of the designated sanctions set forth in the rule when appropriate under the circumstances.

 

The Office will consider the person’s disciplinary history for the past 5 years in determining an appropriate penalty and may impose a more severe penalty when the disciplinary history includes past violations.

 

The Office will consider the following circumstances in determining an appropriate penalty within the range of penalties prescribed for each violation.  The Office will also consider these circumstances when determining whether a deviation from the range of sanctions prescribed in the Guidelines is warranted:

 

The following circumstances are considered mitigating factors:

·        If the violation rate is less than 5% when compared to the overall sample size reviewed;

·        No prior administrative actions by the Office against the licensee or control person within the past 10 years;

·        If the licensee detected and voluntarily instituted corrective responses or measures to avoid the recurrence of a violation prior to detection and intervention by the Office;

·        If the violation is attributable to a single control person or employee, and if the licensee removed or otherwise disciplined the individual prior to detection or intervention by the Office;

·        If the licensee is responsive to the Office’s requests or inquiries or made no attempt to impede or delay the Office in its examination or investigation of the underlying misconduct; or

·        Other control, case-specific circumstances.

 

The following circumstances are considered aggravating factors:

·        If the violation rate is more than 95% when compared to the overall sample size reviewed (sample size must be equal to or greater than 25 transactions and cover a date range of at least 6 months);

·        The potential for harm to the customers or the public is significant;

·        Prior administrative action by the Office against the licensees or an affiliated party of the licensee within the past 5 years;

·        If the licensee’s violation was the result of willful misconduct or recklessness;

·        The licensee attempted to conceal the violation or mislead or deceive the Office; or

·        Other relevant circumstances.

 

The list of violations is intended to be comprehensive, but the omission of a violation from the list does not preclude the Office from taking any authorized action.

 

The ranges for administrative fines imposed by the rule are $1,000 to $3,500 for an “A” level suspension; 10 to 20 days for a “B” level suspension; 20 to 30 days for a “C” level suspension; and up to 90 days for a “D” level suspension.  A “D” level suspension may be terminated early if licensee cures the violation.