September 20, 2019
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_h1125c1
CS/HB 1125

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to mortgages; amending s. 494.001, F.S.;
3revising definitions; amending s. 494.0014, F.S.;
4authorizing the Office of Financial Regulation to impose
5fines; amending s. 494.0029, F.S.; authorizing the office
6to take certain adverse actions on permits of certain
7mortgage business schools; providing additional
8requirements for such schools; amending s. 494.00295,
9F.S.; providing an additional professional continuing
10education requirement; authorizing the office to offer
11professional continuing education programs; specifying
12requirements for electronically transmitted and distance
13education courses; amending s. 494.0033, F.S.; revising
14mortgage broker license applicant requirements;
15authorizing an additional fee for reviewing mortgage
16broker's license tests; providing for review of the
17testing process; amending s. 494.0038, F.S.; providing
18additional disclosure requirements for mortgage brokerage
19businesses; amending s. 494.004, F.S.; specifying an
20additional notification requirement for mortgage broker
21licensees; providing disclosure requirements; authorizing
22a borrower to waive notification under certain
23circumstances; providing waiver requirements; amending s.
24494.0041, F.S.; specifying additional acts constituting
25grounds for certain disciplinary actions; providing for
26fines and penalties; amending s. 494.0064, F.S.; providing
27additional requirements for renewals of mortgage lender's
28licenses; amending s. 494.0067, F.S.; providing additional
29requirements for mortgage lender licenses; providing
30disclosure and notification requirements; authorizing a
31borrower to waive notification under certain
32circumstances; providing waiver requirements; amending s.
33494.0072, F.S.; specifying additional acts constituting
34grounds for certain disciplinary actions; providing fines
35and penalties; amending s. 494.0073, F.S.; providing for
36application of certain provisions to mortgage brokerage
37businesses; providing for adoption of rules by the
38Financial Services Commission; creating s. 817.545, F.S.;
39providing a short title; providing a definition;
40specifying criteria for committing the offense of mortgage
41fraud; providing for venue with respect to the committed
42offense; providing a criminal penalty; providing an
43effective date.
44
45Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
46
47     Section 1.  Subsection (2) of section 494.001, Florida
48Statutes, is amended, and subsections (32), (33), and (34) are
49added to that section, to read:
50     494.001  Definitions.--As used in ss. 494.001-494.0077, the
51term:
52     (2)  "Act as a loan originator" means being employed by a
53mortgage lender or correspondent mortgage lender, for
54compensation or gain or in the expectation of compensation or
55gain, to negotiate, or offer to negotiate, or assist any
56licensed or exempt entity in negotiating the making of a
57mortgage loan, including, but not limited to, working with a
58licensed or exempt entity to structure a loan or discussing
59terms and conditions necessary for the delivery of a loan
60product. A natural person whose activities are ministerial and
61clerical, which may include quoting available interest rates or
62loan terms and conditions, is not acting as a loan originator.
63     (32)  "Mortgage loan application" means a submission of a
64borrower's financial information in anticipation of a credit
65decision, whether written or computer-generated, relating to a
66mortgage loan. If the submission does not state or identify a
67specific property, the submission is an application for a
68prequalification and not an application for a mortgage loan
69under this part. The subsequent addition of an identified
70property to the submission converts the submission to an
71application for a mortgage loan.
72     (33)  "Mortgage brokerage fee" means the total compensation
73to be received by a mortgage brokerage business for acting as a
74mortgage broker.
75     (34)  "Business day" means any calendar day except Sunday
76or a legal holiday.
77     Section 2.  Subsection (4) is added to section 494.0014,
78Florida Statutes, to read:
79     494.0014  Cease and desist orders; administrative fines;
80refund orders.--
81     (4)  The office may impose upon any person who makes or
82brokers a loan, or any mortgage business school, a fine for
83violations of any provision of ss. 494.001-494.00295 or any rule
84or order issued under ss. 494.001-494.00295 in an amount not
85exceeding $5,000 for each separate count or offense.
86     Section 3.  Paragraph (f) is added to subsection (1), and
87paragraphs (g) and (h) are added to subsection (2) of section
88494.0029, Florida Statutes, to read:
89     494.0029  Mortgage business schools.--
90     (1)
91     (f)  In addition to the remedies set forth in s. 494.0014,
92the office may revoke, suspend, or place on probation the permit
93of any mortgage business school that fails to meet the
94requirements of this section, subject to all reasonable
95conditions that the office specifies.
96     (2)
97     (g)  A school permitted under this section must conduct
98classes on the basis of a 50-minute classroom hour in accordance
99with the requirements of this chapter and commission rules.
100     (h)  Each school permitted under this section is
101responsible for developing procedures to confirm, and for
102actually confirming, the identity of each student attending any
103course offering.
104     Section 4.  Section 494.00295, Florida Statutes, is amended
105to read:
106     494.00295  Professional continuing education.--
107     (1)  Mortgage brokers, and the principal representatives
108and loan originators of a mortgage lender, correspondent
109mortgage lender, or mortgage lender pursuant to s. 494.0065,
110must successfully complete at least 14 hours of professional
111continuing education covering primary and subordinate mortgage
112financing transactions and the provisions of this chapter during
113the 2-year period immediately preceding the renewal deadline for
114a mortgage broker, mortgage lender, correspondent mortgage
115lender, or mortgage lender pursuant to s. 494.0065. A minimum of
1164 hours shall cover the provisions of this chapter and the rules
117adopted under this chapter. At the time of license renewal, a
118licensee must certify to the office that the professional
119continuing education requirements of this section have been met.
120Licensees shall maintain records documenting compliance with
121this subsection for a period of 4 years. The requirements for
122professional continuing education are waived for the license
123renewal of a mortgage broker who has completed the 24-hour
124prelicensing classroom education requirement of s. 494.0033(3)
125within 90 days of for the biennial license period immediately
126following the period in which the person became licensed as a
127mortgage broker. The requirements for professional continuing
128education for a principal representative are waived for the
129license renewal of a mortgage lender, correspondent mortgage
130lender, or mortgage lender pursuant to s. 494.0065 for the
131biennial license period immediately following the period in
132which the principal representative completed the 24 hours of
133classroom education and passed a written test in order to
134qualify to be a principal representative.
135     (2)  Professional continuing education programs must
136contribute directly to the professional competency of the
137participants, may only be offered by permitted mortgage business
138schools, the office, or entities specifically exempted from
139permitting as mortgage business schools, and may include
140electronically transmitted or distance education courses.
141     (3)(a)  All electronically transmitted courses shall
142require that the time spent attending electronically transmitted
143professional education courses is equal to the number of
144qualifying hours awarded to participants for course attendance.
145Before allowing a course participant to complete a course and
146receive a certificate of course completion, the course provider
147shall ensure that the course participant has:
148     1.  Logged the required number of hours for the particular
149timed module.
150     2.  Completed a test that comprehensively covers the course
151content for the particular timed module.
152     3.  Correctly answered all test questions for the
153particular timed module.
154     (b)  All distance education course participants shall
155successfully complete a test that comprehensively covers course
156content in order to receive a certificate of course completion.
157Distance education providers shall not provide answers to test
158questions to course participants and shall not issue a
159certificate of course completion to any course participant who
160has failed to correctly answer at least 75 percent of the total
161test questions. The test must consist of at least 100 questions.
162     (4)(3)  The commission shall adopt rules pursuant to ss.
163120.536(1) and 120.54 necessary to administer this section,
164including rules governing qualifying hours for professional
165continuing education programs and standards for electronically
166transmitted or distance education courses, including course
167completion requirements.
168     Section 5.  Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (2) of
169section 494.0033, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
170     494.0033  Mortgage broker's license.--
171     (2)  Each initial application for a mortgage broker's
172license must be in the form prescribed by rule of the
173commission. The commission may require each applicant to provide
174any information reasonably necessary to make a determination of
175the applicant's eligibility for licensure. The office shall
176issue an initial license to any natural person who:
177     (a)  Is at least 18 years of age and has a high school
178diploma or its equivalent.
179     (b)  Has passed a written test adopted and administered by
180the office, or has passed an electronic test adopted and
181administered by the office or a third party approved by the
182office, which is designed to determine competency in primary and
183subordinate mortgage financing transactions as well as to test
184knowledge of ss. 494.001-494.0077 and the rules adopted pursuant
185thereto. The commission may prescribe by rule an additional fee
186that may not exceed $100 for the electronic version of the
187mortgage broker test. The commission may waive by rule the
188examination requirement for any person who has passed a test
189approved by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, the
190American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators, or the
191United States Department of Housing and Urban Development if the
192test covers primary and subordinate mortgage financing
193transactions. The commission may adopt rules prescribing an
194additional fee that may not exceed $50 for an applicant to
195review his or her completed and graded mortgage broker test. The
196commission may adopt rules regarding the administration of the
197testing process, including, but not limited to, procedures
198relating to pretest registration, test security, scoring,
199content, result notification, retest procedures and fees,
200postexamination review, and challenge provisions.
201
202The commission may require by rule information concerning any
203such applicant or person, including, but not limited to, his or
204her full name and any other names by which he or she may have
205been known, age, social security number, qualifications and
206educational and business history, and disciplinary and criminal
207history.
208     Section 6.  Section 494.0038, Florida Statutes, is amended
209to read:
210     494.0038  Mortgage broker disclosures.--
211     (1)(a)1.  A person may not receive a mortgage brokerage fee
212for acting as a mortgage brokerage business except pursuant to a
213written mortgage brokerage agreement between the mortgage
214brokerage business and the borrower that is signed and dated by
215the business and the borrower.
216     2.  The written mortgage brokerage agreement must describe
217the services to be provided by the mortgage brokerage business
218and specify the amount and terms of the mortgage brokerage fee
219that the mortgage brokerage business is to receive. The written
220mortgage brokerage agreement must be executed within 3 business
221days after a mortgage loan application is accepted if the
222borrower is present when the application is accepted. If the
223borrower is not present when the is application accepted, the
224licensee shall forward the written mortgage brokerage agreement
225to the borrower within 3 business days after the licensee's
226acceptance of the application, and the licensee bears the burden
227of proving that the borrower received and approved the written
228mortgage brokerage agreement.
229     (b)1.  If the mortgage brokerage business is to receive any
230payment of any kind from the lender, the maximum total dollar
231amount of the payment must be disclosed to the borrower in the
232written mortgage brokerage agreement as described in paragraph
233(a). The commission may prescribe by rule an acceptable form for
234disclosure of brokerage fees received from the lender. The
235mortgage brokerage agreement must state the nature of the
236relationship with the lender, describe how compensation is paid
237by the lender, and describe how the mortgage interest rate
238affects the compensation paid to the mortgage brokerage
239business. If any of the rates, points, fees, and other terms
240quoted by or on behalf of the lender are to be received by the
241mortgage brokerage business, such fact shall be specifically
242disclosed to the borrower.
243     2.  The exact amount of any payment of any kind by the
244lender to the mortgage brokerage business must be disclosed in
245writing to the borrower within 3 business days after the
246mortgage brokerage business is made aware of the exact amount of
247the payment from the lender but no later than 3 business days
248prior to the execution of the closing or settlement statement.
249The licensee bears the burden of proving such notification was
250provided to the borrower. If the mortgage brokerage fee is for
251brokering a loan for a particular program under which the
252brokerage fee varies according to the terms of the loan, the
253brokerage fee may be disclosed as a range of fees at the time of
254application. The mortgage broker shall, in such instance,
255disclose the nature of the fee arrangement to the borrower, and
256the exact amount of the fee must be disclosed at settlement or
257closing.
258     (c)  The commission may prescribe by rule the form of
259disclosure of brokerage fees.
260     (2)  At the time a written mortgage brokerage agreement is
261executed by the borrower or forwarded to the borrower for
262execution, or at the time the mortgage brokerage business
263accepts an application fee, credit report fee, property
264appraisal fee, or any other third-party fee, but not fewer than
2653 business days prior to execution of the closing or settlement
266statement, the mortgage brokerage business shall disclose in
267writing to any applicant for a mortgage loan the following
268information:
269     (a)  That such mortgage brokerage business may not make
270mortgage loans or commitments. The mortgage brokerage business
271may make a commitment and may furnish a lock-in of the rate and
272program on behalf of the lender when the mortgage brokerage
273business has obtained a written commitment or lock-in for the
274loan from the lender on behalf of the borrower for the loan. The
275commitment must be in the same form and substance as issued by
276the lender.
277     (b)  That such mortgage brokerage business cannot guarantee
278acceptance into any particular loan program or promise any
279specific loan terms or conditions.
280     (c)  A good faith estimate, signed and dated by the
281borrower, that discloses of the total amount of each of the fees
282that the borrower may reasonably expect to pay if the loan is
283closed, including, but not limited to, fees earned by the
284mortgage brokerage business, lender fees, third-party fees, and
285official fees, together with credit report fee, property
286appraisal fee, or any other third-party fee and the terms and
287conditions for obtaining a refund of such fees, if any. Any
288amount collected in excess of the actual cost shall be returned
289within 60 days after rejection, withdrawal, or closing. The good
290faith estimate must identify the recipient of all payments
291charged the borrower and, except for all fees to be received by
292the mortgage brokerage business, may be disclosed in generic
293terms, such as, but not limited to, paid to lender, appraiser,
294officials, title company, or any other third-party service
295provider. This requirement does not supplant or is not a
296substitute for the written mortgage brokerage agreement
297described in subsection (1).
298     (3)  The disclosures required by this subsection must be
299furnished in writing at the time an adjustable rate mortgage
300loan is offered to the borrower and whenever the terms of the
301adjustable rate mortgage loan offered materially change prior to
302closing. The broker shall furnish the disclosures relating to
303adjustable rate mortgages in a format prescribed by ss. 226.18
304and 226.19 of Regulation Z of the Board of Governors of the
305Federal Reserve System, as amended, its commentary, as amended,
306and the federal Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1601 et
307seq., as amended, together with the Consumer Handbook on
308Adjustable Rate Mortgages, as amended, published by the Federal
309Reserve Board and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. The licensee
310bears the burden of proving such disclosures were provided to
311the borrower.
312     (4)(3)  If the mortgage brokerage agreement includes a
313nonrefundable application fee, the following requirements are
314applicable:
315     (a)  The amount of the application fee, which must be
316clearly denominated as such, shall be clearly disclosed.
317     (b)  The specific services that will be performed in
318consideration for the application fee shall be disclosed.
319     (c)  The application fee must be reasonably related to the
320services to be performed and may not be based upon a percentage
321of the principal amount of the loan or the amount financed.
322     (5)(4)  A mortgage brokerage business may not accept any
323fee in connection with a mortgage loan other than an application
324fee, credit report fee, property appraisal fee, or other third-
325party fee prior to obtaining a written commitment from a
326qualified lender.
327     (6)(5)  Any third-party fee entrusted to a mortgage
328brokerage business shall immediately, upon receipt, be placed
329into a segregated account with a financial institution located
330in the state the accounts of which are insured by the Federal
331Government. Such funds shall be held in trust for the payor and
332shall be kept in the account until disbursement. Such funds may
333be placed in one account if adequate accounting measures are
334taken to identify the source of the funds.
335     (7)(6)  All mortgage brokerage fees shall be paid to a
336mortgage brokerage business licensee.
337     (8)(7)  This section does not prohibit a mortgage brokerage
338business from offering products and services, in addition to
339those offered in conjunction with the loan origination process,
340for a fee or commission.
341     Section 7.  Subsection (8) is added to section 494.004,
342Florida Statutes, to read:
343     494.004  Requirements of licensees.--
344     (8)(a)  In every mortgage loan transaction, each licensee
345under ss. 494.003-494.0043 shall notify a borrower of any
346material changes in the terms of a mortgage loan previously
347offered to the borrower within 3 business days after being made
348aware of such changes by the lender but not less than 3 business
349days before the signing of the settlement or closing statement.
350The licensee bears the burden of proving such notification was
351provided and accepted by the borrower.
352     (b)  A borrower may waive the right to receive notice of a
353material change that is granted under paragraph (a) if the
354borrower determines that the extension of credit is needed to
355meet a bona fide personal financial emergency and the right to
356receive notice would delay the closing of the mortgage loan. The
357imminent sale of the borrower's home at foreclosure during the
3583-day period before the signing of the settlement or closing
359statement constitutes an example of a bona fide personal
360financial emergency. In order to waive the borrower's right to
361receive notice not less than 3 business days before the signing
362of the settlement or closing statement of any such material
363change, the borrower must provide the licensee with a dated
364written statement that describes the personal financial
365emergency, waives the right to receive the notice, bears the
366borrower's signature, and is not on a printed form prepared by
367the licensee for the purpose of such a waiver.
368     Section 8.  Paragraph (v) is added to subsection (2) of
369section 494.0041, Florida Statutes, to read:
370     494.0041  Administrative penalties and fines; license
371violations.--
372     (1)  Whenever the office finds a person in violation of an
373act specified in subsection (2), it may enter an order imposing
374one or more of the following penalties against the person:
375     (a)  Revocation of a license or registration.
376     (b)  Suspension of a license or registration subject to
377reinstatement upon satisfying all reasonable conditions that the
378office specifies.
379     (c)  Placement of the licensee, registrant, or applicant on
380probation for a period of time and subject to all reasonable
381conditions that the office specifies.
382     (d)  Issuance of a reprimand.
383     (e)  Imposition of a fine in an amount not exceeding $5,000
384for each count or separate offense.
385     (f)  Denial of a license or registration.
386     (2)  Each of the following acts constitutes a ground for
387which the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (1) may
388be taken:
389     (v)  In any mortgage transaction, violating any provision
390of the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act, as amended,
39112 U.S.C. ss. 2601 et seq., the federal Truth In Lending Act, as
392amended, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1601 et seq., or any regulations adopted
393under such acts.
394     Section 9.  Subsection (1) of section 494.0064, Florida
395Statutes, is amended to read:
396     494.0064  Renewal of mortgage lender's license; branch
397office license renewal.--
398     (1)(a)  The office shall renew a mortgage lender license
399upon receipt of a completed renewal form, certification from the
400licensee that the licensee currently meets the minimum net worth
401requirements of s. 494.0061 or s. 494.0065, certification from
402the licensee that during the preceding 2 years the licensee's
403principal representative and loan originators have completed the
404professional continuing education requirements of s. 494.00295,
405and the nonrefundable renewal fee of $575. The office shall
406renew a correspondent lender license upon receipt of a completed
407renewal form, certification from the licensee that the licensee
408currently meets the minimum net worth requirements of s.
409494.0062, certification from the licensee that during the
410preceding 2 years the licensee's principal representative and
411loan originators have completed the professional continuing
412education requirements of s. 494.00295, and a nonrefundable
413renewal fee of $475. Each licensee shall pay at the time of
414renewal a nonrefundable fee of $325 for the renewal of each
415branch office license.
416     (b)  A licensee shall also submit, as part of the renewal
417form, certification that during the preceding 2 years the
418licensee's principal representative and loan originators have
419completed the professional continuing education requirements of
420s. 494.00295.
421     Section 10.  Subsection (8) and paragraph (a) of subsection
422(10) of section 494.0067, Florida Statutes, are amended, and
423subsections (11) and (12) are added to that section, to read:
424     494.0067  Requirements of licensees under ss. 494.006-
425494.0077.--
426     (8)  Each licensee under ss. 494.006-494.0077 shall provide
427an applicant for a mortgage loan a good faith estimate of the
428costs the applicant can reasonably expect to pay in obtaining a
429mortgage loan. The good faith estimate of costs shall be mailed
430or delivered to the applicant within a reasonable time after the
431licensee receives a written loan application from the applicant.
432The estimate of costs may be provided to the applicant by a
433person other than the licensee making the loan. The good faith
434estimate must identify the recipient of all payments charged to
435the borrower and, except for all fees to be received by the
436mortgage brokerage business and the mortgage lender or
437correspondent mortgage lender, may be disclosed in generic
438terms, such as, but not limited to, paid to appraiser,
439officials, title company, or any other third-party service
440provider. The licensee bears the burden of proving such
441disclosures were provided to the borrower. The commission may
442adopt rules that set forth the disclosure requirements of this
443section.
444     (10)(a)  Each mortgage lender or correspondent mortgage
445lender licensee shall require the principal representative and
446all loan originators, not currently licensed as mortgage brokers
447pursuant to s. 494.0033, who perform services for the licensee
448to complete 14 hours of professional continuing education during
449each biennial license period. The education shall cover primary
450and subordinate mortgage financing transactions and the
451provisions of this chapter and the rules adopted under this
452chapter.
453     (11)  The disclosures in this subsection must be furnished
454in writing at the time an adjustable rate mortgage loan is
455offered to the borrower and whenever the terms of the adjustable
456rate mortgage loan offered have a material change prior to
457closing. The lender shall furnish the disclosures relating to
458adjustable rate mortgages in a format prescribed by ss. 226.18
459and 226.19 of Regulation Z of the Board of Governors of the
460Federal Reserve System, as amended, its commentary, as amended,
461and the federal Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1601 et
462seq., as amended, together with the Consumer Handbook on
463Adjustable Rate Mortgages, as amended, published by the Federal
464Reserve Board and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. The licensee
465bears the burden of proving such disclosures were provided to
466the borrower.
467     (12)(a)  In every mortgage loan transaction, each licensee
468under ss. 494.006-494.0077 shall notify a borrower of any
469material changes in the terms of a mortgage loan previously
470offered to the borrower within 3 business days after being made
471aware of such changes by the lender but not less than 3 business
472days before the signing of the settlement or closing statement.
473The licensee bears the burden of proving such notification was
474provided and accepted by the borrower.
475     (b)  A borrower may waive the right to receive notice of a
476material change that is granted under paragraph (a) if the
477borrower determines that the extension of credit is needed to
478meet a bona fide personal financial emergency and the right to
479receive notice would delay the closing of the mortgage loan. The
480imminent sale of the borrower's home at foreclosure during the
4813-day period before the signing of the settlement or closing
482statement constitutes an example of a bona fide personal
483financial emergency. In order to waive the borrower's right to
484receive notice not less than 3 business days before the signing
485of the settlement or closing statement of any such material
486change, the borrower must provide the licensee with a dated
487written statement that describes the personal financial
488emergency, waives the right to receive the notice, bears the
489borrower's signature, and is not on a printed form prepared by
490the licensee for the purpose of such a waiver.
491     Section 11.  Paragraph (v) is added to subsection (2) of
492section 494.0072, Florida Statutes, subsection (3) of that
493section is amended, and subsection (5) is added to that section,
494to read:
495     494.0072  Administrative penalties and fines; license
496violations.--
497     (1)  Whenever the office finds a person in violation of an
498act specified in subsection (2), it may enter an order imposing
499one or more of the following penalties against that person:
500     (a)  Revocation of a license or registration.
501     (b)  Suspension of a license or registration, subject to
502reinstatement upon satisfying all reasonable conditions that the
503office specifies.
504     (c)  Placement of the licensee or applicant on probation
505for a period of time and subject to all reasonable conditions
506that the office specifies.
507     (d)  Issuance of a reprimand.
508     (e)  Imposition of a fine in an amount not exceeding $5,000
509for each count or separate offense.
510     (f)  Denial of a license or registration.
511     (2)  Each of the following acts constitutes a ground for
512which the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (1) may
513be taken:
514     (v)  In any mortgage transaction, violating any provision
515of the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act, as amended,
51612 U.S.C. ss. 2601 et seq., the federal Truth In Lending Act, as
517amended, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1601 et seq., or any regulations adopted
518under such acts.
519     (3)  A mortgage lender or correspondent mortgage lender is
520subject to the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (1)
521if any officer, member, director, control person, joint
522venturer, or ultimate equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater
523interest in the mortgage lender or correspondent mortgage
524lender, associate, or employee of the mortgage lender or
525correspondent mortgage lender violates or has violated any
526provision of subsection (2).
527     (5)  A principal representative of a mortgage lender or
528correspondent mortgage lender is subject to the disciplinary
529actions specified in subsection (1) for violations of subsection
530(2) by associates or employees in the course of an association
531or employment with the correspondent mortgage lender or the
532mortgage lender. The principal representative is only subject to
533suspension or revocation for associate or employee actions if
534there is a pattern of repeated violations by associates or
535employees or if the principal broker or principal representative
536had knowledge of the violations.
537     Section 12.  Section 494.0073, Florida Statutes, is amended
538to read:
539     494.0073  Mortgage lender or correspondent mortgage lender
540when acting as a mortgage brokerage business.--Sections 494.006-
541494.006-494.0077 do not prohibit a mortgage lender or
542correspondent mortgage lender from acting as a mortgage
543brokerage business. However, in mortgage transactions in which a
544mortgage lender or correspondent mortgage lender acts as a
545mortgage brokerage business, the provisions of ss. 494.0038,
546494.0042, 494.004(8), and 494.0043(1), (2), and (3) apply.
547     Section 13.  Section 817.545, Florida Statutes, is created
548to read:
549     817.545  Mortgage fraud.--
550     (1)  This section may be cited as the "Florida Mortgage
551Fraud Act."
552     (2)  For purposes of this section, the term "mortgage
553lending process" means the process through which a person seeks
554or obtains a residential mortgage loan, including, but not
555limited to, solicitation, application or origination,
556negotiation of terms, third-party provider services,
557underwriting, signing and closing, and funding of the loan.
558Documents involved in the mortgage lending process include, but
559are not limited to, mortgages, deeds, surveys, inspection
560reports, uniform residential loan applications, or other loan
561applications; appraisal reports; HUD-1 settlement statements;
562supporting personal documentation for loan applications such as
563W-2 forms, verifications of income and employment, credit
564reports, bank statements, tax returns, and payroll stubs; and
565any required disclosures.
566     (3)  A person commits the offense of mortgage fraud if,
567with the intent to defraud, the person knowingly:
568     (a)  Makes any material misstatement, misrepresentation, or
569omission during the mortgage lending process with the intention
570that the misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission will be
571relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other person or
572entity involved in the mortgage lending process, provided that
573omissions on a loan application regarding employment, income, or
574assets for a loan that does not require this information shall
575not be a material omission for purposes of this paragraph.
576     (b)  Uses or facilitates the use of any material
577misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission during the mortgage
578lending process with the intention that the material
579misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission will be relied on
580by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other person or entity
581involved in the mortgage lending process, provided that
582omissions on a loan application regarding employment, income, or
583assets for a loan that does not require this information shall
584not be a material omission for purposes of this paragraph.
585     (c)  Receives any proceeds or any other funds in connection
586with the mortgage lending process that the person knew resulted
587from a violation of paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).
588     (d)  Files or causes to be filed with the clerk of the
589circuit court for any county of this state a mortgage lending
590process document that contains a material misstatement,
591misrepresentation, or omission.
592
593For the purposes of this subsection, a misstatement,
594misrepresentation, or omission is material if the misstatement,
595misrepresentation, or omission is an important fact, as
596distinguished from some unimportant or trivial detail, and has a
597natural tendency to influence or was capable of influencing.
598     (4)  An offense of mortgage fraud shall not be predicated
599solely upon information lawfully disclosed under federal
600disclosure laws, regulations, or interpretations related to the
601mortgage lending process.
602     (5)  For the purpose of venue under this section, any
603violation of this section shall be considered to have been
604committed:
605     (a)  In the county in which the real property is located;
606or
607     (b)  In any county in which a material act was performed in
608furtherance of the violation.
609     (6)  Any person who violates subsection (3) commits a
610felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.
611775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
612     Section 14.  This act shall take effect October 1, 2007.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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