November 23, 2020
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Senate Bill 0240

Senate Bill sb0240

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2007                                   SB 240

    By Senator Bullard





    39-324-07

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to offenses involving

  3         residential mortgages; providing legislative

  4         findings; describing the offense of residential

  5         mortgage fraud and providing penalties therefor

  6         and enhanced penalties when there is a pattern

  7         of residential mortgage fraud; defining terms;

  8         describing venue for such offenses; providing

  9         an effective date.

10  

11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

12  

13         Section 1.  Short title.--This act may be cited as the

14  "Florida Residential Mortgage Fraud Act."

15         Section 2.  Legislative findings.--The Legislature

16  finds and declares that fraud involving residential mortgages

17  is at an all-time high in the United States and in this state.

18  Mortgage lending institutions and borrowers have suffered

19  hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to residential

20  mortgage fraud. Fraudulently inflated property values have

21  resulted in substantial increases in property taxes and have

22  threatened the viability of many communities. The Legislature

23  therefore concludes that, for the protection of the public and

24  particularly for the protection of borrowers, homeowners,

25  lending institutions, and the integrity of the mortgage

26  lending process, the Florida Residential Mortgage Fraud Act

27  must be enacted.

28         Section 3.  Residential mortgage fraud; prohibition,

29  definitions, and penalties.--

30         (1)  DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section, the term:

31  

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2007                                   SB 240
    39-324-07




 1         (a)  "Mortgage lending process" means the process

 2  through which a person seeks or obtains a residential mortgage

 3  loan, including, but not limited to: solicitation,

 4  application, origination, negotiation of terms, third-party

 5  provider services, underwriting, signing and closing, and

 6  funding of the loan. Documents involved in the process

 7  include, but are not limited to: uniform residential loan

 8  applications or other loan applications; appraisal reports;

 9  HUD-1 settlement statements as well as supporting personal

10  documentation for loan applications, such as W-2 forms,

11  verifications of income and employment, bank statements, tax

12  returns, credit reports, and payroll stubs; and any required

13  disclosures.

14         (b)  "Pattern of residential mortgage fraud" means one

15  or more misstatements, misrepresentations, or omissions made

16  during the mortgage lending process which involve two or more

17  residential properties and which have the same or similar

18  intents, results, accomplices, victims, or methods of

19  commission or otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing

20  characteristics.

21         (c)  "Person" has the same meaning as in s. 1.01,

22  Florida Statutes.

23         (d)  "Residential mortgage loan" means a loan or

24  agreement to extend credit made to a person, which loan is

25  secured by a deed to secure debt, security deed, mortgage,

26  security interest, deed of trust, or other document

27  representing a security interest or lien upon any interest in

28  one-family to four-family residential property located in this

29  state. The term includes the renewal or refinancing of any

30  such loan.

31         (2)  RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE FRAUD.--

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2007                                   SB 240
    39-324-07




 1         (a)  The offense of residential mortgage fraud is

 2  committed when a person:

 3         1.  Knowingly makes any deliberate misstatement,

 4  misrepresentation, or omission during the mortgage lending

 5  process with the intention that it be relied upon by a

 6  mortgage lender, borrower, or any other party to that process;

 7         2.  Knowingly uses or facilitates the use of any

 8  deliberate misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission during

 9  the mortgage lending process with the intention that it be

10  relied upon by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other party

11  to that process;

12         3.  Receives any proceeds or any other funds in

13  connection with a residential mortgage closing which such

14  person knew resulted from a violation of subparagraph 1. or

15  subparagraph 2.;

16         4.  Conspires to violate any provision of subparagraph

17  1., subparagraph 2., or subparagraph 3.; or

18         5.  Files or causes to be filed with the clerk of court

19  as the official registrar of deeds of any county in this state

20  any document involved in the mortgage lending process which

21  that person knows to contain a deliberate misstatement,

22  misrepresentation, or omission.

23  

24  The offense of residential mortgage fraud may not be

25  predicated solely on information lawfully disclosed under

26  federal disclosure laws, regulations, and interpretations

27  related to the mortgage lending process.

28         (b)  A violation of this section may be considered to

29  have been committed:

30         1.  In the county in which the residential property for

31  which a mortgage loan is being sought is located;

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    Florida Senate - 2007                                   SB 240
    39-324-07




 1         2.  In any county in which any act was performed in

 2  furtherance of the violation;

 3         3.  In any county in which any person alleged to have

 4  violated this section had control or possession of any

 5  proceeds resulting from the violation;

 6         4.  If a closing occurred, in the county in which the

 7  closing occurred; or

 8         5.  In any county in which a document involved in the

 9  mortgage lending process containing a deliberate misstatement,

10  misrepresentation, or omission is filed with the clerk of

11  court as the official registrar of deeds.

12         (3)  PENALTIES.--

13         (a)  A person who violates this section commits a

14  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.

15  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes.

16         (b)  If a violation of this section involves engaging

17  or participating in a pattern of residential mortgage fraud or

18  a conspiracy or endeavor to engage or participate in a pattern

19  of residential mortgage fraud, any person so engaged or so

20  participating commits a felony of the second degree,

21  punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.

22  775.084, Florida Statutes.

23         (c)  Each residential property transaction subject to a

24  violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.

25         Section 4.  This act shall take effect October 1, 2007.

26  

27            *****************************************

28                          SENATE SUMMARY

29    Creates the offense of residential mortgage fraud, which
      is a third-degree felony unless it is part of a pattern
30    of residential mortgage fraud, which is a second-degree
      felony. Prescribes venue of the offense.
31  

                                  4

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

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