Section 494.00255, Florida Statutes 2009
1494.00255 Administrative penalties and fines; license violations.--
(1) Each of the following acts constitutes a ground for which the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) may be taken against a person licensed or required to be licensed under part II or part III of this chapter:
(a) Failure to immediately place upon receipt, and maintain until authorized to disburse, any money entrusted to the licensee as a licensee in a segregated account of a federally insured financial institution in this state.
(b) Failure to account or deliver to any person any property that is not the licensee's, or that the licensee is not entitled to retain, under the circumstances and at the time that has been agreed upon or as required by law or, in the absence of a fixed time, upon demand of the person entitled to such accounting and delivery.
(c) Failure to disburse funds in accordance with agreements.
(d) Any misuse, misapplication, or misappropriation of personal property entrusted to the licensee's care to which the licensee had no current property right at the time of entrustment.
(e) Fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, negligence, or incompetence in any mortgage financing transaction.
(f) Requesting a specific valuation, orally or in writing, from an appraiser for a particular property, implying to an appraiser that a specific valuation is needed for a particular property, or in any manner conditioning the order for an appraisal on the appraisal meeting a specific valuation. The numeric value of the specific valuation sought need not be stated, but rather the mere statement that a specific valuation is sought violates this section.
(g) Consistently and materially underestimating maximum closing costs.
(h) Disbursement, or an act which has caused or will cause disbursement, to any person in any amount from the Mortgage Guaranty Trust Fund, the Securities Guaranty Fund, or the Florida Real Estate Recovery Fund, regardless of any repayment or restitution to the disbursed fund by the licensee or any person acting on behalf of the licensee.
(i) Commission of fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, or dishonest dealing by trick, scheme, or device; culpable negligence; breach of trust in any business transaction in any state, nation, or territory; or aiding, assisting, or conspiring with any other person engaged in any such misconduct and in furtherance thereof.
(j) Being convicted of, or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, any felony or any crime involving fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust, money laundering, or act of moral turpitude.
(k) Having a final judgment entered against the licensee in a civil action upon grounds of fraud, embezzlement, misrepresentation, or deceit.
(l) Having been the subject of any:
1. Decision, finding, injunction, suspension, prohibition, revocation, denial, judgment, or administrative order by any court, administrative law judge, state or federal agency, national securities exchange, national commodities exchange, national option exchange, national securities association, national commodities association, or national option association involving a violation of any federal or state securities or commodities law or rule or regulation adopted under such law or involving a violation of any rule or regulation of any national securities, commodities, or options exchange or association.
2. Injunction or adverse administrative order by a state or federal agency regulating banking, insurance, finance or small loan companies, real estate, mortgage brokers or lenders, money transmitters, or other related or similar industries.
(m) In any mortgage transaction, violating any provision of the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, as amended, 12 U.S.C. ss. 2601 et seq.; the federal Truth in Lending Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1601 et seq.; or any regulations adopted under such acts.
(n) Having a loan originator, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender license, or the equivalent of such license, revoked in any jurisdiction.
(o) Having a license, or the equivalent of such license, to practice any profession or occupation revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure by a licensing authority of this state or another state, territory, or country.
(p) Acting as a loan originator, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender without a current license issued under part II or part III of this chapter.
(q) Operating a mortgage broker or mortgage lender branch office without a current license issued under part II or part III of this chapter.
(r) Conducting any mortgage brokering or mortgage lending activities in the absence of a properly designated principal loan originator or mortgage brokering or mortgage lending activities at any particular branch office without a properly designated branch manager.
(s) A material misstatement or omission of fact on an initial or renewal license application.
(t) Payment to the office for a license or permit with a check or electronic transmission of funds which is dishonored by the applicant's or licensee's financial institution.
(u) Failure to comply with, or violations of, any provision of ss. 494.001-494.0077, or any rule or order made or issued under ss. 494.001-494.0077.
(v) Failure to maintain, preserve, and keep available for examination all books, accounts, or other documents required by ss. 494.001-494.0077 and the rules of the commission.
(w) Refusal to permit an investigation or examination of books and records, or refusal to comply with an office subpoena or subpoena duces tecum.
(x) Failure to timely pay any fee, charge, or fine imposed or assessed pursuant to ss. 494.001-494.0077 or related rules.
(2) If the office finds a person in violation of any act specified in this section, it may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(a) Issuance of a reprimand.
(b) Suspension of a license, subject to reinstatement upon satisfying all reasonable conditions imposed by the office.
(c) Revocation of a license.
(d) Denial of a license.
(e) Imposition of a fine in an amount up to $25,000 for each count or separate offense.
(f) An administrative fine of up to $1,000 per day, but not to exceed $25,000 cumulatively, for each day that:
1. A mortgage broker or mortgage lender conducts business at an unlicensed branch office.
2. An unlicensed person acts as a loan originator, a mortgage broker, or a mortgage lender.
(3) A mortgage broker or mortgage lender, as applicable, is subject to the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) for a violation of subsection (1) by:
(a) A control person of the mortgage broker or mortgage lender; or
(b) A loan originator employed by or contracting with the mortgage broker or mortgage lender.
(4) A principal loan originator of a mortgage broker is subject to the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) for violations of subsection (1) by a loan originator in the course of an association with the mortgage broker if there is a pattern of repeated violations by the loan originator or if the principal loan originator has knowledge of the violations.
(5) A principal loan originator of a mortgage lender is subject to the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) for violations of subsection (1) by an associate of a mortgage lender if there is a pattern of repeated violations by the associate or if the principal loan originator has knowledge of the violations.
(6) A branch manager is subject to the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) for violations of subsection (1) by a loan originator in the course of an association with the mortgage broker or mortgage lender if there is a pattern of repeated violations by the loan originator or if the branch manager has knowledge of the violations.
(7) An individual who is associated with a mortgage broker is subject to the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) for a violation of subsection (1) with respect to an action in which such person was involved.
(8) Pursuant to s. 120.60(6), the office may summarily suspend the license of a loan originator, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender if the office has reason to believe that a licensee poses an immediate, serious danger to the public's health, safety, or welfare. The arrest of the licensee, or the mortgage broker or the mortgage lender's control person, for any felony or any crime involving fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust, money laundering, or any other act of moral turpitude is deemed sufficient to constitute an immediate danger to the public's health, safety, or welfare. Any proceeding for the summary suspension of a license must be conducted by the commissioner of the office, or designee, who shall issue the final summary order.
(9) The office may deny any request to terminate or withdraw any license application or license if the office believes that an act that would be a ground for license denial, suspension, restriction, or revocation under this chapter has been committed.
History.--s. 15, ch. 2009-241.
1Note.--Effective October 1, 2010.