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The Florida Statutes

The 2006 Florida Statutes

Chapter 494
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Section 494.0038, Florida Statutes 2006

494.0038  Mortgage broker disclosures.--

(1)(a)  A person may not receive a fee for acting as a mortgage brokerage business except pursuant to a written agreement between the mortgage brokerage business and the borrower. The agreement must describe the services to be provided by the mortgage brokerage business and specify the amount and terms of the mortgage brokerage fee that the mortgage brokerage business is to receive.

(b)1.  If any of the rates, points, fees, and other terms quoted by or on behalf of the lender are to be received by the mortgage brokerage business, such fact shall be specifically disclosed to the borrower.

2.  If the mortgage brokerage fee is for brokering a loan for a particular program under which the brokerage fee varies according to the terms of the loan, the brokerage fee may be disclosed as a range of fees at the time of application. The mortgage broker shall, in such instance, disclose the nature of the fee arrangement to the borrower, and the exact amount of the fee must be disclosed at settlement or closing.

(c)  The commission may prescribe by rule the form of disclosure of brokerage fees.

(2)  At the time a written agreement is executed by the borrower or at the time the mortgage brokerage business accepts an application fee, credit report fee, property appraisal fee, or any other third-party fee, the mortgage brokerage business shall disclose in writing to any applicant for a mortgage loan the following information:

(a)  That such mortgage brokerage business may not make mortgage loans or commitments. The mortgage brokerage business may make a commitment and may furnish a lock-in of the rate and program on behalf of the lender when the mortgage brokerage business has obtained a written commitment or lock-in for the loan from the lender on behalf of the borrower for the loan. The commitment must be in the same form and substance as issued by the lender.

(b)  That such mortgage brokerage business cannot guarantee acceptance into any particular loan program or promise any specific loan terms or conditions.

(c)  A good faith estimate of the credit report fee, property appraisal fee, or any other third-party fee and the terms and conditions for obtaining a refund of such fees, if any. Any amount collected in excess of the actual cost shall be returned within 60 days after rejection, withdrawal, or closing.

(3)  If the mortgage brokerage agreement includes a nonrefundable application fee, the following requirements are applicable:

(a)  The amount of the application fee, which must be clearly denominated as such, shall be clearly disclosed.

(b)  The specific services that will be performed in consideration for the application fee shall be disclosed.

(c)  The application fee must be reasonably related to the services to be performed and may not be based upon a percentage of the principal amount of the loan or the amount financed.

(4)  A mortgage brokerage business may not accept any fee in connection with a mortgage loan other than an application fee, credit report fee, property appraisal fee, or other third-party fee prior to obtaining a written commitment from a qualified lender.

(5)  Any third-party fee entrusted to a mortgage brokerage business shall immediately, upon receipt, be placed into a segregated account with a financial institution located in the state the accounts of which are insured by the Federal Government. Such funds shall be held in trust for the payor and shall be kept in the account until disbursement. Such funds may be placed in one account if adequate accounting measures are taken to identify the source of the funds.

(6)  All mortgage brokerage fees shall be paid to a mortgage brokerage business licensee.

(7)  This section does not prohibit a mortgage brokerage business from offering products and services, in addition to those offered in conjunction with the loan origination process, for a fee or commission.

History.--ss. 25, 50, ch. 91-245; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 99-213; s. 41, ch. 2000-154; s. 533, ch. 2003-261.

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