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Broker Business/Users/adamp/Desktop/Stuff for FAR/Magazine Assets/JULY08/images/LegalHotline
Q I’m one of three qualifying brokers at my firm. If I want to fire one of the other brokers, may I notify the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) that he’s been fired and ask them to remove him from their records as one of the qualifying brokers?

A No. The corporation must submit a corporate amendment package that includes either a copy of corporate minutes or a letter of resignation of the broker.

Disclosure
Q I’m a broker for a large brokerage, and I just found out that one of my sales associates pled guilty to a felony drug charge. Do I have a duty to terminate her or to notify the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC)?

A No. You have no duty to do either. However, your sales associate has a duty to inform FREC, in writing, within 30 days of pleading guilty or nolo contendere to, or being convicted or found guilty of, any felony.

Escrow
Q I’m a broker who holds escrow, and I currently have an escrow dispute over a $100,000 deposit. Will FREC issue an Escrow Disbursement Order for this amount?

A No. FREC won’t issue EDOs for amounts that exceed $50,000. If your disputed amount exceeds $50,000, you should interplead the funds. Or, with the parties’ consent, you could also submit the matter to either mediation or arbitration.

License Law
Q I’m a sales associate. I waited until the last day of my first renewal period to complete the 45-hour postlicensing course; however, due to a computer glitch, I was unable to complete the course on time. Since this wasn’t my fault, am I still able to complete the postlicensing course and renew my license?

A No. Therefore, your license is considered null and void.  If you wish to again operate as a real estate associate, you must requalify by satisfactorily completing the sales associate’s prelicensure course and passing the state exam for licensure as a sales associate.

Q An attorney who referred a buyer to me wants a referral fee. I would be happy to pay her, but she isn’t a real estate licensee. She claims she doesn’t need a real estate license because she is a properly licensed Florida attorney. May I pay this attorney a referral fee or commission?

A No. Attorneys aren’t exempt from real estate licensure. In order for an attorney to receive a referral fee or commission for performing real estate services, he or she must have an active real estate license.

Q My nephew has a criminal background. Is it possible for him to obtain a real estate license?

A It depends. Some people with a criminal background are granted a real estate license.  Each applicant is considered on his or her own merits.

Q I’m moving to North Carolina next month. I know I must update my address with the DBPR within 10 days after I move. Is there anything else I must do?

A Yes. If you are moving out of state, you must also submit an “Irrevocable Consent to Service” form to the DBPR. Forms are available on the Division of Real Estate’s Web site (myflorida.com/dbpr/re/frec.html).

Real Estate Practice
Q I’m working with a seller who defaulted on his mortgage. The lender has started foreclosure action. How long does the seller have to exercise his right of redemption?

A The owner has a right to redeem anytime by the time specified in the judgment of foreclosure. If the judgment of foreclosure is silent, the owner may redeem anytime before the clerk files the certificate of sale.


Search through more Q & As online at Legal Center at floridarealtors.org.