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494.0061 Mortgage lender’s license requirements.

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1494.0061 Mortgage lender’s license requirements.(1) Each person who acts as a mortgage lender must be licensed under this section unless otherwise exempt from licensure. (2) Each initial application for a mortgage lender license must be in the form prescribed by rule of the commission. The commission or office may require each applicant for a mortgage lender license to provide any information reasonably necessary to make a determination of the applicant’s eligibility for licensure. The office shall issue an initial mortgage lender license to any person that submits: (a) A completed application form. (b) A nonrefundable application fee of $575. An application is considered received for purposes of s. 120.60 upon receipt of a completed application form as prescribed by commission rule, a nonrefundable application fee of $575, and any other fee prescribed by law. (c) Audited financial statements, which documents disclose that the applicant has a bona fide and verifiable net worth, pursuant to United States generally accepted accounting principles, of at least $250,000, which must be continuously maintained as a condition of licensure. (d) A surety bond in the amount of $10,000, payable to the state and conditioned upon compliance with ss. 494.001-494.0077, which inures to the office and which must be continuously maintained thereafter in full force. (e) Documentation that the applicant is duly incorporated, registered, or otherwise formed as a general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, or other lawful entity under the laws of this state or another state of the United States. (f) Proof that the applicant’s principal representative has completed 24 hours of classroom instruction in primary and subordinate financing transactions and in the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter. This requirement is satisfied if the principal representative has continuously served in the capacity of a principal representative for a licensed entity under this chapter for at least 1 year and has not had a lapse in designation as a principal representative of more than 2 years before the date of the submission of the application or amendment in the case of a change in the principal representative. This requirement is also satisfied if the principal representative currently holds an active license as a mortgage broker in this state. (g) A complete set of fingerprints as the commission requires by rule for the designated principal representative and each officer, director, control person, member, partner, or joint venturer of the applicant and ultimate equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater interest in the applicant. A fingerprint card submitted to the office must be taken by an authorized law enforcement agency. The office shall submit the fingerprints to the Department of Law Enforcement for state processing, and the Department of Law Enforcement shall forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal processing. The cost for the fingerprint processing may be borne by the office, the employer, or the person subject to the background check. The Department of Law Enforcement shall submit an invoice to the office for the fingerprints received each month. The office shall screen the background results to determine if the applicant meets licensure requirements. (h) Information the commission requires by rule concerning any designated principal representative; any officer, director, control person, member, partner, or joint venturer of the applicant or any person having the same or substantially similar status or performing substantially similar functions; or any natural person who is the ultimate equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater interest in the mortgage lender. The commission may require information concerning any such applicant or person, including, but not limited to, his or her full name and any other names by which he or she may have been known, social security number, age, qualifications and educational and business history, and disciplinary and criminal history. (3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is a ground for denial of licensure if the applicant; designated principal representative; any principal officer, director, control person, member, partner, or joint venturer of the applicant; any natural person owning a 10-percent or greater interest in the applicant; or any natural person who is the ultimate equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater interest in the applicant has committed any violation specified in s. 494.0072, or has pending against her or him any criminal prosecution or administrative enforcement action, in any jurisdiction, which involves fraud, dishonest dealing, or any act of moral turpitude. (4) A person required to be licensed under ss. 494.006-494.0077, or an agent or employee thereof, is deemed to have consented to the venue of courts of competent jurisdiction in this state regarding any matter within the authority of ss. 494.001-494.0077 regardless of where an act or violation was committed. (5) A license issued in accordance with ss. 494.006-494.0077 is not transferable or assignable. (6) A mortgage lender or branch office license may be canceled if it was issued through mistake or inadvertence of the office. A notice of cancellation must be issued by the office within 90 days after the issuance of the license. A notice of cancellation shall be effective upon receipt. The notice of cancellation shall provide the applicant with notification of the right to request a hearing within 21 days after the applicant’s receipt of the notice of cancellation. A license shall be reinstated if the applicant can demonstrate that the requirements for obtaining the license under this chapter have been satisfied. (7) Each lender, regardless of the number of branches it operates, shall designate a principal representative who exercises control of the licensee’s business and shall maintain a form prescribed by the commission designating the principal representative. If the form is not accurately maintained, the business is considered to be operated by each officer, director, or equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater interest in the business. (8) An applicant’s principal representative must pass a written test prescribed by the commission and administered by the office, or must pass an electronic test prescribed by the commission and administered by the office or a third party approved by the office, which covers primary and subordinate mortgage financing transactions and the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter. The commission may set a fee by rule, which may not exceed $100, for the electronic version of the mortgage broker test. The commission may waive by rule the examination requirement for any person who has passed a test approved by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators, or the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development if the test covers primary and subordinate mortgage financing transactions. This requirement is satisfied if the principal representative has continuously served in the capacity of a principal representative for a licensed entity under this chapter for at least 1 year and has not had a lapse in designation as a principal representative of more than 2 years before the date of the submission of the application or amendment in the case of a change in the principal representative. This requirement is also satisfied if the principal representative holds an active license as a mortgage broker in this state. (9) A lender shall notify the office of any change in the designation of its principal representative within 30 days after the change is effective. A new principal representative shall satisfy the educational and testing requirements of this section within 90 days after being designated as the new principal representative. This requirement is satisfied if the principal representative has continuously served in the capacity of a principal representative for a licensed entity under this chapter for at least 1 year and has not had a lapse in designation as a principal representative of more than 2 years before the date of the submission of the application or amendment in the case of a change in the principal representative. This requirement is also satisfied if the principal representative holds an active license as a mortgage broker in this state.History.ss. 32, 50, ch. 91-245; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 15, ch. 95-313; s. 548, ch. 97-103; s. 24, ch. 99-155; s. 19, ch. 99-213; s. 6, ch. 2001-228; s. 537, ch. 2003-261; s. 15, ch. 2006-213; s. 42, ch. 2009-241.1Note.A. Repealed October 1, 2010, by s. 42, ch. 2009-241.B. Effective September 1, 2010, s. 70(4), ch. 2009-241, provides that “[a]ll mortgage lender licenses issued before October 1, 2010, pursuant to s. 494.0061 or s. 494.0064, Florida Statutes, expire on December 31, 2010. However, if a person holding an active mortgage lender license applies for a mortgage broker license or mortgage lender license through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry between October 1, 2010, and December 31, 2010, the mortgage lender license does not expire until the Office of Financial Regulation approves or denies the mortgage broker license or mortgage lender license application. Application fees may not be prorated for partial years of licensure.”
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    494.0061 Mortgage lender’s license requirements.

       (1) Each person who acts as a mortgage lender must be licensed under this section unless otherwise exempt from licensure.

       (2) Each initial application for a mortgage lender license must be in the form prescribed by rule of the commission. The commission or office may require each applicant for a mortgage lender license to provide any information reasonably necessary to make a determination of the applicant’s eligibility for licensure. The office shall issue an initial mortgage lender license to any person that submits:

       (a) A completed application form.

       (b) A nonrefundable application fee of $575. An application is considered received for purposes of s. 120.60 upon receipt of a completed application form as prescribed by commission rule, a nonrefundable application fee of $575, and any other fee prescribed by law.

       (c) Audited financial statements, which documents disclose that the applicant has a bona fide and verifiable net worth, pursuant to United States generally accepted accounting principles, of at least $250,000, which must be continuously maintained as a condition of licensure.

       (d) A surety bond in the amount of $10,000, payable to the state and conditioned upon compliance with ss. 494.001-494.0077, which inures to the office and which must be continuously maintained thereafter in full force.

       (e) Documentation that the applicant is duly incorporated, registered, or otherwise formed as a general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, or other lawful entity under the laws of this state or another state of the United States.

       (f) Proof that the applicant’s principal representative has completed 24 hours of classroom instruction in primary and subordinate financing transactions and in the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter. This requirement is satisfied if the principal representative has continuously served in the capacity of a principal representative for a licensed entity under this chapter for at least 1 year and has not had a lapse in designation as a principal representative of more than 2 years before the date of the submission of the application or amendment in the case of a change in the principal representative. This requirement is also satisfied if the principal representative currently holds an active license as a mortgage broker in this state.

       (g) A complete set of fingerprints as the commission requires by rule for the designated principal representative and each officer, director, control person, member, partner, or joint venturer of the applicant and ultimate equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater interest in the applicant. A fingerprint card submitted to the office must be taken by an authorized law enforcement agency. The office shall submit the fingerprints to the Department of Law Enforcement for state processing, and the Department of Law Enforcement shall forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal processing. The cost for the fingerprint processing may be borne by the office, the employer, or the person subject to the background check. The Department of Law Enforcement shall submit an invoice to the office for the fingerprints received each month. The office shall screen the background results to determine if the applicant meets licensure requirements.

       (h) Information the commission requires by rule concerning any designated principal representative; any officer, director, control person, member, partner, or joint venturer of the applicant or any person having the same or substantially similar status or performing substantially similar functions; or any natural person who is the ultimate equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater interest in the mortgage lender. The commission may require information concerning any such applicant or person, including, but not limited to, his or her full name and any other names by which he or she may have been known, social security number, age, qualifications and educational and business history, and disciplinary and criminal history.

       (3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is a ground for denial of licensure if the applicant; designated principal representative; any principal officer, director, control person, member, partner, or joint venturer of the applicant; any natural person owning a 10-percent or greater interest in the applicant; or any natural person who is the ultimate equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater interest in the applicant has committed any violation specified in s. 494.0072, or has pending against her or him any criminal prosecution or administrative enforcement action, in any jurisdiction, which involves fraud, dishonest dealing, or any act of moral turpitude.

       (4) A person required to be licensed under ss. 494.006-494.0077, or an agent or employee thereof, is deemed to have consented to the venue of courts of competent jurisdiction in this state regarding any matter within the authority of ss. 494.001-494.0077 regardless of where an act or violation was committed.

       (5) A license issued in accordance with ss. 494.006-494.0077 is not transferable or assignable.

       (6) A mortgage lender or branch office license may be canceled if it was issued through mistake or inadvertence of the office. A notice of cancellation must be issued by the office within 90 days after the issuance of the license. A notice of cancellation shall be effective upon receipt. The notice of cancellation shall provide the applicant with notification of the right to request a hearing within 21 days after the applicant’s receipt of the notice of cancellation. A license shall be reinstated if the applicant can demonstrate that the requirements for obtaining the license under this chapter have been satisfied.

       (7) Each lender, regardless of the number of branches it operates, shall designate a principal representative who exercises control of the licensee’s business and shall maintain a form prescribed by the commission designating the principal representative. If the form is not accurately maintained, the business is considered to be operated by each officer, director, or equitable owner of a 10-percent or greater interest in the business.

       (8) An applicant’s principal representative must pass a written test prescribed by the commission and administered by the office, or must pass an electronic test prescribed by the commission and administered by the office or a third party approved by the office, which covers primary and subordinate mortgage financing transactions and the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter. The commission may set a fee by rule, which may not exceed $100, for the electronic version of the mortgage broker test. The commission may waive by rule the examination requirement for any person who has passed a test approved by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators, or the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development if the test covers primary and subordinate mortgage financing transactions. This requirement is satisfied if the principal representative has continuously served in the capacity of a principal representative for a licensed entity under this chapter for at least 1 year and has not had a lapse in designation as a principal representative of more than 2 years before the date of the submission of the application or amendment in the case of a change in the principal representative. This requirement is also satisfied if the principal representative holds an active license as a mortgage broker in this state.

       (9) A lender shall notify the office of any change in the designation of its principal representative within 30 days after the change is effective. A new principal representative shall satisfy the educational and testing requirements of this section within 90 days after being designated as the new principal representative. This requirement is satisfied if the principal representative has continuously served in the capacity of a principal representative for a licensed entity under this chapter for at least 1 year and has not had a lapse in designation as a principal representative of more than 2 years before the date of the submission of the application or amendment in the case of a change in the principal representative. This requirement is also satisfied if the principal representative holds an active license as a mortgage broker in this state.

    History. ss. 32, 50, ch. 91-245; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 15, ch. 95-313; s. 548, ch. 97-103; s. 24, ch. 99-155; s. 19, ch. 99-213; s. 6, ch. 2001-228; s. 537, ch. 2003-261; s. 15, ch. 2006-213; s. 42, ch. 2009-241.

    1

    Note. A. Repealed October 1, 2010, by s. 42, ch. 2009-241.

    B. Effective September 1, 2010, s. 70(4), ch. 2009-241, provides that “[a]ll mortgage lender licenses issued before October 1, 2010, pursuant to s. 494.0061 or s. 494.0064, Florida Statutes, expire on December 31, 2010. However, if a person holding an active mortgage lender license applies for a mortgage broker license or mortgage lender license through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry between October 1, 2010, and December 31, 2010, the mortgage lender license does not expire until the Office of Financial Regulation approves or denies the mortgage broker license or mortgage lender license application. Application fees may not be prorated for partial years of licensure.”

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