Florida Home Sales Subject to New Laws

1 10 2007

Buying a home in Florida comes with new rules beginning Oct. 1 that are expected to create more transparency in the lending process while they require out-of-state title agencies to follow the same rules as agencies in the state.

Under Senate Bill 1824, powers have expanded for law enforcement to combat mortgage fraud, officials with the Florida Association of Realtors said. That includes any errors made in the lending process that could be tied to an intent to defraud.

Also, lenders are now required to disclose to borrowers in writing how much they are paying mortgage brokers. At the same time, borrowers now will receive documents called “good faith estimates” that would disclose all possible fees involved in a mortgage, including those charged by the lender, mortgage broker, title company and any other third party.

And if a loan changes for any reason, the borrower must be notified no later than three business days before the actual closing. The broker is required to prove that the notice was provided and that the borrower accepted the new terms.

House Bill 111 prevents title agents from charging a separate fee for title examination, and they are no longer required to charge a minimum for actual title search and closing costs, FAR officials said. Also, any out-of-state title agent who wishes to practice in Florida must now have the same licensure and continuing education requirements as any Florida-based title agent.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal


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