Thursday, March 21, 2013

Florida - Appraisal Legislation Update

About a month ago, Appraiser Active posted about two appraisal related bills filed just prior to the annual legislative session.  One was filed in the House, and one in the Senate. In the House, it's HB 667 - Real Estate Brokers and Appraisers. On the Senate side, it's SB 852 - Real Estate Brokers and Appraisers.  

Both included a section to amend Chapter 120, F.S. to require Summary Hearings by the Division of Administrative Hearings for cases involving real estate appraisers. The more we learned about this section, the worse it looked. The amendment would require any Administrative Complaint against an appraiser referred to the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) to be handled under the Summary Hearing Procedure. Additionally, it required Final Orders to be rendered in within 90 days. A little notice provision of the procedure states that the Recommended Order made by the Administrative Law Judge becomes the Final Order without action by the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board.

No other professional licensing and regulatory board in Florida regularly operates under that procedure. There were plenty of concerns with this section of the bill. With assistance from the Florida REALTORS®, the concerns were communicated to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board, the bill sponsors, and the relevant House and Senate Committees. 

Yesterday, the Senate Regulated Industries Committee passed an amended version of the bill with the Chapter 120, F.S. language requiring Summary Hearings deleted. Thanks to everyone involved for their assistance!