Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Two New Florida Bills - Amendments to Chapter 475

Two nearly identical bills have been filed for the 2017 Session of the Florida Legislature. On the House side, HB 927 was filed by Rep. Bob Rommel on February 21, 2017. Senator Kathleen Passidomo filed SB 716 of February 16, 2017. The bills are nearly identical, and appear to be attempts to amend Chapter 475, Part II to conform with the Final Rule on Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies. 

The major difference in the bills appears to be:

  • The Senate Bill requires AMC compliance with the Truth in Lending Act (customary and reasonable fees). The House Bill does not have the same language. (see lines 503 - 505 of SB 716).
  • The House Bill tightens up the restrictions on registration of AMCs by removing the FREAB's discretion to grant registration "after a lapse of time and subsequent good conduct and reputation" for individuals (officers, directors, general partners, managing partners, owners, or persons with 10% or more ownership interests) associated with an AMC applicant. (see lines 297 - 300 of HB 927). The Senate Bill deals with applicants in Section 475.6245 - Discipline of appraisal management companies, and grants the FREAB discretion to deny an application or renewal in the event the above named individuals is guilty of or committed listed violations. (see lines 306 - 323 and 332 - 505 of SB 716).
The filed bills each limit the responsibility of AMCs to their activities related to "covered transactions" or appraisals for "secondary mortgage market participants". This is troubling as the "covered transaction" is means a consumer credit transaction secured by the consumer's principal dwelling. (See lines 154 -155 HB 927 and lines 157 - 158 SB 716).

Language repealing the Post License Education Requirement for Registered Trainee Appraisers is in both bills. As a result of the most recent Appraiser Qualifications Board Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria, the post license education requirement had outlived its usefulness. It was confusing to licensees, costly for course providers, and is an unnecessary barrier for trainee appraisers. 

We've got a starting point, and can expect some amendments. Give the bills a close look and let me know what you think. I'll try to keep up with them when they start going through the committee process.