FLTA is the voice of the title industry in Tallahassee.  We represent title agents, attorney agents and title insurers, and provide education and current information to enable our members to provide the public with the highest quality land title evidencing, title assurance and settlement services.

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2015 Legislative Session Ends Before Estoppel Bill is Taken Up

Dear FLTA members!

For years, particularly for properties subject to condominium and homeowner associations, issues with estoppel certificates have become increasingly problematic.  Some associations or their association management companies have demanded upfront payment; charged unreasonable and excessive fees ($500-$1,000 are not uncommon); provided information that was valid for an unreasonable amount of time (1 day!!!!!); been late or entirely unresponsive to requests for certificates; and have either ignored or denied properly submitted requests for refunds when closings do not occur. 

FLTA members spoke.  We heard you, and we acted!  FLTA members drafted proposed legislation to address these issues, found strong sponsors, gathered allies and went to work!!!!  

We came so close!

First, thank you all again for all your help.  Frankly, it's amazing that we got as far as we did.  It truly is a testament to the power of all FLTA members (and, for what it's worth-the real problems with estoppel certificates and community association management companies).   Using their vast financial and political resources, our opposition fought the bills the entire way, yet the bills passed all 6 committees in the House and the Senate (some unanimously!), and almost made it to the finish line.   There is GOOD reason to believe that Florida citizens would have their much needed estoppel certificate process reform in 2015, had the House not adjourned three days early.   

YOUR contributions to the effort helped make any success possible.   Your calls and emails to legislators, and the MANY examples YOU sent me of egregious abuses (even as the CAMs insisted that no problems existed) helped me prepare and support our tenacious sponsors, Senator Kelli Stargel and Representative John Wood, our Agent Section lobbyist David Daniel, our insurer lobbyists, and our exceptional partners, the Florida Realtors and the Florida Homebuilders.  Additionally, your examples, and the legislators' real life experiences, allowed many other brave legislators, who were bombarded with thousands of CAM initiated misleading and often threatening emails, and who faced strong political backlash, to stand and fight for these consumer based, common sense, best business practices good bills.

Sadly, though, illustrating that the best bills don't always become law the first time around, the estoppel bill did not make it this year, as it was one of the bills which died due to the early end of the 2015 Legislative Session.  

We anticipate revisiting estoppel process reform in the coming year.

Alexandra Overhoff
Executive Director



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