5/4/12 Update: Today Governor Scott signed HB 725 making it law. The FLTA bulletin providing more detail about this bill can be found here
4/20/12 Update: HB 725 was sent to the Governor today. He has until May 5 to act on this bill.
3/7/12 Update: The house version of the bill which included the title industry fixes on key issues was unanimously adopted in the Senate today. Our Special Thanks to Greg Thomas at DFS, Senator Richter and Rep. Hagar for working so closely with the title industry to address our concerns.
3/5/12 Update: SB 938 has been placed on the Senate Special Order calendar on Wednesday 3/7/12.
2/29/12 Update: HB 725, including the title industry supported amendments unanimously was passed by the full House of Representatives.
2/28/12 Update. Today on second reading, HB 725 was amended on the house floor to exempt title agents from the requirement to take a single 7 hour continuing education course. Our Thanks to the good folks at DFS and the title insurance Lobby team for arranging this important change for the title industry.
The Senate counterpart awaiting second reading and we anticipate conforming changes.
2/22/12 Update. Today HB 725 was passed out of the House Judiciary committee with amendments preserving the $35,000 surety bond -- but moving responsibility for it to the insurers as part of the appointment renewal process; softening the prohibition on solicitation for title insurance, but still requiring that only a licensed agent or an attorney-agent could solicit the individual proposed insured. We were unsuccessful in lessening the requirement that the majority of our continuing education hours be taken in a single 7 hour block. This bill will now move to the house floor.
2/21/12 Update Today SB 938 was approved by the Senate Budget committee without the title industry's amendments. We'll continue to work on protecting the existing surety bond, and make other changes but things are not looking promising on this bill.
Senator Richter and Rep. Hagar have filed a bill at the request of DFS that the industry has been tracking since early in the session. Along with changes, the bill would
a. Eliminate the current $35,000 surety bond requirement
b. Provide that only licensed agents could solicit for the sale of insurance
c. Require continuing education to be taken in a 7 hour course (which could be broken up over multiple days) from a single provider.
We have been working with DFS in an attempt to address concerns with these provisions and believe we have reached agreement on language to preserve the current $35,000 bond -- which is important to the protecting the public, and softening the prohibition on unlicensed persons communicating with Realtors and other referral sources. We are still working on a solution to the 7 hour block CE requirement.
In the meantime, these bills have been progressing. both bills have one remaining committee stop.