FLTA has posted several new bulletins on the FLTA website. Click on the bulletin title for a quick hyperlink.
2011 Bulletin 12 -- How Many Trust Accounts Do I Really Need?
During the boom times, many FLTA members were holding pre-construction deposits on condominium units. Under the Condominium Act, any deposits in excess of 10% of the contract price could be released to the developer to cover certain construction costs. The normal practice in many parts of the state was to require a 20% deposit. When the market turned, many purchasers under those contracts sought a refund of their deposits and were rarely successful.
Double AA International Investment Group, Inc. v. Swire Pacific Holdings, Inc., 674 F.Supp.2d 1344 (S.D. Fla. 2009), aff'd in part, vacated in part, 637 F.3d 1169 (11th Cir. 2011) held that the Condominium Act required an escrow agent holding pre-construction deposits in excess of 10% of the purchase price of a condo to maintain totally separate accounts for the amounts in excess of 10% of the purchase price. FLTA worked with the Florida legislature to overrule this case and were successful, but a recent case held that our “Fix” didn’t work.
This bulletin provides all the details.
2011 Bulletin 13 -- DFS Designation Rule Update
As many of you know, DFS has been working on a rule which would restrict what designations, job titles or other descriptions could be used by title agents and in other categories of insurance. This bulletin includes the latest version.
2011 Bulletin 14 -- Fees on VA Loans
Title agents have known for years that certain itemized fees are not permitted in a VA loan, and must be covered out of the 1% fee paid to the lender. A recently unsealed lawsuit attacks the practice of some banks in recharacterizing impermissible fees into “permitted” categories.
2011 Bulletin 15 -- Bar issues UPL Letter on Short Sale Assistance
On September 30, 2011, the Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on the Unlicensed Practice of Law issued its long awaited guidance on whether a title agent’s facilitating a short sale constituted the unlicensed practice of law. FLTA has been actively participating in the process and the UPL Committee just issued its letter on the subject that is outlined in this bulletin.