FLORIDA PROFESSIONAL LICENSE BLOG

Failure to Deposit Earnest Deposit into an Escrow Account within a timely manner will lead to Broker/Salesperson Discipline.

As a Florida licensed real estate broker, you are required to deposit any and all earnest deposit funds into a non-interest bearing secured escrow or trust account in a timely manner. Failure to do so is a direct violation of Section 475.25(1)(k), Florida Statutes, which provides as follows:

The commission may deny an application for licensure, registration, or permit, or renewal thereof; may place a licensee, registrant, or permittee on probation; may suspend a license, registration, or permit for a period not exceeding 10 years; may revoke a license, registration, or permit; may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each count or separate offense; and may issue a reprimand, and any or all of the foregoing, if it finds that the licensee, registrant, permittee, or applicant:

(k) Has failed, if a broker, to immediately place, upon receipt, any money, fund, deposit, check, or draft entrusted to her or him by any person dealing with her or him as a broker in escrow with a title company, banking institution, credit union, or savings and loan association located and doing business in this state, or to deposit such funds in a trust or escrow account maintained by her or him with some bank, credit union, or savings and loan association located and doing business in this state, wherein the funds shall be kept until disbursement thereof is properly authorized; or has failed, if a sales associate, to immediately place with her or his registered employer any money, fund, deposit, check, or draft entrusted to her or him by any person dealing with her or him as agent of the registered employer. The commission shall establish rules to provide for records to be maintained by the broker and the manner in which such deposits shall be made.

 

Section 61J2-14.010(1), Florida Administrative Code requires earnest funds to be deposited immediately into an escrow or trust account.

Failure to deposit any earnest monies in a timely manner into an escrow or trust account shall present serious consequences to the broker. First time violators shall be subject to minimum $250.00 -$1000.00 fine and possible 30-day suspension or revocation of license per violation.

The aforementioned violations can result in an investigation by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the filing of an Administrative Complaint against the licensed real estate professional.

If you are the subject of an investigation by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) or have received an Administrative Complaint or been asked to appear before the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) it is wise to seek advice from an experienced lawyer knowledgeable about DBPR investigations and hearings before the FREC.  For a FREE no obligation consultation call Jeff Howell with the Tallahassee law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776 to schedule a telephone

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