News & Information: Orando REALTOR® magazine - Case Study

Culpably Negligent

Thursday, May 28, 2015  
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Orlando REALTOR® | May/June 2015

Failure to return a check made out to "cash" lands licensee in hot water

A complaint was filed with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation against a licensed real estate sales associate. In 2013, the licensed real estate sales associate facilitated a contract on behalf of a client for the purchase of a residential property. During the course of the transaction, the sales associate recommended that the client utilize an out-of-state mortgage consulting service. The sales associate accepted a $2,500 check, made out to “cash,” on behalf of the mortgage consulting service provider. Ultimately, the transaction failed to close. No mortgage consulting services were provided and a refund was withheld.

An administrative complaint was filed by the department for violating Section 475.25(1)(b), Florida Statutes, as the real estate sales associate had engaged in culpably negligent conduct.

The sales associate disputed issues of material fact and elected to appear before the Division of Administrative Hearings. Prior to the hearing, the department and the sales associate entered into a proposed stipulation whereby the sales associate agreed to a 30-day suspension, the completion of a 28-hour continuing education course, attendance at two complete Florida Real Estate Commission meetings, and the payment of a $1,500 fine plus costs. The Florida Real Estate Commission accepted the stipulation.

Source: Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

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