FREC Comments on Real Estate Licensees’ Involvement in Short Sales

The Florida Real Estate Commission met to discuss the unlicensed practice of law (UPL) and real estate licensees’ role during a short sale transaction.  The outcome of the discussion is in the attached announcement from FREC.  Please contact our office if you have any questions.   

ORLANDO, Fla.  The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) met in Orlando and spent time discussing short sale transactions and real estate licensees’ role in the process, with an eye toward the potential impact of loss mitigation on real estate licensees.

During the discussion, FREC commissioners and industry representatives looked at the various issues that can arise during a short sale transaction. Collectively, they seemed to agree that real estate licensees are an essential part of the short sale transaction.

Many times, however, a short sale involves legal issues not found in non-short-sale transactions. Acknowledging that fact, the commissioners agreed that licensees should always take preventive steps so that they don’t cross a line and get involved in the unlicensed practice of law.

“Real estate licensees are the focal point of all transactions,” says Florida Realtors’ Vice President and General Counsel Margy Grant. “However, they cannot assist a client with some aspects of a short sale transaction, such as providing a legal opinion regarding the contents of a short sale approval letter, or even whether a short sale is the right decision for a particular client.”

Grant suggests diligence on the part of licensees. “They need to communicate to clients that there are some aspects of a short-sale transaction that could require a lawyer,” she says.

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