News from Past Meetings of the Florida Real Estate Commission

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June 1999

The Florida Real Estate Commission held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 16th. Assistant Attorney General James Mitchell reported that 83 EDOs had been reviewed, considered and acted upon during the prior month. 

Chief Attorney, Daniel Villazon introduced Senior Attorney Nancy Campiglia to the Commission. Ms. Campiglia received a Masters degree in Law in Real Property Development from the University of Miami School of Law. Ms. Campiglia is a licensed real estate broker and instructor. 

Education Coordinator, Alex Grist, reported that he received the first test data report from ASI. He also informed the Commission that the News and Report advising licensees of the new legislation taking effect October 1, 1999, is scheduled for distribution around the first of September. Mr. Grist also indicated that his section will begin publishing the Education Newsletter semi annually. 

Commissioner Herbert Fisher expressed concern regarding what he referred to as: the lack of sensitivity and understanding demonstrated by some instructor comments at a recent instructor seminar on diversity training. The need for revised regulations for obtaining an instructor permit was also discussed.      8-1-1999


May 1999

The Florida Real Estate Commission held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 19th. Assistant Attorney James Mitchell reported that 102 EDOs had been processed during the prior month. 

Bureau Chief of Licensure, Mary Stimmel, indicated that the number of real estate licensees is being restated at 262,000 (down from 330,000). The 68,000 discrepancy is due to a mistake in the DBPRís software program BEST. The DRE has been using the correct figure in all of its budgeting; therefore, there should be no impact from the restatement of licensees. Apparently, the number of licensees has been incorrectly reported for the last eight years. 

Education Coordinator, Alex Grist, reported that ASI is in the process of folding new questions into the broker license exams and that the process would be completed in about two weeks. Questions that cover topics no longer in the revised broker syllabus are being replaced. 

The Director, Herbert Fecker, plans to formulate a task force to consider development of education standards for distance education for CE. The Director also indicated that the Divisionís telephone system is undergoing a face lift consisting of abbreviated messages, ability to transfer to a receptionist and expanded hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.      6-4-1999


April 1999

The Florida Real Estate Commission held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 21st. Assistant Attorney James Mitchell reported on the status of several bills: 1) HB 2017 which allows for distance education was pending before a house committee. Mr. Mitchell said that this bill would allow the various regulatory boards to allow for continuing education to be done through on-line courses or by disc or CDROM; 2) SB 190 would make the failure to do CE a regulatory issue and not a disciplinary one. The bill would allow the Department to contract with a private vendor who would compare information from course providers against the list of those who are up for renewal and only those who have done the CE could renew. HB 1479 would broaden the use of the Notice of Noncompliance by adding statutory violations. Currently, only rule violations can be the subject of a Notice of Noncompliance; 4) HB 107 would further restrict the rulemaking ability of administrative agencies such as the FREC; and 5) HB 417 concerns revisions to the agency law. 

Bureau Chief of Licensure, Mary Stimmel, reported that ASI to date has tested 4,111 real estate and appraiser candidates since the computer based testing began on February 22nd. She also reported that 5,600 applications are pending at ASI and that a new testing site has been opened in Miami. 

Education Coordinator, Alex Grist, reported on the Education and Research Foundation Advisory Committee Meeting (FAC) held on April 15, 1999. The FAC approved several projects including revision of the residential appraiser syllabus. This syllabus completes funding of the appraiser syllabus series. The FAC also approved development of a new 4-hour escrow management course which will replace the obsolete 7-hour escrow management course. Mr. Grist indicated that he is considering development of a 3-hour ethics course to be offered in tandem with the new 4-hour escrow management course. 

The new Director, Herbert Fecker, discussed the status of a new telephone system for the Division. Director Fecker also indicated that he is inventorying all of the DRE's voice mail services, pagers and cell phones to make sure that they are being used most efficiently. The Director is particularly interested in equipping the field investigators with such equipment. In other matters, Director Fecker discussed the development of a newsletter/brochure on land sales (Chapter 498, F.S.) to be mailed to all licensees. 

The next Commission meeting is slated for Wednesday, May 19, 1999 at 8:30 a.m. at the Orlando offices.       5-12-1999


March 1999

The Florida Real Estate Commission held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 17th. FREC approved revisions to Rule 61J2-1.011, Licensee Fees and Examination Fees. Paragraphs 12 and 13 regarding exam review fees and unlicensed activities fees will be deleted because this control rests with the DBPR rather than with the Commission.  Additionally, a revision was approved concerning 61J2-10.025, Advertising. Paragraphs (3)(a) and (3)(b) will be added concerning advertising on the Internet. Once the rule changes become effective, a strike out version will be posted on this site. 

Assistant Attorney James Mitchell reported on the Final Order in FAR v. FREC, Rule Challenge to Rule 61J2-10.039. FAR challenged the proposed rule that would require licensees to disclose to customers if the entity holding security deposits and advance rents is not a real estate broker and therefore not subject to escrow account requirements, and that the party may choose to have the funds held only by a real estate broker. The Administrative law judge in the case concluded that FREC did not have the legislative authority to create the rule. 

Bureau Chief of Licensure, Mary Stimmel, reported that ASI to date had tested 1,538 real estate and appraiser candidates since the computer based testing began on February 22nd. She also reported that 13,785 applicants have been approved and are now eligible to take their state licensing exams. 

Education Coordinator, Alex Grist, indicated that his examination specialist was reviewing the broker item bank to insure that the questions in the broker test bank are consistent with the new broker syllabus. Mr. Grist further indicated that he would not use questions that are in the old syllabus that are not covered in the new broker syllabus and corresponding Broker's Guide. 

The Commission was also briefed on proposed legislation. The proposed legislation includes: HB 417-Brokerage Relationship Disclosure Act (the senate bill is 1072). Proposed changes to the Administrative Procedures Act which primarily affect rulemaking are in HB107 and SB206. A bill concerning changes to minor violations, Notices of Noncompliance, is at HB1479. Visit http://prod.leg.state.fl.us/ to view a copy of the proposed legislation.      3-29-1999
 


February 1999

The Florida Real Estate Commission held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 17th. Acting Director, Jim Kimbler, reported that an audit had been conducted of 586 licensee's continuing education. Of those audited, three percent were found to be in violation. 

Bureau Chief of Licensure, Mary Stimmel, reported that 4,000 applicants are currently waiting to take their license exams. She indicated that ASI mailed out 1,000 authorization letters to exam candidates on Wednesday, February 17th. Once candidates receive their authorization letters, they can contact ASI to schedule exam appointments. Ms. Stimmel also indicated that examinations should begin the week of February 22nd. 

Education Coordinator, Alex Grist, reported that a beta (pilot) test of the CBT system was conducted on Monday, February 15th. He indicated that a problem with scoring the broker exam was detected during the pilot test. The computer was crediting the examinee six points if each of five 1-point math questions were answered correctly. Mr. Grist reported that ASI is working to resolve the computer program glitch. The CBT system will be re-tested on Friday, February 19th. 

The Commission was also briefed on proposed legislation. The proposed legislation includes: HB 417-Brokerage Relationship Disclosure Act (supported by FAR); SB 190-Continuing Education; and 475.181-Licensure.  Visit http://prod.leg.state.fl.us/ to view a copy of the proposed legislation.      2-18-1999


January 1999

Education Coordinator, Alex Grist, reported during the January 20 Commission meeting that the new computer based testing procedure will be pilot tested on Wednesday, February 3'rd. Soon after the pilot testing is completed, the DBPR is expected to begin electronically transmitting the eligible examinee list to the national testing vendor, ASI. ASI must receive the examinee candidate information before it will begin scheduling examination appointments. 

In other business, the FREC approved the new FREC Course II (broker) Syllabus. Revisions to Rules 61J2-1.001 and 61J2-10.025 were approved by the Commission. When the revised rules become effective, they will be posted on this site.        1-23-1999


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