2015 Florida Statutes
Discipline of appraisal management companies.
Discipline of appraisal management companies.
475.6245 Discipline of appraisal management companies.—
(1) The board may deny an application for registration of an appraisal management company; may investigate the actions of any appraisal management company registered under this part; may reprimand or impose an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each count or separate offense against any such appraisal management company; and may revoke or suspend, for a period not to exceed 10 years, the registration of any such appraisal management company, or place any such appraisal management company on probation, if the board finds that the appraisal management company or any person listed in s. 475.6235(2)(f):
(a) Has violated any provision of this part or s. 455.227(1); however, any appraisal management company registered under this part is exempt from s. 455.227(1)(i).
(b) Has been guilty of fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, false promises, false pretenses, dishonest conduct, culpable negligence, or breach of trust in any business transaction in this state or any other state, nation, or territory; has violated a duty imposed upon her or him by law or by the terms of a contract, whether written, oral, express, or implied, in an appraisal assignment; has aided, assisted, or conspired with any other person engaged in any such misconduct and in furtherance thereof; or has formed an intent, design, or scheme to engage in such misconduct and committed an overt act in furtherance of such intent, design, or scheme. It is immaterial to the guilt of the appraisal management company that the victim or intended victim of the misconduct has sustained no damage or loss; that the damage or loss has been settled and paid after discovery of the misconduct; or that such victim or intended victim was a customer or a person in confidential relation with the appraisal management company or was an identified member of the general public.
(c) Has advertised services in a manner that is fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading in form or content.
(d) Has violated any provision of this part or any lawful order or rule issued under this part or chapter 455.
(e) Has been convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction that directly relates to the activities of an appraisal management company or that involves moral turpitude or fraudulent or dishonest conduct. The record of a conviction certified or authenticated in such form as admissible in evidence under the laws of the state shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such guilt.
(f) Has had a registration, license, or certification as an appraiser or a registration as an appraisal management company revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against; has been disbarred; has had her or his registration, license, or certificate to practice or conduct any regulated profession, business, or vocation revoked or suspended by this or any other state, any nation, or any possession or district of the United States; or has had an application for such registration, licensure, or certification to practice or conduct any regulated profession, business, or vocation denied by this or any other state, any nation, or any possession or district of the United States.
(g) Has become temporarily incapacitated from acting as an appraisal management company with safety to those in a fiduciary relationship with her or him because of drunkenness, use of drugs, or temporary mental derangement; however, suspension of a registration in such cases shall only be for the period of such incapacity.
(h) Is confined in any county jail, postadjudication; is confined in any state or federal prison or mental institution; or, through mental disease or deterioration, can no longer safely be entrusted to deal with the public or in a confidential capacity.
(i) Has failed to inform the board in writing within 30 days after pleading guilty or nolo contendere to, or being convicted or found guilty of, any felony.
(j) Has been found guilty, for a second time, of any misconduct that warrants disciplinary action, or has been found guilty of a course of conduct or practice that shows that she or he is incompetent, negligent, dishonest, or untruthful to an extent that those with whom she or he may sustain a confidential relationship may not safely do so.
(k) Has made or filed a report or record, either written or oral, that the appraisal management company knows to be false; has willfully failed to file a report or record required by state or federal law; has willfully impeded or obstructed such filing; or has induced another person to impede or obstruct such filing. However, such reports or records shall include only those that are signed or presented in the capacity of an appraisal management company.
(l) Has obtained or attempted to obtain a registration, license, or certification by means of knowingly making a false statement, submitting false information, refusing to provide complete information in response to an application question, or engaging in fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment.
(m) Has paid money or other valuable consideration, except as required by this section, to any member or employee of the board to obtain a registration, license, or certification under this section.
(n) Has instructed an appraiser to violate any standard of professional practice established by rule of the board, including standards for the development or communication of a real estate appraisal or other provision of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
(o) Has engaged in the development of an appraisal or the preparation of an appraisal report, unless the appraisal management company is owned or controlled by certified appraisers.
(p) Has failed to communicate an appraisal without good cause.
(q) Has accepted an appraisal assignment if the employment itself is contingent upon the appraisal management company reporting a predetermined result, analysis, or opinion or if the fee to be paid for the performance of the appraisal assignment is contingent upon the opinion, conclusion, or valuation reached upon the consequences resulting from the appraisal assignment.
(r) Has failed to timely notify the department of any change in principal business location as an appraisal management company.
(s) Has influenced or attempted to influence the development, reporting, or review of an appraisal through coercion, extortion, collusion, compensation, inducement, intimidation, bribery, or any other means, including, but not limited to:
1. Withholding or threatening to withhold timely payment for an appraisal, unless such nonpayment is based upon specific quality or other service issues that constitute noncompliance with the appraisal engagement agreement.
2. Withholding or threatening to withhold future business from an appraiser.
3. Promising future business, promotions, or increased compensation for an appraiser, whether the promise is express or implied.
4. Conditioning a request for appraisal services or the payment of an appraisal fee, salary, or bonus upon the opinion, conclusion, or valuation to be reached or upon a preliminary estimate or opinion requested from an appraiser.
5. Requesting that an appraiser provide an estimated, predetermined, or desired valuation in an appraisal report or provide estimated values or comparable sales at any time before the appraiser’s completion of appraisal services.
6. Providing to an appraiser an anticipated, estimated, encouraged, or desired value for a subject property or a proposed or target amount to be loaned to the borrower, except that a copy of the sales contract for purchase transactions may be provided.
7. Providing to an appraiser, or any person related to the appraiser, stock or other financial or nonfinancial benefits.
8. Allowing the removal of an appraiser from an appraiser panel without prior written notice to the appraiser.
9. Obtaining, using, or paying for a second or subsequent appraisal or ordering an automated valuation model in connection with a mortgage financing transaction unless there is a reasonable basis to believe that the initial appraisal was flawed or tainted and such basis is clearly and appropriately noted in the loan file, or unless such appraisal or automated valuation model is issued pursuant to a bona fide prefunding or postfunding appraisal review or quality control process.
10. Any other act or practice that impairs or attempts to impair an appraiser’s independence, objectivity, or impartiality.
(t) Has altered, modified, or otherwise changed a completed appraisal report submitted by an appraiser to an appraisal management company.
(u) Has employed, contracted with, or otherwise retained an appraiser whose registration, license, or certification is suspended or revoked to perform appraisal services or appraisal management services.
(v) Has required or attempted to require an appraiser to sign any indemnification agreement that would require the appraiser to hold harmless the appraisal management company or its owners, agents, employees, or independent contractors from any liability, damage, loss, or claim arising from the services performed by the appraisal management company or its owners, agents, employees, or independent contractors and not the services performed by the appraiser.
(2) The board may reprimand an appraisal management company, conditionally or unconditionally suspend or revoke any registration of an appraisal management company issued under this part, or impose administrative fines not to exceed $5,000 for each count or separate offense against any such appraisal management company if the board determines that the appraisal management company is attempting to perform, has performed, or has attempted to perform any of the following acts:
(a) Committing any act in violation of this part.
(b) Violating any rule adopted by the board under this part.
(c) Obtaining a registration of an appraisal management company by fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit.
(3) This section does not prohibit an appraisal management company from requesting an appraiser to:
(a) Provide additional information about the basis of a valuation, including consideration of additional comparable data; or
(b) Correct objective factual errors in an appraisal report.
History.—s. 7, ch. 2010-84; s. 20, ch. 2012-61; s. 12, ch. 2012-72.