Florida Senate - 2018                              CS for SB 894
       By the Committee on Rules; and Senator Garcia
       595-03287-18                                           2018894c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to mortgage regulation; amending s.
    3         494.001, F.S.; defining the term “business purpose
    4         loan”; amending s. 494.00115, F.S.; defining the term
    5         “hold himself or herself out to the public as being in
    6         the mortgage lending business”; amending s. 494.0025,
    7         F.S.; prohibiting the misrepresentation of a
    8         residential mortgage loan as a business purpose loan;
    9         reenacting s. 494.0018, F.S., relating to penalties,
   10         to incorporate the amendment made to s. 494.0025,
   11         F.S., in a reference thereto; providing an effective
   12         date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Present subsections (4) through (37) of section
   17  494.001, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (5)
   18  through (38), respectively, and a new subsection (4) is added to
   19  that section, to read:
   20         494.001 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   21         (4) “Business purpose loan” means a mortgage loan, the
   22  proceeds of which the borrower intends to use primarily for a
   23  business purpose and not primarily for a personal, family, or
   24  household purpose. In determining if the loan is for a business
   25  purpose, a person must refer to the official interpretation by
   26  the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of 12 C.F.R. s.
   27  1026.3(a).
   28         Section 2. Subsection (4) is added to section 494.00115,
   29  Florida Statutes, to read:
   30         494.00115 Exemptions.—
   31         (4) As used in this section, the term “hold himself or
   32  herself out to the public as being in the mortgage lending
   33  business” includes any of the following:
   34         (a)Representing to the public, through advertising or
   35  other means of communicating or providing information, including
   36  the use of business cards, stationery, brochures, signs, rate
   37  lists, or promotional items, by any method, that such individual
   38  can or will perform the activities described in s. 494.001(24).
   39         (b)Soliciting in a manner that would lead the intended
   40  audience to reasonably believe that such individual is in the
   41  business of performing the activities described in s.
   42  494.001(24).
   43         (c)Maintaining a commercial business establishment at
   44  which, or premises from which, such individual regularly
   45  performs the activities described in s. 494.001(24) or regularly
   46  meets with current or prospective mortgage borrowers.
   47         (d)Advertising, soliciting, or conducting business through
   48  the use of a name, trademark, service mark, trade name, Internet
   49  address, or logo that indicates or reasonably implies that the
   50  business being advertised, solicited, or conducted is of the
   51  kind or character of business transacted or conducted by a
   52  licensed mortgage lender or is likely to lead any person to
   53  believe that such business is that of a licensed mortgage
   54  lender.
   55         Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 494.0025, Florida
   56  Statutes, is amended to read:
   57         494.0025 Prohibited practices.—It is unlawful for any
   58  person:
   59         (4) In any practice or transaction or course of business
   60  relating to the sale, purchase, negotiation, promotion,
   61  advertisement, or hypothecation of mortgage loan transactions,
   62  directly or indirectly:
   63         (a) To knowingly or willingly employ any device, scheme, or
   64  artifice to defraud;
   65         (b) To engage in any transaction, practice, or course of
   66  business which operates as a fraud upon any person in connection
   67  with the purchase or sale of any mortgage loan; or
   68         (c) To obtain property by fraud, willful misrepresentation
   69  of a future act, or false promise; or
   70         (d) To misrepresent a residential mortgage loan, as
   71  described in s. 494.001(25)(a), as a business purpose loan.
   72         Section 4. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
   73  made by this act to section 494.0025, Florida Statutes, in a
   74  reference thereto, section 494.0018, Florida Statutes, is
   75  reenacted to read:
   76         494.0018 Penalties.—
   77         (1) Whoever knowingly violates any provision of s.
   78  494.00255(1)(a), (b), or (c) or s. 494.0025(1), (2), (3), (4),
   79  or (5), except as provided in subsection (2) of this section,
   80  commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in
   81  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Each such violation
   82  constitutes a separate offense.
   83         (2) Any person who violates any provision of this chapter,
   84  in which the total value of money and property unlawfully
   85  obtained exceeds $50,000 and there are five or more victims,
   86  commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in
   87  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
   88         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.