Prevent Loan Scams
Newsroom

News Clips

01/05/10

Florida Law Requires Licensing, Forbids Up-Front Fees

Florida has been particularly hard hit by both the foreclosure crisis and the loan modification scam crisis. The Florida legislature passed a law last year in an effort to curtail this trend. According to an Ocala Star-Banner article by Fred Hiers, the law which went into effect this year requires that "anyone offering services to homeowners to modify mortgages, such as refinancing or adjusting interest rates, must be licensed with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation... The law also makes it illegal for anyone to charge an ‘up-front' fee to help refinance."

Hiers's article goes on to offer suggestions for homeowners on avoiding scams, including asking the potential service provider questions like "How long have they been in business?" and "Do they have offices in your area?" For more tips on how to avoid a scam, click here.

Violating this law by practicing without a license is a third-degree felony, and is punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

To read the Ocala Star-Banner article, click here.

For more information about the loan scam crisis in Florida, click here.