What is the Real Estate Recovery Fund?

The Florida Real Estate Recovery Fund has been established to reimburse any person or business that has suffered monetary damages following a fraudulent act committed by a licensee

Claims from the Fund must be made within 2 years of the alleged violation

Reimbursement for a single transaction is limited to a maximum amount of $50,000

If multiple judgements are awarded against one broker or sales associate the maximum reimbursement is $150,000

Disbursements from the Fund are made under F.S 475.484 by the state Chief Financial Officer on a voucher signed by the secretary of the Department of Real Estate on order of the FREC

The Fund is financed by fees and fines paid by licensees; $3.50 per year for brokers and $1.50 per year for sales associates

The Fund cannot exceed $1million at any time; when it reaches its maximum, the special fees are not collected from brokers and sales associates; when it drops below $500,000 the collection of the special fees resumes

A secondary reason the Florida Real Estate Recovery Fund was established is to reimburse a broker who has followed an EDO and later has a judgement as a result of legal actions taken by a party to the transaction

What criminal penalties can be imposed for violations of F.S.475?

A violations of F.S.475 may result in one of the following criminal penalties:

second degree misdemeanors – this is the most common criminal penalty and can result in a fine of up to $500 and/or imprisonment of up to 60 days

first degree misdemeanor – only 1 activity (rental information violations) is classified as a first degree misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 1 year

third degree felonies – this is the punishment for anyone who acts as a broker or sales associate without holding a current active license who can be punished with a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment of up to 5 years