Denial of a Real Estate License

Have you been denied a real estate license or received a letter from FREC or DBPR asking you to explain yourself to the Board to determine your eligibility for a license? Are you feeling anxious about the future of the real estate career that you’ve worked so hard to build? Don’t worry, the experienced real estate licensing defense attorneys at the Umansky Law Firm can help. We believe that one mistake should not alter the rest of your future, and everyone deserves a second chance.

If you’ve been denied, you still have the right to appeal the denial and to have a formal Administrative Hearing. Many times, the Board will allow you to explain why you deserve your license before issuing a denial.The licensing defense attorneys at the Umansky Law Firm will advocate for you during this challenging time to fight the rejection of your real estate license so you can continue to grow and prosper in your real estate career.

Who Regulates & Governs Real Estate Licenses in Florida?

In Florida, real estate licenses are reviewed and granted by the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR). This agency handles licensing and regulations of approximately 405,000 professionals in more than 25 professions throughout Florida.

Under the DBPR umbrella is the Division of Real Estate. Together with the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC), these agencies regulate more than 250,000 real estate agents across the State of Florida with FREC, specifically, enforcing and administering real estate licensing laws.

Why Would My Real Estate License Be Denied?

A denial of your real estate license can have lasting adverse effects on your career and personal life. To avoid a denial of your real estate license recommendation, you must operate with honesty and integrity. That means you must disclose all criminal convictions and pending crimes.

FREC may deny your professional real estate license for any of the following reasons:

  • You failed to disclose pending criminal charges, criminal convictions, or disciplinary actions taken against your license
  • You were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that’s significantly related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of your license
  • Administrative action was taken against your professional license in Florida, another state, or by the federal government
  • You lied on your real estate license application

The key is to be forthright and honest on your application, revealing any misdemeanor or felony convictions. Remember that a conviction doesn’t warrant an automatic denial. If you can exhibit that you’ve paid your debt to society and are honest about any criminal charges or convictions on your record, you may still get the opportunity to continue in a prosperous real estate career.

Real Estate Violations Under Florida Law

Florida Statute Chapter 475 sets forth the violations of law that respective professional boards and agencies, like the DBPR, may prosecute.

Violations under Florida Statute 475 include:

  1. Fraud, misrepresentation, false promises, pretenses, dishonest dealings, or breach of trust in any business transaction
  2. Violating a legal duty by law or contract whether written, orally expressed, or implied in any real estate contract
  3. Conspiring or colluding with any person engaged in any misconduct
  4. Advertising property or services in a manner that is fraudulent, false, misleading, or deceptive
  5. Misappropriating funds to include escrow fund violations and using escrow money for personal use or embezzlement
  6. Failing to deposit money in an escrow account when required by law
  7. Crimes involving fraud, moral turpitude, or any corruption related to a licensed broker or sales associate’s activities
  8. Improper fee sharing
  9. Negligence including failure to file a report
  10. Filing false or fraudulent reports or records
  11. Being confined in a county jail or state or federal prison, or perhaps a mental institution
  12. Failure to inform FREC of a criminal conviction or pleading guilty or nolo contendere to a felony within 30 days of disposition

What’s the Process for Appealing My Real Estate License Denial?

If you’re denied your real estate license, you’ll receive an official Notice of Intent to Deny from the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). You have 21 days from the date of receipt to appeal the denial and request a hearing. If you do not appeal the decision within 21 days, you waive your right to a Hearing, and your application is denied.

You can submit a written request for either:

  • An Informal Hearing to appear before the Commission, or
  • A Formal Hearing in front of an administrative judge.

During the hearing, both sides are given the opportunity to make opening statements, present evidence, and call witnesses. According to the DBPR, you must submit at least three letters of reference from individuals who can attest to your:

  • Honesty
  • Truthfulness
  • Trustworthiness
  • Good character
  • and an excellent reputation for fair dealing as required in Section 475.17 (1)(a).

At least two of those letters must be from individuals you’re not related to. The administrative judge or Commission will then consider the evidence and prepare a comprehensive written decision. If the administrative judge or Commission upholds the decision to deny your real estate license, your license remains rejected.

How a License Defense Attorney Can Help You

A denial of your real estate license does not have to be the end of your real estate career. The Umansky Law Firm has extensive experience with the appeals process. We know how to successfully present cases on your behalf and exemplify your upstanding character so you can practice the profession that you’ve prepared for.

Under Florida Statute 475.17, the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) will consider your good reputation, conduct, and other information that demonstrates your character in a Hearing before making the final decision.

An administrative attorney can help you:

  • Ask for a rehearing or an appeal
  • Prove there’s no substantial connection between your character and the certification you are trying to obtain.
  • Show the Commission that the evidence they have against you is weak or insufficient or simply does not meet their burden of proof
  • Obtain witness statements and character affidavits, draft a good character statement, and establish you have good moral character through service to your family, employer, community, religion and other charitable causes
  • Present evidence and argument on all issues involved, including conducting cross-examinations, submitting rebuttal evidence, submitting proposed findings of facts and orders, and filing exceptions to the Commission’s recommended order.

Hiring a real estate licensing defense attorney who handles these rehearings and appeals may be critical to you getting your license.

Trusted Real Estate License Defense Attorneys in Florida

If you’ve been denied a Florida real estate license, it’s vital that you contact an experienced real estate licensing lawyer immediately to submit a written request for appeal and help you prepare your case. At The Umansky Law Firm, our accomplished trial lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience to develop a strong defense for you that may lead to your license approval.

Attorneys with The Umansky Law Firm include former defense lawyers and prosecutors and those who have worked directly for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). To speak with an administrative lawyer today about your case, complete an online contact form or call today at (407) 228-3838.