Miller, George & Suggs, PLLC - Florida Mortgage Payoff Law
Florida Legislature Aims to Overhaul Mortgage Payoff LawFort Lauderdale, FL, February 16, 2023 – The Florida Legislature is targeting the state's mortgage payoff statute for a major overhaul in a bid to help mortgage borrowers and real estate buyers.
On February 10, 2023, the Florida House and Senate introduced identical bills aimed at curbing practices by lenders and loan servicers that “create unnecessary delays in [real estate closings, and] … impose needless costs and burdens on property owners and buyers,” according to the proposed legislation.
The companion bills, HB 743 and SB 708, filed in the Legislature last Friday, would revise a Florida Statute that regulates mortgage payoff letters, called “estoppel” letters. The statute is section 701.04 of the Florida Statutes.
These bills would do the following and more:
1. Invalidate conditions in an estoppel letter that allow the lender to change the payoff amount at the last minute before receiving payment, or after receiving payment.
2. Require lenders to itemize the principal, interest, and other charges that make up the amount stated in the estoppel letter.
3. Require lenders to satisfy a mortgage when they receive payment of the amount stated in the estoppel letter, even if they are really owed more.
4. Allow lenders to pursue collection of any remaining amounts owed, but without the security of the released mortgage.
5. Grant purchasers of real estate subject to an existing mortgage the right to receive an estoppel letter, overcoming lender's concerns about financial privacy laws.
In a nod to lenders, the bills allow lenders to retract an estoppel letter and replace it with a corrected one, as long as they do so by 3:00 p.m. the day before an attempted payoff.
Partner and mortgage litigation attorney David Rodstein of Miller, George & Suggs in Fort Lauderdale represents lenders and says the bills would put lenders at risk of losing their security without payment in full of the amounts due.
It is unclear whether the bills will pass the Legislature and whether Governor DeSantis would sign it into law.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the proposed bills, please contact David Rodstein by phone at 954-526-1318 or via email at email@example.com.
About Miller, George & Suggs, PLLC. Miller, George & Suggs, PLLC (“MGS”) is a full-service law firm with a strong focus on financial services, creditors' rights, foreclosure, bankruptcy, litigation, eviction, landlord-tenant and other real estate matters. www.mgs-legal.com