It is clear that the State of Georgia interprets Georgia Statutes to mean the proper party to assist the public with negotiating the often complicated and frustrating process of the short sale is the Georgia mortgage loan officer licensee.
Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) August 20, 2013
Tower Mortgage Corp today launches a short sale negotiation service to benefit homeowners and Realtors® with listings of properties where mortgage loan debt exceeds property value. According to Tal Frank, VP of Tower Mortgage Corp, several real estate law firms recently stopped providing short sale services in conjunction with their work as closing agents in response to the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance position that an attorney selected to handle a closing for a buyer’s lender, who has no attorney-client relationship with the seller, cannot negotiate a short sale on the seller’s loan. According to Frank, with real estate agents having received Cease and Desist letters from the Department, there is currently a shift in how short sales in Georgia are handled away from Realtors® and real estate closing attorneys to Georgia mortgage licensees.
Frank says “based on my conversations with the Department, it is clear that the State of Georgia interprets Georgia Statutes to mean the proper party to assist the public with negotiating the often complicated and frustrating process of the short sale is the Georgia mortgage loan officer licensee.” Mr. Frank concedes that placing short sale negotiation exclusively within the domain of the mortgage loan officers, to the exclusion of Realtors® and attorneys, may not be how things were done in the past, but recognizes “it’s what the state regulators want today, and we have the capacity and expertise in-house to respond immediately.”
In May of 2011, the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance issued Cease and Desist Letters to two real estate agent sponsored short sale services, asserting the real estate agents were engaged in residential mortgage brokering activities, without a license, and without cover of an applicable exemption in violation of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1002.
In the Cease and Desist Letters, the Department asserts that pursuant to Georgia law it is prohibited for any person to directly or indirectly solicit, process, place, or negotiate mortgage loans for others, or offer to solicit, process, place, or negotiate mortgage loans for others, without a mortgage license, or pursuant to an exemption from licensure. According to the Department of Banking and Finance, this includes negotiating short sales.
In recent years many law firms and attorneys have offered short sale services, relying on an exemption from licensure, if the work is an ancillary matter to the attorney’s representation. However, several of Georgia’s largest real estate firms have recently stopped offering short sale negotiation services in acknowledgment of the Department’s position that negotiating a short sale for a homeowner/seller is not “ancillary” to the lawyer’s engagement of their client, the buyer’s lender.
In order to launch the short sale service within the mortgage licensure framework, Tower has made additional hires of processors and customer care staff, with over fifteen years experience in direct short sale negotiation and processing. This specific short sale expertise compliments a staff of over fifteen, and a company with twenty years experience providing mortgage loan services to clients.
Tower Mortgage Corp is a family owned and operated business established in 1993 with offices in Atlanta that prides itself on integrity, professionalism and commitment to serving their client’s mortgage needs.
Phone (404) 321-3033
Fax (404) 321-3811