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Division of Consumer Finance

Division of Consumer Finance Frequently Asked Questions

General Licensing Questions

How do I apply for a license?

  • Select the “Apply For A License” button at the top of our homepage and select the license type in which you wish to apply for. That will redirect you to a webpage with more specific information regarding the application process.

How can I verify if a company or an individual is licensed?

  • You can verify all licenses regulated by Florida Office of Financial Regulation here.

How do I amend my pending application?

  • To amend your pending application, follow these steps:
    • Log into Florida's REAL System with the same Username used to apply.
    • Locate and select the “View Outstanding Filings” button.
    • You will then see 2 categories: Draft Filings and Pending Filings.
      • Draft Filings will show your filings that have NOT been submitted to the Office.
      • Pending Filings will show your filings that HAVE been submitted to the Office.
    • Locate your PENDING FILING and select “Amend this Filing” located to the right of the transaction number.
    • You will then be in the filing just as you left it. Make all appropriate changes to the application and follow the submission steps to submit your filing to the Office.

How do I amend my license?

  • To amend your license, follow these steps:
    • Log into Florida's REAL System with the Username that is associated to the license in which you wish to amend.
    • Locate and select the “File an Amendment” button.
    • Select the license in which you wish to amend and press the submit button.
    • Create a filing name for the amendment filing.
    • You will then be in the amendment form. Make all appropriate changes to the form and be sure that ALL current and correct information is being reflected.
    • Once completed, go to the very bottom of the page and follow the submission steps to submit your filing to the Office.

How do I renew my license?

  • License renewal dates, fees, and procedures may be different per license type. To know the specific information regarding your license renewal, click on the “Apply For A License” button at the top of our homepage and select the license type you hold. This will redirect you to a webpage that gives specific information regarding the renewal process.

When trying to add an owner or officer to my application, I click the link and nothing happens; what should I do?

  • It is most likely the case that your computer has Pop-up' blockers ON and you would need to disable them in order to continue with your application.
  • After clicking “Add Owner/Officer”, you may see a banner or border appear near the top of your page. If you click on that banner, it will give you the option to “Allow Pop-ups.” Select this option and try to click “Add Owner/Officer” again; this time a window should appear asking you to enter the information for the officer(s)/owner(s) of your company.

Ch. 494: Loan Originator, Broker & Lender Questions

Where do I apply for a Mortgage Loan Originator, Mortgage Broker, Mortgage Lender, or a Mortgage Lender Servicer license?

How Do I file a complaint against a mortgage company or mortgage professional?

Do I need a license for commercial mortgages?

  • Most commercial lending is exempt from Chapter 494; however, the caller should review Chapter 494 and seek legal counsel.
  • It is recommended to review Florida Statutes: Ch. 494.00115(2)(d), Ch. 494.001(1), Ch. 494.001(12), Ch. 494.001(16), Ch. 494.001(23)

Do I have to be licensed to perform a loan modification?

  • A company must be licensed as a Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Lender to conduct Loan Modifications, and the individual must be licensed as Mortgage Loan Originator. (Unless they can claim an exemption, such as a member of the FL Bar)

Can a licensee take an upfront fee to perform a loan modification?

  • No. Section 494.00296(1)(c), F.S., states, when offering or providing loan modification services, a mortgage broker, mortgage brokerage business, mortgage lender, or correspondent mortgage lender licensed, or required to be licensed, under ss. 494.001-494.0077 may not solicit, charge, receive, or attempt to collect or secure payment, directly or indirectly, for loan modification services before completing or performing all services included in the agreement for loan modification services.

When a Loan originator changes companies, can they take the loans they are currently working on to the new company?

  • No, he will either need to leave the loans in the pipeline with the previous company, or complete them and then move to the new company. A loan originator cannot originate for two companies.

Do I need a loan originator license if I'm only going to process applications?

  • Please review Florida Statutes 494.00331 for loan originator and loan processor employment regulations.

I'm having an issue with a Time-Share, what do I do?

Ch. 559: Collection Agency Questions

A Collection Agency is constantly calling me. What can I do?

  • If the debt for which they are calling is a legitimately owed debt, then they do have the right to seek to collect on it.
  • As long as their calls fall between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm, they have not broken any regulations. (Florida Statutes 559.72(17))
  • You have the right to send a Cease and Desist letter to the collection agency, informing them that you no longer wish to receive any contact over the phone. (They may begin sending collection letters through the mail.)
  • For more information on Consumer Protection regarding Debt Collectors, visit http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm

A Collection Agency has called my place of work and spoken to my employer about my debt. What can I do?

  • Unless there has been some sort of legal final judgment against you, no collector should be contacting anyone besides you concerning a debt owed by you. (Florida Statutes 559.72(4)) For something of this nature, you can file a complaint with our office against the company.
  • To file a complaint with our office click here.

A Collection Agency keeps calling me regarding a debt that is not mine. What do I do?

  • Per Federal law, every collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. This notice must also include the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money, and how to proceed if you don't think you owe the money.
  • If you decide after having contact with the debt collector that you don't want the debt collector to contact you again, tell the collector, in writing, to stop contacting you.
    • Here's how to do that: make a copy of your letter. Send the original by certified mail, and pay for a “return receipt” so you'll be able to document what the collector received.
    • Once the collector receives the letter, they may not contact you again, with two exceptions: a collector can contact you to tell you there will be no further contact or to let you know that they or the creditor intend to take specific action, like filing a lawsuit.
  • Sending such a letter to a debt collector you owe money to does not get rid of the debt, but it should stop the contact. The creditor or the debt collector can still sue you to collect the debt.

Ch. 560: Money Service Business Questions

What are the requirements to become a check casher?

  • Click here for the requirements to become a Check Casher.

What are the requirements to become a Part II licensee under Florida Statutes Chapter 560?

  • The Chapter 560 Part II license is for businesses that wish to engage in the selling or issuing of payment instruments or in the activity of money transmitting.
    • Click here for the requirements to become a Payment Instrument Issuer
    • Click here for the requirements to become a Money Transmitter.

What do I need to do to become a “payday loan” company?

  • In the state of Florida, “Payday loan” companies are defined as Deferred Presentment Providers.
  • Click here for more information on Deferred Presentment Providers.

How do I file a quarterly report?

  • Log into Florida's REAL System with the Username that is associated to the license in which you wish to file a quarterly report for.
  • Locate and select the “File A Quarterly Report” button.
  • Select the license in which you wish to file a quarterly report for.
  • Create a filing name for the quarterly report filing.
  • You will then be in the quarterly report form, complete the form as it applies to your company.
  • Once completed, go to the very bottom of the page and follow the submission steps to submit your filing to the Office.

I tried to get a payday loan, but the company I went to said that I could not because I did not pay off the last one; but I know that I have paid it off, what do I do?

  • Whenever you have paid off a payday loan, the company should enter that fact into the tracking system. If they did not, it will prevent any future loan attempts.
  • You should first contact the company that has the open transaction for the outstanding loan. If the loan has been paid off, they should have procedures in place to correct this matter. It is suggested to first attempt to resolve the matter internally with that company.
  • If you cannot seek any resolution, file a complaint with Florida's Office of Financial Regulation. Though it may take several days for the complaint to first be processed.
  • To file a complaint, click here.

Ch. 520: Retail Installment Questions

What license do I need to offer retail installments for the sale of a motor vehicle?

  • MV: Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Seller, Click here for detailed information.

What license do I need to offer warranties for automobiles?

  • Contact the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation for information regarding warranty licensing.

I have two licenses: a Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Seller Licenses as well as a Sales Finance License, do I need both licenses?

  • If your company finances, for your customers, the purchases of automobiles from your car lot, that would require a Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Seller License.
  • If your company purchases automobile finance contracts from other car dealerships, the Sales Finance license will be required.