I have decided to move to Miami and get my Florida mortgage broker license. My plan is to study for two months, and take the exam in May…let’s hope I pass the test.
My adventure into the world of Florida mortgage began when I drove down to the South Campus of the Gold Coast Professional Schools. I was a little anxious, not knowing what to expect. I was surprised to see over 100 other students there taking my class.
Overall, I was happy with the Gold Coast curriculum. The mortgage class takes about 25 hours to complete. They are given either midweek (Tue, Wed, Thur) or weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun). The cost is $299.00 and I got my moneys’ worth. Gold Coast offers classes for Contractors, Insurance Salesmen, Real Estate Salesmen and Mortgage Brokers.
Friday evening class begins, and I am very comfortable with how the data is presented.
Day 1 is focused on discussing the basics to have a Mortgage Broker career in Florida. I learned that you must be at least 18 years of age and pass a written examination that reflects a strong knowledge of the Florida Mortgage Brokerage & Lending Act, the Florida Fair Lending Act, all federal lending and housing regulations, complete knowledge of FHA/VA and Conventional mortgages, Fannie Mae underwriting guidelines, basic real estate knowledge such as surveys and deeds, plus mathematical calculations pertaining to financing.
The instructor, Mr. Dan Flietstra, is clearly knowledgeable and the pace of delivery seems perfect. He mentions that 30% of the test is based on Chapter 3 of the text book so I decide I will certainly focus on Chapter 3. He also lets us know that 10% of the test is math. Class goes fast and we’re finished with Day 1. I go to thank this Mr. Flietstra for his expertise and he shares with me that he is from Grand Rapids…and that’s where I live…maybe he’ll pad my grades.
We talk about taxes and local stamps, and millages (more on that later). Overall, class isn’t that difficult.
Studying for the test
I am learning that there are some clever questions and formulas that must be memorized in order to pass the state examination to obtain a Mortgage License in Florida.
Since math is ten percent of the test, and part of the “math” is a section which deals with maximum allowable fees a mortgage broker may charge. I realize this will be an area to really study well.
Here is where things become a little unclear. There are two different sets of rules which are applied in order to determine the maximum fee a broker may charge a borrower.
The two catagories are known as either net rules or gross rules. I will explain the difference:
“Net Rules” apply when the loan does not include a brokerage fee.
“Gross Rules” apply when the loan includes a brokerage fee.
The maximum amount a broker may charge on a “Net Loan” is $250 plus 10% of the total amount of the loan.
The maximum amount a broker may charge on a “Gross Loan” is the amount of the loan divided by 11 + $227.27
Forget that most institutional lenders (banks) will not allow a broker to charge a borrower more than 2%. The State of Florida allows 10% quite a difference.
It shocks me to learn that Florida brokers can charge 10% of a loan in brokerage fees. I have been doing mortgages in Michigan where the average cost is about 2%.
With the difference in real estate values between Florida and Michigan it’s my aim to produce most residental mortgages at 1% or less. How to do this? First, with exceptional service. Secondly, exceeding client expections. Most importantly, to provide the most inovative and proven wholesale programs available. The difference between Brokers and Banks is Brokers use WHOLESALE rates versus Banks using RETAIL.
These formulas are just part of the examination a mortgage broker must pass when becoming licensed in Florida. While I study for the test, I will be posting anything relivent I find here…