AREC - November Meeting Update
November 21, 2022
Last week, commissioners with the Alabama Real Estate Commission (AREC) met for their last meeting of 2022. With all commissioners but Jim Dye present, the meeting agenda was full with public hearings, several extra reports, including an update from the Broker Task Force, and a large number of hearings. Continue reading for the meeting summary.
Broker Task Force Update
Commissioners heard an update on the Broker Task Force, a group looking at revising the requirements to become a broker. The Task Force appears to be focusing on the qualifying broker rather than associate broker and pushing to bring broker applicants into AREC for training, replicating what is now being done for instructors. Branch offices and the requirement for a separate qualifying broker was another aspect mentioned as a topic to be reviewed by the Task Force down the road.
October License Issuances Back Up
October saw a departure from the recent trend of fewer new licenses issued. While August and September saw around 9 new licenses issued a day, over 13.4 new licenses were issued per day in October. Whether this is due to timing or a reversal of the trend remains to be seen.
Cases Update - Complaints and Large Fines for Insufficient Funds or Wrong Bank Numbers Continue
Due to a quirk in Alabama license law, bad check cases feature prominently at many AREC meetings. At Thursday’s meeting, ten licensees were charged by the Commission with submitting bad checks or having payments rejected. These cases range from typical bad checks or insufficient funds to failed electronic payments where the account or routing numbers were entered incorrectly. In all but one, Commissioners found the licensee guilty and issued a fine, with 8 fines set at $250 and one at $100. These fines are in addition to the $35 fee set by law.
One licensee successfully argued that he was not guilty, stating that he did not believe he entered anything incorrectly and had sufficient funds in the account. The program used to collect electronic funds does not notify the person paying of incorrect numbers, but in fact, issues a receipt for satisfactory payment.
In addition to the bad check cases, commissioners heard two motions for rehearing or reconsideration, one complaint for failure to notify AREC of an arrest within 10 days, one hardship request for a home operation, 3 applications for a salesperson’s temporary license, one application for a salesperson’s reciprocal license, and one hardship request for an extension to the salesperson license deadline.
Two Rule Amendments Receive Public Hearing
The Commission reconvenes in 2023 on January 19 at 9 am in Montgomery.