The answer in one word: Yes.
The Florida Department of Banking and Finance in Tallahassee handles all aspects and areas of the mortgage license laws in Florida. In July 1992, the most current regulations regarding Mortgage Brokers in Florida became effective, and they affect anyone who solicits mortgage loans on a borrower’s behalf, accepts an application for a mortgage loan, or someone who negotiates the terms of a mortgage loan.
All brokers and lenders have some sort of application fee, and these fees can range anywhere from $150 – $400 depending on the situation and the mortgage broker. Some accept the money up front as a way to offset costs to process your loan, and others take the money upon closing. Try to find a lender that does not take the money up front, as it gives them leverage over you throughout the process. Their level of service may drop or you may risk being involved in a scam. It’s best to negotiate paying the fee after everything is said and done. Also keep in mind that this money is not usually refundable.
Be sure to look around to get the best rate, as well as the best broker/lender for you.
Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney, can help you navigate this often complicated process and ensure your fair treatment. Contact him at 813-549-0096.