MARYLAND REAL ESTATE COMMISSION
500 North Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Mission: Protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public
through examination, licensing, and regulatory activities regarding real estate
BUSINESS MEETING MINUTES
APRIL 21, 2010, 10:30 a.m.
Highlights from the meeting:
Current license count 45,098
GF balance now $2,361,687.86
Bob Hall joins staff as investigator
CE audits immediate at renewal
HB 83 for CE takes effect 1/1/12
HB 406 for teams takes effect 10/1/10
Final action delayed on CE regulations
Commissioner J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia, Chair (Industry)
Commissioner Marla S. Johnson (Industry)
Commissioner Surina Jordan (Consumer)
Commissioner Robin L. Pirtle (Consumer)
Commissioner Nancy R. Simpers (Industry)
Commissioner Georgiana S. Tyler (Industry)
Commissioner Colette P. Youngblood (Consumer)
Harry Loleas, Deputy Commissioner, O & P
Elizabeth Trimble, AAG, Counsel
Katherine F. Connelly, Executive Director
J. Steven Long, Assistant Executive Director
Shannon Davis, Outreach Coordinator
Patricia Hannon, Education Administrator, Session Recorder
Commissioner Anne S. Cooke, Vice Chair (Industry)
PUBLIC IN ATTENDANCE:
Edward Smith, Ed Smith R E School
Carl Kessler, The Professional Develop. Inst
Mark Feinroth, MD Realtors
Donald White, MREEA and PG Comm Coll
Carolyn Cook, GBBR
CALL TO ORDER:
J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:40 a.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Motion (made by Colette P. Youngblood, seconded by Robin L. Pirtle) To approve the minutes
of the March 17, 2010 business meeting. Unanimous approval.
REPORT OF COMPLAINTS/ADMINISTRATIVE DISMISSALS:
Motion (made by Nancy R. Simpers, seconded by Marla S. Johnson) To approve the
Administrative Dismissals for the month of April 2010. Motion carried.
1. Education – Georgiana S. Tyler, Education Chair, read the exam statistics. For the month of March
2010, 423 salesperson and 47 broker exams were administered by PSI, the testing vendor.
2. Legislative – At the May meeting, the Commissioners will begin discussing ideas for legislation in
the 2011 General Assembly.
COMMENTS FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Katherine F. Connelly
1. Current license count totals 45,098, of which 4,787 are brokers, 3,170 are associate brokers, 36,374
salespersons, 550 branch offices, 4 time shares, 58 reciprocal brokers, 14 reciprocal associate brokers,
and 141 reciprocal salespersons. Of the total, 4,580 are inactive.
2. The Guaranty Fund balance through February 28, 2010 is $2,354,358.74
3. The Guaranty Fund balance through March 31, 2010 is $2,361,687.86
4. The contractual position for an investigator has been filled. Mr. Robert Hall brings to the position 20
years experience as a real estate licensee, a continuing education instructor, and a former Prince
George’s County police officer. Mr. Hall begins employment on April 28, 2010 and will place his
license on inactive status.
5. Complaint staff has been trained on the Win-Touch software program. Thanks to Steve Long who
worked with programmers to get it running smoothly. All Commissioners will be trained on this new
6. The software program to audit continuing education hours went live on April 5. After completing the
online renewal application, a licensee selected for audit is immediately notified to send the education
certificates within 30 days. A follow up email serves as a reminder. The system is working well. The
first two licensees to receive the surprise notice submitted certificates in less than 24 hours and
7. The 2009 Continuing Education Audit is nearing completion. So far, 16 licensees failed, 4
surrendered their licenses, 3 paid the fine, 2 requested hearings, and 7 are pending. The current pass
rate is 76 percent.
8. HB 83, Continuing Education, mandates a broker supervision course for certain licensees and an
agency-agency disclosure course for all licensees every 4 years. The course outlines will be
developed by a task force composed of staff, Commissioners, and educators. The new mandated
courses will be needed for licenses expiring on and after January 1, 2012. Deputy Commissioner
Loleas reminded all present that a task force or working group, whose members are other than
Commissioners and staff, must comply with the Open Meeting Law. That is, the meeting date must
be published in the Maryland Register and be open to the public. The meeting dates must be
scheduled far enough in advance so that publication rules are met.
9. HB 406, Services Provided Through Teams, takes effect October 1, 2010. Suggested ways to
communicate the new law to licensees included MREC email, newsletter, and “Do’s & Don’ts”
posting, and an article in the Maryland Association of Realtors’ magazine.
10. Outreach - Ms. Connelly taught a 1.5 hour continuing education course for Mid-Shore Board; met
with brokers at the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors; testified in Annapolis; and joined
Commissioners Cooke and D’Ambrosia at the ARELLO meeting in Colorado. Next month’s plans
include meeting with licensees from two large brokerages and attending the Maryland Association of
Realtors’ Mediation Day.
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11. Jeff Thaler and Juan Munoz have been appointed by Governor O’Malley to fill the two Industry
vacancies. Mr. Thaler will fill the term which has been vacant since 2008. Mr. Munoz will fill
Commissioner Jordan’s position when she retires in May.
12. Real Estate Empower is the latest career school to be certified by the Maryland Higher Education
Commission to offer 60 hours of classroom instruction in principles and practices for salespersons.
13. Charlotte Streat-Thornton continues to recover and is expected to return to work in June.
COMMENTS FROM COUNSEL: Elizabeth Trimble
1. House Bill 6 “Property Tax-Notice-60-Day Appeal” passed both House and Senate. The bill requires
a contract of sale to have specific language that the new property owner can appeal the property’s tax
assessment under certain circumstances.
2. House Bill 1298 “Real Property-Transfer Fees-Prohibition” was entered as an emergency measure. It
outlaws encumbering the property for the payment of a transfer fee.
3. House Bill 1470 “Title Insurance-Title Insurers and Title Insurance Producers-Regulation and
Reports” passed for changes to the Insurance Article. It does require the Maryland Insurance
Administration and DLLR to prepare a consumers’ title insurance bill of rights and to share
information from complaints. The bill takes effect July 1, 2010. A working relationship has already
been established with Assistant Director Long and MIA and Financial Regulation staff on other
4. House Bill 1471 “Residential Real Property-Real Estate Settlements-Disclosures” makes RESPA a
state law as well as a federal law. A person who is in compliance with RESPA is in compliance with
5. SB 1063 “Task Force to Study Unlicensed and Deceptive Real Estate Practice” did not pass the House
Economic Matters Committee.
COMMENTS FROM CHAIR: J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia
The ARELLO mid-year meeting in Colorado Springs was an opportunity for regulators to attend
committees other than their own, so there was a good exchange of ideas. Other regulators asked about
Maryland’s legislation on teams as their states are addressing similar issues.
Final Action on Proposed CE Regulations – Three educators and the Maryland Association of
Realtors sent written comments before the April 15, 2010 deadline. Their comments were tabulated,
compared, and discussed by Commissioners publicly at today’s meeting, but no action was taken.
Counsel will re-draft for Commissioners’ review at the May meeting. If the changes are substantive, the
regulations will be re-submitted for publication.
1. Election of officers will be held at the June business meeting. The process is to either nominate a
committee today to present a slate in June or to accept nominations from the floor in June.
Commissioners agreed on nominations from the floor in June.
2. For discussion next month –
Deposits in a condominium purchase. In this situation, a buyer has a unilateral right to cancel. If
the buyer cancels, can the broker give the deposit back without the seller’s agreement?
Advertisement of real property which is not kept current when the price is reduced or the property
sold. Is the consumer harmed by an out-of-date real estate booklet on the news stand, by a web
advertisement still in cyberspace?
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There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m. on motion by Marla S.
Johnson, seconded by Colette P. Youngblood, agreed by all. The next monthly business meeting is
Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
APPROVED AS PRESENTED ____________________________________________________
J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia, Chairperson
APPROVED AS AMENDED ______________________________________________________
J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia, Chairperson
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