Frederick County Maryland Real Estate

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					                   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 18, 2007, 10:30 a.m.
Highlights from the meeting:
Howie heads O & P Division
2007 legislation passed/failed
Licensee count reaches 55,803
2008 legislation planned


PRESENT:
     Commissioner Nancy R. Simpers, Chair (Industry)
     Commissioner Anne S. Cooke (Industry)
     Commissioner J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia (Industry)
     Commissioner Arthur E. Davis, III (Industry)
     Commissioner Surina Jordan (Consumer)
     Commissioner Sydney L. Machat (Industry)
     Harry Loleas, Deputy Commissioner, O & P
     Elizabeth Trimble, AAG, Counsel
     Katherine F. Connelly, Executive Director
     Steven Long, Assistant Executive Director
     John West, Complaint Administrator
     Patricia Hannon, Education Administrator, Session Recorder

ABSENT:
     Commissioner Stephen F. Kupres, Vice Chair (Consumer)
     Commissioner Arthur M. Eisenstein (Consumer)
     Commissioner Colette P. Youngblood (Consumer)

PUBLIC IN ATTENDANCE:
     Rafael Regales, DLLR Office of the Secretary
     Mark Feinroth , Maryland Association of Realtors
     Elisabeth Sachs, DLLR Office of the Secretary
     Donald White, Pr. Geo’s Comm Coll; MREEA
     Robert Johnston, AACAR

CALL TO ORDER:
        Nancy R. Simpers, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:40 a.m. Newly appointed
Commissioner of the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, Leonard J. Howie, III, was
introduced and welcomed, as well as Ms. Elisabeth Sachs, Director of Policy Development/Special
Assistant to the Secretary, and Mr. Rafael Regales, Deputy Director of the Secretary’s Communications
Office.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
      Motion (made by J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia, seconded by Arthur E. Davis, III) To approve the
minutes of the March 21, 2007 business meeting. Unanimous approval.

REPORT OF COMPLAINTS/ADMINISTRATIVE DISMISSALS:
     Motion (made by Anne S. Cooke, seconded by J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia) To approve the
Administrative Dismissals for the month of April 2007. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:
1. Education – J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia, Chair, read the PSI exam statistics report. For the month of
   March 2007, 1,206 sales exams and 78 broker exams were administered. The numbers are up from
   the previous month.
2. Legislative – Anne S. Cooke, Legislative Chair, and Harry Loleas, Deputy Commissioner
    HB 1288 (Sales Agents for Home Builders-Licensure) passed with amendments. The bill alters
       the definition of providing real estate services to include selling any real estate as a sales agent for
       a home builder. This legislation does not interfere with the registration required of new
       homebuilders by the Attorney General’s Office/Consumer Protection Division. Consumer
       Protection will send mailings to inform homebuilders of the new licensing requirement. The bill
       is awaiting the Governor’s signature and will be effective October 1, 2007.
    HB 1183 (Residential Real Property-Mold) did not pass and was amended to establish a task force
       for study.

COMMENTS FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Katherine F. Connelly
1. Current licensee count is 55,803, of which 4,817 are brokers, 3,192 are associate brokers, 47,116
   salespersons, and 678 branch offices.
2. The Guaranty Fund balance as of February 28, 2007 is $1,935,265.75.
3. The out-of-state travel form was e-mailed to all Commissioners; it is to be completed and returned by
   Commissioners planning to attend the ARELLO Conference in New York City in September. After
   approval, Commissioners will be able to contact the official State travel agency for train and air travel.
   Hotel reservations can be made directly by Commissioners and receipts submitted for reimbursement
   upon return. Rooms will fill quickly because of the favorable rate, so Commissioners are encouraged
   to call the hotel before June 30.
4. The Regulation Advisory Subcommittee met on April 6, 2007 to consider changes to regulations. Ms.
   Connelly will prepare the changes and submit to Counsel.
5. The Maryland-Pennsylvania reciprocal agreement has generated over 60 calls, 30 e-mails, and 5
   applications. One applicant has completed the process and is awaiting issuance of a reciprocal
   license. Virginia and West Virginia initially expressed interest, but nothing definite yet. Oklahoma
   called for a copy of the agreement to review.
6. Requests to fill two clerical vacancies were denied; the request to fill the paralegal vacancy was
   approved, and the position will be advertised soon. Ms. Connelly continues to monitor the number of
   calls to the Commission each day – 200 one day recently – so staffing issues need to be addressed.
7. Audits of continuing education hours have revealed licensees who did not complete the hours. In the
   past, consent agreements were offered which required makeup of hours and payment of a fine and late
   fee. Ms. Connelly asked the Commissioners for guidelines for current consent agreements. Lengthy
   discussions centered on falsified applications, amount of fine based on hours missing, status of license
   during period of noncompliance, lack of concern by some licensees, and practices of other O&P
   boards. New regulations may be needed. Counsel will review. If so, Chair asked Counsel to draft
   the language.



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8. Since the last meeting, Ms. Connelly met with licensees in Harford County and Baltimore City, met
    with HUD on fraud cases involving licensees, attended a luncheon with Senator Cardin to talk about
    the real estate industry, spoke to various boards and associations, and attended a preview of the movie
    Judge Smartt produced by the Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc. Future schedule includes the
    Baltimore Housing Preservation Coalition, attending a Frederick county broker and manager meeting,
    and visits to members of various associations. Consumer outreach includes a booth, which has been
    reserved for MREC at the Senior Expo in October, and joining with the Maryland Insurance
    Administration for outreach at other events. Commissioner Cooke received outstanding feedback
    about Ms. Connelly’s positive and informative presentations and magazine articles.
9. Education providers asked Ms. Connelly for help with their challenges of students arriving late,
    leaving early, reading newspapers, etc. To respond, Ms. Connelly will send a general information
    letter to all providers.
10. Ms. Connelly handed out a set of advertisements from magazines and newspapers. Commissioners
    noted the ads which failed to comply with law and regulation. The Complaint Administrator initially
    calls the broker as an informal start to correction. It was decided that, for repeats or more serious
    omissions, a complaint be set up for hearing before a panel of Commissioners. Commissioner Machat
    noted that advertising by Pennsylvania licensees appears to have a standard, uniform format and
    suggested staff contact the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission for information.
11. The next meeting of the Budget Subcommittee is scheduled for April 27, 2007 at 9:30 a.m.

COMMENTS FROM COUNSEL: Elizabeth Trimble
         Counsel received an e-mail from the Antitrust Division of the Attorney General’s Office inquiring
if a clause committing a future buyer to use a specific broker for a future sale has appeared in Maryland
real estate contracts. Ms. Trimble asked Industry Commissioners if they had encountered this type of
clause. None had. Counsel will respond directly.

COMMENTS FROM CHAIR: Nancy R. Simpers
1. Ms. Simpers enjoyed a recent continuing education class where the instructor was clear about
   advertising violations. Licensees are being informed about advertising errors and fines which could
   be expected.
2. The Chair asked Counsel to draft legislation on prelicensing distance education for discussion at the
   May meeting.
3. Further input is needed on grounds for summary suspension, which was a topic of discussion at the
   March meeting. This item will be on the May agenda.
4. A vote is needed to re-propose legislation on disclosure of interest in certain companies. Motion
   (made by J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia, seconded by Anne S. Cooke) To re-submit the changes to 17-
   607, 17-322(b), and 17-524 to Secretary Perez for the 2008 Legislative Session. All in favor;
   Motion passed.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:             None

NEW BUSINESS:
1. Commissioner D’Ambrosia asked Commissioners to look at the practice of real estate by teams and
   groups. Chair asked Commissioners to bring their questions and concerns to the May meeting to start
   the discussion.



                                            Page 3 of 4 4-18-07
2. Commissioner D’Ambrosia reported on a request from a Florida broker to sit for Maryland’s exam.
   The Florida broker, who will not move to Maryland, intends to act only as a buyer’s agent. Panel #1
   considered the request and Mr. D’Ambrosia wanted input from the other Commissioners. After
   discussion, it was decided that Counsel will review all materials submitted by the Florida broker.

ADJOURNMENT:
       There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m. The next monthly business
meeting is Tuesday, May 8, 2007.



APPROVED AS PRESENTED ____________________________________________________

                                           Nancy R. Simpers, Chairperson

APPROVED AS AMENDED ______________________________________________________
                               Nancy R. Simpers, Chairperson




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