The Commission Check - Newsletter of the Maryland Real Estate Commission (MREC)
IN THIS ISSUE

Message from Chair
J. Nicholas D'Ambrosia

Legislative Update
Laws Encompassing FY 2008

For Consumers: Filing a Complaint

Continuing Education

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THE FUNCTION AND PURPOSE OF MARYLAND REAL ESTATE COMMISSION

The Maryland Real Estate Commission (MREC) currently regulated more than 53,000 active licensees in Maryland. MREC serves both consumers and the real estate industry. The Commission was created to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public through examination, licensing and regulatory activities, to uphold and apply the governing real estate laws and regulations equally to all, to provide courteous, reasonable and professional assistance and to impartially conduct disciplinary actions. MREC regulates residential and commercial licensed members including real estate brokers, associate brokers and salespersons.

The Commission also handles consumer complaints and conducts investigations into the unlawful practice of real estate, and approves education for pre-licensing and broker classes as well as continuing education.

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WHO MAKES UP THE COMMISSION?
The nine appointed members of the Commission, five industry members and four consumer members include:

John Nicholas D'Ambrosia, Chair, Industry Member, Charles County
Nancy R. Simpers, Vice-Chair,
Industry Member, Cecil County
Anne S. Cooke,
Industry Member, Howard County
Surina A. Jordan
, Consumer Member, Baltimore City
Sydney L. Machat, Industry Member, Washington County
Rajan Natarajan,
Consumer Member, Montgomery County
Georgiana S. Tyler, Industry Member, Baltimore City
Colette P. Youngblood
, Consumer Member, Prince George's County

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DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that the following services are online:

  • Renew or reinstate your license
  • Broker trade name or address change
  • Personal name, including nickname changes
  • Home address correction
  • Transfer to a new company or inactive status
  • E-mail address – add or change

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REMINDER:

You are responsible for updating names, addresses and other changes in our files. You can easily update any new information by clicking on Electronic Licensing  and making the necessary changes.

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We welcome your input and suggestions!  Please e-mail the Executive Director at kconnelly@dllr.state.md.us

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DIVISION PERSONNEL

Stanley J. Botts, Commissioner, Occupational and Professional Licensing
Harry Loleas, Deputy Commissioner, Occupational and Professional Licensing

MREC STAFF:
Katherine F. Connelly, Executive Director
Steven Long, Assistant Executive Director
Patricia Hannon, Education Administrator
Charlene Faison, Licensing Supervisor

Jennifer Grimes, Investigator
Celestine Hall, Reception/Education
Brenda Iman, Paralegal
Darchelle Lanteon, Licensing
Jack Mull, Investigator
Robert J. Oliver, Investigator
William F. Reynolds, Investigator
Lucinda Rezek, Paralegal
Patrick Richardson, Auditor
James Stoakley, Jr.
, Investigator
Charlotte Streat-Thornton, Complaints & Education
John West, Complaint Intake Administrator

 

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Katherine Connelly

Maryland Real Estate Commission Executive Director Katherine ConnellyWelcome to The Commission Check, the inaugural edition of our quarterly newsletter which is intended to inform and keep you up to date on the current activities at the Maryland Real Estate Commission.

Our Mission Statement mirrors my commitment to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public through the examination, licensing, and regulatory activities of licensees in regard to real estate.  I will strive to ensure the consumers of Maryland are treated fairly and equitably by licensees and serviced efficiently by the Commission staff if they require assistance.  In similar fashion, I want to ensure our 53,000 plus licensees are provided the same privileges and courtesies.  I am extremely lucky to have an outstanding, competent staff that shares my commitment.  Together we are accomplishing great things.

A TIME FOR CHANGE:

 Since becoming the Executive Director of MREC we have:

  • Implemented reciprocal  license agreements with two states, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma;
  • Enhanced outreach efforts to consumers and licensees throughout the state;
  • Hired Steve Long as the new Assistant Executive Director;
  • Hired four new investigators to round out our investigative team; and
  • Hired Charlene Faison as a licensing supervisor; 
  • Made the public a priority by reorganizing the office and updating the equipment.

GOALS FOR THE FUTURE:

We are already working toward creating:

  • Continuing Education uploading to our website by education providers;
  • Automatic CE audit selections;
  • Easier, secure access to your own licensing record ;
  • Notification of a license transfer to and from a broker; and
  • Immediate access by the public to a licensee’s status and educational accomplishments

Needless to say, these are just a few of the issues we will continue to address.  While we face new challenges ahead, we will continue to draw on past successes and build on those achievements to strengthen the Commission and serve you better.

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
J. Nicholas D’Ambrosia

It is with great pleasure that I assume the role of Chair of the Maryland Real Estate Commission.  Having been in the real estate industry for over 35 years, I fully understand the obligations that the Commission has to regulate the licensees and take to heart our commitment to the consumers of Maryland that they will be treated fairly and honestly in their real estate transactions.

More than likely, a real estate transaction is the single, largest financial commitment in which the majority of people participate. It is often complex and many times confusing. The Maryland Real Estate Commission is tasked with seeing that the 54,000 licensees adhere to the laws, rules, regulations and Code of Ethics in their dealings with the public while performing real estate brokerage services.

I believe that the Real Estate Commission is doing an excellent job in that regard.

Hundreds of complaints are received annually at the Real Estate Commission.  It is our desire to process them as expeditiously as possible. We will continue to adhere to the standards that we have set.

It is also the responsibility of the MREC to take notice of trends and changes in the industry.  Web-sites, distance learning, agency supervision and teams and groups are just a few of the items that deserve the attention of the Commission. We will be looking at and/or re-examining these issues and others during the coming year.

We have a GREAT team of Commissioners, an outstanding Executive Director and a highly competent, skilled staff;  I know, that all of us working together will allow for a satisfying experience for all that have dealings with the Maryland Real Estate Commission.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE—Laws Encompassing FY 2008

FELONY CONVICTION LAW
SB 181--Effective April 24, 2008, the Maryland Real Estate Commission may suspend a license if a licensee has been convicted of a felony or fails within ten days after the conviction or within ten days following release from incarceration, whichever is later, to disclose such information to the Commission.  This law will assist the MREC in removing from the practice of real estate those individuals who could cause harm to the consumers of Maryland.

HOMEBUILDERS LAW
House Bill 1557 (Chapter 481)/Senate Bill 1008 (Chapter 480)
The Real Estate Commission Homebuilders Law has been repealed. A new law has been passed and will be enforced by the Attorney General’s Office/Consumer Protection Division/Homebuilders Registration Unit effective 10-01-08. Go to the  OAG website for more information.  

RECORD RETENTION LAW
House Bill 1316/Senate Bill 762 The Maryland General Assembly passed this bill which names specific periods of  retention for real estate transaction documents of five years with some exclusions.  The law will be posted on our website at its effective date of 10/1/08. 

FOR CONSUMERS: FILING A COMPLAINT

Out of some 53,000 real estate licensees in Maryland, the vast majority receive no complaints. On occasion however, problems arise during a transaction. A formal complaint can be filed. The complaint must be in writing, made under oath, state the amount of the loss claimed, if any, state the facts on which the complaint and/or claim is based and include any documentation or evidence in support of that complaint/claim. 

Complaints that include a claim against the Guaranty Fund must be for an actual loss based on an act or omission that occurs in the provision of real estate brokerage services by the broker, associate broker or salesperson or an unlicensed employee of a licensed real estate broker.  It must involve a transaction that relates to real estate that is located in the state of Maryland and be based on an act or omission in which money or property is obtained from a person by theft, embezzlement, false pretenses, forgery or constitutes fraud or misrepresentation.  The maximum amount of a claim is $25,000.

Click here to view a complaint form.

CONTINUING EDUCATION

Anyone who renews their license after October 1, 2008 is required to have 15 hours of Continuing Education. Click here for more specific information.

For your convenience, click here for our Continuing Education Providers. The MREC does not know the schedules of each individual provider.  You will need to contact them directly for their class schedules.

CONSUMER’S GUIDE AVAILABLE

The Maryland Real Estate Commission has created A Consumer’s Guide for Buyers and Sellers of Real Estate in Maryland to help consumers navigate the purchase and sale of real estate.  The guide helps you understand the process and outlines how to find qualified real estate professionals, tips for consumers and how to file a  complaints. Click here for the guide.

 

State of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation / Maryland Real Estate Commission/ 500 N. Calvert Street/ Baltimore, MD 21202