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The Florida Real Estate Commission has disciplined 11 metro Orlando brokers and brokerages for having shortages and overages in the bank escrow accounts they opened for their customers.
FREC also cited 13 other brokers in the tri-county area and accepted the voluntarily surrendered licenses of two brokers on separate violations, according to the commission's quarterly News & Report.
The commission requires that deposits and withdrawals in the escrow accounts "balance exactly every month," says Jack King, the agency's chief investigator. The rule repeatedly trips up brokers on unannounced spot audits, King says.
"The brokers' most common excuse for showing an overage is that they have forgotten to take out their commissions."
But there can be other reasons for putting extra money into a brokerage account. "Like hiding funds from the IRS and spouses," King says. "All kinds of crazy excuses."
Often there are apparently …