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Old 07-05-2009, 12:04 PM
 
14,938 posts, read 26,650,468 times
Reputation: 18160

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I know that the majority of realtors are honest, professionals. However, an incident here in my little town has me wondering about real estate certifications.

There was an active Realtor in our town that was recently convicted of a crime (actually three over a couple of months). In the newspaper write up it mentioned that a certain conviction name was being used because this realtor had five previous felonies!

How do people become licensed realtors, or keep their licenses, if they are convicted felons? I can't imagine that felons are allowed to have access to peoples homes. I know that if I am even arrested, not necessarily convicted, for anything other than a traffic violation I have to report it to my licensing board and risk losing my licensure.

In this particular case the agent forged prescriptions to obtain narcotics. I can only imagine how many homes either had prescriptions in them or other items could have been taken to support a drug habit. I am not saying that this happened but the temptation......

I am not bagging on the real estate profession; I truly would like to know about how well realtors are screened. If this is a state by state thing I will move the post to TN. Thanks in advance.

 
Old 07-05-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
19,884 posts, read 36,406,318 times
Reputation: 21321
Well, here in Texas, we have to pass a criminal background check and we have to have our fingerprints taken.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
125 posts, read 348,552 times
Reputation: 80
Each state has a real estate commission that sets the standards for licensure.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Barrington
41,894 posts, read 31,743,839 times
Reputation: 14083
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyMtnGal View Post

How do people become licensed realtors, or keep their licenses, if they are convicted felons? I can't imagine that felons are allowed to have access to peoples homes. I know that if I am even arrested, not necessarily convicted, for anything other than a traffic violation I have to report it to my licensing board and risk losing my licensure.
If you are convicted of a felony, how likely are you to report this to your state licensing board?

Most professions require licensing and or certification. They teach our children, administer to the sick and hurt, plumb our pipes, wire our homes, cut our hair, protect us from other criminals, put put fires, tend to our legal and/or financial needs, and on and on.

To the best of my knowledge, most states do not perform background checks on all licensees.

Convicted felons were criminals long before they get caught and convicted. Addiction to pain pills ( synthetic heroin) is so common that's it's almost socially accepted. Addicts are desperate and do desperate things. Sometime they get caught forging prescriptions, doctor shopping, stealing and on and on.

This has nothing to do with real estate and all to do with a society far more likely, than ever, to get hooked on drugs and all that follows.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
1,177 posts, read 3,655,288 times
Reputation: 936
SMG, here is a link to the licensing requirements in TN. Tennessee Real Estate Commission - License Requirements and Alternate Procedures Number five addresses part of your concern but there are obviously holes in the system. Hope this helps.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Hermoso y tranquilo Panamá
11,874 posts, read 9,334,074 times
Reputation: 47166
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyMtnGal View Post
I know that the majority of realtors are honest, professionals. However, an incident here in my little town has me wondering about real estate certifications.

There was an active Realtor in our town that was recently convicted of a crime (actually three over a couple of months). In the newspaper write up it mentioned that a certain conviction name was being used because this realtor had five previous felonies!

How do people become licensed realtors, or keep their licenses, if they are convicted felons? I can't imagine that felons are allowed to have access to peoples homes. I know that if I am even arrested, not necessarily convicted, for anything other than a traffic violation I have to report it to my licensing board and risk losing my licensure.

In this particular case the agent forged prescriptions to obtain narcotics. I can only imagine how many homes either had prescriptions in them or other items could have been taken to support a drug habit. I am not saying that this happened but the temptation......

I am not bagging on the real estate profession; I truly would like to know about how well realtors are screened. If this is a state by state thing I will move the post to TN. Thanks in advance.
What does your state RE commission say about this, i.e., on their website for licensing requirements? Looks like both you and another poster are both Realtors in the state in question. When I practiced in the states we had to have background check as well as fingerprints. I, as well, can't comprehend how a convicted felon could obtain their RE license, but nowadays nothing surprises me anymore. If your state does, in fact, require background checks and this one particular agent's felonies were prior to his licensing, then report him to not only your local Board of Realtors but make the RE commission aware of it. Regardless, make sure he is reported for this 'cause like MAM said he sure as heck isn't going to do it himself.

Last edited by JustJoy; 07-05-2009 at 12:44 PM.. Reason: addition
 
Old 07-05-2009, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Barrington
41,894 posts, read 31,743,839 times
Reputation: 14083
Professional licenses are sources of revenues for states. Many states create the perception that they are running background checks on all professional licenses. Some states run an initial check but not on subsequent renewals. Some do random checks. Some do nothing.

Almost all put the onus on the licensee to disclose.

Again, this is not limited to real estate. It's all professional licenses.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 12:53 PM
 
1,091 posts, read 3,234,208 times
Reputation: 1039
Unfortunately, there are convicted felons working in many different professions.
In my state, many jobs do not require criminal background checks, although luckily any job that involves working with children does require a mandatory criminal background check on all applicants.
I used to work in a very upscale Italian restaurant, though, and half the staff had extensive criminal backgrounds.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,614 posts, read 55,349,802 times
Reputation: 30178
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyMtnGal View Post
I know that the majority of realtors are honest, professionals. However, an incident here in my little town has me wondering about real estate certifications.

There was an active Realtor in our town that was recently convicted of a crime (actually three over a couple of months). In the newspaper write up it mentioned that a certain conviction name was being used because this realtor had five previous felonies!

How do people become licensed realtors, or keep their licenses, if they are convicted felons? I can't imagine that felons are allowed to have access to peoples homes. I know that if I am even arrested, not necessarily convicted, for anything other than a traffic violation I have to report it to my licensing board and risk losing my licensure.

In this particular case the agent forged prescriptions to obtain narcotics. I can only imagine how many homes either had prescriptions in them or other items could have been taken to support a drug habit. I am not saying that this happened but the temptation......

I am not bagging on the real estate profession; I truly would like to know about how well realtors are screened. If this is a state by state thing I will move the post to TN. Thanks in advance.
This is definitely a state-by-state thing.
I think the person in question would certainly lose their license in North Carolina for the conviction, and for the prior convictions if they were somehow concealed in their original background check.
Even so, it seems like penalties for poor behavior are unevenly reprimanded. Fraud with intent should result in permanent license loss, IMO. Failing to report a DUI often gets a harsher reprimand than fraud. Seems out of whack to me.

And, FWIW, you should separate licensing status from membership in the National Association of Realtors. The first doesn not necessarily imply the latter.
 
Old 07-05-2009, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
13,745 posts, read 31,577,375 times
Reputation: 12105
In Oregon we have to pass an initial background check and get fingerprinted for our initial license. They do not rerun background checks for out renewals (every two years out here). They put the responsibility of reporting a conviction on the licensee here if you get convicted of a crime after you get your original license.
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