If looking into getting into the note buying business in Georgia do you have to have a broker or real estate license to do that?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The note buying business is legitimate but there are many many bad actors out there and this looks, smells and feels like a scam.
Here is the Georgia Law:
OCGA § 43-40-30. Acting without a license; cease and desist order; judicial review; effect of Code section on other remedies
(a) Any person who, directly or indirectly, with the intention or upon the promise of receiving any valuable consideration, offers, attempts, or agrees to perform, or performs, any single act defined in paragraph (2) of Code Section 43-40-1, whether as a part of a transaction or as an entire transaction, shall be deemed a licensee within the meaning of this chapter. The commission of a single such act by a person who is required to be licensed under this chapter but who is not so licensed shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to engage in or conduct the business of, or advertise or hold himself or herself out as engaging in or conducting the business of, or act in the capacity of, a licensee within this state without first obtaining a license as provided in this chapter unless such person is exempted from obtaining a license under Code Section 43-40-29.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, the commission may issue a cease and desist order prohibiting any person from violating the provisions of this chapter by engaging in the practice of a real estate broker without a license. Such cease and desist order shall be final ten days after it is issued unless the person to whom such order is issued requests a hearing before the commission.
(d) The violation of any cease and desist order of the commission under subsection (c) of this Code section shall subject the person violating the order to further proceedings before the commission, and the commission shall be authorized to impose a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 for each transaction constituting a violation of such order. Each day that a person practices in violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation.
(e) Initial judicial review of the decision of the commission entered pursuant to this Code section or an action for enforcement of such decision shall be available solely in the superior court of the county of domicile of the commission.
(f) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to prohibit the commission from seeking remedies otherwise available by statute without first seeking a cease and desist order in accordance with the provisions of this Code section.
If I were you, I would double check with the Georgia Real Estate Commission BEFORE I embarked on this business venture.
The exceptions are found in OCGA § 43-40-29 - Exceptions to operation of chapter
(a) Except as otherwise provided, this chapter shall not apply to:
(1) Any person who, as owner, as the spouse of an owner, as general partner of a limited partnership, as lessor, or as prospective purchaser or their regular employees, performs any act with reference to property owned, leased, or to be acquired by such owner, limited partnership, lessor, or prospective purchaser where such acts are performed in the regular course of, or as incident to, the management of such property and the investment therein or any person who manages residential apartment complexes under a contract approved by any federal agency for an organization which is exempt from federal taxes pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in Code Section 48-1-2, provided that such person was engaged in managing such property under such type contract prior to January 1, 1989;
(2) An attorney in fact under a duly executed power of attorney to convey real estate from the owner or lessor;
(3) A licensed practicing attorney acting solely as an incident to the practice of law;
(4) Any person acting as receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, administrator, executor, or guardian or acting under a court order or under the authority of a will or of a trust instrument;
(5) Any officer or employee of a government agency in the conduct of official duties;
(6) Any person employed by a public or private utility who performs any act with reference to property owned, leased, or to be acquired by the utility employing that person, where such acts are performed in the regular course of, or as incident to, the management of such property and the investment therein;
(7) Any person who, as owner or through another person engaged by such owner on a full-time basis or as owner of a management company whose principals hold a controlling ownership of such property, provides property management services or community association management services, buys, sells, leases, manages, auctions, or otherwise deals with property owned by such person;
(8) Any person employed on a full-time basis by the owner of property for the purpose of providing property management services or community association management services, selling, buying, leasing, managing, auctioning, or otherwise dealing with such property;
(8.1) Any person employed on a full-time basis by a community association for the purpose of providing community association management services;
(9) Any person acting as a referral agent who is not involved in the actual negotiations, execution of documents, collection of rent, management of property, or other related activity which involves more than the mere referral of one person to another and who:
(A) Does not receive a fee for such referral from the party being referred;
(B) Does not charge an advance fee; and
(C) Does not act as a referral agent in more than three transactions per year;
(10) Any individual employed by a broker to assist in property management services on property on which the broker has a written management agreement that the broker procured from and negotiated with the owner, provided that such individual's activities are explicitly authorized by the broker in a written agreement between the broker and the employee and provided that such activities are limited to one or more of the following:
(A) Delivering a lease application, a lease, or any amendment thereto to any person;
(B) Receiving a lease application, a lease, or any amendment thereto, a security deposit, rental payment, or any related payment for delivery to and made payable to the broker or the owner;
(C) Showing a rental unit to any person, provided that the employee is acting under the direct instructions of the broker, and executing leases or rental agreements;
(D) Providing information authorized by the broker about a rental unit, a lease application, or a lease;
(E) Providing information to a tenant about the status of such tenant's security deposit or rent payments or to an owner about the owner's financial accounts and payments from the owner's tenants; and
(F) Performing any ministerial acts that are explicitly authorized by the broker in a written agreement between the broker and the employee. Any broker utilizing the services of such an employee shall be held responsible under this chapter for the activities of that individual;
(11) Any person who provides property management services on properties available for less than 90 days' occupancy by guests or occupants and meets all of the following conditions:
(A) The property manager enters into a written agreement with the owner specifying all terms and conditions under which the property is to be managed, the reporting of income and expenses, and the remitting of income to the owner;
(B) The management agreement between the property manager and the owner does not allow the property manager to rent or lease the property and any agreement between the property manager and the guest or occupant is not a lease or rental agreement;
(C) Any applicable zoning laws do not prohibit short-term occupancy uses of the property;
(D) The guest's or occupant's occupancy is for less than 90 days;
(E) No deposit exceeds the cost of the rental required for the minimum rental period;
(F) The guest or occupant pays any required state or local sales taxes or excise taxes on rooms, lodgings, and accommodations and the property manager has any required state or local business licenses or permits;
(G) The property manager has the authority to specify rooms or units that the guest or occupant will occupy;
(H) No extra charge is made for basic utilities;
(I) Notice is not required for a guest or occupant to terminate occupancy of the room or unit, except as provided under the provisions of Article 1 of Chapter 21 of this title; and
(J) The room or unit is not the permanent residence of the guest or occupant;
(12) Any person who is a member of a community association and who provides community association management services only to one community association of which such person is a member;
(13) Any person who performs only physical maintenance on a property; or
(14) A licensed certified public accountant acting solely as an incident to the practice of public accounting.
(b) The exceptions provided by subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply to any person, other than an owner or individuals who are full-time employees of the owner, who performs the acts of a broker on property required to be registered under Article 1, 2, or 5 of Chapter 3 of Title 44.
(c) The exceptions provided by subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply to any person who holds a real estate license.
(d) The exceptions in subsection (a) of this Code section are not applicable to a person who uses or attempts to use them for the purpose of evading licensure required by this chapter.