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2018 Florida Statutes
Grounds for disciplinary action; administrative remedies.
Grounds for disciplinary action; administrative remedies.
559.730 Grounds for disciplinary action; administrative remedies.—
(1) Each of the following acts constitutes a ground for which the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) may be taken against a person registered or required to be registered under this part:
(a) Failure to disburse funds in accordance with agreements.
(b) Fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, negligence, or incompetence in a collection transaction.
(c) Commission of fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, or dishonest dealing by trick, scheme, or device; culpable negligence; breach of trust in a business transaction in any state, nation, or territory; or aiding, assisting, or conspiring with another person engaged in such misconduct and in furtherance thereof.
(d) Being convicted of, or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony or crime involving fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust, money laundering, or act of moral turpitude.
(e) Having a final judgment entered against the registrant in a civil action upon grounds of fraud, embezzlement, misrepresentation, or deceit.
(f) Being the subject of a decision, finding, injunction, suspension, prohibition, revocation, denial, judgment, or administrative order by a court of competent jurisdiction or an administrative law judge, or by a state or federal agency, involving a violation of a federal or state law relating to debt collection or a rule or regulation adopted under such law.
(g) Having a license or registration, or the equivalent, to practice a profession or occupation denied, suspended, or revoked, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of a registration or license by a registration or licensing authority of this state or another state, territory, or country.
(h) Acting as a consumer collection agency without a current registration issued under this part.
(i) A material misstatement or omission of fact on an initial or amended registration application.
(j) Payment to the office for a registration or permit with a check or electronic transmission of funds, which is dishonored by the applicant’s or registrant’s financial institution.
(k) Failure to comply with, or a violation of, any provision of this part, or any rule or order made or issued pursuant to this part.
(l) Failure to maintain, preserve, and keep available for examination all books, accounts, or other documents required by this part and the rules of the commission.
(m) Refusal to permit an investigation or examination of books and records, or refusal to comply with an office subpoena or subpoena duces tecum.
(n) Failure to timely pay a fee, charge, or fine imposed or assessed pursuant to this part and the rules of the commission.
(2) If the office finds a person in violation of any act specified in this section, it may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(a) Issuance of a reprimand.
(b) Suspension of a registration, subject to reinstatement upon satisfying all reasonable conditions imposed by the office.
(c) Revocation of a registration.
(d) Denial of a registration.
(e) Imposition of a fine of up to $10,000 for each count or separate offense.
(f) An administrative fine of up to $1,000 per day for each day that a person engages as a consumer collection agency without a valid registration issued under this part.
(3) The office may impose suspension rather than revocation of a registration if circumstances warrant that one or the other should be imposed and the registrant demonstrates that the registrant has taken affirmative steps that can be expected to effectively eliminate the violations and that the registrant’s registration has never been previously suspended.
(4) A consumer collection agency is subject to the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2) for a violation of subsection (1) by a control person of the consumer collection agency.
(5) Pursuant to s. 120.60(6), the office may summarily suspend the registration of a consumer collection agency if the office has reason to believe that a registrant poses an immediate, serious danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare. The arrest of the registrant, or the consumer collection agency’s control person, for any felony or any crime involving fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust, money laundering, or any other act of moral turpitude is deemed sufficient to constitute an immediate danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare. Any proceeding for the summary suspension of a registration must be conducted by the commissioner of the office, or designee, who shall issue the final summary order.
(6) The office may deny a request to terminate a registration or withdraw a registration application if the office believes that an act that would be a ground for registration denial, suspension, restriction, or revocation under this part has been committed.
(7) The commission shall adopt rules establishing guidelines for imposing administrative penalties.
(8) This part does not preclude any person from pursuing remedies available under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for any violation of such act.
History.—ss. 9, 13, ch. 93-275; s. 250, ch. 96-410; s. 682, ch. 2003-261; s. 8, ch. 2010-127; s. 8, ch. 2014-116.