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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Section 520.995, Florida Statutes 2004

520.995  Grounds for disciplinary action.--

(1)  The following acts are violations of this chapter and constitute grounds for the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2):

(a)  Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter, any rule or order adopted pursuant to this chapter, or any written agreement entered into with the office;

(b)  Fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, or gross negligence in any home improvement finance transaction or retail installment transaction, regardless of reliance by or damage to the buyer or owner;

(c)  Fraudulent misrepresentation, circumvention, or concealment of any matter required to be stated or furnished to a retail buyer or owner pursuant to this chapter, regardless of reliance by or damage to the buyer or owner;

(d)  Willful imposition of illegal or excessive charges in any retail installment transaction or home improvement finance transaction;

(e)  False, deceptive, or misleading advertising by a seller or home improvement finance seller;

(f)  Failure to maintain, preserve, and keep available for examination, all books, accounts, or other documents required by this chapter, by any rule or order adopted pursuant to this chapter, or by any agreement entered into with the office;

(g)  Refusal to permit inspection of books and records in an investigation or examination by the office or refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the office;

(h)  Criminal conduct in the course of a person's business as a seller, as a home improvement finance seller, or as a sales finance company; or

(i)  Failure to timely pay any fee, charge, or fine imposed or assessed pursuant to this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter.

(j)  Using the name or logo of a financial institution, as defined in s. 655.005(1), or its affiliates or subsidiaries when marketing or soliciting existing or prospective customers if such marketing materials are used without the written consent of the financial institution and in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the material or solicitation originated from, was endorsed by, or is related to or the responsibility of the financial institution or its affiliates or subsidiaries.

(2)  Upon a finding by the office that any person has committed any of the acts set forth in subsection (1), the office may enter an order taking one or more of the following actions:

(a)  Denying an application for a license pursuant to this chapter;

(b)  Revoking or suspending a license previously granted pursuant to this chapter;

(c)  Placing a licensee or an applicant for a license on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the office may specify;

(d)  Placing permanent restrictions or conditions upon issuance or maintenance of a license pursuant to this chapter;

(e)  Issuing a reprimand; or

(f)  Imposing an administrative fine not to exceed $1,000 for each such act.

(3)  In addition to the acts specified in subsection (1), the following shall be grounds for denial of a license pursuant to this chapter, or for revocation, suspension, or restriction of a license previously granted:

(a)  A material misstatement of fact in an initial or renewal application for a license;

(b)  Having a license, registration, or the equivalent, to practice any profession or occupation denied, suspended, revoked, or otherwise acted against by a licensing authority in any jurisdiction for fraud, dishonest dealing, or any act of moral turpitude;

(c)  Pleading nolo contendere to, or having been convicted or found guilty of, a crime involving fraud, dishonest dealing, or any act of moral turpitude, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld; or

(d)  Being insolvent or having a demonstrated lack of honesty or financial responsibility.

(4)  It is sufficient cause for the office to take any of the actions specified in subsection (2) as to any partnership, corporation, or association, if the office finds grounds for such action as to any member of the partnership, as to any officer or director of the corporation or association, or as to any person with power to direct the management or policies of the partnership, corporation, or association.

(5)  Each licensee licensed pursuant to this chapter is responsible for the acts of its employees and agents, if, with actual knowledge of such acts, it retained profits, benefits, or advantages accruing from such acts or if it ratified the conduct of its employee or agent as a matter of law or fact.

History.--ss. 34, 36, ch. 90-103; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 17, ch. 99-164; s. 634, ch. 2003-261; s. 3, ch. 2004-340; s. 86, ch. 2004-390.