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Subject 80-11-3 ADMINISTRATIVE FINES AND PENALTIES

Rule 80-11-3-.01 Administrative Fines

(1) The Department establishes the following fines and penalties for violation of the Georgia Residential Mortgage Act ("GRMA") or its rules. Except as otherwise indicated, these fines and penalties apply to any person who is acting as a mortgage lender or broker and who is required to be licensed or registered under Article 13 of Chapter 1 of Title 7 ("licensee" or "registrant"). The Department, at its sole discretion, may waive or modify a fine based upon the financial resources of the person, gravity of the violation, history of previous violations, and such other facts and circumstances deemed appropriate by the department.
(2) All fines levied by the Department are due within thirty (30) days from date of assessment and must be paid prior to renewal of the annual license or registration, reinstatement of a license or registration, or reapplication for a license or registration, or any other activity requiring Departmental approval.
(3) Dealing with Unlicensed Persons. Any licensee or registrant or any employee of either who purchases, sells, places for processing or transfers (or performs activities which are the equivalent thereof) a mortgage loan or loan application to or from a person who is required to be but is not duly licensed under the GRMA shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per transaction and the licensee or registrant shall be subject to suspension or revocation. Licensees are responsible for the actions of their employees.
(4) Permitting unlicensed persons to engage in mortgage loan originator activities. Any licensee or registrant who employs a person who does not hold a mortgage loan originator's license but engages in licensed mortgage loan originator activities as set forth in O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1000(22)shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per occurrence and the licensee or registrant shall be subject to suspension or revocation. Licensees are responsible for the actions of their employees.
(5) Relocation of Office. Any mortgage broker or mortgage lender licensee who relocates their main office or any additional office and does not notify the Department within thirty (30) days of the relocation in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1006(e)shall be subject to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500).
(6) Unapproved Offices. In addition to the application, fee and approval requirements of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1006(f), any licensee who operates an unapproved branch office shall be subject to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) per unapproved branch office operated and their license will be subject to revocation or suspension.
(7) Change in Ownership. Any person who acquires ten percent (10%) or more of the capital stock or a ten percent (10%) or more ownership of a mortgage broker or mortgage lender licensee without the prior approval of the Department in violation of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1008 shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) and their license or registration will be subject to revocation or suspension.
(8) Doing Business Without a License or in Violation of Administrative Order. Any person who acts as a mortgage broker or mortgage lender prior to receiving a current license or registration required under O.C.G.A. Title 7, Chapter 1, Article 13, or during the time a suspension, revocation or applicable cease and desist order is in effect, shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per transaction and their mortgage lender or broker application will be subject to denial or their license or registration will be subject to revocation or suspension.
(9) Hiring a Felon. Any mortgage broker or mortgage lender licensee or registrant who hires or retains an employee who is a felon as described in O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1004(h), which employee has not complied with the remedies provided for in O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1004(h), may be fined five thousand dollars ($5,000) per employee found to be in violation of such provision and their license or registration will be subject to revocation or suspension.
(10) Hiring Persons Otherwise Disqualified from Conducting a Mortgage Business. Any mortgage broker or mortgage lender licensee or registrant who employs any person against whom a final cease and desist order has been issued for a violation that occurred within the preceding five (5) years, if such order was based on a violation of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1013 or based on the conducting of a mortgage business without a required license or exemption, or whose license was revoked within five (5) years of the date such person was hired pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1004(o)shall be subject to a fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000) per such employee and its license or registration will be subject to revocation or suspension.
(11) Books and Records Violations. If the Department, in the course of an examination or investigation, finds that a licensee or registrant has failed to maintain their books and records according to the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1009 and Rule Chapter 80-11-2, such licensee or registrant may be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation of a books and records requirement listed in Rule Chapter 80-11-2.
(12)
(a) Maintenance of Loan Files. Any person who is required to be licensed or registered under O.C.G.A. Title 7, Chapter 1, Article 13 as a mortgage broker or any lender acting as a broker who fails to maintain a loan file for each mortgage loan transaction as required by Rule 80-11-2-.04 or who fails to have all required documents in such file shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per file not maintained or not accessible, or per file not containing required documentation.
(b) Maintenance of Service Files. Any person who is required to be licensed or registered under O.C.G.A. Title 7, Chapter 1, Article 13 as a mortgage lender who fails to maintain a servicer file for each mortgage loans it services, as required by Rule 80-11-6-.04(1)(b), or who fails to have all required documents in such file shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per file not maintained or not accessible, or per file not containing required documentation.
(13) Payment of $10.00 fees and filing of fee statement. Pursuant to Rule 80-5-1-.04 and O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1011, any person who is the collecting agent at a closing of a mortgage loan transaction, is liable for payment of the $10.00 fee to the Department. The remittance of any $10.00 fees required to be collected after the date on which they are due shall subject the collecting agent to a late payment fee of one hundred dollars ($100) for each due date missed. If the Department finds that the collecting agent has not, through negligence or otherwise, submitted $10.00 fees within six months of the due date, the collecting agent will be subject to an additional fine of twenty (20) percent of the total amount of $10.00 fees required to be collected for the applicable period. Repeated failures to submit $10.00 fees may be grounds for revocation of license.
(14) Repealed. Reserved.
(15) Failure to Timely Report Certain Events. Any person required to be licensed or registered under O.C.G.A. Title 7, Chapter 1, Article 13 as a mortgage lender or broker, who fails to report any of the events enumerated in O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1007(d), shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per act not reported in writing to the Department within 10 days of knowledge of such act.
(16) Prohibited Acts. Any person who is required to be licensed or registered under O.C.G.A. Title 7, Chapter 1, Article 13 as a mortgage broker or mortgage lender who violates the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1013 shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation or transaction that is in violation and his or her license shall be subject to suspension or revocation. Misrepresentations also subject the person making them to a fine. Misrepresentations include but are not limited to the following:
(a) inaccurate or false identification of applicant's employer;
(b) significant discrepancy between applicant's stated income and actual income;
(c) omission of a loan to applicant, listed on loan application, which was closed through same lender or broker;
(d) false or materially overstated information regarding depository accounts;
(e) false or altered credit report; and
(f) any fraudulent or unauthorized document used in the loan process.

A fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) shall be assessed for any other violation of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1013. The Department shall upon written request provide evidence of the violation.

(17) Branch Manager Approval. Any person who is required to be licensed or registered as a mortgage broker or mortgage lender shall be subject to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) for operation of a branch with an unapproved branch manager and the license will be subject to revocation or suspension. No such fine shall be levied while Department approval is pending if timely application for approval is made pursuant to Rule 80-11-1-.04.
(18) Repealed. Reserved.
(19) Failure to Fund. O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1013(3)prohibits failure "to disburse funds in accordance with a written commitment or agreement to make a mortgage loan." If the Department finds, either through a consumer complaint or otherwise, that a lender or a broker acting as a lender has failed to disburse funds in accordance with closing documents, which include legally binding executed agreements indicating a promise to pay and a creation of a security interest, a fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000) per transaction may be imposed and its license or registration may be subject to revocation or suspension.
(20) Advertising. Any person who is required to be licensed or registered as a mortgage broker or mortgage lender who violates the regulations relative to advertising contained in O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1004.3 and § 7-1-1016 or the advertising requirements of department Rule 80-11-1-.02 shall be subject to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation of law or rule.
(21) Failure to Submit to Examination or Investigation. The penalty for refusal to permit an investigation or examination of books, accounts and records (after a reasonable request by the Department) shall be revocation of the license or registration and a five thousand dollar ($5,000) fine. Refusal shall require at least two attempts by the Department to schedule an examination or investigation.
(22) Failure to Review Public Records Prior to Hiring. Any licensee who fails to examine the Department's public records on NMLS Consumer Access to determine if a job applicant is subject to an order set forth in O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1004(o)prior to hiring such individual shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each employee on whom the public records were not timely examined.
(23) Background Checks. Any licensee who fails to perform proper background checks on covered employees in accordance with the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1004(h), (i), and (k) shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each employee on whom the required background check was not conducted.
(24) Change in Executive Officers. Any licensee who fails to notify the Department of a change in executive officers of the company in violation of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1006(e)shall be subject to a fine of five hundred dollars ($500).
(25) Georgia Fair Lending Act. Any person who is required to be licensed or registered under O.C.G.A. Title 7, Chapter 1, Article 13 as a mortgage broker or mortgage lender who violates any provision of Chapter 6A of Article 13, the Georgia Fair Lending Act, shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation or transaction that is in violation and their license will be subject to revocation or suspension.
(26) Consumer Complaints. Any licensee or registrant who fails to respond to a consumer complaint or fails to respond to the Department within the time periods specified in the Department's correspondence to such person shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each occurrence. Repeated failure to properly respond to consumer complaints may result in revocation of license.
(27) Failure to Perform Timely Background Checks. If the ten (10) day requirement for submission of background information to the proper law enforcement authorities is not met, the employer shall be subject to a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine for each employee for whom the background information was not timely submitted.
(28) Failure to File Timely or Accurate Call Reports. Any licensee or registrant who fails to file a timely Call Report as required through the Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System and Registry or fails to file an accurate Call Report shall be subject to a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) per occurrence. Repeated failure to file timely or accurate Call Reports may subject the license or registration to revocation or suspension.
(29) Failure to Timely Disclose Change in Affiliation of Natural Person that Executed Lawful Presence Affidavit and Submission of New Affidavit. Any licensed mortgage lender, mortgage broker, or registrant that fails to disclose that the owner or executive officer that executed the lawful presence affidavit is no longer in that position with the licensee or registrant within ten (10) business days of the date of the event necessitating the disclosure, shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000). Any licensed mortgage broker, mortgage lender, or registrant that fails to submit a new lawful presence affidavit from a current owner or executive officer within ten (10) business days of the owner or executive officer that executed the previous lawful presence affidavit no longer being in that position with the licensee or registrant, shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day until the new affidavit is provided.
(30) Failure to Timely Update Information on the Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System and Registry. Any licensed mortgage broker, mortgage lender, or registrant that fails to update its information on the Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System and Registry ("NMLSR"), including, but not limited to, amendments to any response to disclosure questions on an application or a licensee's or registrant's NMSLR MU-1, within ten (10) business days of the date of the event necessitating the change, shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per occurrence. In addition, the failure of a control person of a licensed mortgage broker, mortgage lender, or registrant to update the individual's information on the NMLSR, including, but not limited to, amendments to any response to disclosure questions on the control person's NMSLR MU-2, within ten (10) business days of the date of the event necessitating the change, shall subject the licensed mortgage broker, mortgage lender, or registrant to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per occurrence.
(31) Bank Secrecy Act. If the Department in the course of an examination or investigation, finds that a licensee that satisfies the definition of loan or finance company has failed to comply with the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970 and its related regulations, including those set forth at 31 CFR Chapter X (together, the "Bank Secrecy Act") or the requirements referred to in Rule 80-11-1-.06, such licensee shall be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each instance of non-compliance.