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PDFWAC 208-660-520

Director and department powersInvestigation authority.

(1) What is an investigation? An investigation is an inquiry to determine compliance with the act and rules, to assess allegations of wrongdoing, or to evaluate the licensing qualifications of persons subject to the act. The inquiry may involve extensive research, fact gathering, the issuance of directives and subpoenas, witness interviews, and financial and legal analysis. Depending on the results of these efforts, an investigation may result in the pursuit of an enforcement action. An investigation may proceed at the same time as other matters and may continue during an enforcement action.
(2) How often may the department investigate my mortgage broker or loan originator operations? For the purpose of investigating violations or complaints, the department may investigate your business as often as necessary to carry out the purpose of the act.
(3) Will the department give advance notice before requiring me to make my books and records available for its investigation? The department is not required to give you advance notice before an investigation. However, the department may provide advance notice before an investigation if doing so would be in the best interests of all parties involved, including the department.
(4) From whom may the department obtain information in an investigation? The department may obtain information from any person whose information may be pertinent to the loans, business, or subject matter of an investigation.
(5) How may the department obtain information during an investigation? The department may direct, subpoena, or order a person to submit to a deposition, or produce written information.
(6) What information may the department obtain during an investigation? The department may obtain books, accounts, records, files, and any other documents the department deems relevant to the investigation.
(7) What businesses may the department investigate? The department may investigate the business of any person who is engaged in the business of mortgage brokering, whether the person is a licensee or whether the person acts or claims to act under, or without the authority of, the act.
(8) May the director retain professionals or specialists to assist in an investigation, and if so, will I have to pay for those services? Yes. The department may hire attorneys, accountants or other professionals as needed to conduct or assist in an investigation. The cost for these services will be assessed in accordance with WAC 208-660-550(5), Investigations.
(9) When may the department charge an investigation fee? The department may charge an investigation fee when it investigates the books and records of any licensee.
(10) Are there circumstances in which the department will investigate a licensee but will not charge an investigation fee? Yes. The department will not charge an investigation fee in a complaint investigation if it is determined that no violation occurred, or when the licensee implements a remedy satisfactory to the complainant and the department, and no department order has been issued.
(11) How is the amount of the investigation fee determined? The amount of the investigation fee is the number of hours expended by the examiner related to the investigation multiplied by an hourly rate established by the department. See WAC 208-660-550 Department fees and costs.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 43.320 RCW, RCW 19.146.223. WSR 16-08-027, § 208-660-520, filed 3/30/16, effective 4/30/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.320.040 and 19.146.225. WSR 13-24-023, § 208-660-520, filed 11/22/13, effective 1/1/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.320.040, 19.146.223, 2006 c 19. WSR 06-23-137, § 208-660-520, filed 11/21/06, effective 1/1/07.]
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