§ 43-39A-18. Penalties for violations; unfair trade practices; civil judgments.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 43. PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES

Chapter 39A. REAL ESTATE APPRAISER AND REAL ESTATE APPRAISAL MANAGEMENT COMPANY CLASSIFICATION AND REGULATION ACT

Current through 2019 Chapter 321

§ 43-39A-18. Penalties for violations; unfair trade practices; civil judgments

(a) In accordance with the hearing procedures established for contested cases by Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," whenever an appraiser classification, a school approval, or an instructor approval has been obtained by false or fraudulent representation, or whenever an appraiser, an approved school, or an approved instructor has been found guilty of a violation of this chapter, of the rules and regulations promulgated by the board, or of any unfair trade practices, including, but not limited to, those listed in this Code section, the board shall have the power to take any one or more of the following actions:
(1) Refuse to grant or renew a classification to an applicant;
(2) Administer a reprimand;
(3) Suspend any classification or approval for a definite period of time or for an indefinite period of time in connection with any condition that may be attached to the restoration of the classification or approval;
(4) Revoke any classification or approval;
(5) Revoke any classification issued to an appraiser and simultaneously issue such appraiser a classification with more restricted authority to conduct appraisals;
(6) Impose on an appraiser, applicant, approved school, or approved instructor monetary assessments in an amount necessary to reimburse the board for administrative, investigative, and legal costs and expenses incurred by the board in conducting any proceeding authorized under this chapter or Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act";
(7) Impose a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 for each violation of this chapter or its rules and regulations with fines for multiple violations limited to $5,000.00 in any one disciplinary proceeding or such other amount as the parties may agree;
(8) Require completion of a course of study in real estate appraisal or instruction; or
(9) Limit or restrict any classification or approval as the board deems necessary for the protection of the public.

Any action taken by the board pursuant to this subsection may, at its discretion, be construed as a "disciplinary sanction" or "sanction" as such terms are used in this chapter.

(b) Appraisers shall not engage in the following unfair trade practices:
(1) Performing any real estate appraisal activity or specialized services which indicate any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination;
(2) An act or omission involving dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation with the intent to benefit substantially an appraiser or another person or with the intent to injure substantially another person;
(3) Commission of any act of fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit in the making of an appraisal of real estate for which act a final civil or criminal judgment has been rendered;
(4) Engaging in real estate appraisal activity under an assumed or fictitious name not properly registered in this state;
(5) Paying a finder's fee or a referral fee to a person who is not an appraiser in connection with an appraisal of real estate or real property;
(6) Making a false or misleading statement in that portion of a written appraisal report that deals with professional qualifications or in any testimony concerning professional qualifications;
(7) Violation of the confidential nature of governmental records to which an appraiser gained access through employment or engagement as an appraiser by a governmental agency;
(8) Violation of any of the standards for the development or communication of real estate appraisals as promulgated by the board;
(9) Failure or refusal without good cause to exercise reasonable diligence in developing an appraisal, preparing an appraisal report, or communicating an appraisal;
(10) Negligence or incompetence in developing an appraisal, in preparing an appraisal report, or in communicating an appraisal;
(11) Accepting an independent appraisal assignment when the employment itself is contingent upon the appraiser's reporting a predetermined estimate, analysis, valuation, or opinion or where the fee to be paid is contingent upon the opinion, conclusions, analysis, or valuation reached or upon the consequences resulting from the appraisal assignment;
(12) Failure to retain for a period of five years the original or a true copy of each appraisal report prepared or signed by the appraiser and all supporting data assembled and formulated by the appraiser in preparing each such appraisal report. The five-year period for retention of records is applicable to each engagement of the services of the appraiser and shall commence upon the date of the delivery of each appraisal report to the client unless, within such five-year period, the appraiser is notified that the appraisal or the appraisal report is involved in litigation, in which event the five-year period for the retention of records shall commence upon the date of the final disposition of such litigation;
(13) Failure upon reasonable request of an appraiser to make all records required to be maintained under the provisions of this chapter available to the board for inspection and copying by the board;
(14) Performing any appraisal beyond the scope of authority granted in the appraiser classification held;
(15) Demonstrating incompetency to act as an appraiser in such a manner as to safeguard the interests of the public or any other conduct, whether of the same or a different character than specified in this subsection, which constitutes dishonest dealing;
(16) Performing or attempting to perform any real estate appraisal activity on property located in another state without first having complied fully with that state's laws regarding real estate appraisal activity;
(17) Providing an oral appraisal report in a federally related transaction;
(18) Utilizing the services of any person in other than a ministerial capacity in developing an appraisal, in preparing an appraisal report, or in communicating an appraisal if such person's appraiser classification is suspended or revoked or if such person does not hold an appraiser classification; or
(19) Performing or attempting to perform any real estate appraisal activity in a federally related transaction without complying with the standards required by the federal financial institutions regulatory agency that regulates the financial transaction for which the appraisal assignment is undertaken.
(c) In a disciplinary proceeding based upon a civil judgment, an appraiser shall be afforded an opportunity to present matters in mitigation and extenuation but may not collaterally attack the civil judgment.
(d) When an appraiser has previously been sanctioned by the board or by any other state's real estate appraiser licensing authority, the board may consider such prior sanction in determining the severity of a new sanction which may be imposed upon a finding that an appraiser has violated any provision of this chapter or any of the rules and regulations of the board. The failure of an appraiser to comply with or to obey a final order of the board may be cause for suspension or revocation of the individual's appraiser classification after opportunity for a hearing.

Cite as OCGA § 43-39A-18

History. Amended by 2012 Ga. Laws 744, §5, eff. 7/1/2012.

Amended by 2003 Ga. Laws 94, §5, eff. 5/30/2003.