The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) is the agency responsible for overseeing the licenses of those authorized to engage in real estate transactions in the state. It has a great deal of latitude in the penalties it may impose on those licensed under its auspices for various actions that it considers unbefitting a real estate agent. As with many Texas state agencies, the Commission is charged with protecting the public from malpractice and malfeasance on the part of its licensees. And because the practice of real estate is so bound up with financial responsibility, one of the acts for which the Commission will impose a disciplinary penalty is when a real estate agent writes a check with insufficient (or “non-sufficient) funds, often referred to by the acronym “NSF.”
Technically speaking, NSF refers to a checking account’s status of not containing enough money to cover transactions. As such, another term for this sort of blunder is the common phrase “bouncing a check.” Many banks will charge a fee against the person who wrote a check or made a payment their account could not cover. Right now, the average NSF fee in Texas sits somewhere between $26 and $35 per bounced transaction. But if a NSF check is written for a large amount, it may result in criminal charges.
And until recently, on top of the bank’s NSF fee, the Texas Real Estate Commission would also impose a fee of $30 against a license-holder. As of January 2, however, this fee has been dropped. Nonetheless, some penalties do remain.
In the words of the TREC staff on the matter:
“When a payment is issued with insufficient funds, the license of the person who issued the payment will be placed on inactive status until the fee associated with the transaction is paid in full. When a license is placed on inactive status, the license holder may not perform any activity regulated under that license. Performing license activity while on inactive status may result in discipline.”
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The attorneys at BERTOLINO LLP are prepared to represent you at every stage of your career. If your real estate license is at risk of suspension or revocation, BERTOLINO LLP can help. With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation.
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