An accusation of having violated the rules or norms in the course of a real estate transaction can put a real estate licensee’s ability to practice their profession at risk. The disciplinary action that might come as a result of an accusation could mean the end of their career, whether directly or indirectly.
When the Texas Real Estate Commission receives a complaint against someone it has granted a license to practice real estate, its Standards and Enforcement Services branch first determines whether it has jurisdiction over the alleged violation or violations (this does not include issues such as, for example, contract disputes or personal problems with a real estate agent). If it finds that it does have jurisdiction, it proceeds with an investigation. The Commission exists nominally to protect the public from unscrupulous real estate transactions and other misbehaviors by real estate professionals, and therefore it is not likely to side with a real estate agent automatically. Instead, it will take the position of a prosecutor, and it is up to the real estate agent to make a sound defense against the allegations levied against them.
This defense begins with the first notification a real estate agent receives from the Commission. A license holder is granted the right to respond to the complaint’s allegations. Here is where the framing of the investigation starts—even as the investigation is just beginning.
Meanwhile, an investigator may be put on the case. This individual may dig deeper into the situation, by requesting additional information and engaging in telephone interviews of both the licensee and of witnesses. If an investigator is not put on the case, information is usually instead obtained by written requests for written responses. And once the investigation is completed, the case is forwarded to a staff attorney, who determines if the evidence the investigation branch gathered in fact supports a finding of misbehavior.
At every stage, it is vital to have a professional license defense attorney at the licensee’s side—and it’s best when we are hired as early as possible in the process to give us the best chance of guiding the scope of the case and making the best possible argument for the licensee’s innocence.
Should you find yourself the subject of a complaint, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced professional license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your real estate license.
Our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced professional license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves. BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.