The Division of Real Estate is statutorily required to investigate complaints received on real estate brokers, appraisers, and mortgage loan originators. As such, we recognize that being subject to an investigation can be stressful and confusing. It is important that you participate in the process to ensure the Boards and Commission have the most accurate information to evaluate and determine if a license law violation has occurred. If the respective Board or Commission determines that the facts support a violation they then order the appropriate discipline and/or remedial terms. As a first step in resolving the matter, the case is assigned to the Expedited Settlement Program.
Expedited Settlement Program Overview
The Division has an expedited settlement program (ESP), devoted to resolve disciplinary and licensing matters in a timely and cost efficient manner. The process begins when a Board or Commission has determined that a license law violation has occurred and that sanctions and/or remedial measures will be sought through a hearing in the Administrative Courts. As an alternative to an administrative hearing, ESP staff will work with a licensee facing discipline and attempt to settle the matter in a manner that is agreeable to both parties, saving time and financial resources for both sides.The ESP does not practice law it merely assists the Boards and Commission in delivering settlement proposals to the licensees as well as presenting counter proposals back to the Boards and Commission for their consideration.
The Division of Real Estate has jurisdiction over licensees and business entities as outlined in Title 12 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. When a complaint is filed with the Division it is reviewed to determine if the Division has jurisdiction. Once jurisdiction is established, the complaint is assigned to an investigator.
The assigned investigator will notify both the complaining party (complainant) and the licensee identified (respondent) in the complaint. The process is designed to allow both parties the opportunity to supply documentation, written data, views and arguments concerning the complaint. Respondents are required to submit their entire transaction or work file related to the transaction in question. Either party may be asked to supply specific documents or other evidence identified by the investigator.
- The investigator assigned to the case will work with both the complainant and the respondent to gather all the information relevant to either support the violations or dismiss the allegations.
- Interviews of witnesses and collection of documentation are part of the process.
- Once the investigation is completed an investigative report along with the exhibits is presented to the appropriate Board or Commission for their review.
- It is important for Respondents and Complainants to fully participate in the process so the investigative team can gather all the necessary information.
- If you have a question about a specific investigation. please call your assigned investigator.
The ESP process begins when a Board or Commission has identified license law violation(s) that have occurred and have determined what sanctions and/or remedial action they are seeking. The action imposed can result in one or a combination of the following: coursework, fines, probation, suspension, supervision, license downgrade, practice restrictions, public censure, letters of admonition and/or revocation of the license.
- The licensee will receive an offer of settlement through either a stipulated agreement or letter which will reflect the settlement terms. Attached to this offer will be a copy of the investigative report. The licensee may choose to accept the terms or meet with an enforcement officer to discuss options for resolution.
- The licensee may opt to submit a counter offer for settlement when they have new or mitigating information to offer.
- If a resolution is not achieved through the discussions with the settlement officer, the case will be referred to the Attorney General’s Office for a formal hearing.
- The Boards and Commission do not hold their own hearings. The hearing will be held in the Administrative Courts before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will issue an Initial Decision in the matter.
The Division of Real Estate has the statutory authority to conduct announced and unannounced audits of active Colorado real estate brokers. Audits can result from a complaint or determined by random selection. While we recognize that being subject to an audit can be stressful, it is important to remember that most audits are conducted with the goal of assisting brokers to become compliant with Division of Real Estate Rules and Regulations and real estate license law. In fact, some brokers who are new in the business, particularly property managers, may actually request an audit from the Division of Real Estate to ensure that they are conducting their business properly. Some audits lead to investigations should egregious accounting deficiencies be found.
There are advantages to voluntarily requesting an audit. If you would like to schedule a financial examiner to conduct an audit of your brokerage firm please give us a call at: 303-894-2166.