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RULE §67.70Auctioneer Standards of Practice

(a) Advertising

  (1) All advertisements designed to solicit auction business, including the advertisement of an auction, shall include the auctioneer's name as it appears on the license and the license number.

  (2) If an auctioneer advertises an auction as "absolute" or "without reserve", no lots included may have a minimum bid. Advertising may include the wording "many lots are without reserve"; however, the auction may not be titled, headed or called an "absolute" or "without reserve" auction unless all lots meet the criteria.

  (3) An auctioneer who intends to charge a buyer's premium at an auction must state this condition and the amount of the buyer's premium in all advertising for the auction.

  (4) An auctioneer may not make a false or misleading statement in an advertisement.

(b) Recordkeeping

  (1) An auctioneer must furnish to the department the name, including assumed names, addresses, website, or social media pages, and telephone numbers of all auction companies that the auctioneer owns or operates.

  (2) An auctioneer must report any change of address to the department in writing within thirty (30) days of the change.

  (3) Each licensed auctioneer shall keep records relative to all auctions for a minimum of two (2) years from the date of the sale.

  (4) The records for each auction must state the name(s) and address of the owners of the property auctioned, the date of the sale, the name of the auctioneer and clerk of the sale, the gross proceeds, the location and account number of the auctioneer's trust or escrow account, an itemized list of all expenses charged to the consignor or seller, a list of all purchasers at the auction and a description and selling price for each item sold.

  (5) The auctioneer shall keep, as part of the records for each auction, all documents relating to the auction, These documents shall include, but are not limited to, settlement sheets, written contracts, copies of advertising and clerk sheets.

  (6) These documents include records and documents online.

  (7) Each licensed auctioneer must:

    (A) Maintain a separate trust or escrow account in a federally insured bank or savings and loan association, in which shall be deposited all funds belonging to others which come into the auctioneer's possession and control.

    (B) Deposit all proceeds from an auction into the trust or escrow account within seventy two (72) hours of the auction unless the owner or consignor of the property auctioned is paid immediately after the sale or the written contract stipulates other terms, such as sight drafts.

    (C) Pay any public monies, including, but not limited to state sales tax, received into the State Treasury at the times and as per the regulations prescribed by law; and

    (D) Pay all amounts due the seller or consignor within fifteen (15) banking days of the auction unless otherwise required by statute or a written contract between license holder and seller.

  (8) A licensed auctioneer shall cooperate with the department in the performance of an investigation. This includes, but is not limited to responding to requests from the department, including producing requested documents or other information, within thirty (30) days of request.

  (9) The failure of a licensed auctioneer to timely pay a consignor may subject the licensed auctioneer to a claim under the Auctioneer Education and Recovery Fund.

(c) At auction

  (1) Before beginning an auction, a licensee must ensure the announcement of, give notice, display notice or disclose:

    (A) that the auctioneer conducting the sale is licensed by the department;

    (B) the terms and conditions of the sale including whether a buyer's premium will be assessed; and

    (C) if the owner, consignor, or agent thereof has reserved the right to bid.

  (2) A licensee may not allow any person who is not either a Texas licensed auctioneer or associate auctioneer who is directly supervised by a licensed auctioneer, to call bids at a sale.

  (3) A licensee may not knowingly use or permit the use of false bidders at any auction.

  (4) All licensed auctioneers shall notify consumers and service recipients of the department's name, mailing address, telephone number and website "www.tdlr.texas.gov" for purposes of directing complaints to the department. The notification shall be included on any auction listing contract and on at least one of the following:

    (A) A sign prominently displayed at the place of the auction or on any auction website;

    (B) Bills of sale or receipt to be given to buyers; or

    (C) Bidder cards.

Source Note: The provisions of this §67.70 adopted to be effective February 15, 2016, 41 TexReg 799

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