|(a) Receipt of a Complaint Intake Form by the Board
does not constitute the filing of a formal complaint by the Board
against the individual named on the Complaint Intake Form. Upon receipt
of a signed Complaint Intake Form, staff shall:
(1) assign the complaint a case number in the complaint
tracking system; and
(2) send written acknowledgement of receipt to the
(b) Priority of complaint investigations. The Board
prioritizes and investigates complaints based on the risk of harm
each complaint poses to the public. Complaints that pose a high risk
of public harm include violations of the Act, Board rules, or USPAP
(1) evidence serious deficiencies, including:
(B) Identity theft;
(C) Unlicensed activity;
(D) Ethical violations;
(E) Failure to properly supervise an appraiser trainee;
(F) Other conduct determined by the Board that poses
a significant risk of public harm; and
(2) were done:
(A) with knowledge;
(C) willfully; or
(D) with gross negligence.
(c) The Board or the Commissioner may delegate to staff
the duty to dismiss complaints. The complaint shall be dismissed with
no further processing if the staff determines at any time that:
(1) the complaint is not within the Board's jurisdiction;
(2) no violation exists; or
(3) an allegation or formal complaint is inappropriate
or without merit.
(d) A determination that an allegation or complaint
is inappropriate or without merit includes a determination that the
allegation or complaint:
(1) was made in bad faith;
(2) filed for the purpose of harassment;
(3) to gain a competitive or economic advantage; or
(4) lacks sufficient basis in fact or evidence.
(e) Staff shall conduct a preliminary inquiry to determine
if dismissal is required under subsection (d) of this section.
(f) A complaint alleging mortgage fraud or in which
mortgage fraud is suspected:
(1) may be investigated covertly; and
(2) shall be referred to the appropriate prosecutorial
(g) Staff may request additional information from any
person, if necessary, to determine how to proceed with the complaint.
(h) As part of a preliminary investigative review,
a copy of the Complaint Intake Form and all supporting documentation
shall be sent to the Respondent unless the complaint qualifies for
covert investigation and the TALCB Division deems covert investigation
(i) The Board will:
(1) protect the complainant's identity to the extent
possible by excluding the complainant's identifying information from
a complaint notice sent to a respondent.
(2) periodically send written notice to the complainant
and each respondent of the status of the complaint until final disposition.
For purposes of this subsection, "periodically" means at least once
every 90 days.
(j) The Respondent shall submit a response within 20
days of receiving a copy of the Complaint Intake Form. The 20-day
period may be extended for good cause upon request in writing or by
e-mail. The response shall include the following:
(1) a copy of the appraisal report that is the subject
of the complaint;
(2) a copy of the Respondent's work file associated
with the appraisal(s) listed in the complaint, with the following
signed statement attached to the work file(s): I SWEAR AND AFFIRM
THAT EXCEPT AS SPECIFICALLY SET FORTH HEREIN, THE COPY OF EACH AND
EVERY APPRAISAL WORK FILE ACCOMPANYING THIS RESPONSE IS A TRUE AND
CORRECT COPY OF THE ACTUAL WORK FILE, AND NOTHING HAS BEEN ADDED TO
OR REMOVED FROM THIS WORK FILE OR ALTERED AFTER PLACEMENT IN THE WORK
FILE.(SIGNATURE OF RESPONDENT);
(3) a narrative response to the complaint, addressing
each and every item in the complaint;
(4) a list of any and all persons known to the Respondent
to have actual knowledge of any of the matters made the subject of
the complaint and, if in the Respondent's possession, contact information;
(5) any documentation that supports Respondent's position
that was not in the work file, as long as it is conspicuously labeled
as non-work file documentation and kept separate from the work file.
The Respondent may also address other matters not raised in the complaint
that the Respondent believes need explanation; and
(6) a signed, dated and completed copy of any questionnaire
sent by Board staff.
(k) Staff will evaluate the complaint within three
months after receipt of the response from Respondent to determine
whether sufficient evidence of a potential violation of the Act, Board
rules, or the USPAP exists to pursue investigation and possible formal
disciplinary action. If the staff determines that there is no jurisdiction,
no violation exists, there is insufficient evidence to prove a violation,
or the complaint warrants dismissal, including contingent dismissal,
under subsection (m) of this section, the complaint shall be dismissed
with no further processing.
(l) A formal complaint will be opened and investigated
by a staff investigator or peer investigative committee, as appropriate,
(1) the informal complaint is not dismissed under subsection
(i) of this section; or
(2) staff opens a formal complaint on its own motion.
(m) Written notice that a formal complaint has been
opened will be sent to the Complainant and Respondent.
(n) The staff investigator assigned to investigate
a formal complaint shall prepare a report detailing its findings on
a form approved by the Board.
(o) The Board may order a person regulated by the Board
to refund the amount paid by a consumer to the person for a service
regulated by the Board.
(p) Agreed resolutions of complaint matters pursuant
to Texas Occupations Code §1103.458 or §1103.459 must be
(1) the Board Chair or if the Board Chair is unavailable
or must recuse him or herself, the Board Chair's designee, whom shall
be (in priority order) the Board Vice Chair, the Board Secretary,
or another Board member;
(3) a representative of the TALCB Division; and
(4) the Commissioner or his or her designee.