Texas Administrative Code
Title 22 - EXAMINING BOARDS
Part 8 - TEXAS APPRAISER LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION BOARD
Chapter 153 - RULES RELATING TO PROVISIONS OF THE TEXAS APPRAISER LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION ACT
Section 153.24 - Complaint Processing

Universal Citation: 22 TX Admin Code ยง 153.24

Current through Reg. 49, No. 12; March 22, 2024

(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 Complainant.

(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 that:

(1) evidence serious deficiencies, including:
(A) Fraud;

(B) Identity theft;

(C) Unlicensed activity;

(D) Ethical violations;

(E) Failure to properly supervise an appraiser trainee; or

(F) Other conduct determined by the Board that poses a significant risk of public harm; and

(2) were done:
(A) with knowledge;

(B) deliberately;

(C) willfully; or

(D) with gross negligence.

(c) The Board or the Executive Director 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 authorities.

(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 appropriate.

(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, if:

(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 signed by:

(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;

(2) Respondent;

(3) a representative of the TALCB Division; and

(4) the Executive Director or his or her designee.

Disclaimer: These regulations may not be the most recent version. Texas may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
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