Section 516.07, Florida Statutes 2003
516.07 Grounds for denial of license or for disciplinary action.--
(1) The following acts are violations of this chapter and constitute grounds for denial of an application for a license to make consumer finance loans and grounds for any of the disciplinary actions specified in subsection (2):
(a) A material misstatement of fact in an application for a license;
(b) Failure to maintain liquid assets of at least $25,000 at all times for the operation of business at a licensed location or proposed location;
(c) Failure to demonstrate financial responsibility, experience, character, or general fitness, such as to command the confidence of the public and to warrant the belief that the business operated at the licensed or proposed location is lawful, honest, fair, efficient, and within the purposes of this chapter;
(d) The violation, either knowingly or without the exercise of due care, of any provision of this chapter, any rule or order adopted under this chapter, or any written agreement entered into with the office;
(e) Any act of fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit, regardless of reliance by or damage to a borrower, or any illegal activity, where such acts are in connection with a loan under this chapter. Such acts include, but are not limited to:
1. Willful imposition of illegal or excessive charges; or
2. Misrepresentation, circumvention, or concealment of any matter required to be stated or furnished to a borrower;
(f) The use of unreasonable collection practices or of false, deceptive, or misleading advertising, where such acts are in connection with the operation of a business to make consumer finance loans;
(g) Any violation of part III of chapter 817 or part II of chapter 559 or of any rule adopted under part II of chapter 559;
(h) Failure to maintain, preserve, and keep available for examination, all books, accounts, or other documents required by this chapter, by any rule or order adopted under this chapter, or by any agreement entered into with the office;
(i) Refusal to permit inspection of books and records in an investigation or examination by the office or refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the office;
(j) Pleading nolo contendere to, or having been convicted or found guilty of, a crime involving fraud, dishonest dealing, or any act of moral turpitude, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld;
(k) Paying money or anything else of value, directly or indirectly, to any person as compensation, inducement, or reward for referring loan applicants to a licensee;
(l) Allowing any person other than the licensee to use the licensee's business name, address, or telephone number in an advertisement;
(m) Accepting or advertising that the licensee accepts money on deposit or as consideration for the issuance or delivery of certificates of deposit, savings certificates, or similar instruments, except to the extent permitted under chapter 517; or
(n) Failure to pay any fee, charge, or fine imposed or assessed pursuant to this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter.
(2) Upon a finding by the office that any person has committed any of the acts set forth in subsection (1), the office may enter an order taking one or more of the following actions:
(a) Denying an application for a license;
(b) Revoking or suspending a license previously granted;
(c) Placing a licensee or an applicant for a license on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the office may specify;
(d) Placing permanent restrictions or conditions upon issuance or maintenance of a license;
(e) Issuing a reprimand; or
(f) Imposing an administrative fine not to exceed $1,000 for each such act.
(3) The office may take any of the actions specified in subsection (2) against any partnership, corporation, or association, if the office finds that any of the acts set forth in subsection (1) have been committed by any member of the partnership, any officer or director of the corporation or association, or any person with power to direct the management or policies of the partnership, corporation, or association.
(4) A licensee is responsible for the acts of the licensee's employee or agent if, with knowledge of such acts, the licensee retained profits, benefits, or advantages accruing from such acts or ratified the conduct of the employee or agent as a matter of law or fact.
(5) Action taken under this section against a licensee does not impair the obligation of any lawful contract between the licensee and a borrower. This chapter does not prevent a licensee from lending to residents of any part of this state or any other state or country or prohibit the making of loans by mail.
History.--s. 6, ch. 10177, 1925; CGL 4004; s. 3, ch. 20728, 1941; ss. 12, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 7, ch. 78-95; s. 145, ch. 79-164; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 7, 16, 17, ch. 88-342; s. 4, ch. 90-104; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 99-164; s. 574, ch. 2003-261.