Section 559.730, Florida Statutes 2001
559.730 Administrative remedies.--
(1) The department may revoke or suspend the registration of any registrant under this part who has engaged in repeated violations which establish a clear pattern of abuse of prohibited collection practices under s. 559.72. Final department action to revoke or suspend the registration of any registrant shall be subject to review in accordance with chapter 120 in the same manner as revocation of a license. The repeated violations of the law by one employee shall not be grounds for revocation or suspension of the registration of the employing consumer collection agency, unless the employee is also the owner of a majority interest in the collection agency.
(2) The registration of a registrant shall not be revoked or suspended if the registrant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the violations were not intentional and resulted from bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error.
(3) The department shall consider the number of complaints against the registrant in relation to the accused registrant's volume of business when determining whether suspension or revocation is the more appropriate sanction when circumstances warrant that one or the other should be imposed upon a registrant.
(4) The department shall impose suspension rather than revocation when circumstances warrant that one or the other should be imposed upon a registrant and the accused registrant demonstrates that the registrant has taken affirmative steps which can be expected to effectively eliminate the repeated violations and that the registrant's registration has never previously been suspended.
(5) The department may impose an administrative fine up to $1,000 against the offending registrant as a sanction for repeated violations of the provisions of s. 559.72 when violations do not rise to the level of misconduct governed by subsection (1). Final department action to impose an administrative fine shall be subject to review in accordance with ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
(6) Any administrative fine imposed under this part shall be payable to the department. The department shall maintain an appropriate record and shall deposit such fine into the Regulatory Trust Fund of the department.
(7) An administrative action by the department to impose revocation, suspension, or fine shall be brought within 2 years after the date of the last violation upon which the action is founded.
(8) Nothing in this part shall be construed to preclude any person from pursuing remedies available under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for any violation of such act, including specifically against any person who is exempt from the registration provisions of this part.
History.--ss. 9, 13, ch. 93-275; s. 250, ch. 96-410.