Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 45: Banks and Financial Institutions

Chapter 13: Tennessee Residential Lending, Brokerage and Servicing Act

Part 4: Prohibitions and Enforcement

TCA 45-13-404: Investigation and examinations.

(a) In addition to any authority allowed the commissioner elsewhere, the commissioner shall have the authority to conduct investigations and examinations of persons subject to this chapter, including those suspected to be engaging in business subject to this chapter, as often as necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter. In order to carry out the purposes of this section, the commissioner may:

(1) Enter into agreements or relationships with other government officials or regulatory associations in order to improve efficiencies and reduce regulatory burden by sharing resources, standardized or uniform methods or procedures and documents, records, information or evidence obtained under this section;

(2) Use, hire, contract or employ public or privately available analytical systems, methods or software to examine or investigate persons subject to this chapter;

(3) Accept and rely on examination or investigation reports made by other government officials, within or without this state; and

(4) Accept audit reports made by independent certified public accountants for the person subject to this chapter in the course of that part of the examination covering the same general subject matter as the audit and incorporate the audit report in the report of examination, report of investigation or other writing of the commissioner.

(b) For purposes of initial licensing, renewal, suspension or revocation, or for general or specific inquiry relative to any other investigation or examination, the commissioner shall have the authority to access, receive, review and use any books, accounts, records, files, documents, information or evidence, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Criminal, civil and administrative history information;

(2) Personal history and experience information including independent credit reports obtained from a consumer reporting agency described in SC 603(p) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, codified in 15 U.S.C. SC 1681a(p); and

(3) Any other documents, information or evidence the commissioner deems relevant to the inquiry or investigation, regardless of the location, possession, control or custody of the documents, information or evidence.

(c) To carry out an investigation or examination, the commissioner may issue subpoenas, administer oaths, compel attendance, examine under oath all persons whose testimony may be relevant and compel the production of any relevant records, books, papers, contracts, accounts, files or other documents. This power shall include the authority to interview the officers, principals, loan originators, employees, independent contractors, agents and customers of the subject of the investigation or examination concerning the business of the licensee or other person subject to this chapter.

(d) Each person subject to investigation or examination shall make available to the commissioner upon request the books and records relating to the operations of the person and shall permit the commissioner to have access to the person's offices and places of business. In addition, the person shall make or compile reports or prepare other information as directed by the commissioner in order to carry out the purposes of this section, including, but not limited to:

(1) Accounting compilations;

(2) Information lists and data concerning loan transactions in a format prescribed by the commissioner; or

(3) Other information deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

(e) If any person fails to comply with a subpoena of the commissioner under this chapter or to testify concerning any matter about which the person may be interrogated under this chapter, the commissioner may petition any court of competent jurisdiction for enforcement and may additionally suspend any license issued to the person pending compliance with the subpoena.

(f) Any mortgage lender, mortgage loan broker, mortgage loan servicer or registrant that is investigated or examined under this section shall pay to the commissioner the reasonable and actual expenses of the investigation or examination. The fees shall be payable in addition to all other fees, taxes and costs now required by law.

(g) The commissioner may establish a fee, in an amount prescribed by the commissioner by rule, for conducting any off-site investigation or examination of any mortgage lender, mortgage loan broker, mortgage loan servicer, or mortgage loan originator. This off-site fee shall be payable to the commissioner separate and apart from any reasonable and actual expenses for conducting any investigation or examination under this section and all other fees, taxes and costs now required by law.

(h) Any person aggrieved by the conduct of a person subject to this chapter in connection with a residential mortgage loan or in connection with any other activities of a mortgage lender, mortgage loan servicer or mortgage loan broker may file a written complaint with the commissioner, who is authorized to investigate the complaint.

(i) The commissioner has exclusive administrative power to investigate and enforce any and all complaints filed by any person that are not criminal in nature, which complaints relate to mortgage lenders, mortgage loan brokers, mortgage servicers or mortgage loan originators.

(j) No person subject to investigation or examination under this section may knowingly withhold, abstract, remove, mutilate, destroy or secrete any books, records, computer records or other information that the commissioner may lawfully examine or investigate.

(k) The authority of this section shall remain in effect whether the person subject to investigation or examination acts or claims to act under any licensing or registration law or claims to act without such authority.

History: Acts 2009, ch. 499, SC 8; 2012, ch. 729, SC 1.