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Statutes Text

Article - Commercial Law


    (a)    The Commissioner, in addition to taking any other action authorized by law, may:

        (1)    Hold a hearing on the complaint at a time and place in this State reasonably convenient to the parties involved;

        (2)    Subpoena and take depositions of witnesses;

        (3)    Conduct investigations that the Commissioner considers necessary;

        (4)    Administer oaths;

        (5)    Issue orders for compliance with this subtitle; and

        (6)    Issue cease and desist orders, if after a hearing the Commissioner finds a violation of this subtitle.

    (b)    (1)    Instead of or in addition to any other action the Commissioner may take under this section or any other provision of law, the Commissioner may impose a civil penalty not exceeding:

            (i)    $1,000 for a first violation; and

            (ii)    $2,500 for each subsequent violation.

        (2)    In determining the amount of civil penalty to be imposed under this subsection, the Commissioner shall consider:

            (i)    The seriousness of the violation;

            (ii)    The good faith of the violator;

            (iii)    The violator’s history of previous violations;

            (iv)    The deleterious effect of the violation on the public and the credit granting industry;

            (v)    The assets and financial status of the violator; and

            (vi)    Any other factors relevant to the determination of the financial penalty.

        (3)    The Commissioner shall pay all fines and penalties collected by the Commissioner under this subsection into the General Fund of the State.

    (c)    If a person fails to comply with any lawful order of the Commissioner or if any witness fails to appear and testify to any matter regarding which the witness may be lawfully interrogated, on petition of the Commissioner setting forth the facts, the circuit court of any county shall:

        (1)    Compel obedience to the requirements of the subpoena or order;

        (2)    Compel the production of contracts, forms, files, and other evidence; and

        (3)    Order compliance with any lawful order issued by the Commissioner.

    (d)    If a person fails, refuses, or neglects to comply with the order of the court, the court may punish that person for contempt of court.

    (e)    The Administrative Procedure Act, including its provisions for judicial review of a final decision in a contested case, applies to proceedings before the Commissioner pursuant to this subtitle.

    (f)    (1)    The Commissioner shall adopt regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this subtitle.

        (2)    The regulations shall include procedures for:

            (i)    Achieving accuracy in information collected and maintained in consumer files;

            (ii)    Developing a system to facilitate correction of information in a consumer file at each credit reporting agency on correction at one consumer reporting agency;

            (iii)    Periodically distributing to the public a current listing of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of consumer reporting agencies that maintain information or provide consumer reports on residents of the State; and

            (iv)    Calculating the required bond amounts under this subtitle.

    (g)    A consumer reporting agency shall pay to the Commissioner a per–day fee set by the Commissioner for each of the Commissioner’s employees engaged in any investigation of the consumer reporting agency conducted under this section that the Commissioner considers necessary.

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