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(a) The commissioner may assess an administrative penalty against a person who violates this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.
(b) The commissioner may assess the administrative penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000.
(c) Each day a violation continues or occurs may be considered a separate violation for purposes of this section. The aggregate amount of penalties that may be assessed under this section against a person during one calendar year may not exceed $10,000 for violations an element of which occurred at the same business location.
(d) In determining the amount of a penalty, the commissioner shall consider:
(1) the seriousness of the violation, including the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited act;
(2) the history of previous violations;
(3) the amount necessary to deter future violations;
(4) efforts to correct the violation; and
(5) any other matter that justice may require.
(e) If, after investigation of a possible violation and the facts relating to that possible violation, the commissioner determines that a violation has occurred, the commissioner shall issue a preliminary report that states:
(1) the facts on which the conclusion is based;
(2) the fact that an administrative penalty is to be imposed; and
(3) the amount to be assessed.
(f) Not later than the 10th day after the date on which the commissioner issues the preliminary report, the commissioner shall send to the person charged with the violation a copy of the report and a statement that the person has a right to a hearing on the alleged violation and the amount of the penalty.
(g) Not later than the 20th day after the date on which the report is sent, the person charged may make a written request for a hearing or may pay to the commissioner the amount of the administrative penalty. A person who does not request a hearing or pay the amount of the penalty within the prescribed time waives the right to a hearing.
(h) If the person charged accepts the commissioner's determination, the commissioner shall issue an order approving the determination and ordering payment of the recommended penalty.
(i) If it is determined after a hearing that the person has committed the alleged violation, the commissioner shall give written notice to the person of each finding established by the hearing and the amount of the penalty and shall enter an order requiring the person to pay the penalty.
(j) Not later than the 30th day after the date on which the notice is received, the person charged shall pay the administrative penalty in full.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Texas Finance Code - FIN § 371.303. Administrative Penalty - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/finance-code/fin-sect-371-303.html
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