In case you have not noticed the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) is becoming more aggressive in disciplining brokers. There are several reasons for this. The first is that there is much documentation of gross misconduct by licensees in the past ten years. During that time many new licenses came into the business and not all of them had good intent. Real estate fraud became rampant due to the emphasis on all interested parties, and especially the lenders, of simply doing more business and don’t worry about the outcome. More enforcement by DRE was justified.
The second reason was as the new licensee demand died off DRE had many employees no longer needed for processing license requests that could now look into disciplinary matters that previously might have simply been placed aside due to limited resources.
The third reason is that as of January 1, 2012 it is the law that the primary purpose of DRE is consumer protection. That is no longer an additional duty of a licensing agency. Issuing licenses is now a secondary duty of a consumer protection agency. The way consumers get protected from the actions of real estate licensees is greater investigation and discipline by DRE.
Based upon all of the above you should expect that DRE Accusations, the issuing of a statement of alleged wrongdoing by a licensee, will significantly increase. We have seen that happening in the past few months. And we are sure more is on the way.
If an Accusation is issued against a licensee the licensee has fifteen days to file a request for hearing. That does not mean you will be going to a hearing. A hearing is the usually last place you want to be. But filing a request for a hearing gives you the time and opportunity to negotiate a fair and equitable resolution with DRE attorneys.
So if you receive an Accusation from DRE you should immediately contact an attorney experienced in DRE defense and let them help you reach a satisfactory resolution. The longer you wait to get started the less chance you have of achieving that goal.