You’ve Just Received A Letter From The Enforcement Unit. What Next?
The goal of the Consumer Services Enforcement Unit is to resolve consumer complaints and referrals from the Licensing and Examinations Units, and to review our licensees’ compliance with the applicable statutes and rules. The Enforcement Unit receives more than 100 complaints each month. One of the initial steps is to send out a Directive to the individual or company against whom the complaint was filed. Most Directives simply request information and documents related to the complaint. At this point, the Enforcement Unit is gathering information to make a determination regarding the allegations in the complaint.
If you receive a Directive from the Enforcement Unit, you may wish to take the following steps:
- Review the Directive carefully. If you do not understand what is being requested, contact the Enforcement Unit to clarify. Each complaint is assigned to one of our Financial Examiners and Financial Legal Examiners. The Examiner assigned to review the Complainant’s allegations can discuss the Directive and clarify what
DFI is seeking.
- Confirm your role in the Directive. Directives are often sent to witnesses who may have relevant information regarding the complaint. If you are not named as the “Respondent,” you are likely being asked to provide information as a witness or third party.
- Respond to the Directive fully and completely. The Directive often requests a response to the Complainant’s allegations. A response to each allegation made by the Complainant is essential. If you possess documentation to support your response, please include that documentation in your response to
- Respond to the Directive within the time limit specified. All Directives are issued with a strict time limit for a complete response. Failure to comply fully with a Directive in a timely manner is a violation of each of the relevant Consumer Services statutes and associated rules.
- If you will not be able to respond within the time limit specified in the Directive, contact the assigned Examiner as soon as possible. The Examiner can authorize an extension, allowing you more time to respond fully to the Directive.
- Once your response is received, it will be reviewed for
completeness. If items are missing, DFI may send a Subpoena to
require a complete response. Failure to respond fully to the Subpoena may then result in referral to the Attorney General’s Office or further Enforcement action.
Following receipt of your response, the Examiner may discover that additional information is needed to process the complaint. Further Directives may be sent requesting this information. Once the complaint and the response have been sufficiently reviewed by the Examiner, the complaint will then be closed or become a basis for further investigation and possible enforcement action.
In most cases, complaints will be closed with a letter explaining the Examiner’s findings. If you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact the Enforcement Unit at (360) 902-8703, or at email@example.com.