93A-6.  Disciplinary action by Commission.

(a)        The Commission has power to take disciplinary action. Upon its own initiative, or on the complaint of any person, the Commission may investigate the actions of any person or entity licensed under this Chapter, or any other person or entity who shall assume to act in such capacity. If the Commission finds probable cause that a licensee has violated any of the provisions of this Chapter, the Commission may hold a hearing on the allegations of misconduct.

The Commission has power to suspend or revoke at any time a license issued under the provisions of this Chapter, or to reprimand or censure any licensee, if, following a hearing, the Commission adjudges the licensee to be guilty of:

(1)        Making any willful or negligent misrepresentation or any willful or negligent omission of material fact.

(2)        Making any false promises of a character likely to influence, persuade, or induce.

(3)        Pursuing a course of misrepresentation or making of false promises through agents, advertising or otherwise.

(4)        Acting for more than one party in a transaction without the knowledge of all parties for whom he or she acts.

(5)        Accepting a commission or valuable consideration as a real estate broker on provisional status for the performance of any of the acts specified in this Article or Article 4 of this Chapter, from any person except his or her broker-in-charge or licensed broker by whom he or she is employed.

(6)        Representing or attempting to represent a real estate broker other than the broker by whom he or she is engaged or associated, without the express knowledge and consent of the broker with whom he or she is associated.

(7)        Failing, within a reasonable time, to account for or to remit any monies coming into his or her possession which belong to others.

(8)        Being unworthy or incompetent to act as a real estate broker in a manner as to endanger the interest of the public.

(9)        Paying a commission or valuable consideration to any person for acts or services performed in violation of this Chapter.

(10)      Any other conduct which constitutes improper, fraudulent or dishonest dealing.

(11)      Performing or undertaking to perform any legal service, as set forth in G.S. 84-2.1, or any other acts constituting the practice of law.

(12)      Commingling the money or other property of his or her principals with his or her own or failure to maintain and deposit in a trust or escrow account in a bank as provided by subsection (g) of this section all money received by him or her as a real estate licensee acting in that capacity, or an escrow agent, or the custodian or manager of the funds of another person or entity which relate to or concern that person's or entity's interest or investment in real property, provided, these accounts shall not bear interest unless the principals authorize in writing the deposit be made in an interest bearing account and also provide for the disbursement of the interest accrued.

(13)      Failing to deliver, within a reasonable time, a completed copy of any purchase agreement or offer to buy and sell real estate to the buyer and to the seller.

(14)      Failing, at the time a sales transaction is consummated, to deliver to the broker's client a detailed and accurate closing statement showing the receipt and disbursement of all monies relating to the transaction about which the broker knows or reasonably should know. If a closing statement is prepared by an attorney or lawful settlement agent, a broker may rely on the delivery of that statement, but the broker must review the statement for accuracy and notify all parties to the closing of any errors.

(15)      Violating any rule adopted by the Commission.

(b)        The Commission may suspend or revoke any license issued under the provisions of this Chapter or reprimand or censure any licensee when:

(1)        The licensee has obtained a license by false or fraudulent representation;

(2)        The licensee has been convicted or has entered a plea of guilty or no contest upon which final judgment is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in this State, or any other state, of any misdemeanor or felony that involves false swearing, misrepresentation, deceit, extortion, theft, bribery, embezzlement, false pretenses, fraud, forgery, larceny, misappropriation of funds or property, perjury, or any other offense showing professional unfitness or involving moral turpitude which would reasonably affect the licensee's performance in the real estate business;

(3)        The licensee has violated any of the provisions of G.S. 93A-6(a) when selling, leasing, or buying the licensee's own property;

(4)        The broker's unlicensed employee, who is exempt from the provisions of this Chapter under G.S. 93A-2(c)(6), has committed, in the regular course of business, any act which, if committed by the broker, would constitute a violation of G.S. 93A-6(a) for which the broker could be disciplined; or

(5)        The licensee, who is also licensed as an appraiser, attorney, home inspector, mortgage broker, general contractor, or member of another licensed profession or occupation, has been disciplined for an offense under any law involving fraud, theft, misrepresentation, breach of trust or fiduciary responsibility, or willful or negligent malpractice.

(c)        The Commission may appear in its own name in superior court in actions for injunctive relief to prevent any person from violating the provisions of this Chapter or rules adopted by the Commission. The superior court shall have the power to grant these injunctions even if criminal prosecution has been or may be instituted as a result of the violations, or whether the person is a licensee of the Commission.

(d)       Each broker shall maintain complete records showing the deposit, maintenance, and withdrawal of money or other property owned by the broker's principals or held in escrow or in trust for the broker's principals. The Commission may inspect these records periodically, without prior notice and may also inspect these records whenever the Commission determines that they are pertinent to an investigation of any specific complaint against a licensee.

(e)        When a person or entity licensed under this Chapter is accused of any act, omission, or misconduct which would subject the licensee to disciplinary action, the licensee, with the consent and approval of the Commission, may surrender the license and all the rights and privileges pertaining to it for a period of time established by the Commission. A person or entity who surrenders a license shall not thereafter be eligible for or submit any application for licensure as a real estate broker during the period of license surrender.

(f)        In any contested case in which the Commission takes disciplinary action authorized by any provision of this Chapter, the Commission may also impose reasonable conditions, restrictions, and limitations upon the license, registration, or approval issued to the disciplined person or entity. In any contested case concerning an application for licensure, time share project registration, or school, sponsor, instructor, or course approval, the Commission may impose reasonable conditions, restrictions, and limitations on any license, registration, or approval it may issue as a part of its final decision.

(g)        A broker's trust or escrow account shall be a demand deposit account in a federally insured depository institution lawfully doing business in this State which agrees to make its records of the broker's account available for inspection by the Commission's representatives.

(h)        The Executive Director shall transmit a certified copy of all final orders of the Commission suspending or revoking licenses issued under this Chapter to the clerk of superior court of the county in which the licensee maintains his or her principal place of business. The clerk shall enter the order upon the judgment docket of the county.  (1957, c. 744, s. 6; 1967, c. 281, s. 4; c. 853, s. 3; 1969, c. 191, s. 5; 1971, c. 86, s. 2; 1973, c. 1112; c. 1331, s. 3; 1975, c. 28; 1979, c. 616, ss. 6, 7; 1981, c. 682, s. 15; 1983, c. 81, s. 13; 1987, c. 516, ss. 1, 2; 1989, c. 563, s. 2; 1993, c. 419, s. 10; 1999-229, s. 6; 2000-149, s. 19(b); 2001-487, s. 23(b); 2002-168, s. 5; 2005-374, s. 2; 2005-395, s. 9; 2011-217, s. 6.)