Maine Revised Statutes

§1400-B. Registration; requirements

1.  Registration.  A person may not directly or indirectly engage in or carry on, or purport to engage in or carry on, the business of, or act in the capacity of, a settlement agency in this State without first registering with the administrator in accordance with this chapter. The registration must be in a manner and form prescribed by the administrator. The administrator shall set a registration fee for a primary office or a branch office not to exceed $25. All funds received by the administrator under this chapter are appropriated for the use of the administrator.
[ 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW) .]
2. Exemptions.  This chapter does not apply to:
A. A person licensed to practice law in this State while engaged in the performance of the person's professional duties, except an attorney or law firm actively engaging in a separate business as a settlement agency; [2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
B. Individual settlement agents, working on behalf of a settlement agency registered or exempt under this section; [2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
C. A real estate company, broker or salesperson licensed by and subject to the jurisdiction of this State while performing acts in the course of or incidental to sales or purchases of real or personal property handled or negotiated by the real estate company, broker or salesperson; [2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
D. A receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, executor, administrator, guardian or other person acting under the supervision or order of a court of this State or of a federal court; [2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
E. A person licensed in this State as a certified public accountant while engaged in the performance of the person's professional duties who is not actively engaged in a separate business as a settlement agency; [2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
F. A financial institution; [2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
G. A regulated lender subject to the licensing requirements of Title 9-A to the extent the lender is not engaged in a separate business as a settlement agency; [2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
H. Any federal or state agency and its political subdivisions; and [2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
I. A loan broker subject to the requirements of Title 9-A, Article 10 to the extent the loan broker is not engaged in a separate business as a settlement agency. [2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
[ 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW) .]
3. Renewal.  On or before April 30th of each year, a settlement agency registered under this chapter shall pay an annual renewal fee of $25 and shall file with the administrator a renewal form containing such information as the administrator may require.
[ 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW) .]
4. Place of business; name.  A settlement agency registered under this chapter shall maintain a home office as its principal location for the transaction of settlement business. The administrator may issue additional branch registrations to the same settlement agency upon compliance with all the provisions of this chapter governing the issuance of a single settlement agency registration. For purposes of this subsection, the conducting of a settlement by mail or at a remote location for the convenience of the parties by a settlement agent based out of the settlement agency's registered principal office or registered branch office is not considered the transaction of settlement business at a place of business other than the registered location of the settlement agency.
[ 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW) .]
5. Examinations and investigations.  Upon any complaint alleging a violation of law, including the Funded Settlement Act, the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974, 12 United States Code, Section 2601 et seq. or the Maine Consumer Credit Code, the administrator may examine or investigate the books, records and accounts of a settlement agency.
[ 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW) .]
6. Enforcement.  The administrator may undertake any action authorized pursuant to Title 9-A, Article 6 to ensure compliance with this chapter. Nothing in this subsection may be construed to affect the ability of a settlement company to assert the attorney-client privilege. With respect to a settlement company that is owned or operated by an attorney licensed in this State, the administrator shall notify the Board of Overseers of the Bar of any enforcement action taken by the administrator pursuant to this chapter.
[ 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).