The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 2117. Examinations and investigations; examination fees
(a) In addition to any authority allowed under this part or other law, and for the purpose of examination, or discovering or investigating violations or complaints of or arising under this part; chapter 200, subchapter 2 of this title; chapter 200 of this title; 9 V.S.A. chapter 4, 59, or 61; or a rule adopted, or an order or directive issued pursuant to those sections, or securing information required or useful thereunder, and for purposes of initial licensing, license renewal, license suspension, license conditioning, license revocation or termination, or general or specific inquiry or investigation, the Commissioner or his or her representative may:
(1) conduct investigations and examinations;
(2) access, receive, and use any books, accounts, records, files, documents, information, or evidence including:
(A) criminal, civil, and administrative history information, including nonconviction data;
(B) personal history and experience information, including independent credit reports obtained from a consumer reporting agency described in 15 U.S.C. § 1681a; and
(C) any other documents, information, or evidence the Commissioner deems relevant to the inquiry or investigation regardless of the location, possession, control, or custody of such documents, information, or evidence.
(b)(1) The Commissioner may review, investigate, or examine any person, regardless of whether the person has obtained a license under this part, as often as necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this part.
(2) The Commissioner may direct, subpoena, or order the attendance of, and examine under oath, a person whose testimony is required about the loans or the business or subject matter of an examination or investigation, and may direct, subpoena, or order the person to produce books, accounts, records, files, and any other documents the Commissioner deems relevant to the inquiry.
(c)(1) A person subject to this part shall make available to the Commissioner upon request the books and records relating to the operations of the person.
(2) The Commissioner shall have access to the books and records and to interview the officers, principals, responsible individuals, control persons, mortgage loan originators, employees, independent contractors, agents, and customers of the person concerning its business.
(d) A person subject to this part shall make or compile reports or prepare other information as directed by the Commissioner in order to carry out the purposes of this section, including:
(1) accounting compilations;
(2) information lists and data concerning transactions in a format prescribed by the Commissioner; and
(3) any other information as the Commissioner deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this part.
(e)(1) In making any examination or investigation authorized by this part, the Commissioner may control access to the documents and records of the person under examination or investigation.
(2) The Commissioner may take possession of the documents and records or place a person in exclusive charge of the documents and records in the place where they are usually kept.
(3) During the period of control, a person shall not remove or attempt to remove any of the documents and records except pursuant to a court order or with the consent of the Commissioner.
(4) Unless the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe the documents or records of the person have been or are at risk of being altered or destroyed for purposes of concealing a violation of this part, the licensee or owner of the documents and records shall have access to the documents or records as necessary to conduct its ordinary business affairs.
(f) In order to carry out the purposes of this part, the Commissioner may:
(1) retain attorneys, accountants, or other professionals and specialists as examiners, auditors, or investigators to conduct or assist in the conduct of examinations or investigations;
(2) enter into agreements or relationships with other government officials or regulatory associations to improve efficiencies and reduce regulatory burden by sharing resources, standardized or uniform methods or procedures, and documents, records, information, or evidence obtained under this section;
(3) use, hire, contract, or employ public or privately available analytical systems, methods, or software to examine or investigate a person subject to this part;
(4) accept and rely on examination or investigation reports made by other government officials within or outside this State; or
(5) accept audit reports made by an independent certified public accountant for the person subject to this part in the course of that part of the examination covering the same general subject matter as the audit and may incorporate the audit report in the report of the examination, report of investigation, or other writing of the Commissioner.
(g) The authority of this section shall remain in effect, whether a person subject to this part acts or claims to act under any licensing or registration law of this State, acts without such authority, or surrenders his or her license.
(h) No person subject to investigation or examination under this section may knowingly withhold, abstract, remove, mutilate, destroy, or secrete any books, records, computer records, or other information.
(i) The Commissioner may, in the case of any person subject to this part who does not maintain a Vermont office, accept reports of examinations prepared by another state or federal regulatory agency as substitutes if such reports are available to the Commissioner and are determined to be adequate in exercising his or her powers and discharging his or her responsibilities under this part.
(j)(1) A person subject to this part shall pay to the Department all fees, costs, and expenses of any examination, review, and investigation as prescribed by section 18 of this title, which fees, costs, and expenses shall be billed when they are incurred.
(2) In addition to the powers set forth in section 2110 of this title, the Commissioner may maintain an action for the recovery of examination, review, and investigation fees, costs, and expenses as prescribed in section 18 of this title in any court of competent jurisdiction.
(k) Information obtained during an examination or investigation under this part shall be confidential and privileged and shall be treated as provided in section 23 of this title. (Added 2019, No. 20, § 2.)