Cite & Fine
About the Cite & Fine Program
The Bureau of Real Estate may issue citations to licensed and unlicensed persons for violations of the Real Estate and Subdivided Lands Law pursuant to Business and Professions Code §10080.9 and Commissioner’s Regulation 2907 et seq. Citations are typically issued for relatively minor or technical violations of the law in order to effect and reinforce compliance.
A citation may include an order of correction, which is an order from the Bureau to correct the cited violations within a specified period of time. To satisfy an order of correction, the cited person must correct identified violations or deficiencies and submit to the Bureau a statement that the violations have been corrected.
A citation may also include an administrative fine assessment. For licensees, the maximum fine amount is $2,500 per citation. For unlicensed persons conducting activities requiring a license, the maximum fine amount is $2,500 per unlicensed act. The fine amount will vary depending on the considerations set forth in Commissioner’s Regulation 2907.2 such as gravity of the violations, actual injury to consumers, and mitigating or aggravating factors.
Notices and Disclosures
Contesting a Citation:
Any aspect of a citation - including the violations cited, order of correction, and fine amount - may be contested by responding to the citation with an intent to request a formal hearing. If the intent to request a formal hearing is not received within 30 days, the citation will become final and no administrative review or appeal will be available.
Citation Review Conference:
The Bureau will schedule a Citation Review Conference (CRC) to be held within 60 days of receipt of the intent to request a formal hearing. The CRC is an opportunity to meet with a representative of the Bureau, discuss the citation, and request reconsideration. Cited persons are encouraged to bring documents, additional evidence, or other information to present to the representative for the Bureau's consideration. CRC's are held at the Bureau's Los Angeles and Sacramento offices on a monthly basis.
Within 30 days of the CRC, the Bureau will make a decision to dismiss, modify, or affirm (let stand) the citation. If the citation is dismissed, then the matter will be closed. If the citation is modified or affirmed, within 30 days of the Bureau's decision, the fine assessment must be paid and terms of the citation satisfied, or a formal citation hearing must be requested.
Formal Citation Hearing:
If a formal citation hearing is requested, then a notice of hearing and information about the administrative hearing process will be provided. At hearing, the Bureau may seek reasonable investigative and enforcement costs in addition to enforcing the original citation.
If corrections ordered cannot be made or a fine cannot be paid within the timeframe set forth in a citation, an extension of time may be requested. The request must be in writing within the timeframe set forth for corrections or payment of the fine and must state the extenuating circumstances and good cause warranting the extension. The granting of an extension is within the discretion of the Commissioner.
Failure to Respond or Comply with a Citation:
Failure to comply with the terms of the citation or pay a fine may subject the cited person to formal disciplinary action by the Bureau. For licensees, this may result in the suspension or revocation of real estate licenses. Furthermore, licenses may not be renewed if an unpaid fine remains outstanding or the terms of a citation have not been met.
For both real estate licensees and persons not licensed by the Bureau, an unpaid fine may be referred to collections, which may negatively affect credit ratings. In addition, the Bureau may seek a civil court judgment for the unpaid debt.
Citations are considered a form of discipline, but will not be reported as formal disciplinary action by the Bureau. The issuance of a citation is considered a matter of public record, and details may be released to the public pursuant to a request under the California Public Records Act. The Bureau will not, however, post the information to the Bureau's Web site nor will the issuance of a citation be attached to a licensee's public license record information. Citations issued to non-licensees for unlicensed activity, however, will be posted to the Bureau's Web site.
Paying a Fine
Payments are due within 30 days of receipt of the citation. Payments may be made by mailing a cashier's check, money order, or credit card payment form to:
Bureau of Real Estate
P.O. Box 137006
Sacramento, CA 95813-7006