454M-8.5  Investigation and examination authority.  (a)  In addition to any other authority under this chapter, the commissioner shall have the authority to conduct investigations and examinations in accordance with this section.  The commissioner may access, receive, and use any books, accounts, records, files, documents, information, or evidence that the commissioner deems relevant to the inquiry or investigation, regardless of the location, possession, control, or custody of the documents, information, or evidence.

Terms Used In Hawaii Revised Statutes 454M-8.5

  • complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • oath: includes a solemn affirmation. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 1-21
  • subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.

     (b)  For the purposes of investigating violations or complaints arising under this chapter, or for the purposes of examination, the commissioner may review, investigate, or examine any licensee or person subject to this chapter, as often as necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.  The commissioner may direct, subpoena, or order the attendance of, and examine under oath, all persons whose testimony may be required about loans or the business or subject matter of any 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)  Each licensee or person subject to this chapter shall provide to the commissioner upon request the books and records relating to the operations of the licensee or person subject to this chapter.  The commissioner shall have access to the books and records and shall be permitted to interview the officers, principals, mortgage servicers employees, independent contractors, agents, and customers of the licensee or person subject to this chapter concerning their business.

     (d)  Each licensee or person subject to this chapter 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 loan transactions in a format prescribed by the commissioner; or

     (3)  Other information that the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

     (e)  In conducting any examination or investigation authorized by this chapter, the commissioner may control access to any documents and records of the licensee or person under examination or investigation.  The commissioner may take possession of the documents and records or place a person in exclusive charge of the documents and records.  During the period of control, no person shall remove or attempt to remove any of the documents and records except pursuant to a court order or with the consent of the commissioner.  Unless the commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe the documents or records of the licensee or person under examination or investigation have been, or are at risk of being, altered or destroyed for purposes of concealing a violation of this chapter, 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)  To carry out the purposes of this chapter, the commissioner may:

     (1)  Retain accountants or other professionals and specialists, who may be exempt from chapter 76, 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 in order 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 the licensee or person subject to this chapter;

     (4)  Accept and rely on examination or investigation reports made by other government officials, within or without this State; and

     (5)  Accept audit reports made by an independent certified public accountant for the licensee or person subject to this chapter 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 licensee or person subject to this chapter acts or claims to act under any licensing or registration law of this State, or claims to act without such authority.

     (h)  No licensee or 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 charge an examination or investigation fee, payable to the commissioner, based upon the cost per hour per examiner for all licensees and persons subject to this chapter examined or investigated by the commissioner or the commissioner’s staff.  The hourly fee shall be $60 or an amount as the commissioner shall establish by rule pursuant to chapter 91.  In addition to the examination or investigation fee, the commissioner may charge any person who is examined or investigated by the commissioner or the commissioner’s staff pursuant to this section additional amounts for travel, per diem, mileage, and other reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the examination or investigation, payable to the commissioner.

     (j)  Any person having reason to believe that this chapter or the rules adopted pursuant thereto have been violated, or that a license issued under this chapter should be suspended or revoked, may file a written complaint with the commissioner setting forth the details of the alleged violation or grounds for suspension or revocation.