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.  

[PL 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]

Terms Used In Maine Revised Statutes Title 10 Sec. 1400-B

  • Administrator: means the Superintendent of Consumer Credit Protection within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. See Maine Revised Statutes Title 10 Sec. 1400-A
  • Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • Financial institution: means a bank, credit union, savings and loan association, savings bank, trust company or other similar depository or nondepository financial institution, including an institution whose accounts are insured by the full faith and credit of the United States, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or other similar or successor programs as well as an affiliate or subsidiary of such financial institution. See Maine Revised Statutes Title 10 Sec. 1400-A
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Real estate: includes lands and all tenements and hereditaments connected therewith, and all rights thereto and interests therein. See Maine Revised Statutes Title 1 Sec. 72
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act: Federal law that, among other things, requires lenders to provide "good faith" estimates of settlement costs and make other disclosures regarding the mortgage loan. RESPA also limits the amount of funds held in escrow for real estate taxes and insurance. Source: OCC
  • Settlement: means the receipt of loan funds, loan documents or other documents or funds to carry out the contractual terms of a residential real estate transaction. See Maine Revised Statutes Title 10 Sec. 1400-A
  • Settlement agency: includes an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership or other entity conducting the settlement and disbursement of settlement proceeds. See Maine Revised Statutes Title 10 Sec. 1400-A
  • Settlement agent: means a person engaged in the business of settlements on behalf of a settlement agency. See Maine Revised Statutes Title 10 Sec. 1400-A
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • United States: includes territories and the District of Columbia. See Maine Revised Statutes Title 1 Sec. 72
  • Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Maine Revised Statutes Title 1 Sec. 72
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;   [PL 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
B. Individual settlement agents, working on behalf of a settlement agency registered or exempt under this section;   [PL 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;   [PL 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;   [PL 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;   [PL 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
F. A financial institution;   [PL 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;   [PL 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]
H. Any federal or state agency and its political subdivisions; and   [PL 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.   [PL 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]

[PL 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.  

[PL 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.  

[PL 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.  

[PL 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.  

[PL 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).]

SECTION HISTORY

PL 2009, c. 61, §2 (NEW).