(A) The department may make investigations and examinations upon reasonable suspicion within or outside of this State as it considers necessary to determine whether a person has violated or will violate any provision of this chapter or any regulation promulgated hereunder.

(B) The department may gather evidence regarding any broker if the department has reasonable suspicion the loan broker has violated or will violate any provision of this chapter or any regulation promulgated under it. The department may administer oaths, examine witnesses, and issue subpoenas.

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 34-36-50

  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • Department: means the Department of Consumer Affairs. See South Carolina Code 34-36-10
  • 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.
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Loan broker: means any person who:

    (a) for or in expectation of consideration arranges or attempts to arrange or offers to fund a loan of money, a credit card, or a line of credit;

    (b) for or in expectation of consideration assists or advises a borrower in obtaining or attempting to obtain a loan of money, a credit card, a line of credit, or related guarantee, enhancement, or collateral of any kind or nature;

    (c) acts for or on behalf of a loan broker for the purpose of soliciting borrowers; or

    (d) holds himself out as a loan broker. See South Carolina Code 34-36-10
  • Principal: means any officer, director, partner, joint venturer, branch manager, or other person with similar managerial or supervisory responsibilities for a loan broker. See South Carolina Code 34-36-10
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • Subpoena duces tecum: A command to a witness to produce documents.

(C) The department may issue subpoenas for witnesses whose evidence is deemed material to any investigation or examination commanding the witnesses to be or appear before the department at a time and place named and to bring those books, records, and documents as may be specified or to submit the books, records, and documents for inspection. The subpoenas may be served by an authorized representative of the department.

(D) In the event of substantial noncompliance with a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum issued by the department, the department may petition the circuit court of the county in which the person subpoenaed resides or has its principal place of business for an order requiring the person to appear and fully comply with the subpoena. The court may also grant injunctive relief restraining a violation of this chapter and may grant that other relief, including, but not limited to, the restraint, by injunction or appointment of a receiver, of any transfer, pledge, assignment, or other disposition of the person’s assets or any concealment, alteration, destruction, or other disposition of subpoenaed books, records, or documents, as the court deems appropriate until the person has fully complied with the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum and the department has completed its investigation or examination. Costs incurred by the department to obtain an order granting, in whole or in part, the petition for enforcement of a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum must be taxed against the subpoenaed person, and failure to comply with the order is a contempt of court.

(E) Witnesses are entitled to the same fees and mileage as they may be entitled by law for attending as witnesses in the circuit court, except where the examination or investigation is held at the place of business or residence of the witness.

(F) The material compiled by the department in an investigation or examination under this chapter is confidential until the investigation or examination is complete or final action by the department is otherwise taken. The investigation or examination is not deemed complete if the department has submitted the material or any part of it to any law enforcement agency or other regulatory agency for further investigation or for the filing of a criminal or civil prosecution and the investigation and prosecution have not been completed or become inactive. This confidentiality provision shall not prohibit:

(1) the disclosure of investigative material in investigations that are otherwise final if the material submitted to the other law enforcement agency is not directly related to loan brokering business; or

(2) the disclosure of such material as is public information after civil or criminal prosecution is filed.

(G) The department shall cooperate with and assist other state or federal agencies in enforcing applicable regulation of loan brokers to the extent such cooperation and assistance does not violate this chapter or the public policy of this State. The department may authorize such state or federal agencies to represent it for the purpose of administering oaths, examining witnesses, or issuing subpoenas under this chapter.