Section 5-18-10

Examinations of licensees; investigations; enforcement powers of supervisor.

(a) Annual examinations of licensees. At least once each year and at such other time as may be deemed necessary by the Supervisor of the Bureau of Loans, an examination shall be made of the place of business of each licensee and of the loans, transactions, books, papers, and records of the licensee so far as they pertain to the business licensed under this chapter. As cost of examination, the licensee shall pay to the Bureau of Loans the actual cost of each examination, the amount of which shall be reasonably prescribed under rules and regulations promulgated by the Superintendent of Banks; provided, however, the cost for each day of examination by each examiner shall not exceed eight times the average hourly rate for auditing purposes as charged by three recognized certified public accountancy firms in the City of Montgomery, Alabama. In addition thereto, the licensee shall pay as per diem the amount authorized by law for state employees traveling inside the state in the service of the state. All such fees shall be paid into the special fund set up by the State Treasury pursuant to Section 5-2A-20, and used in the supervision and examination of licensees.

(b) Investigations. For the purpose of discovering violations of this chapter or of securing information lawfully required hereunder, the supervisor or his or her duly authorized representatives may at any time investigate the business and examine the books, accounts, papers, and records used therein of (1) any licensee, (2) any other person engaged in the business described in subsection (a) of Section 5-18-4 or participating in such business as principal, agent, broker, or otherwise and (3) any person who the supervisor has reasonable cause to believe is violating or is about to violate any provisions of this chapter, whether or not the person shall claim to be within the authority or beyond the scope of this chapter. For purposes of this section, any person who shall advertise for, solicit, or hold himself or herself out as willing to make loan transactions in the amount or of the value of less than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) shall be presumed to be engaged in the business described in subsection (a) of Section 5-18-4.

(c) Access to records; witnesses. For the purposes of this section, the supervisor or his or her duly authorized representatives shall have and be given free access to the offices and places of business, files, safes, and vaults of all such persons and may require the attendance of any person and to examine him or her under oath relative to the loans or the business or to the subject matter of any examination, investigation, or hearing.

(d) Cease and desist orders; injunctions; receivers. Whenever the supervisor has reasonable cause to believe that any person is violating or is threatening to or intends to violate any provision of this chapter, he or she may in addition to all actions provided for in this chapter and in addition to all other remedies that he or she may have at law and without prejudice thereto enter an order requiring such person to desist or to refrain from such violation, and an action may be brought on the relation of the Attorney General or the supervisor to enjoin the person from engaging in or continuing the violation or from doing any act or acts in furtherance thereof. In any action, an order or judgment may be entered awarding the preliminary or final injunction as may be deemed proper. In addition to all other means provided by law for the enforcement of a restraining order or injunction, the court in which the action is brought shall have the power and jurisdiction to impound and to appoint a receiver for the property and business of the defendant, including books, papers, documents, and records pertaining thereto or so much thereof as the court may deem reasonably necessary to prevent violations of this chapter through or by means of the use of the property and business. The receiver, when appointed and qualified, shall have such powers and duties as to custody, collection, administration, winding up, and liquidation of the property and business as shall from time to time be conferred upon him by the court.

(e) Confidentiality of examinations and investigations. Reports of examinations and investigations of the supervisor, and the books and records of licensees are to be held strictly confidential, and may not be produced, reproduced, or otherwise made available by the State Banking Department to any persons other than those within the State Banking Department unless pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena. This subsection does not apply to disclosures in proceedings brought by the supervisor pursuant to this chapter.

(Acts 1959, No. 374, p. 966, §9; Acts 1979, No. 79- 327, p. 490, §1; Acts 1996, No. 96-757, p. 1331, §1; Act 2002-305, p. 863, §1; Act 2017-373, §1.)