53-271.  Commissioner's authority to enforce; penalties.

(a)        The Commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to implement and enforce the provisions of this Article.  Upon finding probable cause to believe that an authorized lender is in violation of this Article, or of any law or any rule or regulation of this State, the United States, or an agency of the State or the United States, the Commissioner shall, after affording reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard to the lender, order the lender to cease and desist from the violation.

(b)        If a lender fails to comply with or appeal the Commissioner's cease and desist order, the lender shall be subject to a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation that is the subject of the cease and desist order. The penalty imposed under this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of penalties available under any other provision of law applicable to a reverse mortgage lender.

(c)        Upon a finding that a reverse mortgage lender has violated this Article, the Commissioner may revoke, temporarily or permanently, the authority of the lender to make reverse mortgage loans.

(d)       A person damaged by a lender's actions may file an action in civil court to recover actual and punitive damages.  Attorneys' fees shall be awarded to a prevailing borrower.  Nothing in this Article shall limit any statutory or common law right of a person to bring an action in court for any act, nor shall this Article limit the right of the State to punish a person for the violation of any law. (1991, c. 546, s. 1; 1995, c. 115, s. 1.)