Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 6.2. Financial Institutions and Services
Chapter 16. Mortgage Lenders and Mortgage Brokers
7/31/2021

§ 6.2-1629. Prohibited practices; authority of the Attorney General.

A. Notwithstanding whether a person is licensed, is required to be licensed, or is exempt from licensure under this chapter, and notwithstanding any other provision of the law to the contrary, no person that is engaged in the business of originating residential mortgage loans in the Commonwealth shall use any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, or misrepresentation in connection with a mortgage loan transaction.

B. Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person has engaged in, or is engaging in, or is about to engage in, any violation of this section, the Attorney General is empowered to issue a civil investigative demand. The provisions of § 59.1-9.10 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to civil investigative demands issued pursuant to this section.

C. The Attorney General may cause an action to be brought in the appropriate circuit court in the name of the Commonwealth to enjoin any violation of this section. The circuit court having jurisdiction may enjoin such violations notwithstanding the existence of an adequate remedy at law. In any action under this section, it shall not be necessary that damages or intent be proved to establish a violation. The standard of proof at trial shall be preponderance of the evidence. The circuit courts are authorized to issue temporary or permanent injunctions to restrain and prevent violations of this section.

D. In any action brought under this section, if the court finds that a person has willfully engaged in a violation of this section, the Attorney General may recover, upon petition to the court, a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 per violation.

E. In any action brought under this section, the Attorney General may recover damages and such other relief allowed by law, including restitution on behalf of borrowers injured by violations of this section as well as costs and reasonable expenses incurred by the Commonwealth in investigation and preparing the case, including attorney fees.

F. Unless the Attorney General determines that a person subject to the provisions of this section intends to depart from the Commonwealth or to remove his property from the Commonwealth, or to conceal himself or his property in the Commonwealth, or on a reasonable determination that irreparable harm may occur if immediate action is not taken, the Attorney General shall, before initiating any legal proceedings as provided in this section, give notice in writing that such proceedings are contemplated, and allow such person a reasonable opportunity to appear before the Attorney General and show that a violation did not occur or execute an assurance of voluntary compliance or consent judgment.

G. Nothing in this section shall create a private right of action in favor of any individual aggrieved by a violation of this section.

2009, cc. 204, 727, § 6.1-430.1; 2010, c. 794.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.