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Accused of violating Real Estate Law, Part 1 of Division 4 of the 26 California Business and Professions Code

Westminster, CA |

What is a valid defense? At the time of the violation, my licensed had expired. I also did not know of any "fraud" or accusation of wrongdoing until a year later, after my license was no longer expired. Is there a defense? I think the agency is trying to fine me or take away my real estate license. Case with criminal court has also been dismissed, plea reversed to "non guilty". Could the case with the bureau of real estate get dismissed? Where would I go get more details? No attorney, so far, seems to know enough about procedures with the BRE to give me an answer.

The correct citation is "Real Estate Law, Part 1 of Division 4 of the California Business and Professions Code". I am facing a formal "Accusation" and have recently been misguided by another attorney who claimed to know how to do this.

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Attorney answers 3


Well, I know a great deal about the procedures and authority of BRE. When I was a Administrative Law Judge I presided over a large number of BRE cases (at that time, BRE was the Dept of RE, but the difference is immaterial here). Even with years of experience in BRE matters procedures, I am having trouble understanding your question. In fact, I cannot make sense of your citation: "26."

There are two likely possibilities:

1. BRE is investigating you and has demanded that you provide specific responsive information and records necessary to the licensing agency for the investigation, or

2. BRE is formally accusing you of violations of the statutes, rules and regs applicable to your license, and you must respond to the Accusation that has been filed and served. In that event, BRE is seeking revocation, suspension, citation, or other penalty based on the allegations of misconduct. You have the right to challenge the allegations against you and the proposed penalty. You will need counsel to navigate through the enforcement and appeal process.

No one here can say whether you have sound defenses because we do not have even a hint of the factual basis for BRE's actions against you. You need to consult with a skilled and experienced attorney who practices professional licensing law to determine the extent and seriousness of BRE's allegations and the merit and strength of any factual or legal defenses available to you.

It is great that a related criminal case has been dismissed, but that will not necessarily resolve BRE's allegations. California law allows State licensing agencies to enforce against licensees based on "bad acts" of unprofessional or unethical conduct even where there is no arrest, prosecution or conviction.

By specific provisions of California law, BRE has authority to both investigate and bring enforcement proceedings even against a licensee whose license has lapsed or expired.

These principles of general administrative law are all that I can reliably offer here in the absence of any description of the nature of BRE's position. I strongly urge that you promptly consult with a skilled licensing law attorney. If you have been served with an Accusation, you have a very narrow window of time in which to serve your Notice of Defense -- failure to meet the deadline will cause a forfeiture of your rights to challenge BRE's accusations. If you are instead facing a BRE investigation, failure to make prompt and full responses can serve as a separate and additional basis for a formal Cause for Discipline by BRE. I all events, you need to be responding appropriately and through legal counsel.

Good luck to you.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.



Ms.McCall, thank you very much for your insight. My mistake: "26" was not part of the code. It was a pleading line number. Thank you for catching that. The correct citation is "Real Estate Law, Part 1 of Division 4 of the California Business and Professions Code". I am facing a formal "Accusation" and had recently been misguided by another attorney who claimed to know how to do this. I will add these details to my quesiton.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


Taking out "26" won't fix your citation. My guess is you are accused under CA Bus & Prof Code section 490 or 480? Part 1 of Div 4 is a large body of law. Look for the specific statute. As for fixing your question, you have gone as far as you can go here on this site. If you have a formal Accusation, GET YOUR NOTICE OF DEFENSE FILED ASAP and consult with a skilled admin lawyer to begin preparing your defense and attempting to negotiate a stipulated result with BRE counsel. There is a very low limit of what can be provided here without any opportunity to analyze and evaluate BRE's factual allegations.



Ms. McCall, Thank you again for taking time to respond. The Notice of Defense has been filed and I am currently in discovery and awaiting hearing next year.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


Best of success! Be aware that the ALJ who presides at the hearing will issue a proposed decision only. BRE can override the hearing result. For this reason it can be very important and effective to attempt to negotiate a stipulated result with BRE staff before utilizing the hearing process.


Your question is not clear. You should be able to reference a specific Business and Professions Code section, etc. However, you are attempting to save your ability to earn an income. It is clear that you would be well served by privately consulting an attorney experienced in this area of law. Posting details of a criminal or administrative proceeding currently under way is probably not wise. You need an attorney, so do not be satisfied with general advice on the internet. Consult attorney McCall or another attorney with appropriate experience in this area.

Answers on this site are only intended to provide general information. No attorney-client relationship is intended. Specific legal advice is only provided after a personal meeting in which detailed information about a client's particular circumstances and goals are obtained.


Call Christine and see her. You are playing with a stick of dynamite in your hand.

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.

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