(a) Any person who: (1) obtains a final judgment, including a settlement reduced to a final judgment, in any court of competent jurisdiction in the District against any other person on the grounds of fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, embezzlement, false pretenses, forgery, failure to account for or conversion of trust funds, or violation of the provisions of this subchapter, arising directly out of any transaction which occurred when the other person was licensed under this subchapter, during the course of which the licensee performed acts for which a license is required under this subchapter, and which transaction occurred on or after March 10, 1983; and (2) meets the requirements of subsection (b) of this section; may, upon termination of all proceedings, including reviews and appeals in connection with the judgment, file a written application, under oath, with the Mayor for an order directing payment from the Fund of the amount of actual and direct loss in the transaction (excluding the amount of any interest, attorney’s fees, court costs, or punitive or exemplary damages) which remains unpaid upon the judgment. The application shall be filed no later than 12 months after the date on which the judgment became final.
(b) A person filing an application meets the requirements of this subsection if:
(1) The person is not a licensee or the personal representative of a licensee and is not the spouse or child of the licensee against whom the final judgment was awarded, or the personal representative of the spouse or child;
(2) The person has made the investigation as is reasonably necessary to determine whether the judgment debtor possesses real or personal property or other assets which are liable to be sold or applied in satisfaction of the final judgment and has filed with the Board an affidavit which states that the investigation has been made; and
(3) The investigation required by paragraph (2) of this subsection has not disclosed the existence of any real or personal property or other assets, or, if the investigation has disclosed the existence of real or personal property or other assets (which shall be described in the affidavit) the person has taken all action necessary for the sale or application, and the amount so realized is insufficient to satisfy the judgment (which amount shall have been stated in the affidavit together with the balance remaining due on the judgment after the sale or application).
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the maximum amount that may be paid from the Fund to satisfy in whole or in part a final judgment against a licensee as provided for herein shall be as follows:
$10,000 ...... Judgment is final during the first year following March 10, 1983;
$20,000 ...... Judgment is final during the second year following March 10, 1983;
$30,000 ...... Judgment is final during the third year following March 10, 1983;
$40,000 ...... Judgment is final during the fourth year following March 10, 1983; and
$50,000 ...... Judgment is final during the fifth year following March 10, 1983, and thereafter.
(d) The aggregate of claims by judgment creditors against the Fund based upon an unpaid final judgment arising out of the acts of the licensee in connection with a single transaction shall be $50,000 regardless of the number of claimants. If the aggregate of claims exceeds $50,000, the Board shall pay $50,000 to the claimants in proportion to the amounts of their final judgments against the Fund which remain unpaid. If the Mayor has reason to believe that there may be additional claims against the Fund arising out of the same transaction, the Mayor may withhold payment from the Fund involving the licensee for a period of not more than 1 year.
(e) Any person who commences an action for a judgment which could be the basis for an order of the Mayor directing payment from the Fund shall notify the Mayor in writing within 30 days after the date of the commencement of the action. Any failure to notify the Mayor as required under this subsection shall be grounds for the Mayor to deny an application of the person for payment from the Fund. The Mayor may waive this requirement if good cause is shown for failure to notify. The Mayor may, in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter, commence an investigation of the complaint and hold a hearing to determine whether any license issued pursuant to this subchapter should be suspended or revoked.
(f) Whenever an aggrieved person who has become a judgment creditor as provided in this section files an application for an order directing payment from the Fund, the Mayor shall cause a copy of the application to be served on the licensee alleged to be the judgment debtor, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of record of the licensee, and the matter shall be set for hearing before the Board. Whenever the Mayor determines that the applicant is entitled to payment from the Fund, the Mayor shall issue an order directing payment from the Fund in an amount consistent with this subchapter.
(g) If the Mayor issues an order directing payment from the Fund of any amount towards satisfaction of a judgment against a licensed real estate broker, real estate salesperson, or property manager, the license of the person shall be automatically suspended upon the issuance of the order. No real estate broker, real estate salesperson, or property manager shall be eligible to have his or her license restored until he or she has repaid in full the amount ordered paid from the Fund, plus interest at an annual rate established by the Mayor from the date of payment of the amount from the Fund, and has satisfied all rules governing licensure as set forth in this subchapter.
(h) Whenever amounts deposited in the Fund are insufficient to satisfy any duly authorized claim or portion thereof, the Mayor shall, when sufficient money has been deposited or portions thereof, satisfy the unpaid claims in the order that the applications relating thereto were originally filed with the Mayor, including accumulated interest at an annual rate established by the Mayor for a period not to exceed 1 year in duration.
(i) In addition to the requirements of this subchapter, if the Mayor determines that it is necessary to require the bonding requirements of licensees, the Mayor shall by rule establish bonding requirements as are deemed necessary to protect the public.
(j) All sums paid pursuant to § 42-1706 and subsection (c) of this section shall be deposited with the D.C. Treasurer and shall be credited to the Fund. Any interest earned from any deposits and investments of the Fund also shall be credited to the Fund. The interest to be credited to the Fund may be determined, consistent with the financial management procedures of the District and may be revised from time to time, as a pro-rata share of the interest earned on pooled cash, deposits, and investments.
(k) The Mayor shall, by rule, establish minimum and maximum balances for the Fund.
(l) Should the Office of the Chief Financial Officer project that the year-end Fund balance for any fiscal year will be less than the minimum balance established pursuant to subsection (k) of this section, the Mayor shall assess each licensee an amount, not to exceed $50 during any license year, within 30 calendar days, which is sufficient, when combined with similar assessments of other licensees, to bring the balance of the Fund up to the minimum established. Whenever the amount deposited in the Fund is more than the maximum balance established, the Mayor shall waive contributions to the Fund required by this subchapter.
(m) Notice of an assessment required pursuant to subsection (l) of this section shall be sent, by certified mail, to each licensee at his or her address of record. The Board may waive the certified mail requirement to licensees only when the Board is doing a mass mailing, the cost of which makes the application of such fee an undue financial burden on the Board and may, in such circumstances, send notice of the assessment by regular mail to each licensee at his or her address of record. The Board shall also post notice of the assessment in at least two trade publications distributed within the metropolitan area and in a local newspaper in the real estate section. Payment of the assessment shall be made within 30 calendar days after the receipt by the licensee of the notice.
(n) A failure by any licensee to pay an assessment required pursuant to subsection (l) of this section within 30 days after the licensee has received notice of the assessment shall result in the automatic suspension of the license of the licensee. The Board shall send a notice of the suspension, by certified mail, to the address of record of the licensee within 5 days after the suspension. The license shall be restored only upon the actual receipt by the Mayor of the delinquent assessment, plus any interest and penalties as the Mayor may prescribe by rule.
(o) The Board may expend a sum not to exceed 20% of the amounts deposited in the Fund, on October 1 of each year, for the establishment and maintenance of educational programs for improving the competency of licensees and applicants for licensure so as to further protect the public interest, and for conferences, workshops, and educational programs for real estate license officials. The cost of administering the Fund shall be paid out of the Fund.
(p) When the Mayor has ordered a sum from the Fund to be paid to a judgment creditor, the Mayor shall be subrogated to all of the rights of the judgment creditor up to the amount paid and the judgment creditor shall assign to the Mayor all rights, title, and interest in the judgment up to the amount paid from the Fund. Any amount and interest so recovered by the Mayor or the judgment creditor on the judgment up to the amount paid shall be deposited in the Fund.
(Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-209, § 30, 30 DCR 390; Sept. 26, 1984, D.C. Law 5-117, § 2(u), 31 DCR 4023; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-242, § 3(4), (5), 44 DCR 1128; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 1233(cc), 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 2292, 65 DCR 9388.)
1981 Ed., § 45-1949.
This section is referenced in § 42-1706.
Delegation of Authority
Delegation of authority under Law 4-209, see Mayor’s Order 83-123, May 6, 1983.