Attorney Joseph D. Lento Can Help Protect Your Career if Your Real Estate License Is in Jeopardy
Joseph D. Lento is an experienced real estate license defense attorney who has represented many licensed professionals in cases where they were facing disciplinary action or loss of license. If you're a licensed real estate professional in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or New York, and your license is currently under investigation or suspended, contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today to schedule a consultation.
As a licensed real estate agent, you've worked hard to get where you are today. You've studied for and passed the real estate exam, completed the required continuing education courses, and built up a successful business. But now, your career is in jeopardy because of an alleged violation or an accusation of misconduct. You could be facing disciplinary action from your state licensing board, including a suspension or revocation of your license.
Don't try to defend yourself against these charges without an experienced real estate license defense attorney on your side. The Lento Law Firm has successfully defended many licensed professionals in cases where their licenses were at risk. Attorney Joseph D. Lento will work to make sure your rights are protected and get you the best resolution possible.
What offenses could result in my real estate license being revoked
Real estate agents and brokers must adhere to their state's rules regarding acceptable practice. Most instances of license revocation occur when one or more of these rules is violated or if the agent otherwise breaks trust with the public. Common examples include, but are not limited to:
- Fraudulent activity. Dealing with others in an unethical manner, including clients, mortgage brokers, or other firms, might result in the loss of your license. Examples of fraudulent activity include false advertising, falsifying records (e.g., mortgage fraud), etc.
- Financial misconduct. If you mishandle money in the course of your work (e.g., commingling client money, cutting corners on commissions), this could be grounds for losing your license.
- Criminal convictions. A conviction for certain criminal offenses, especially felony convictions or fraud-related crimes, can preclude you from obtaining a real estate agent's license, or result in having an existing license revoked.
- Failure to abide by applicable laws. Breaking client confidentiality rules, violating the Fair Housing Act, failing to keep up with continuing education obligations, acting outside the scope of your license, or selling real estate without an expired license are all possible examples.
What happens when someone files a complaint against my license?
Once your state's real estate licensing board receives a complaint against you and verifies that it falls within its jurisdiction, the board will investigate to see if the complaint has merit. The investigation may include issuing subpoenas for documents, compiling evidence, speaking with witnesses, etc. They may also invite you to respond in writing to the complaint and provide any corroborating evidence.
If the board uncovers sufficient evidence to support the complaint against you, you might be offered a consent agreement in order to avoid appearing at a formal hearing. Under a consent order, you'll effectively admit wrongdoing and voluntarily submit to the board's recommended course of discipline. In the absence of a consent order, you will be summoned for a formal hearing to answer the complaint against you. The board will then make a final decision about what disciplinary action to take, including possibly revoking your real estate license.
Bear in mind that the board may take lesser actions against you, such as fines or probationary measures, that would allow you to continue selling real estate. However, even these lesser actions can still harm your career because they become a matter of public record. Joseph D. Lento, a skilled real estate defense attorney, can help to reduce your risk of reputation damage while improving your chances of maintaining your license.
Can I try to resolve the complaint with the board without hiring an attorney?
You can, but it's not recommended. As soon as someone files a claim against you, the licensing board begins actively searching for evidence to back it--including anything you might say or do in response to the complaint. This puts you at a disadvantage. The licensing board has sweeping authority to issue discipline and a relatively low burden of proof. Hiring an experienced real estate license defense attorney helps to level the playing field and gives you a fighting chance of resolving the issue without losing your license.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento can:
- Analyze the accusations against you to develop a defense strategy.
- Act as your official legal representative during all proceedings.
- Compile evidence to support your side of the story, along with corroborating witnesses.
- Prepare a convincing written response to the complaint with supporting evidence.
- Negotiate with the licensing board to avoid a formal hearing, have your complaint dismissed, or to receive lesser penalties.
- Defend you vigorously in a formal hearing.
I was notified of a complaint regarding my real estate license. When do I need to call an attorney?
The sooner you get an experienced attorney involved, the better. The sooner an attorney can get involved and start preparing your defense, the better your chances of protecting your livelihood. Waiting until you're summoned to a hearing to hire an attorney is never a good idea because the board is effectively several steps ahead of you by that point. By contrast, in many cases, hiring an attorney early gives you more opportunities to get the complaint dismissed or resolved without the need for a hearing at all.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has represented numerous professionals with real estate licenses who have been accused of misconduct. He knows how to navigate the disciplinary process and has a proven track record of protecting his clients' livelihoods. Don't let an allegation of misconduct or wrongdoing endanger your career unfairly. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686.