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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 31 - 17 A- 15 §31-17A-15. Investigation and examination authority.
(a) For purposes of initial licensing, license renewal, license suspension, license conditioning, license revocation or termination, or general or specific inquiry or investigation to determine compliance with this article, the commissioner may access, receive and use any books, accounts, records, files, documents, information or evidence including, but not limited to:

(1) Criminal, civil and administrative history information, including nonconviction data;

(2) Personal history and experience information including independent credit reports obtained from a consumer reporting agency described in Section 603(p) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act; and

(3) Any other documents, information or evidence the commissioner deems relevant to the inquiry or investigation regardless of the location, possession, control or custody of such documents, information or evidence.

(b) For the purposes of investigating violations or complaints arising under this article, or for the purposes of examination, the commissioner may review, investigate or examine any licensee, individual or person subject to this article and his or her employer or sponsoring company as often as necessary. The commissioner may direct, subpoena or order the attendance of and examine under oath all persons whose testimony may be required about the loans or the business or subject matter of any such examination or investigation, and may direct, subpoena or order such person to produce books, accounts, records, files and any other documents the commissioner deems relevant to the inquiry.

(c) Each licensee, individual or person subject to this article, including his or her employer or sponsoring company, must make available to the commissioner upon request the books and records relating to the operations of the licensee, individual or person subject to this article. The commissioner shall have access to the books and records and interview the officers, principals, mortgage loan originators, employees, independent contractors, agents and customers of the licensee, individual or person subject to this article concerning their business.

(d) Each licensee, individual or person subject to this article, including his or her employer or sponsoring company, shall make or compile reports or prepare other information as directed by the commissioner in order to carry out the purposes of this section, including, but not limited to:

(1) Accounting compilations;

(2) Information lists and data concerning loan transactions in a format prescribed by the commissioner; or

(3) Such other information considered necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

(e) In making any examination or investigation authorized by this article, the commissioner may control access to any documents and records of the licensee or person under examination or investigation. The commissioner may take possession of the documents and records or place a person in exclusive charge of the documents and records in the place where they are usually kept. During the period of control, an individual or person may not remove or attempt to remove any of the documents and records except pursuant to a court order or with the consent of the commissioner. Unless the commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe the documents or records of the licensee have been, or are at risk of being, altered or destroyed for purposes of concealing a violation of this article, the licensee or owner of the documents and records shall have access to the documents or records as necessary to conduct its ordinary business affairs.

(f) In order to carry out the purposes of this section, the commissioner may:

(1) Retain attorneys, accountants or other professionals and specialists as examiners, auditors or investigators to conduct or assist in the conduct of examinations or investigations;

(2) Enter into agreements or relationships with other government officials or regulatory associations in order to improve efficiencies and reduce regulatory burden by sharing resources, standardized or uniform methods or procedures and documents, records, information or evidence obtained under this section;

(3) Use, hire, contract or employ public or privately available analytical systems, methods or software to examine or investigate the licensee, individual or person subject to this article;

(4) Accept and rely on examination or investigation reports made by other government officials, within or without this state; or

(5) Accept audit reports made by an independent certified public accountant for the licensee, individual or person subject to this article in the course of that part of the examination covering the same general subject matter as the audit and may incorporate the audit report in the report of the examination, report of investigation or other writing of the commissioner.

(g) The authority of this section shall remain in effect whether a licensee, individual or person subject to this article acts or claims to act under any licensing or registration law of this state or claims to act without that authority.

(h) A licensee, individual or person subject to investigation or examination under this section may not knowingly withhold, abstract, remove, mutilate, destroy or secrete any books, records, computer records or other information.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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