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State 2009 Statute Number 2009 Statute Language2010 Statute Number 2010 Statute Language

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GeorgiaO.C.G.A. § 7-1-3. Objectives of chapter; standards for construction and regulation

(a) The underlying objectives of this chapter are to provide for:

(1) Safe and sound operation of financial institutions;

(2) Proper conservation of the assets of financial institutions;

(3) Public confidence in financial institutions;

(4) Protection for the interests of the depositors, creditors, and shareholders of financial institutions;

(5) Service by financial institutions responsive to the needs and convenience of depositors, borrowers, and other customers and conducive to economic progress and, to these ends, opportunities to expand services and facilities;

(6) Appropriate competition among financial institutions and between them and other financial organizations including those organized under the laws of the United States, other states, and foreign countries;

(7) Delegation to the department of rule-making power and administrative discretion in order that supervision of financial institutions may be flexible and responsive to changes in economic conditions and banking, fiduciary, and other commercial practices;

(8) Opportunity for management of financial institutions to exercise their business judgment;

(9) Simplification and modernization of the law governing banking, trust, and other financial institutions; and

(10) As to other entities under the supervision of the department that are not financial institutions, including check cashers and mortgage lenders and brokers, to provide for:

(A) Supervision and examination of their business affairs to ensure that they operate in a manner consistent with state law;

(B) Protection of the interests of consumers and service by these entities which is responsive to their consumers; and

(C) Simplification and modernization of the law that governs these entities, together with the delegation of rulemaking power and administrative discretion to the department to carry out its responsibilities, keeping in mind the need for economic and technological progress in the industry.

(b) This chapter shall be construed and applied to promote the foregoing objectives and they shall constitute standards to be observed by the department in promulgating rules and regulations, issuing cease and desist orders, conducting examinations, and exercising discretionary powers and in connection with all other matters embraced by this chapter.
O.C.G.A. § 7-1-3. Objectives of chapter; standards for construction and regulation

(a) The underlying objectives of this chapter are to provide for:

(1) Safe and sound operation of financial institutions;

(2) Proper conservation of the assets of financial institutions;

(3) Public confidence in financial institutions;

(4) Protection for the interests of the depositors, creditors, and shareholders of financial institutions;

(5) Service by financial institutions responsive to the needs and convenience of depositors, borrowers, and other customers and conducive to economic progress and, to these ends, opportunities to expand services and facilities;

(6) Appropriate competition among financial institutions and between them and other financial organizations including those organized under the laws of the United States, other states, and foreign countries;

(7) Delegation to the department of rule-making power and administrative discretion in order that supervision of financial institutions may be flexible and responsive to changes in economic conditions and banking, fiduciary, and other commercial practices;

(8) Opportunity for management of financial institutions to exercise their business judgment;

(9) Simplification and modernization of the law governing banking, trust, and other financial institutions; and

(10) As to other entities under the supervision of the department that are not financial institutions, including check cashers and mortgage lenders and brokers, to provide for:

(A) Supervision and examination of their business affairs to ensure that they operate in a manner consistent with state law;

(B) Protection of the interests of consumers and service by these entities which is responsive to their consumers; and

(C) Simplification and modernization of the law that governs these entities, together with the delegation of rulemaking power and administrative discretion to the department to carry out its responsibilities, keeping in mind the need for economic and technological progress in the industry.

(b) This chapter shall be construed and applied to promote the foregoing objectives and they shall constitute standards to be observed by the department in promulgating rules and regulations, issuing cease and desist orders, conducting examinations, and exercising discretionary powers and in connection with all other matters embraced by this chapter.

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O.C.G.A. § 7-1-594. Registration of banks or bank holding companies conducting agency relationships
(a) Banks or bank holding companies which are conducting agency relationships must register with the department to ensure the orderly and safe transaction of the banking business and to protect the interest of the state's depositors and creditors. Each such bank or bank holding company shall register with the department on forms prescribed by the department, shall file according to regulations issued by the department, may be subject to a registration fee prescribed by regulations of the department, and shall provide the name of the agent, the street address and activities of the agent, a copy of the agency agreement, and such other information as the department may require.

(b) An agency relationship as defined in paragraph (1.5) of Code Section 7-1-4 must be on terms consistent with safe and sound banking practices and protection of the consumers of this state. The department may review and, where lawful, regulate the operations of any agency relationship to ensure such compliance. An agency relationship must be reflected in a written agreement which provides for orderly resolution of customer complaints, record keeping, liability of the respective parties in the agency relationship, conformity to applicable principal-agent, banking, and other state law, and disclosure to the customer of all pertinent information.
O.C.G.A. § 7-1-594. Registration of banks or bank holding companies conducting agency relationships
(a) Banks or bank holding companies which are conducting agency relationships must register with the department to ensure the orderly and safe transaction of the banking business and to protect the interest of the state's depositors and creditors. Each such bank or bank holding company shall register with the department on forms prescribed by the department, shall file according to regulations issued by the department, may be subject to a registration fee prescribed by regulations of the department, and shall provide the name of the agent, the street address and activities of the agent, a copy of the agency agreement, and such other information as the department may require.

(b) An agency relationship as defined in paragraph (1.5) of Code Section 7-1-4 must be on terms consistent with safe and sound banking practices and protection of the consumers of this state. The department may review and, where lawful, regulate the operations of any agency relationship to ensure such compliance. An agency relationship must be reflected in a written agreement which provides for orderly resolution of customer complaints, record keeping, liability of the respective parties in the agency relationship, conformity to applicable principal-agent, banking, and other state law, and disclosure to the customer of all pertinent information.

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O.C.G.A. § 7-1-635.1. Out-of-state credit unions
(a) A credit union organized in another state may conduct business and establish a place of business in this state with the approval of the department. The department must find that the out-of-state credit union:

(1) Is a credit union organized under laws of a state other than the State of Georgia or of the United States, which state grants similar authority to credit unions organized under the laws of this state;

(2) Is financially solvent and operates in conformance with the laws and regulations of its charter jurisdiction; and

(3) Has deposit insurance comparable to that required for credit unions chartered in this state.

(b) The out-of-state credit union must agree to:

(1) Grant loans at rates not in excess of the rates permitted for credit unions incorporated under the laws of Georgia;

(2) Comply with the same consumer protection provisions that credit unions incorporated under this chapter must obey; and

(3) Designate and maintain an agent for the service of process in this state.

(c) The department may examine the operations of any out-of-state credit union for the purpose of determining that the scope of its activities does not exceed that allowed pursuant to this chapter and that the facility is otherwise operating in compliance with the applicable laws of this state. The department may by regulation establish minimum requirements for the maintenance of books and records in sufficient form to enable the department to carry out its responsibilities under this Code section.

(d) The department may enter into cooperative and reciprocal agreements with the credit union regulatory authority of any government for the periodic examination of credit union offices and facilities of any kind located within this state and may accept reports from such authorities in lieu of conducting its own examination for compliance with the laws of this state.

(e) A credit union which is approved under this Code section shall be exempt from the requirements of Article 15 of Chapter 2 of Title 14.
O.C.G.A. § 7-1-635.1. Out-of-state credit unions
(a) A credit union organized in another state may conduct business and establish a place of business in this state with the approval of the department. The department must find that the out-of-state credit union:

(1) Is a credit union organized under laws of a state other than the State of Georgia or of the United States, which state grants similar authority to credit unions organized under the laws of this state;

(2) Is financially solvent and operates in conformance with the laws and regulations of its charter jurisdiction; and

(3) Has deposit insurance comparable to that required for credit unions chartered in this state.

(b) The out-of-state credit union must agree to:

(1) Grant loans at rates not in excess of the rates permitted for credit unions incorporated under the laws of Georgia;

(2) Comply with the same consumer protection provisions that credit unions incorporated under this chapter must obey; and

(3) Designate and maintain an agent for the service of process in this state.

(c) The department may examine the operations of any out-of-state credit union for the purpose of determining that the scope of its activities does not exceed that allowed pursuant to this chapter and that the facility is otherwise operating in compliance with the applicable laws of this state. The department may by regulation establish minimum requirements for the maintenance of books and records in sufficient form to enable the department to carry out its responsibilities under this Code section.

(d) The department may enter into cooperative and reciprocal agreements with the credit union regulatory authority of any government for the periodic examination of credit union offices and facilities of any kind located within this state and may accept reports from such authorities in lieu of conducting its own examination for compliance with the laws of this state.

(e) A credit union which is approved under this Code section shall be exempt from the requirements of Article 15 of Chapter 2 of Title 14.

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O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1004. Investigation of applicant and its officers; audit; education, experience, and other requirements relative to licensees and registrants
(a) Upon receipt of an application for license or registration, the department shall conduct such investigation as it deems necessary to determine that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant and the individuals who direct the affairs or establish policy for the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant, including the officers, directors, or the equivalent, are of good character and ethical reputation; that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant is not disqualified for licensure as a result of adverse administrative civil or criminal findings in any jurisdiction; that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant and such persons meet the requirements of subsection (h) of this Code section; that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant and such persons demonstrate reasonable financial responsibility; that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant has reasonable policies and procedures to receive and process customer grievances and inquiries promptly and fairly; and that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant has and maintains a registered agent for service in this state.

(b) The department shall not license or register any mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant unless it is satisfied that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant may be expected to operate its mortgage lending or brokerage activities in compliance with the laws of this state and in a manner which protects the contractual and property rights of the citizens of this state.

(c) The department may establish by rule or regulation minimum education or experience requirements for an applicant for a mortgage broker license or renewal of such a license.

(d) Upon receipt of an application for a mortgage loan originator license, the department shall conduct such investigation as it deems necessary to determine that the mortgage loan originator applicant:

(1) Has never had a mortgage loan originator license revoked in any governmental jurisdiction, except that a subsequent formal vacation of such revocation shall not be deemed a revocation;

(2) Has not been convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, a felony in a domestic, foreign, or military court; provided, however, that any pardon of a conviction shall not be a conviction for purposes of this subsection;

(3) Has demonstrated financial responsibility, character, and general fitness such as to command the confidence of the community and to warrant a determination that the mortgage loan originator will operate honestly, fairly, and efficiently within the purposes of this article;

(4) Has completed the prelicensing education requirement described in subsection (e) of this Code section;

(5) Has passed a written test that meets the test requirement described in subsection (f) of this Code section; and

(6) Has met the surety bond requirement pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 7-1-1003.2.

(e) (1) An individual shall complete at least 20 hours of prelicensing education courses reviewed and approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry based upon reasonable standards. Review and approval of a prelicensing education course shall include review and approval of the course provider. The 20 hours of prelicensing education shall include at least:

(A) Three hours of federal law and regulations;

(B) Three hours of ethics, which shall include instruction on fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues; and

(C) Two hours of training related to lending standards for the nontraditional mortgage product marketplace.

(2) Nothing in this subsection shall preclude any prelicensing education course, as approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, that is provided by the employer of the mortgage loan originator applicant or an entity which is affiliated with the applicant by an agency contract, or any subsidiary or affiliate of such employer or entity.

(3) Prelicensing education may be offered either in a classroom, online, or by any other means approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

(4) The prelicensing education requirements approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry in paragraph (1) of this subsection for any state shall be accepted as credit towards completion of prelicensing education requirements in Georgia.

(5) A person previously licensed under this article subsequent to January 1, 2010, applying to be licensed again shall prove that they have completed all of the continuing education requirements for the year in which the license was last held.

(f) (1) In order to meet the written test requirement referred to in subsection (d) of this Code section for mortgage loan originators, an individual shall pass, in accordance with the standards established under this subsection, a qualified written test developed by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry and administered by a test provider approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry based upon reasonable standards.

(2) A written test shall not be treated as a qualified written test for purposes of this subsection unless the test adequately measures the applicant's knowledge and comprehension in appropriate subject areas, including:

(A) Ethics;

(B) Federal law and regulation pertaining to mortgage origination;

(C) State law and regulation pertaining to mortgage origination; and

(D) Federal and state law and regulation, including instruction on fraud, consumer protection, the nontraditional mortgage marketplace, and fair lending issues.

(3) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a test provider approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry from providing a test at the location of the employer of the applicant or the location of any subsidiary or affiliate of the employer of the applicant or the location of any entity with which the applicant holds an exclusive arrangement to conduct the business of a mortgage loan originator.

(4) (A) An individual shall not be considered to have passed a qualified written test unless the individual achieves a test score of not less than 75 percent correct answers to questions.

(B) An individual may retake a test three consecutive times with each consecutive taking occurring at least 30 days after the preceding test.

(C) After failing three consecutive tests, an individual shall wait at least six months before taking the test again.

(D) A licensed mortgage loan originator who fails to maintain a valid license for a period of five years or longer shall retake the test, not taking into account any time during which such individual is a registered mortgage loan originator.

(g) (1) In order to meet the annual continuing education requirements referred to in paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of Code Section 7-1-1005, a licensed mortgage loan originator shall complete at least eight hours of education approved in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection which shall include at least:

(A) Three hours of federal law and regulations;

(B) Two hours of ethics, which shall include instruction on fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues; and

(C) Two hours of training related to lending standards for the nontraditional mortgage product marketplace.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, continuing education courses shall be reviewed and approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry based upon reasonable standards. Review and approval of a continuing education course shall include review and approval of the course provider.

(3) Nothing in this subsection shall preclude any education course from approval by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry that is provided by the employer of the mortgage loan originator or any entity which is affiliated with the mortgage loan originator by an agency contact, or any subsidiary or affiliate of such employer or entity.

(4) Continuing education may be offered either in a classroom, online, or by any other means approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

(5) A licensed mortgage loan originator, except for as provided for in paragraph (9) of this subsection and subsection (f) of Code Section 7-1-1005, shall only receive credit for a continuing education course in the year in which the course is taken and shall not take the same approved course in the same or successive years to meet the annual requirements for continuing education.

(6) A licensed mortgage loan originator who is an approved instructor of an approved continuing education course may receive credit for the licensed mortgage loan originator's own annual continuing education requirement at the rate of two hours of credit for every one hour taught.

(7) An individual having successfully completed the education requirements approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry in paragraph (1) of this subsection for any state shall be accepted as credit towards completion of continuing education requirements in Georgia.

(8) A licensed mortgage loan originator who subsequently becomes unlicensed shall complete the continuing education requirements for the last year in which the license was held prior to issuance of a new or renewed license.

(9) An individual meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection (e) of Code Section 7-1-1005 may make up any deficiency in continuing education as established by rule or regulation of the department.

(h) The department shall not issue or may revoke a license or registration if it finds that the mortgage loan originator, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender applicant or licensee, or any person who is a director, officer, partner, agent, employee, or ultimate equitable owner of 10 percent or more of the mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant, registrant, or licensee or any individual who directs the affairs or establishes policy for the mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant, registrant, or licensee, has been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction or of a crime which, if committed within this state, would constitute a felony under the laws of this state. For the purposes of this article, a person shall be deemed to have been convicted of a crime if such person shall have pleaded guilty to a charge thereof before a court or federal magistrate or shall have been found guilty thereof by the decision or judgment of a court or federal magistrate or by the verdict of a jury, irrespective of the pronouncement of sentence or the suspension thereof, and regardless of whether first offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was entered, unless and until such plea of guilty, or such decision, judgment, or verdict, shall have been set aside, reversed, or otherwise abrogated by lawful judicial process or unless the person convicted of the crime shall have received a pardon therefor from the President of the United States or the governor or other pardoning authority in the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred or shall have received an official certification or pardon granted by the state's pardoning body in the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred. Any pardon of a conviction shall not be a conviction for purposes of this subsection.

(i) The department shall be authorized to obtain conviction data with respect to any mortgage loan originator, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender applicant or any person who is a director, officer, partner, agent, employee, or ultimate equitable owner of 10 percent or more of the mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant and any individual who directs the affairs of the company or establishes policy. The department may directly submit to the Georgia Crime Information Center two complete sets of fingerprints of such applicant or such person, together with the required records search fees and such other information as may be required. Fees for background checks that the department administers shall be sent to the department by applicants and licensees together with the fingerprints. Mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicants, licensees, and registrants shall have the primary responsibility for obtaining background checks of covered employees which are defined as employees who work in this state and also have the authority to enter, delete, or verify any information on any mortgage loan application form or document. The department shall, however, retain the right to obtain conviction data on covered employees.

(j) In connection with an application for licensing with respect to any mortgage loan originator applicant, mortgage broker, or lender applicant, at the direction of the department, the applicant shall at a minimum, furnish to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry information concerning the applicant's identity, including:

(1) Fingerprints for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and any governmental agency or entity authorized to receive such information for a state, national, and international criminal history background check; and

(2) Personal history and experience in a form prescribed by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, including the submission of authorization for the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry and the department to obtain;

(A) An independent credit report obtained from a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1681a(f); and

(B) Information related to any administrative, civil, or criminal findings by any governmental jurisdiction.

(3) For the purposes set forth in this subsection and in order to reduce the points of contact which the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have to maintain for purposes of such section, the department may use the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry as a channeling agent for requesting information from and distributing information to the Department of Justice or any governmental agency.

(4) For the purposes of this subsection and in order to reduce the points of contact which the department may have to maintain for purposes of such subsection, the department may use the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry as a channeling agent for requesting and distributing information to and from any source so directed by the department.

(k) Every mortgage broker and mortgage lender licensee, registrant, and applicant shall be authorized and required to obtain background checks on covered employees. Such background checks shall be handled by the Georgia Crime Information Center pursuant to Code Section 35-3-34 and the rules and regulations of the Georgia Crime Information Center. Licensees, registrants, and applicants shall be responsible for any applicable fees charged by the center. A background check shall be initiated for a person in the employ of a licensee, registrant, or applicant within ten days of the date of initial hire and be completed with satisfactory results within the first 90 days of employment. This provision shall not apply to directors, officers, partners, agents, or ultimate equitable owners of 10 percent or more or to persons who direct the company's affairs or establish policy, whose background shall have been investigated through the department before taking office, beginning employment, or securing ownership. Upon receipt of information from the Georgia Crime Information Center that is incomplete or that indicates an employee has a criminal record in any state other than Georgia, the employer shall submit to the department two complete sets of fingerprints of such person, together with the applicable fees and any other required information. The department shall submit such fingerprints as provided in subsection (i) of this Code section.

(l) Upon receipt of fingerprints, fees, and other required information, the Georgia Crime Information Center shall promptly transmit one set of fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a search of bureau records and an appropriate report and shall retain the other set and promptly conduct a search of its own records and records to which it has access. The Georgia Crime Information Center shall notify the department in writing of any derogatory finding, including, but not limited to, any conviction data regarding the fingerprint records check, or if there is no such finding. All conviction data received by the department or by the applicant, registrant, or licensee shall be used by the party requesting such data for the exclusive purpose of carrying out the responsibilities of this article, shall not be a public record, shall be privileged, and shall not be disclosed to any other person or agency except to any person or agency which otherwise has a legal right to inspect the file. The department shall be entitled to review any applicant's, registrant's, or licensee's files to determine whether the required background checks have been run and whether all covered employees are qualified. The department shall be authorized to discuss the status of employee background checks with licensees. All such records shall be maintained by the department and the applicant or licensee or registrant pursuant to laws regarding such records and the rules and regulations of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Crime Information Center, as applicable. As used in this subsection, "conviction data" means a record of a finding, verdict, or plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere with regard to any crime, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought, subject to the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of this Code section. Violation of this Code section may subject a licensee or registrant to the revocation of its license or registration.

(m) In connection with an application for licensing or registration under this Code section, the department may use the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, when such service is available, as a channeling agent for the submission of fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and any governmental agency or entity authorized to receive such information for a state, national, and international criminal history background check. The department is authorized to set forth rules and regulations in order to implement the provisions of this subsection.

(n) The department may deny or revoke a license or registration or otherwise restrict a license or registration if it finds that the mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant or any person who is a director, officer, partner, or ultimate equitable owner of 10 percent or more or person who directs the company's affairs or who establishes policy of the applicant has been in one or more of these roles as a mortgage lender, broker, or registrant whose license or registration has been denied, revoked, or suspended within five years of the date of the application.

(o) The department shall not issue a license or registration to and may revoke a license or registration from a mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant, licensee, or registrant if such person employs any other person against whom a final cease and desist order has been issued within the preceding five years if such order was based on a violation of Code Section 7-1-1013 or based on the conducting of a mortgage business; for a violation of Code Section 7-1-1002, subsection (h) of Code Section 7-1-1004, or Code Section 7-1-1013; or whose license was revoked within five years of the date such person was hired. Each mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant, licensee, and registrant shall, before hiring an employee, examine the department's public records to determine that such employee is not subject to the type of cease and desist order described in this subsection.

(p) Within 90 days after receipt of a completed application and payment of licensing fees prescribed by this article, the department shall either grant or deny the request for license or registration.

(q) A person shall not be indemnified for any act covered by this article or for any fine or penalty incurred pursuant to this article as a result of any violation of the law or regulations contained in this article, due to the legal form, corporate structure, or choice of organization of such person, including, but not limited to, a limited liability company.
O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1004. Investigation of applicant and its officers; audit; education, experience, and other requirements relative to licensees and registrants

(a) Upon receipt of an application for license or registration, the department shall conduct such investigation as it deems necessary to determine that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant and the individuals who direct the affairs or establish policy for the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant, including the officers, directors, or the equivalent, are of good character and ethical reputation; that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant is not disqualified for licensure as a result of adverse administrative civil or criminal findings in any jurisdiction; that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant and such persons meet the requirements of subsection (h) of this Code section; that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant and such persons demonstrate reasonable financial responsibility; that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant has reasonable policies and procedures to receive and process customer grievances and inquiries promptly and fairly; and that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant has and maintains a registered agent for service in this state.

(b) The department shall not license or register any mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant unless it is satisfied that the mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant may be expected to operate its mortgage lending or brokerage activities in compliance with the laws of this state and in a manner which protects the contractual and property rights of the citizens of this state.

(c) The department may establish by rule or regulation minimum education or experience requirements for an applicant for a mortgage broker license or renewal of such a license.

(d) Upon receipt of an application for a mortgage loan originator license, the department shall conduct such investigation as it deems necessary to determine that the mortgage loan originator applicant:

(1) Has never had a mortgage loan originator license revoked in any governmental jurisdiction, except that a subsequent formal vacation of such revocation shall not be deemed a revocation;

(2) Has not been convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, a felony in a domestic, foreign, or military court; provided, however, that any pardon of a conviction shall not be a conviction for purposes of this subsection;

(3) Has demonstrated financial responsibility, character, and general fitness such as to command the confidence of the community and to warrant a determination that the mortgage loan originator will operate honestly, fairly, and efficiently within the purposes of this article;

(4) Has completed the prelicensing education requirement described in subsection (e) of this Code section;

(5) Has passed a written test that meets the test requirement described in subsection (f) of this Code section; and

(6) Has met the surety bond requirement pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 7-1-1003.2.

(e) (1) An individual shall complete at least 20 hours of prelicensing education courses reviewed and approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry based upon reasonable standards. Review and approval of a prelicensing education course shall include review and approval of the course provider. The 20 hours of prelicensing education shall include at least:

(A) Three hours of federal law and regulations;

(B) Three hours of ethics, which shall include instruction on fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues; and

(C) Two hours of training related to lending standards for the nontraditional mortgage product marketplace.

(2) Nothing in this subsection shall preclude any prelicensing education course, as approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, that is provided by the employer of the mortgage loan originator applicant or an entity which is affiliated with the applicant by an agency contract, or any subsidiary or affiliate of such employer or entity.

(3) Prelicensing education may be offered either in a classroom, online, or by any other means approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

(4) The prelicensing education requirements approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry in paragraph (1) of this subsection for any state shall be accepted as credit towards completion of prelicensing education requirements in Georgia.

(5) A person previously licensed under this article subsequent to January 1, 2010, applying to be licensed again shall prove that he or she has completed all of the continuing education requirements for the year in which the license was last held.

(f) (1) In order to meet the written test requirement referred to in subsection (d) of this Code section for mortgage loan originators, an individual shall pass, in accordance with the standards established under this subsection, a qualified written test developed by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry and administered by a test provider approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry based upon reasonable standards.

(2) A written test shall not be treated as a qualified written test for purposes of this subsection unless the test adequately measures the applicant's knowledge and comprehension in appropriate subject areas, including:

(A) Ethics;

(B) Federal law and regulation pertaining to mortgage origination;

(C) State law and regulation pertaining to mortgage origination; and

(D) Federal and state law and regulation, including instruction on fraud, consumer protection, the nontraditional mortgage marketplace, and fair lending issues.

(3) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a test provider approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry from providing a test at the location of the employer of the applicant or the location of any subsidiary or affiliate of the employer of the applicant or the location of any entity with which the applicant holds an exclusive arrangement to conduct the business of a mortgage loan originator.

(4) (A) An individual shall not be considered to have passed a qualified written test unless the individual achieves a test score of not less than 75 percent correct answers to questions.

(B) An individual may retake a test three consecutive times with each consecutive taking occurring at least 30 days after the preceding test.

(C) After failing three consecutive tests, an individual shall wait at least six months before taking the test again.

(D) A licensed mortgage loan originator who fails to maintain a valid license for a period of five years or longer shall retake the test, not taking into account any time during which such individual is a registered mortgage loan originator.

(g) (1) In order to meet the annual continuing education requirements referred to in paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of Code Section 7-1-1005, a licensed mortgage loan originator shall complete at least eight hours of education approved in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection which shall include at least:

(A) Three hours of federal law and regulations;

(B) Two hours of ethics, which shall include instruction on fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues; and

(C) Two hours of training related to lending standards for the nontraditional mortgage product marketplace.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, continuing education courses shall be reviewed and approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry based upon reasonable standards. Review and approval of a continuing education course shall include review and approval of the course provider.

(3) Nothing in this subsection shall preclude any education course from approval by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry that is provided by the employer of the mortgage loan originator or any entity which is affiliated with the mortgage loan originator by an agency contact, or any subsidiary or affiliate of such employer or entity.

(4) Continuing education may be offered either in a classroom, online, or by any other means approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

(5) A licensed mortgage loan originator, except for as provided for in paragraph (9) of this subsection and subsection (f) of Code Section 7-1-1005, shall only receive credit for a continuing education course in the year in which the course is taken and shall not take the same approved course in the same or successive years to meet the annual requirements for continuing education.

(6) A licensed mortgage loan originator who is an approved instructor of an approved continuing education course may receive credit for the licensed mortgage loan originator's own annual continuing education requirement at the rate of two hours of credit for every one hour taught.

(7) An individual having successfully completed the education requirements approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry in paragraph (1) of this subsection for any state shall be accepted as credit towards completion of continuing education requirements in Georgia.

(8) A licensed mortgage loan originator who subsequently becomes unlicensed shall complete the continuing education requirements for the last year in which the license was held prior to issuance of a new or renewed license.

(9) An individual meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection (e) of Code Section 7-1-1005 may make up any deficiency in continuing education as established by rule or regulation of the department.

(h) The department shall not issue or may revoke a license or registration if it finds that the mortgage loan originator, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender applicant or licensee, or any person who is a director, officer, partner, agent, employee, or ultimate equitable owner of 10 percent or more of the mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant, registrant, or licensee or any individual who directs the affairs or establishes policy for the mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant, registrant, or licensee, has been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction or of a crime which, if committed within this state, would constitute a felony under the laws of this state. For the purposes of this article, a person shall be deemed to have been convicted of a crime if such person shall have pleaded guilty to a charge thereof before a court or federal magistrate or shall have been found guilty thereof by the decision or judgment of a court or federal magistrate or by the verdict of a jury, irrespective of the pronouncement of sentence or the suspension thereof, and regardless of whether first offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was entered, unless and until such plea of guilty, or such decision, judgment, or verdict, shall have been set aside, reversed, or otherwise abrogated by lawful judicial process or unless the person convicted of the crime shall have received a pardon therefor from the President of the United States or the governor or other pardoning authority in the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred or shall have received an official certification or pardon granted by the state's pardoning body in the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred. Any pardon of a conviction shall not be a conviction for purposes of this subsection.

(i) The department shall be authorized to obtain conviction data with respect to any mortgage loan originator, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender applicant or any person who is a director, officer, partner, agent, employee, or ultimate equitable owner of 10 percent or more of the mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant and any individual who directs the affairs of the company or establishes policy. The department may directly submit to the Georgia Crime Information Center two complete sets of fingerprints of such applicant or such person, together with the required records search fees and such other information as may be required. Fees for background checks that the department administers shall be sent to the department by applicants and licensees together with the fingerprints. Mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicants, licensees, and registrants shall have the primary responsibility for obtaining background checks of covered employees which are defined as employees who work in this state and also have the authority to enter, delete, or verify any information on any mortgage loan application form or document. The department shall, however, retain the right to obtain conviction data on covered employees.

(j) In connection with an application for licensing with respect to any mortgage loan originator applicant, mortgage broker, or lender applicant, at the direction of the department, the applicant shall, at a minimum, furnish to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry information concerning the applicant's identity, including:

(1) Fingerprints for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and any governmental agency or entity authorized to receive such information for a state, national, and international criminal history background check;

(2) Personal history and experience in a form prescribed by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, including the submission of authorization for the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry and the department to obtain:

(A) An independent credit report obtained from a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1681a(f); and

(B) Information related to any administrative, civil, or criminal findings by any governmental jurisdiction;

(3) For the purposes set forth in this subsection and in order to reduce the points of contact which the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have to maintain for purposes of such section, the department may use the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry as a channeling agent for requesting information from and distributing information to the Department of Justice or any governmental agency; and

(4) For the purposes of this subsection and in order to reduce the points of contact which the department may have to maintain for purposes of such subsection, the department may use the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry as a channeling agent for requesting and distributing information to and from any source so directed by the department.

(k) Every mortgage broker and mortgage lender licensee, registrant, and applicant shall be authorized and required to obtain background checks on covered employees. Such background checks shall be handled by the Georgia Crime Information Center pursuant to Code Section 35-3-34 and the rules and regulations of the Georgia Crime Information Center. Licensees, registrants, and applicants shall be responsible for any applicable fees charged by the center. A background check shall be initiated for a person in the employ of a licensee, registrant, or applicant within ten days of the date of initial hire and be completed with satisfactory results within the first 90 days of employment. This provision shall not apply to directors, officers, partners, agents, or ultimate equitable owners of 10 percent or more or to persons who direct the company's affairs or establish policy, whose background shall have been investigated through the department before taking office, beginning employment, or securing ownership. Upon receipt of information from the Georgia Crime Information Center that is incomplete or that indicates an employee has a criminal record in any state other than Georgia, the employer shall submit to the department two complete sets of fingerprints of such person, together with the applicable fees and any other required information. The department shall submit such fingerprints as provided in subsection (i) of this Code section.

(l) Upon receipt of fingerprints, fees, and other required information, the Georgia Crime Information Center shall promptly transmit one set of fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a search of bureau records and an appropriate report and shall retain the other set and promptly conduct a search of its own records and records to which it has access. The Georgia Crime Information Center shall notify the department in writing of any derogatory finding, including, but not limited to, any conviction data regarding the fingerprint records check, or if there is no such finding. All conviction data received by the department or by the applicant, registrant, or licensee shall be used by the party requesting such data for the exclusive purpose of carrying out the responsibilities of this article, shall not be a public record, shall be privileged, and shall not be disclosed to any other person or agency except to any person or agency which otherwise has a legal right to inspect the file. The department shall be entitled to review any applicant's, registrant's, or licensee's files to determine whether the required background checks have been run and whether all covered employees are qualified. The department shall be authorized to discuss the status of employee background checks with licensees. All such records shall be maintained by the department and the applicant or licensee or registrant pursuant to laws regarding such records and the rules and regulations of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Crime Information Center, as applicable. As used in this subsection, "conviction data" means a record of a finding, verdict, or plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere with regard to any crime, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought, subject to the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of this Code section. Violation of this Code section may subject a licensee or registrant to the revocation of its license or registration.

(m) In connection with an application for licensing or registration under this Code section, the department may use the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, when such service is available, as a channeling agent for the submission of fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and any governmental agency or entity authorized to receive such information for a state, national, and international criminal history background check. The department is authorized to set forth rules and regulations in order to implement the provisions of this subsection.

(n) The department may deny or revoke a license or registration or otherwise restrict a license or registration if it finds that the mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant or any person who is a director, officer, partner, or ultimate equitable owner of 10 percent or more or person who directs the company's affairs or who establishes policy of the applicant has been in one or more of these roles as a mortgage lender, broker, or registrant whose license or registration has been denied, revoked, or suspended within five years of the date of the application.

(o) The department shall not issue a license or registration to and may revoke a license or registration from a mortgage broker or mortgage lender applicant, licensee, or registrant if such person employs any other person against whom a final cease and desist order has been issued within the preceding five years if such order was based on a violation of Code Section 7-1-1013 or based on the conducting of a mortgage business; for a violation of Code Section 7-1-1002, subsection (h) of Code Section 7-1-1004, or Code Section 7-1-1013; or whose license was revoked within five years of the date such person was hired. Each mortgage broker and mortgage lender applicant, licensee, and registrant shall, before hiring an employee, examine the department's public records to determine that such employee is not subject to the type of cease and desist order described in this subsection.

(p) Within 90 days after receipt of a completed application and payment of licensing fees prescribed by this article, the department shall either grant or deny the request for license or registration.

(q) A person shall not be indemnified for any act covered by this article or for any fine or penalty incurred pursuant to this article as a result of any violation of the law or regulations contained in this article, due to the legal form, corporate structure, or choice of organization of such person, including, but not limited to, a limited liability company.

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O.C.G.A. § 8-2-41. Notice to consumer prior to beginning initial construction work

(a) Upon entering into a contract for sale, construction, or improvement of a dwelling, the contractor shall provide notice to the owner of the dwelling of the contractor's right to resolve alleged construction defects before a claimant may commence litigation against the contractor. Such notice shall be conspicuous and may be included as part of the contract.

(b) The notice required by subsection (a) of this Code section shall be in substantially the following form:

GEORGIA LAW CONTAINS IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS YOU MUST FOLLOW BEFORE YOU MAY FILE A LAWSUIT OR OTHER ACTION FOR DEFECTIVE CONSTRUCTION AGAINST THE CONTRACTOR WHO CONSTRUCTED, IMPROVED, OR REPAIRED YOUR HOME. NINETY DAYS BEFORE YOU FILE YOUR LAWSUIT OR OTHER ACTION, YOU MUST SERVE ON THE CONTRACTOR A WRITTEN NOTICE OF ANY CONSTRUCTION CONDITIONS YOU ALLEGE ARE DEFECTIVE. UNDER THE LAW, A CONTRACTOR HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE AN OFFER TO REPAIR OR PAY FOR THE DEFECTS OR BOTH. YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO ACCEPT ANY OFFER MADE BY A CONTRACTOR. THERE ARE STRICT DEADLINES AND PROCEDURES UNDER STATE LAW, AND FAILURE TO FOLLOW THEM MAY AFFECT YOUR ABILITY TO FILE A LAWSUIT OR OTHER ACTION.
O.C.G.A. § 8-2-41. Notice to consumer prior to beginning initial construction work

(a) Upon entering into a contract for sale, construction, or improvement of a dwelling, the contractor shall provide notice to the owner of the dwelling of the contractor's right to resolve alleged construction defects before a claimant may commence litigation against the contractor. Such notice shall be conspicuous and may be included as part of the contract.

(b) The notice required by subsection (a) of this Code section shall be in substantially the following form:

GEORGIA LAW CONTAINS IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS YOU MUST FOLLOW BEFORE YOU MAY FILE A LAWSUIT OR OTHER ACTION FOR DEFECTIVE CONSTRUCTION AGAINST THE CONTRACTOR WHO CONSTRUCTED, IMPROVED, OR REPAIRED YOUR HOME. NINETY DAYS BEFORE YOU FILE YOUR LAWSUIT OR OTHER ACTION, YOU MUST SERVE ON THE CONTRACTOR A WRITTEN NOTICE OF ANY CONSTRUCTION CONDITIONS YOU ALLEGE ARE DEFECTIVE. UNDER THE LAW, A CONTRACTOR HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE AN OFFER TO REPAIR OR PAY FOR THE DEFECTS OR BOTH. YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO ACCEPT ANY OFFER MADE BY A CONTRACTOR. THERE ARE STRICT DEADLINES AND PROCEDURES UNDER STATE LAW, AND FAILURE TO FOLLOW THEM MAY AFFECT YOUR ABILITY TO FILE A LAWSUIT OR OTHER ACTION.

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O.C.G.A. § 8-2-162. Administration of part by Commissioner; investigation of consumer complaints
During such time as the Commissioner has contracted or entered into cooperative agreements pursuant to his or her authority under Code Section 8-2-160.1, the Commissioner has full authority to administer this part and may make, amend, alter, and repeal general rules and regulations of procedure to carry into effect this part, to obtain statistical data concerning manufactured homes and mobile homes, and to prescribe means, methods, and practices to make this part effective. The Commissioner may also make such investigations of consumer complaints relating to installations as in his or her judgment are necessary to enforce and administer this part.
O.C.G.A. § 8-2-162. Administration of part by Commissioner; investigation of consumer complaints
During such time as the Commissioner has contracted or entered into cooperative agreements pursuant to his or her authority under Code Section 8-2-160.1, the Commissioner has full authority to administer this part and may make, amend, alter, and repeal general rules and regulations of procedure to carry into effect this part, to obtain statistical data concerning manufactured homes and mobile homes, and to prescribe means, methods, and practices to make this part effective. The Commissioner may also make such investigations of consumer complaints relating to installations as in his or her judgment are necessary to enforce and administer this part.

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O.C.G.A. § 10-1-3. Requirements for retail installment contracts; time price differential; prepayment; inclusion of construction permit costs

(a) Every retail installment contract shall be in writing and shall be completed as to all essential provisions prior to the signing thereof by the buyer, except as provided in subsection (f) of this Code section. The printed portion of the contract, other than instructions for completion, shall be in at least six-point type. The contract shall contain substantially the following notice in clear and conspicuous type:



"Notice to the Buyer

Do not sign this before you read it or if it contains any blank spaces. You are entitled to an exact copy of the paper you sign. You have the right to pay in advance the full amount due and under certain conditions to obtain a partial refund of the time price differential."
The contract shall contain the names of the seller and the buyer, the place of business of the seller, and the residence or place of business of the buyer as specified by the buyer.

(b) The maximum number of payments and the amount and date of each payment need not be separately listed if the payments are stated in terms of a series of scheduled amounts and if the amount of the final payment does not exceed by more than 50 percent the scheduled amount of any of the preceding installments; in such cases, the amount of the scheduled final payment shall be stated as the remaining unpaid balance. The initial date for the payment of the first installment may be a calendar date or may refer to the time of delivery or installation.

(c) A retail installment contract need not be contained in a single document. If the contract is contained in more than one document, then one such document may be an original document applicable to purchases of goods or services to be made by the retail buyer from time to time.

(d) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the seller under a retail installment contract may charge, receive, and collect a time price differential, which shall not exceed 13 cent(s) per $1.00 per year on the unpaid balance.

(2) The time price differential under this subsection shall be computed on the unpaid balance of each transaction on contracts payable in successive monthly payments substantially equal in amount for the period from the date of the contract to and including the date when the final installment thereunder is payable. When a retail installment contract is payable other than in successive monthly payments substantially equal in amount, the time price differential may be at the effective rate provided in this subsection, having due regard for the schedule of payments. The time price differential may be computed on the basis of a full month for any fractional month period in excess of ten days. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subsection, a minimum time price differential not in excess of the following amounts may be charged on any retail installment contract: $12.00 on any retail installment contract involving an initial unpaid balance of $50.00 or more, $7.50 on a retail installment contract involving an initial unpaid balance of more than $25.00 and less than $50.00, and $5.00 on a retail installment contract involving an initial unpaid balance of $25.00 or less. As used in this subsection, "unpaid balance" shall be determined in accordance with Section 226.8(c) of Regulation Z promulgated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System pursuant to Title I (Truth in Lending Act) and Title V (General Provisions) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (Public Law 90-321; 82 Stat. 146, et seq.) as the same existed upon its becoming effective on July 1, 1969.

(e) The seller shall present a completed copy of the retail installment contract to the buyer at the time it is signed by the buyer. Any acknowledgment by the buyer of receipt of a copy of the contract shall be in clear and conspicuous type and, if contained in the contract, shall appear directly above the buyer's signature.

(f) No retail installment contract shall be signed by the buyer when it contains blank spaces to be filled in after it has been signed, except that, if delivery of the goods or services is not made at the time of execution of the contract, the identification of the goods or services and the due date of the first installment may be left blank and later inserted by the seller in the seller's counterpart of the contract after it has been signed by the buyer. The buyer's written acknowledgment, conforming to the requirements of subsection (e) of this Code section, of delivery of a copy of a contract shall be presumptive proof in any action or proceeding of such delivery and that the contract, when signed, did not contain any blank spaces as provided in this subsection.

(g) The seller under any retail installment contract shall, within 30 days after execution of the contract, deliver or mail or cause to be delivered or mailed to the buyer at his aforesaid address any policy or policies of insurance the seller has agreed to purchase in connection therewith or in lieu thereof a certificate or certificates of such insurance. The amount, if any, included for insurance shall not exceed the applicable premiums chargeable in accordance with the rates filed with the Insurance Department; if any such insurance is canceled, unearned insurance premium refunds received by the holder shall be credited to the final maturing installment of the contract except to the extent applied toward the payment for similar insurance protecting the interests of the seller and the holder or either of them. Nothing in this article shall impair or abrogate the right of a buyer to procure insurance from an agent and company of his own selection, as provided by the insurance laws of this state; and nothing contained in this article shall modify, alter, or repeal any of the insurance laws of this state.

(h) If the buyer so requests, the holder shall give or forward to the buyer a receipt for any payment when made in cash.

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of any retail installment contract to the contrary, any buyer may prepay in full at any time before maturity the unpaid balance of any retail installment contract and in so paying the unpaid balance shall receive a refund credit thereon for such anticipation of payments. The amount of the refund shall represent at least as great a proportion of the time price differential after first deducting therefrom an acquisition cost of $20.00 as the sum of the monthly time balances, beginning one month after prepayment is made, bears to the sum of all the monthly time balances under the schedule of payments in the contract. This method of refund upon prepayment is commonly referred to as the "Rule of 78" or the "Sum of the Digits" refund method. Where the amount of the refund credit is less than $1.00, no refund need be made.

(j) In a retail installment transaction involving the modernization, rehabilitation, repair, alteration, improvement, or construction of real property, the buyer may be charged for and there may be collected from him or there may be added to the cash sale price the reasonable fees and costs actually to be paid for construction authorizations and similar permits issued by public agencies.
O.C.G.A. § 10-1-3. Requirements for retail installment contracts; time price differential; prepayment; inclusion of construction permit costs

(a) Every retail installment contract shall be in writing and shall be completed as to all essential provisions prior to the signing thereof by the buyer, except as provided in subsection (f) of this Code section. The printed portion of the contract, other than instructions for completion, shall be in at least six-point type. The contract shall contain substantially the following notice in clear and conspicuous type:



"Notice to the Buyer

Do not sign this before you read it or if it contains any blank spaces. You are entitled to an exact copy of the paper you sign. You have the right to pay in advance the full amount due and under certain conditions to obtain a partial refund of the time price differential."
The contract shall contain the names of the seller and the buyer, the place of business of the seller, and the residence or place of business of the buyer as specified by the buyer.

(b) The maximum number of payments and the amount and date of each payment need not be separately listed if the payments are stated in terms of a series of scheduled amounts and if the amount of the final payment does not exceed by more than 50 percent the scheduled amount of any of the preceding installments; in such cases, the amount of the scheduled final payment shall be stated as the remaining unpaid balance. The initial date for the payment of the first installment may be a calendar date or may refer to the time of delivery or installation.

(c) A retail installment contract need not be contained in a single document. If the contract is contained in more than one document, then one such document may be an original document applicable to purchases of goods or services to be made by the retail buyer from time to time.

(d) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the seller under a retail installment contract may charge, receive, and collect a time price differential, which shall not exceed 13 cent(s) per $1.00 per year on the unpaid balance.

(2) The time price differential under this subsection shall be computed on the unpaid balance of each transaction on contracts payable in successive monthly payments substantially equal in amount for the period from the date of the contract to and including the date when the final installment thereunder is payable. When a retail installment contract is payable other than in successive monthly payments substantially equal in amount, the time price differential may be at the effective rate provided in this subsection, having due regard for the schedule of payments. The time price differential may be computed on the basis of a full month for any fractional month period in excess of ten days. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subsection, a minimum time price differential not in excess of the following amounts may be charged on any retail installment contract: $12.00 on any retail installment contract involving an initial unpaid balance of $50.00 or more, $7.50 on a retail installment contract involving an initial unpaid balance of more than $25.00 and less than $50.00, and $5.00 on a retail installment contract involving an initial unpaid balance of $25.00 or less. As used in this subsection, "unpaid balance" shall be determined in accordance with Section 226.8(c) of Regulation Z promulgated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System pursuant to Title I (Truth in Lending Act) and Title V (General Provisions) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (Public Law 90-321; 82 Stat. 146, et seq.) as the same existed upon its becoming effective on July 1, 1969.

(e) The seller shall present a completed copy of the retail installment contract to the buyer at the time it is signed by the buyer. Any acknowledgment by the buyer of receipt of a copy of the contract shall be in clear and conspicuous type and, if contained in the contract, shall appear directly above the buyer's signature.

(f) No retail installment contract shall be signed by the buyer when it contains blank spaces to be filled in after it has been signed, except that, if delivery of the goods or services is not made at the time of execution of the contract, the identification of the goods or services and the due date of the first installment may be left blank and later inserted by the seller in the seller's counterpart of the contract after it has been signed by the buyer. The buyer's written acknowledgment, conforming to the requirements of subsection (e) of this Code section, of delivery of a copy of a contract shall be presumptive proof in any action or proceeding of such delivery and that the contract, when signed, did not contain any blank spaces as provided in this subsection.

(g) The seller under any retail installment contract shall, within 30 days after execution of the contract, deliver or mail or cause to be delivered or mailed to the buyer at his aforesaid address any policy or policies of insurance the seller has agreed to purchase in connection therewith or in lieu thereof a certificate or certificates of such insurance. The amount, if any, included for insurance shall not exceed the applicable premiums chargeable in accordance with the rates filed with the Insurance Department; if any such insurance is canceled, unearned insurance premium refunds received by the holder shall be credited to the final maturing installment of the contract except to the extent applied toward the payment for similar insurance protecting the interests of the seller and the holder or either of them. Nothing in this article shall impair or abrogate the right of a buyer to procure insurance from an agent and company of his own selection, as provided by the insurance laws of this state; and nothing contained in this article shall modify, alter, or repeal any of the insurance laws of this state.

(h) If the buyer so requests, the holder shall give or forward to the buyer a receipt for any payment when made in cash.

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of any retail installment contract to the contrary, any buyer may prepay in full at any time before maturity the unpaid balance of any retail installment contract and in so paying the unpaid balance shall receive a refund credit thereon for such anticipation of payments. The amount of the refund shall represent at least as great a proportion of the time price differential after first deducting therefrom an acquisition cost of $20.00 as the sum of the monthly time balances, beginning one month after prepayment is made, bears to the sum of all the monthly time balances under the schedule of payments in the contract. This method of refund upon prepayment is commonly referred to as the "Rule of 78" or the "Sum of the Digits" refund method. Where the amount of the refund credit is less than $1.00, no refund need be made.

(j) In a retail installment transaction involving the modernization, rehabilitation, repair, alteration, improvement, or construction of real property, the buyer may be charged for and there may be collected from him or there may be added to the cash sale price the reasonable fees and costs actually to be paid for construction authorizations and similar permits issued by public agencies.

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O.C.G.A. § 10-1-33. Finance charge limitations; assignment of contract

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the finance charge, exclusive of insurance and other benefits and official fees, shall not exceed the following rates:
Class 1. Any new motor vehicle designated by the manufacturer by a year model not earlier than the year in which the sale is made and all vehicles not previously titled -- $10.00 per $100.00 per year.
Class 2. Any new motor vehicle not in Class 1 and any used motor vehicle designated by the manufacturer by a year model of the same or not more than two years prior to the year in which the sale is made -- $13.00 per $100.00 per year.
Class 3. Any used motor vehicle not in Class 2 and designated by the manufacturer by a year model not more than four years prior to the year in which the sale is made -- $15.00 per $100.00 per year.
Class 4. Any used motor vehicle not in Class 2 or Class 3 and designated by the manufacturer by a year model more than four years prior to the year in which the sale is made -- $17.00 per $100.00 per year.

(b) Such finance charge shall be computed on the unpaid balance on contracts payable in successive monthly payments substantially equal in amount. Such finance charge may be computed on the basis of a full month for any fractional month period in excess of ten days. A minimum finance charge of $25.00 may be charged on any retail installment transaction. As used in this subsection, the term "unpaid balance" shall be determined in accordance with Section 226.8(c) of Regulation Z promulgated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System pursuant to Title I (Truth in Lending Act) and Title V (General Provisions) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (Public Law 90-321, 82 Stat. 146, et seq.), as the same existed upon its becoming effective on July 1, 1969.

(c) When a retail installment contract provides for unequal or irregular installment payments, the finance charge may be at a rate which will provide the same yield as is permitted on monthly payment contracts under subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, having due regard for the schedule of payments. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a seller who computes a finance charge on an actuarial basis may charge a finance charge, exclusive of insurance and other benefits and official fees, which, when calculated according to the actuarial method, does not exceed the yield which would have been permitted on monthly contracts under subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, having due regard for the schedule of payments; provided, however, that when a seller computes the finance charge according to the actuarial method, then for purposes of computing the rate the entire term of the contract shall be considered to be the number of whole months within the scheduled payment period, disregarding any odd days.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section, a buyer and a seller may establish any finance charge agreed upon in writing by the parties where the amount financed is more than $5,000.00.

(e) Any sales finance company may purchase or acquire or agree to purchase or acquire from any seller any contract on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between them. Unless the buyer has notice of the assignment of his contract, payment thereunder made by the buyer to the last known holder of such contract shall be binding upon all subsequent holders.

(f) In no event will any such assignment bar any right of action against the seller arising as a result of this article nor will any such assignment bar any defense against the sales finance company or other assignee arising as a result of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-38.
O.C.G.A. § 10-1-33. Finance charge limitations; assignment of contract

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the finance charge, exclusive of insurance and other benefits and official fees, shall not exceed the following rates:
Class 1. Any new motor vehicle designated by the manufacturer by a year model not earlier than the year in which the sale is made and all vehicles not previously titled -- $10.00 per $100.00 per year.
Class 2. Any new motor vehicle not in Class 1 and any used motor vehicle designated by the manufacturer by a year model of the same or not more than two years prior to the year in which the sale is made -- $13.00 per $100.00 per year.
Class 3. Any used motor vehicle not in Class 2 and designated by the manufacturer by a year model not more than four years prior to the year in which the sale is made -- $15.00 per $100.00 per year.
Class 4. Any used motor vehicle not in Class 2 or Class 3 and designated by the manufacturer by a year model more than four years prior to the year in which the sale is made -- $17.00 per $100.00 per year.

(b) Such finance charge shall be computed on the unpaid balance on contracts payable in successive monthly payments substantially equal in amount. Such finance charge may be computed on the basis of a full month for any fractional month period in excess of ten days. A minimum finance charge of $25.00 may be charged on any retail installment transaction. As used in this subsection, the term "unpaid balance" shall be determined in accordance with Section 226.8(c) of Regulation Z promulgated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System pursuant to Title I (Truth in Lending Act) and Title V (General Provisions) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (Public Law 90-321, 82 Stat. 146, et seq.), as the same existed upon its becoming effective on July 1, 1969.

(c) When a retail installment contract provides for unequal or irregular installment payments, the finance charge may be at a rate which will provide the same yield as is permitted on monthly payment contracts under subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, having due regard for the schedule of payments. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a seller who computes a finance charge on an actuarial basis may charge a finance charge, exclusive of insurance and other benefits and official fees, which, when calculated according to the actuarial method, does not exceed the yield which would have been permitted on monthly contracts under subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, having due regard for the schedule of payments; provided, however, that when a seller computes the finance charge according to the actuarial method, then for purposes of computing the rate the entire term of the contract shall be considered to be the number of whole months within the scheduled payment period, disregarding any odd days.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section, a buyer and a seller may establish any finance charge agreed upon in writing by the parties where the amount financed is more than $5,000.00.

(e) Any sales finance company may purchase or acquire or agree to purchase or acquire from any seller any contract on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between them. Unless the buyer has notice of the assignment of his contract, payment thereunder made by the buyer to the last known holder of such contract shall be binding upon all subsequent holders.

(f) In no event will any such assignment bar any right of action against the seller arising as a result of this article nor will any such assignment bar any defense against the sales finance company or other assignee arising as a result of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-38.

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O.C.G.A. § 10-1-413. Required disclosures; updating; form of notice
(a) Every multilevel distribution company intending to have participants in this state, with an agreement made in this state, or with its principal place of business in this state shall have readily available to any potential participants, prior to obtaining any participants in this state or elsewhere, a copy of the contract and of any material incorporated by reference into the contract to be used with participants. In every instance in which a multilevel distribution company solicits any initial payment in excess of $500.00, the multilevel distribution company shall also have readily available to the particular potential participant or participants, prior to signing the contract, a disclosure statement containing the following:

(1) The name and principal business address of the company; whether the company is doing business as a proprietorship, partnership, or corporation; the names under which the company has done, is doing, or intends to do business; and the name of any parent or affiliated company that will engage in business transactions with participants;

(2) The names, addresses, and titles of the company's officers, directors, and trustees;

(3) The length of time the company has:

(A) Been engaged in multilevel distribution; and

(B) Been engaged in multilevel distributions involving the types of products, equipment, supplies, or services currently offered to the purchaser; and

(4) A detailed description of the levels of distribution in the multilevel program, the manner in which participants will be compensated, and the extent or amount of any compensation.

(b) Every seller shall update the disclosures required by subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-411 and by subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-413 as often as any material change in the required information occurs, but not less than annually.

(c) Whenever a multilevel distribution company must provide the disclosure statement required by subsection (a) of this Code section, the multilevel distribution company, prior to obtaining any participant, shall provide that participant with an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch document in at least ten-point type, which reads as follows:


"NOTICE REQUIRED BY STATE
LAW REGARDING DISCLOSURES

State law requires that a multilevel distribution company shall make
available certain disclosures regarding the company prior to obtaining
participants. This is your official notice that you have a right to
request to see these disclosures prior to entering into any agreement with
a multilevel distribution company. This will be the only notice you receive
regarding your rights to see these disclosures. If you waive these rights,
you are giving up an important consumer protection that the State of
Georgia has found you should be provided. If you wish to exercise these
rights, please indicate below that you want to see the disclosures before
agreeing to be a participant, then do not agree to become a participant
until the disclosures have been made available to you.

SIGN ONLY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS:
I wish to see the disclosures required by law before I agree to become a
participant.

Date:
I do not wish to see the disclosures required by law; I understand that
I will not be seeing important information which might affect my decision
to participate in this multilevel distribution company.

Date: "

(d) Every multilevel distribution company shall maintain on file all of the statements as described in subsection (c) of this Code section for a period of two years from the date such statements are signed.

(e) Every seller shall include the following regarding each officer, director, principal, and owner in the disclosures required by subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-411 and by subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-413:

(1) Whether he or she has at any time during the previous seven fiscal years been convicted of a felony or pleaded nolo contendere to a felony charge if the felony involved fraud, including violation of any franchise law, unfair or deceptive acts or practices law, business opportunity law, multilevel distributing law, or pyramid law; embezzlement; fraudulent conversion; misappropriation of property; or restraint of trade;

(2) Whether he or she has at any time during the previous seven fiscal years been held liable in a civil action resulting in a final judgment or has settled out of court any civil action or is a party to any civil action involving fraud, including violation of any franchise law, unfair or deceptive acts or practices law, business opportunity law, multilevel distributing law, or pyramid law; embezzlement; fraudulent conversion; misappropriation of property; or restraint of trade;

(3) Whether he or she is currently subject to any state or federal agency or court injunctive or restrictive order or is a party to a proceeding currently pending in which such an order is sought relating to fraud, including violation of any franchise law, unfair or deceptive acts or practices law, business opportunity law, multilevel distributing law, or pyramid law; embezzlement; fraudulent conversion; misappropriation of property; or restraint of trade; and

(4) Whether he or she has at any time during the previous seven fiscal years filed in bankruptcy, been adjudged bankrupt, or been reorganized due to insolvency or has been a principal, director, executive officer, or partner of any other person that has so filed or was so adjudged or reorganized during or within one year after the period that such person held such position in such other person.

(f) The disclosures required under subsection (e) of this Code section shall include any of the following which are applicable:

(1) The identity and location of the court or agency;

(2) The date of conviction, judgment, or decision;

(3) The penalty imposed;

(4) The damages assessed;

(5) The terms of settlement or the terms of the order and the date, nature, and issuer of each such order or ruling; and

(6) The name and principal business address of any other person which filed, was adjudged, or was reorganized in bankruptcy.

O.C.G.A. § 10-1-413. Required disclosures; updating; form of notice
(a) Every multilevel distribution company intending to have participants in this state, with an agreement made in this state, or with its principal place of business in this state shall have readily available to any potential participants, prior to obtaining any participants in this state or elsewhere, a copy of the contract and of any material incorporated by reference into the contract to be used with participants. In every instance in which a multilevel distribution company solicits any initial payment in excess of $500.00, the multilevel distribution company shall also have readily available to the particular potential participant or participants, prior to signing the contract, a disclosure statement containing the following:

(1) The name and principal business address of the company; whether the company is doing business as a proprietorship, partnership, or corporation; the names under which the company has done, is doing, or intends to do business; and the name of any parent or affiliated company that will engage in business transactions with participants;

(2) The names, addresses, and titles of the company's officers, directors, and trustees;

(3) The length of time the company has:

(A) Been engaged in multilevel distribution; and

(B) Been engaged in multilevel distributions involving the types of products, equipment, supplies, or services currently offered to the purchaser; and

(4) A detailed description of the levels of distribution in the multilevel program, the manner in which participants will be compensated, and the extent or amount of any compensation.

(b) Every seller shall update the disclosures required by subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-411 and by subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-413 as often as any material change in the required information occurs, but not less than annually.

(c) Whenever a multilevel distribution company must provide the disclosure statement required by subsection (a) of this Code section, the multilevel distribution company, prior to obtaining any participant, shall provide that participant with an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch document in at least ten-point type, which reads as follows:


"NOTICE REQUIRED BY STATE
LAW REGARDING DISCLOSURES

State law requires that a multilevel distribution company shall make
available certain disclosures regarding the company prior to obtaining
participants. This is your official notice that you have a right to
request to see these disclosures prior to entering into any agreement with
a multilevel distribution company. This will be the only notice you receive
regarding your rights to see these disclosures. If you waive these rights,
you are giving up an important consumer protection that the State of
Georgia has found you should be provided. If you wish to exercise these
rights, please indicate below that you want to see the disclosures before
agreeing to be a participant, then do not agree to become a participant
until the disclosures have been made available to you.

SIGN ONLY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS:
I wish to see the disclosures required by law before I agree to become a
participant.

Date:
I do not wish to see the disclosures required by law; I understand that
I will not be seeing important information which might affect my decision
to participate in this multilevel distribution company.

Date: "

(d) Every multilevel distribution company shall maintain on file all of the statements as described in subsection (c) of this Code section for a period of two years from the date such statements are signed.

(e) Every seller shall include the following regarding each officer, director, principal, and owner in the disclosures required by subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-411 and by subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-413:

(1) Whether he or she has at any time during the previous seven fiscal years been convicted of a felony or pleaded nolo contendere to a felony charge if the felony involved fraud, including violation of any franchise law, unfair or deceptive acts or practices law, business opportunity law, multilevel distributing law, or pyramid law; embezzlement; fraudulent conversion; misappropriation of property; or restraint of trade;

(2) Whether he or she has at any time during the previous seven fiscal years been held liable in a civil action resulting in a final judgment or has settled out of court any civil action or is a party to any civil action involving fraud, including violation of any franchise law, unfair or deceptive acts or practices law, business opportunity law, multilevel distributing law, or pyramid law; embezzlement; fraudulent conversion; misappropriation of property; or restraint of trade;

(3) Whether he or she is currently subject to any state or federal agency or court injunctive or restrictive order or is a party to a proceeding currently pending in which such an order is sought relating to fraud, including violation of any franchise law, unfair or deceptive acts or practices law, business opportunity law, multilevel distributing law, or pyramid law; embezzlement; fraudulent conversion; misappropriation of property; or restraint of trade; and

(4) Whether he or she has at any time during the previous seven fiscal years filed in bankruptcy, been adjudged bankrupt, or been reorganized due to insolvency or has been a principal, director, executive officer, or partner of any other person that has so filed or was so adjudged or reorganized during or within one year after the period that such person held such position in such other person.

(f) The disclosures required under subsection (e) of this Code section shall include any of the following which are applicable:

(1) The identity and location of the court or agency;

(2) The date of conviction, judgment, or decision;

(3) The penalty imposed;

(4) The damages assessed;

(5) The terms of settlement or the terms of the order and the date, nature, and issuer of each such order or ruling; and

(6) The name and principal business address of any other person which filed, was adjudged, or was reorganized in bankruptcy.

.

O.C.G.A. § 10-1-797. Consumer cannot waive rights
Any agreement entered into by a consumer that waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this article shall be unenforceable as contrary to public policy.
O.C.G.A. § 10-1-797. Consumer cannot waive rights
Any agreement entered into by a consumer that waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this article shall be unenforceable as contrary to public policy.

.

O.C.G.A. § 10-1-812. Written notice of warranty supplied by manufacturer and presented by dealer to consumer at time of purchase

The manufacturer must supply to the dealer and the dealer must present directly to the consumer at the time of purchase a written notice stating, in ten-point all-capital type, in substantially the following form:
"This equipment is subject to Article 29 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, entitled the 'Farm Tractor Warranty Act.' To be entitled to a refund or replacement, you must first notify the manufacturer or its agent and the authorized dealer which was a party to the sale of the problem in writing and give them an opportunity to repair the equipment.



O.C.G.A. § 10-1-812. Written notice of warranty supplied by manufacturer and presented by dealer to consumer at time of purchase

The manufacturer must supply to the dealer and the dealer must present directly to the consumer at the time of purchase a written notice stating, in ten-point all-capital type, in substantially the following form:
"This equipment is subject to Article 29 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, entitled the 'Farm Tractor Warranty Act.' To be entitled to a refund or replacement, you must first notify the manufacturer or its agent and the authorized dealer which was a party to the sale of the problem in writing and give them an opportunity to repair the equipment.

.

O.C.G.A. § 10-1-910. Legislative findings The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:

(1) The privacy and financial security of individuals is increasingly at risk due to the ever more widespread collection of personal information by both the private and public sectors;

(2) Credit card transactions, magazine subscriptions, real estate records, automobile registrations, consumer surveys, warranty registrations, credit reports, and Internet websites are all sources of personal information and form the source material for identity thieves;

(3) Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes committed in this state. Criminals who steal personal information such as social security numbers use the information to open credit card accounts, write bad checks, buy cars, purchase property, and commit other financial crimes with other people's identities;

(4) Implementation of technology security plans and security software as part of an information security policy may provide protection to consumers and the general public from identity thieves;

(5) Information brokers should clearly define the standards for authorized users of its data so that a breach by an unauthorized user is easily identifiable;

(6) Identity theft is costly to the marketplace and to consumers; and

(7) Victims of identity theft must act quickly to minimize the damage; therefore, expeditious notification of unauthorized acquisition and possible misuse of a person's personal information is imperative.
O.C.G.A. § 10-1-910. Legislative findingsThe General Assembly finds and declares as follows:

(1) The privacy and financial security of individuals is increasingly at risk due to the ever more widespread collection of personal information by both the private and public sectors;

(2) Credit card transactions, magazine subscriptions, real estate records, automobile registrations, consumer surveys, warranty registrations, credit reports, and Internet websites are all sources of personal information and form the source material for identity thieves;

(3) Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes committed in this state. Criminals who steal personal information such as social security numbers use the information to open credit card accounts, write bad checks, buy cars, purchase property, and commit other financial crimes with other people's identities;

(4) Implementation of technology security plans and security software as part of an information security policy may provide protection to consumers and the general public from identity thieves;

(5) Information brokers should clearly define the standards for authorized users of its data so that a breach by an unauthorized user is easily identifiable;

(6) Identity theft is costly to the marketplace and to consumers; and

(7) Victims of identity theft must act quickly to minimize the damage; therefore, expeditious notification of unauthorized acquisition and possible misuse of a person's personal information is imperative.

.

O.C.G.A. § 10-1-914. Consumer requested security freeze on credit report; timing; notifications; temporary lifting of freeze; application; fees
(a) A consumer may place a security freeze on the consumer's credit report by making a request in writing by certified mail to a consumer credit reporting agency. No later than August 1, 2008, a consumer credit reporting agency shall make available to consumers an Internet based method of requesting a security freeze and a toll-free telephone number for consumers to use to place a security freeze, temporarily lift a security freeze, or completely remove a security freeze. A security freeze shall prohibit, subject to exceptions in subsection (m) of this Code section, the consumer credit reporting agency from releasing the consumer's credit report or credit score without the prior express authorization of the consumer as provided in subsection (d) or (e) of this Code section. Nothing in this subsection prevents a consumer credit reporting agency from advising a third party that a security freeze is in effect with respect to the consumer's credit report.

(b) A consumer credit reporting agency shall place a security freeze on a consumer's credit report no later than three business days after receiving the consumer's written request sent by certified mail.

(c) The consumer credit reporting agency shall send a written confirmation of the security freeze to the consumer within ten business days of placing the security freeze and at the same time shall provide the consumer with a unique personal identification number or password, other than the consumer's social security number, to be used by the consumer when providing authorization for the release of the consumer's credit report for a specific period of time.

(d) If the consumer wishes to allow the consumer's credit report to be accessed for a specific period of time while a security freeze is in place, the consumer shall contact the consumer credit reporting agency through the contact method established by the consumer credit reporting agency, request that the security freeze be temporarily lifted, and provide all of the following:

(1) Proper identification;

(2) The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section;

(3) The proper information regarding the time period for which the report shall be available to users of the consumer credit report; and

(4) The proper payment as may be required by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(e) A consumer credit reporting agency shall develop procedures involving the use of telephone, facsimile, the Internet, or other electronic media to receive and process a request from a consumer to temporarily lift a security freeze on a consumer credit report pursuant to subsection (d) of this Code section.

(f) A consumer credit reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to temporarily lift a security freeze on a consumer credit report pursuant to subsection (d) or (e) of this Code section shall comply with the request:

(1) No later than three business days after receiving a written request; or

(2) Within 15 minutes after the request and payment are received by telephone or electronically by the contact method chosen by the consumer reporting agency during normal business hours and the request includes the consumer's proper identification, correct personal identification number or password, and the proper payment as may be required by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(g) A consumer reporting agency need not remove a security freeze within 15 minutes, as specified in paragraph (2) of subsection (f) of this Code section, if:

(1) The consumer fails to satisfy the requirements of subsection (d) of this Code section; or

(2) The consumer credit reporting agency's ability to remove the security freeze within 15 minutes is prevented by:

(A) An act of God, including fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, or similar natural disaster or phenomenon;

(B) Unauthorized or illegal acts by a third party, including terrorism, sabotage, riot, vandalism, labor strikes or disputes disrupting operations, or similar occurrence;

(C) Operational interruption, including electrical failure, unanticipated delay in equipment or replacement part delivery, computer hardware or software failures inhibiting response time, or similar disruption;

(D) Governmental action, including emergency orders or regulations, judicial or law enforcement action, or similar directives;

(E) Regularly scheduled maintenance or updates, during other than normal business hours, to the consumer reporting agency's systems;

(F) Commercially reasonable maintenance of, or repair to, the consumer reporting agency's systems that is unexpected or unscheduled; or

(G) Receipt of a removal request outside of normal business hours.

(h) A consumer credit reporting agency shall only remove or temporarily lift a security freeze placed on a consumer's credit report:

(1) Upon the consumer's request, in compliance with the requirements of this Code section; or

(2) If the consumer's credit report was frozen due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer. If a consumer credit reporting agency intends to remove a security freeze upon a consumer's credit report pursuant to this paragraph, the consumer credit reporting agency shall notify the consumer in writing prior to removing the security freeze on the consumer's credit report.

(i) If a third party requests access to a consumer credit report on which a security freeze is in effect and this request is in connection with an application for credit or any other use related to the extension of credit and the consumer does not allow the consumer's credit report to be accessed for that specific period of time, the third party may treat the application as incomplete.

(j) If a consumer requests a security freeze pursuant to this Code section, the consumer credit reporting agency shall disclose to the consumer the process of placing and temporarily lifting a security freeze and the process for allowing access to information from the consumer's credit report for a specific period of time while the security freeze is in place.

(k) A security freeze shall remain in place until the consumer requests that the security freeze be removed. A consumer credit reporting agency shall remove a security freeze within three business days of receiving a request for removal from the consumer. The consumer shall provide all of the following:

(1) Proper identification;

(2) The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section; and

(3) The proper fee as may be required by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(l) A consumer credit reporting agency shall require proper identification of the person making a request to place, temporarily lift, or remove a security freeze.

(m) By way of example only, and not intending to be exclusive, the provisions of this Code section shall not apply to the use of a consumer credit report by any of the following:

(1) A person, or the person's subsidiary, affiliate, agent, subcontractor, or assignee with whom the consumer has, or prior to assignment had, an account, contract, or debtor-creditor relationship for the purposes of reviewing the active account or collecting the financial obligation owing for the account, contract, or debt;

(2) A subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee, or prospective assignee of a person to whom access has been granted under subsection (d) of this Code section for purposes of facilitating the extension of credit or other permissible use;

(3) Any person acting pursuant to a court order, warrant, or subpoena;

(4) A state or local agency, or its agents or assigns, which administers a program for establishing and enforcing child support obligations;

(5) A state or local agency, or its agents or assigns, acting to investigate fraud, including Medicaid fraud; acting to investigate or collect delinquent taxes or assessments, including interest, penalties, and unpaid court orders; or acting to fulfill any of its other statutory responsibilities;

(6) A federal, state, or local governmental entity, including a law enforcement agency, court, or its agents or assigns;

(7) Any person for the use of a credit report for purposes permitted under 15 U.S.C. Section 1681b(c);

(8) Any person for the sole purpose of providing a credit file monitoring subscription service to which the consumer has subscribed;

(9) Any person for the purpose of providing a consumer with a copy of the consumer's credit report or credit score upon the consumer's request;

(10) Any depository financial institution for checking, savings, and investment accounts; or

(11) Any person or entity for insurance purposes, including use in setting or adjusting a rate, adjusting a claim, or underwriting.

(n) If a security freeze is in place, a consumer credit reporting agency shall not change any of the following official information in a credit report without sending a written confirmation of the change to the consumer within 30 days of the change being posted to the consumer's file: name, date of birth, social security number, and address. Written confirmation is not required for technical modifications of a consumer's official information, including name and street abbreviations, complete spellings, or transposition of numbers or letters. In the case of an address change, the written confirmation shall be sent to both the new address and the former address.

(o) The following persons shall not be required to place a security freeze in a consumer credit report pursuant to this Code section; provided, however, that any person that shall not be required to place a security freeze on a consumer credit report under the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection shall be subject to any security freeze placed on a consumer credit report by another consumer credit reporting agency from which it obtains information:

(1) A check services or fraud prevention services company, including reports on incidents of fraud, or authorizations for the purpose of approving or processing negotiable instruments, electronic funds transfers, or similar methods of payment;

(2) A deposit account information service company, which issues reports regarding account closures due to fraud, substantial overdrafts, automated teller machine abuse, or other similar negative information regarding a consumer to inquiring banks or other financial institutions for use only in reviewing a consumer request for a deposit account at the inquiring bank or financial institution;

(3) Resellers of consumer credit report information that assemble and merge information contained in a data base of one or more consumer credit reporting agencies and do not maintain a permanent data base of consumer credit information from which new consumer credit reports are produced; or

(4) A consumer credit reporting agency's data base or file which consists of information concerning, and used for, one or more of the following: criminal record information, fraud prevention or detection, personal claim loss history information, and employment, tenant, or individual background screening.

(p) This Code section shall not prevent a consumer credit reporting agency from charging a fee of no more than $3.00 to a consumer for each security freeze placement, any permanent removal of the security freeze, or any temporary lifting of the security freeze for a period of time. A consumer credit reporting agency shall not charge a person age 65 or over for the placement of a security freeze. A consumer credit reporting agency shall not charge any fee to a victim of identity theft who has submitted a copy of a valid investigative or incident report or complaint with a law enforcement agency about the unlawful use of the victim's identifying information by another person that was filed with the law enforcement agency no more than 90 days prior to the consumer's request for a security freeze. A consumer credit reporting agency may charge a fee of no more than $5.00 to a consumer for each replacement of a unique personal identification number or password.

(q) A person that violates this Code section may be investigated and prosecuted under the provisions of the Fair Business Practices Act, Code Section 10-1-390, et seq., and may be fined not more than $100.00 for a violation concerning a specific consumer.
O.C.G.A. § 10-1-914. Consumer requested security freeze on credit report; timing; notifications; temporary lifting of freeze; application; fees
(a) A consumer may place a security freeze on the consumer's credit report by making a request in writing by certified mail to a consumer credit reporting agency. No later than August 1, 2008, a consumer credit reporting agency shall make available to consumers an Internet based method of requesting a security freeze and a toll-free telephone number for consumers to use to place a security freeze, temporarily lift a security freeze, or completely remove a security freeze. A security freeze shall prohibit, subject to exceptions in subsection (m) of this Code section, the consumer credit reporting agency from releasing the consumer's credit report or credit score without the prior express authorization of the consumer as provided in subsection (d) or (e) of this Code section. Nothing in this subsection prevents a consumer credit reporting agency from advising a third party that a security freeze is in effect with respect to the consumer's credit report.

(b) A consumer credit reporting agency shall place a security freeze on a consumer's credit report no later than three business days after receiving the consumer's written request sent by certified mail.

(c) The consumer credit reporting agency shall send a written confirmation of the security freeze to the consumer within ten business days of placing the security freeze and at the same time shall provide the consumer with a unique personal identification number or password, other than the consumer's social security number, to be used by the consumer when providing authorization for the release of the consumer's credit report for a specific period of time.

(d) If the consumer wishes to allow the consumer's credit report to be accessed for a specific period of time while a security freeze is in place, the consumer shall contact the consumer credit reporting agency through the contact method established by the consumer credit reporting agency, request that the security freeze be temporarily lifted, and provide all of the following:

(1) Proper identification;

(2) The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section;

(3) The proper information regarding the time period for which the report shall be available to users of the consumer credit report; and

(4) The proper payment as may be required by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(e) A consumer credit reporting agency shall develop procedures involving the use of telephone, facsimile, the Internet, or other electronic media to receive and process a request from a consumer to temporarily lift a security freeze on a consumer credit report pursuant to subsection (d) of this Code section.

(f) A consumer credit reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to temporarily lift a security freeze on a consumer credit report pursuant to subsection (d) or (e) of this Code section shall comply with the request:

(1) No later than three business days after receiving a written request; or

(2) Within 15 minutes after the request and payment are received by telephone or electronically by the contact method chosen by the consumer reporting agency during normal business hours and the request includes the consumer's proper identification, correct personal identification number or password, and the proper payment as may be required by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(g) A consumer reporting agency need not remove a security freeze within 15 minutes, as specified in paragraph (2) of subsection (f) of this Code section, if:

(1) The consumer fails to satisfy the requirements of subsection (d) of this Code section; or

(2) The consumer credit reporting agency's ability to remove the security freeze within 15 minutes is prevented by:

(A) An act of God, including fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, or similar natural disaster or phenomenon;

(B) Unauthorized or illegal acts by a third party, including terrorism, sabotage, riot, vandalism, labor strikes or disputes disrupting operations, or similar occurrence;

(C) Operational interruption, including electrical failure, unanticipated delay in equipment or replacement part delivery, computer hardware or software failures inhibiting response time, or similar disruption;

(D) Governmental action, including emergency orders or regulations, judicial or law enforcement action, or similar directives;

(E) Regularly scheduled maintenance or updates, during other than normal business hours, to the consumer reporting agency's systems;

(F) Commercially reasonable maintenance of, or repair to, the consumer reporting agency's systems that is unexpected or unscheduled; or

(G) Receipt of a removal request outside of normal business hours.

(h) A consumer credit reporting agency shall only remove or temporarily lift a security freeze placed on a consumer's credit report:

(1) Upon the consumer's request, in compliance with the requirements of this Code section; or

(2) If the consumer's credit report was frozen due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer. If a consumer credit reporting agency intends to remove a security freeze upon a consumer's credit report pursuant to this paragraph, the consumer credit reporting agency shall notify the consumer in writing prior to removing the security freeze on the consumer's credit report.

(i) If a third party requests access to a consumer credit report on which a security freeze is in effect and this request is in connection with an application for credit or any other use related to the extension of credit and the consumer does not allow the consumer's credit report to be accessed for that specific period of time, the third party may treat the application as incomplete.

(j) If a consumer requests a security freeze pursuant to this Code section, the consumer credit reporting agency shall disclose to the consumer the process of placing and temporarily lifting a security freeze and the process for allowing access to information from the consumer's credit report for a specific period of time while the security freeze is in place.

(k) A security freeze shall remain in place until the consumer requests that the security freeze be removed. A consumer credit reporting agency shall remove a security freeze within three business days of receiving a request for removal from the consumer. The consumer shall provide all of the following:

(1) Proper identification;

(2) The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section; and

(3) The proper fee as may be required by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(l) A consumer credit reporting agency shall require proper identification of the person making a request to place, temporarily lift, or remove a security freeze.

(m) By way of example only, and not intending to be exclusive, the provisions of this Code section shall not apply to the use of a consumer credit report by any of the following:

(1) A person, or the person's subsidiary, affiliate, agent, subcontractor, or assignee with whom the consumer has, or prior to assignment had, an account, contract, or debtor-creditor relationship for the purposes of reviewing the active account or collecting the financial obligation owing for the account, contract, or debt;

(2) A subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee, or prospective assignee of a person to whom access has been granted under subsection (d) of this Code section for purposes of facilitating the extension of credit or other permissible use;

(3) Any person acting pursuant to a court order, warrant, or subpoena;

(4) A state or local agency, or its agents or assigns, which administers a program for establishing and enforcing child support obligations;

(5) A state or local agency, or its agents or assigns, acting to investigate fraud, including Medicaid fraud; acting to investigate or collect delinquent taxes or assessments, including interest, penalties, and unpaid court orders; or acting to fulfill any of its other statutory responsibilities;

(6) A federal, state, or local governmental entity, including a law enforcement agency, court, or its agents or assigns;

(7) Any person for the use of a credit report for purposes permitted under 15 U.S.C. Section 1681b(c);

(8) Any person for the sole purpose of providing a credit file monitoring subscription service to which the consumer has subscribed;

(9) Any person for the purpose of providing a consumer with a copy of the consumer's credit report or credit score upon the consumer's request;

(10) Any depository financial institution for checking, savings, and investment accounts; or

(11) Any person or entity for insurance purposes, including use in setting or adjusting a rate, adjusting a claim, or underwriting.

(n) If a security freeze is in place, a consumer credit reporting agency shall not change any of the following official information in a credit report without sending a written confirmation of the change to the consumer within 30 days of the change being posted to the consumer's file: name, date of birth, social security number, and address. Written confirmation is not required for technical modifications of a consumer's official information, including name and street abbreviations, complete spellings, or transposition of numbers or letters. In the case of an address change, the written confirmation shall be sent to both the new address and the former address.

(o) The following persons shall not be required to place a security freeze in a consumer credit report pursuant to this Code section; provided, however, that any person that shall not be required to place a security freeze on a consumer credit report under the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection shall be subject to any security freeze placed on a consumer credit report by another consumer credit reporting agency from which it obtains information:

(1) A check services or fraud prevention services company, including reports on incidents of fraud, or authorizations for the purpose of approving or processing negotiable instruments, electronic funds transfers, or similar methods of payment;

(2) A deposit account information service company, which issues reports regarding account closures due to fraud, substantial overdrafts, automated teller machine abuse, or other similar negative information regarding a consumer to inquiring banks or other financial institutions for use only in reviewing a consumer request for a deposit account at the inquiring bank or financial institution;

(3) Resellers of consumer credit report information that assemble and merge information contained in a data base of one or more consumer credit reporting agencies and do not maintain a permanent data base of consumer credit information from which new consumer credit reports are produced; or

(4) A consumer credit reporting agency's data base or file which consists of information concerning, and used for, one or more of the following: criminal record information, fraud prevention or detection, personal claim loss history information, and employment, tenant, or individual background screening.

(p) This Code section shall not prevent a consumer credit reporting agency from charging a fee of no more than $3.00 to a consumer for each security freeze placement, any permanent removal of the security freeze, or any temporary lifting of the security freeze for a period of time. A consumer credit reporting agency shall not charge a person age 65 or over for the placement of a security freeze. A consumer credit reporting agency shall not charge any fee to a victim of identity theft who has submitted a copy of a valid investigative or incident report or complaint with a law enforcement agency about the unlawful use of the victim's identifying information by another person that was filed with the law enforcement agency no more than 90 days prior to the consumer's request for a security freeze. A consumer credit reporting agency may charge a fee of no more than $5.00 to a consumer for each replacement of a unique personal identification number or password.

(q) A person that violates this Code section may be investigated and prosecuted under the provisions of the Fair Business Practices Act, Code Section 10-1-390, et seq., and may be fined not more than $100.00 for a violation concerning a specific consumer.

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O.C.G.A. § 10-14-19. Enforcement of article; civil penalties
(a) Whenever it may appear to the Secretary of State that any person has engaged in, or is engaging in, or is about to engage in any act or practice or transaction which is prohibited by this chapter or by any rule, regulation, or order of the Secretary of State promulgated or issued pursuant to any Code section of this chapter or which is declared to be unlawful under this chapter, the Secretary of State may, at his or her discretion, act under any or all of the following paragraphs:

(1) Issue an order, if he or she deems it to be appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of consumers, prohibiting such person from continuing such act, practice, or transaction, subject to the right of such person to a hearing as provided in Code Section 10-14-23;

(2) Apply to any superior court of competent jurisdiction in this state for an injunction restraining such person and such person's agents, employees, partners, officers, and directors from continuing such act, practice, or transaction or engaging therein or doing any acts in furtherance thereof, and for appointment of a receiver or an auditor and such other and further relief as the facts may warrant; or

(3) Transmit such evidence as may be available concerning such act, practice, or transaction to any district attorney or to the Attorney General, who may, at his or her individual discretion, institute the necessary criminal proceedings.

(b) In any proceedings for an injunction, the Secretary of State may apply for and be entitled to have issued the court's subpoena requiring the appearance forthwith of any defendant and its agents, employees, partners, officers, or directors, and the production of such documents, books, and records as may appear necessary for the hearing upon the petition for an injunction. Upon proof of any of the offenses described in this Code section, the court may grant such injunction and appoint a receiver or an auditor and issue such other orders for the protection of the public as the facts may warrant.

(c) In any criminal proceeding, either the district attorney or the Attorney General, or both, may apply for and be entitled to have issued the court's subpoena requiring the appearance forthwith of any defendant or its agents, employees, partners, officers, or directors and the production of such documents, books, and records as may appear necessary for the prosecution of such criminal proceedings.

(d) In any civil proceeding brought under this Code section, if the Secretary of State shall establish that a perpetual care trust fund or preneed escrow account has not been established and maintained as required, the assets of the cemetery, cemetery company, or preneed dealer may be seized and sold by the state under orders of the court to the extent necessary to provide said perpetual care trust fund or preneed escrow account and set up the same. In addition, where the registration has been revoked, the whole company property may be ordered sold after the perpetual care trust fund and preneed escrow account have been established so that the purchaser of the cemetery may continue to operate the same and maintain it under the terms of this chapter.

(e) The Secretary of State shall have the authority to petition a court of competent jurisdiction to remove a trustee or escrow agent for violation of the provisions of this chapter, the rules and regulations promulgated under this chapter, or for other unlawful acts and practices.

(f) In addition to any other penalties that may be imposed, any person willfully violating any provisions of Code Section 10-14-17 or 10-14-18 or of Code Section 10-14-11 or any rule, regulation, or order of the Secretary of State made pursuant to Code Section 10-14-17, 10-14-18, or 10-14-11 shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 for a single violation and not exceeding $100,000.00 for multiple violations in a single proceeding or a series of related proceedings. The Secretary of State shall be authorized in his or her discretion to decline to impose a penalty or to impose any lesser penalty that he or she may deem to be sufficient and appropriate in any particular case. The amount of such penalty may be collected by the Secretary of State in the same manner that money judgments are now enforced in the superior courts of this state, except that the order or finding of the Secretary of State as to such penalty may be appealed according to the provisions of Code Section 10-14-22.

O.C.G.A. § 10-14-19. Enforcement of article; civil penalties
(a) Whenever it may appear to the Secretary of State that any person has engaged in, or is engaging in, or is about to engage in any act or practice or transaction which is prohibited by this chapter or by any rule, regulation, or order of the Secretary of State promulgated or issued pursuant to any Code section of this chapter or which is declared to be unlawful under this chapter, the Secretary of State may, at his or her discretion, act under any or all of the following paragraphs:

(1) Issue an order, if he or she deems it to be appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of consumers, prohibiting such person from continuing such act, practice, or transaction, subject to the right of such person to a hearing as provided in Code Section 10-14-23;

(2) Apply to any superior court of competent jurisdiction in this state for an injunction restraining such person and such person's agents, employees, partners, officers, and directors from continuing such act, practice, or transaction or engaging therein or doing any acts in furtherance thereof, and for appointment of a receiver or an auditor and such other and further relief as the facts may warrant; or

(3) Transmit such evidence as may be available concerning such act, practice, or transaction to any district attorney or to the Attorney General, who may, at his or her individual discretion, institute the necessary criminal proceedings.

(b) In any proceedings for an injunction, the Secretary of State may apply for and be entitled to have issued the court's subpoena requiring the appearance forthwith of any defendant and its agents, employees, partners, officers, or directors, and the production of such documents, books, and records as may appear necessary for the hearing upon the petition for an injunction. Upon proof of any of the offenses described in this Code section, the court may grant such injunction and appoint a receiver or an auditor and issue such other orders for the protection of the public as the facts may warrant.

(c) In any criminal proceeding, either the district attorney or the Attorney General, or both, may apply for and be entitled to have issued the court's subpoena requiring the appearance forthwith of any defendant or its agents, employees, partners, officers, or directors and the production of such documents, books, and records as may appear necessary for the prosecution of such criminal proceedings.

(d) In any civil proceeding brought under this Code section, if the Secretary of State shall establish that a perpetual care trust fund or preneed escrow account has not been established and maintained as required, the assets of the cemetery, cemetery company, or preneed dealer may be seized and sold by the state under orders of the court to the extent necessary to provide said perpetual care trust fund or preneed escrow account and set up the same. In addition, where the registration has been revoked, the whole company property may be ordered sold after the perpetual care trust fund and preneed escrow account have been established so that the purchaser of the cemetery may continue to operate the same and maintain it under the terms of this chapter.

(e) The Secretary of State shall have the authority to petition a court of competent jurisdiction to remove a trustee or escrow agent for violation of the provisions of this chapter, the rules and regulations promulgated under this chapter, or for other unlawful acts and practices.

(f) In addition to any other penalties that may be imposed, any person willfully violating any provisions of Code Section 10-14-17 or 10-14-18 or of Code Section 10-14-11 or any rule, regulation, or order of the Secretary of State made pursuant to Code Section 10-14-17, 10-14-18, or 10-14-11 shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 for a single violation and not exceeding $100,000.00 for multiple violations in a single proceeding or a series of related proceedings. The Secretary of State shall be authorized in his or her discretion to decline to impose a penalty or to impose any lesser penalty that he or she may deem to be sufficient and appropriate in any particular case. The amount of such penalty may be collected by the Secretary of State in the same manner that money judgments are now enforced in the superior courts of this state, except that the order or finding of the Secretary of State as to such penalty may be appealed according to the provisions of Code Section 10-14-22.

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O.G.C.A. § 11-2A-104. Leases subject to other law.

(1) A lease, although subject to this article, is also subject to any applicable:

(a) Certificate of title statute of this State:

(b) Certificate of title statute of another jurisdiction (Code Section 11-2A-105); or

(c) Consumer protection statute of this State, or final consumer protection decision of a court of this State existing on July 1, 1993.

(2) In case of conflict between this article, other than Code Sections 11-2A-105, 11-2A-304(3), and 11-2A-305(3), and a statute or decision referred to in subsection (1), the statute or decision controls.

(3) Failure to comply with an applicable law has only the effect specified therein.

O.G.C.A. § 11-2A-104. Leases subject to other law.

(1) A lease, although subject to this article, is also subject to any applicable:

(a) Certificate of title statute of this State:

(b) Certificate of title statute of another jurisdiction (Code Section 11-2A-105); or

(c) Consumer protection statute of this State, or final consumer protection decision of a court of this State existing on July 1, 1993.

(2) In case of conflict between this article, other than Code Sections 11-2A-105, 11-2A-304(3), and 11-2A-305(3), and a statute or decision referred to in subsection (1), the statute or decision controls.

(3) Failure to comply with an applicable law has only the effect specified therein.

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O.C.G.A § 26-2-39. Summaries of judgments, decrees, and court orders; dissemination of information in the interest of health and protection of consumers against fraud


(a) The Commissioner may cause to be published from time to time reports summarizing all judgments, decrees, and court orders which have been rendered under this article, including the nature of the charge and the disposition thereof.

(b) The Commissioner may also cause to be disseminated such information regarding food as the Commissioner deems necessary in the interest of public health and the protection of the consumer against fraud.

(c) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to prohibit the Commissioner from collecting, reporting, and illustrating the results of the investigations of the Commissioner.
O.C.G.A § 26-2-39. Summaries of judgments, decrees, and court orders; dissemination of information in the interest of health and protection of consumers against fraud


(a) The Commissioner may cause to be published from time to time reports summarizing all judgments, decrees, and court orders which have been rendered under this article, including the nature of the charge and the disposition thereof.

(b) The Commissioner may also cause to be disseminated such information regarding food as the Commissioner deems necessary in the interest of public health and the protection of the consumer against fraud.

(c) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to prohibit the Commissioner from collecting, reporting, and illustrating the results of the investigations of the Commissioner.

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O.C.G.A. § 33-24-94. Adverse action based on credit information; notice to consumer

If an insurer takes an adverse action based upon credit information, the insurer must meet the notice requirements of this Code section. Such insurer shall provide notification to the consumer that an adverse action has been taken, in accordance with the requirements of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681m(a), and shall provide notification to the consumer explaining the reason or reasons for the adverse action. The reasons must be provided in sufficiently clear and specific language so that a person can identify the basis for the insurer's decision to take an adverse action. Such notification shall include a description of up to four factors that were the primary influences of the adverse action. The use of generalized terms such as "poor credit history," "poor credit rating," or "poor insurance score" does not meet the explanation requirements of this Code section. Standardized credit explanations provided by consumer reporting agencies or other third party vendors are deemed to comply with this Code section.
O.C.G.A. § 33-24-94. Adverse action based on credit information; notice to consumer

If an insurer takes an adverse action based upon credit information, the insurer must meet the notice requirements of this Code section. Such insurer shall provide notification to the consumer that an adverse action has been taken, in accordance with the requirements of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681m(a), and shall provide notification to the consumer explaining the reason or reasons for the adverse action. The reasons must be provided in sufficiently clear and specific language so that a person can identify the basis for the insurer's decision to take an adverse action. Such notification shall include a description of up to four factors that were the primary influences of the adverse action. The use of generalized terms such as "poor credit history," "poor credit rating," or "poor insurance score" does not meet the explanation requirements of this Code section. Standardized credit explanations provided by consumer reporting agencies or other third party vendors are deemed to comply with this Code section.

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O.C.G.A. § 33-34A-7. Required statements in warranty; required information to be provided to purchaser
(a) Every vehicle protection product warranty shall be written in clear, understandable language and shall be printed or typed in an easy-to-read point size and font and shall not be sold or offered for sale in the state unless the warranty:

(1) Conspicuously states that the obligations of the warrantor to the warranty holder are guaranteed under a warranty reimbursement insurance policy;

(2) Conspicuously states that in the event a warranty holder must make a claim against a party other than the warranty reimbursement insurance policy issuer, the warranty holder is entitled to make a direct claim against the insurer upon the failure of the warrantor to pay any claim or meet any obligation under the terms of the warranty within 60 days after proof of loss has been filed with the warrantor;

(3) Conspicuously states the name and address of the issuer of the warranty reimbursement insurance policy. This information need not be preprinted on the warranty form but may be stamped on the warranty;

(4) Identifies the warrantor, the seller, and the warranty holder;

(5) Sets forth the total purchase price and the terms under which it is to be paid; however, the purchase price is not required to be preprinted on the vehicle protection product warranty and may be negotiated with the consumer at the time of sale;

(6) Sets forth the procedure for making a claim, including a telephone number;

(7) Conspicuously states the existence of a deductible amount, if any;

(8) Specifies the payments or performance to be provided under the warranty including payments for incidental costs, the manner of calculation or determination of payments or performance, and any limitations, exceptions, or exclusions;

(9) Sets forth the conditions on which substitution will be allowed;

(10) Conspicuously sets forth all of the obligations and duties of the warranty holder such as the duty to protect against any further damage to the vehicle, the obligation to notify the warrantor in advance of any repair, or other similar requirements, if any;

(11) Sets forth any terms, restrictions, or conditions governing transferability of the warranty, if any; and

(12) Contains a disclosure that reads substantially as follows: "This agreement is a product warranty and is not insurance."

(b) At the time of sale, the seller or warrantor shall provide to the purchaser:

(1) A copy of the vehicle protection product warranty; or

(2) A receipt or other written evidence of the purchase of the vehicle protection product and a copy of the warranty within 30 days of the date of purchase.

O.C.G.A. § 33-34A-7. Required statements in warranty; required information to be provided to purchaser
(a) Every vehicle protection product warranty shall be written in clear, understandable language and shall be printed or typed in an easy-to-read point size and font and shall not be sold or offered for sale in the state unless the warranty:

(1) Conspicuously states that the obligations of the warrantor to the warranty holder are guaranteed under a warranty reimbursement insurance policy;

(2) Conspicuously states that in the event a warranty holder must make a claim against a party other than the warranty reimbursement insurance policy issuer, the warranty holder is entitled to make a direct claim against the insurer upon the failure of the warrantor to pay any claim or meet any obligation under the terms of the warranty within 60 days after proof of loss has been filed with the warrantor;

(3) Conspicuously states the name and address of the issuer of the warranty reimbursement insurance policy. This information need not be preprinted on the warranty form but may be stamped on the warranty;

(4) Identifies the warrantor, the seller, and the warranty holder;

(5) Sets forth the total purchase price and the terms under which it is to be paid; however, the purchase price is not required to be preprinted on the vehicle protection product warranty and may be negotiated with the consumer at the time of sale;

(6) Sets forth the procedure for making a claim, including a telephone number;

(7) Conspicuously states the existence of a deductible amount, if any;

(8) Specifies the payments or performance to be provided under the warranty including payments for incidental costs, the manner of calculation or determination of payments or performance, and any limitations, exceptions, or exclusions;

(9) Sets forth the conditions on which substitution will be allowed;

(10) Conspicuously sets forth all of the obligations and duties of the warranty holder such as the duty to protect against any further damage to the vehicle, the obligation to notify the warrantor in advance of any repair, or other similar requirements, if any;

(11) Sets forth any terms, restrictions, or conditions governing transferability of the warranty, if any; and

(12) Contains a disclosure that reads substantially as follows: "This agreement is a product warranty and is not insurance."

(b) At the time of sale, the seller or warrantor shall provide to the purchaser:

(1) A copy of the vehicle protection product warranty; or

(2) A receipt or other written evidence of the purchase of the vehicle protection product and a copy of the warranty within 30 days of the date of purchase.

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O.C.G.A. § 46-4-151. Legislative findings and intent; bill of rights for consumers

(a) The General Assembly finds:

(1) It is in the public interest to establish a new regulatory model for the natural gas industry in Georgia to reflect the transition to a reliance on market based competition as the best mechanism for the selection and provision of natural gas services at the most efficient pricing;

(2) In order to ensure the implementation of this new reliance on market based competition, any regulatory impediments, whether statutory or administrative, to competition for natural gas services must be removed in those areas of the natural gas industry where competition actually exists;

(3) All consumers deserve to receive natural gas service on reasonable terms and at reasonable prices; and

(4) That protecting natural gas consumers in this new reliance on market based competition is the most important factor to consider in any decisions to be made in accordance with this article.

(b) It is the intent of this article to:

(1) Promote competition in the natural gas industry;

(2) Protect the consumer during and after the transition to a competitive natural gas market;

(3) Maintain and encourage safe and reliable natural gas service;

(4) Deregulate those components of the natural gas industry subject to actual competition;

(5) Continue to regulate those natural gas services subject to monopoly power;

(6) Promote an orderly and expeditious transition of the natural gas industry toward fully developed competition;

(7) Provide for rate-making methods which the General Assembly finds appropriate for the provision of natural gas services, including without limitation the use of straight fixed variable rate design, the recovery of certain stranded costs, and the use of alternative forms of rate regulation;

(8) Allow gas companies the opportunity to compete effectively in a competitive marketplace;

(9) Provide a bill of rights for consumers as follows:

(A) All consumers must have access to reliable, safe, and affordable gas service, including high quality customer service;

(B) All consumers must have the right to receive accurate, easily understood information about gas marketers, services, plans, terms and conditions, and rights and remedies. The information must be unbiased, accurate, and understandable in a written form, which allows for comparison of prices and terms of service;

(C) All consumers must receive the benefits of new services, technological advances, improved efficiency, and competitive prices;

(D) Standards for protecting consumers in matters such as deposit and credit requirements, service denials and terminations, and deferred payment provisions must be applied fairly to all consumers;

(E) All consumers must be protected from unfair, deceptive, fraudulent, and anticompetitive practices, including, but not limited to, practices such as cramming, slamming, and providing deceptive information regarding billing terms and conditions of service;

(F) All consumers shall receive accurate and timely bills from their marketers;

(G) All consumers are entitled to protection of their privacy and must be protected from improper use of their customer records or payment histories without their express consent;

(H) All consumers must be protected from price increases resulting from inequitable price shifting; and

(I) All consumers have the right to a fair and efficient process for resolving differences with marketers, including a system of internal review and an independent system of external review; and

(10) Provide that, in the event of any conflict between paragraph (9) of this subsection and any other paragraph of this subsection, the provisions of paragraph (9) shall override such other paragraph or paragraphs.
O.C.G.A. § 46-4-151. Legislative findings and intent; bill of rights for consumers

(a) The General Assembly finds:

(1) It is in the public interest to establish a new regulatory model for the natural gas industry in Georgia to reflect the transition to a reliance on market based competition as the best mechanism for the selection and provision of natural gas services at the most efficient pricing;

(2) In order to ensure the implementation of this new reliance on market based competition, any regulatory impediments, whether statutory or administrative, to competition for natural gas services must be removed in those areas of the natural gas industry where competition actually exists;

(3) All consumers deserve to receive natural gas service on reasonable terms and at reasonable prices; and

(4) That protecting natural gas consumers in this new reliance on market based competition is the most important factor to consider in any decisions to be made in accordance with this article.

(b) It is the intent of this article to:

(1) Promote competition in the natural gas industry;

(2) Protect the consumer during and after the transition to a competitive natural gas market;

(3) Maintain and encourage safe and reliable natural gas service;

(4) Deregulate those components of the natural gas industry subject to actual competition;

(5) Continue to regulate those natural gas services subject to monopoly power;

(6) Promote an orderly and expeditious transition of the natural gas industry toward fully developed competition;

(7) Provide for rate-making methods which the General Assembly finds appropriate for the provision of natural gas services, including without limitation the use of straight fixed variable rate design, the recovery of certain stranded costs, and the use of alternative forms of rate regulation;

(8) Allow gas companies the opportunity to compete effectively in a competitive marketplace;

(9) Provide a bill of rights for consumers as follows:

(A) All consumers must have access to reliable, safe, and affordable gas service, including high quality customer service;

(B) All consumers must have the right to receive accurate, easily understood information about gas marketers, services, plans, terms and conditions, and rights and remedies. The information must be unbiased, accurate, and understandable in a written form, which allows for comparison of prices and terms of service;

(C) All consumers must receive the benefits of new services, technological advances, improved efficiency, and competitive prices;

(D) Standards for protecting consumers in matters such as deposit and credit requirements, service denials and terminations, and deferred payment provisions must be applied fairly to all consumers;

(E) All consumers must be protected from unfair, deceptive, fraudulent, and anticompetitive practices, including, but not limited to, practices such as cramming, slamming, and providing deceptive information regarding billing terms and conditions of service;

(F) All consumers shall receive accurate and timely bills from their marketers;

(G) All consumers are entitled to protection of their privacy and must be protected from improper use of their customer records or payment histories without their express consent;

(H) All consumers must be protected from price increases resulting from inequitable price shifting; and

(I) All consumers have the right to a fair and efficient process for resolving differences with marketers, including a system of internal review and an independent system of external review; and

(10) Provide that, in the event of any conflict between paragraph (9) of this subsection and any other paragraph of this subsection, the provisions of paragraph (9) shall override such other paragraph or paragraphs.

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O.C.G.A. § 46-4-160. Commission's authority over certificated marketers; access to records; investigations and hearings; price summary; billing; violations; slamming

(a) With respect to a marketer certificated pursuant to Code Section 46-4-153, the commission shall have authority to:

(1) Adopt reasonable rules and regulations governing the certification of a marketer;

(2) Grant, modify, impose conditions upon, or revoke a certificate;

(3) Adopt reasonable rules governing service quality. In promulgating consumer protection rules under this article, the commission shall, to the extent practicable, provide for rules with a self-executing mechanism to resolve such complaints in a timely manner. Such consumer protection rules shall encourage marketers to resolve complaints without recourse to the commission and shall expedite the handling of those complaints that do require action by the commission by providing for a minimum payment of $100.00 to the consumer, plus penalties and fines as determined by the commission, for violations of such rules;

(4) Resolve complaints against a marketer regarding that marketer's service;

(5) Adopt reasonable rules and regulations relating to billing practices of marketers and information required on customers' bills. The commission shall require at a minimum that bills specify the gas consumption amount, price per therm, distribution charges, and any service charges. The commission shall prescribe performance standards for marketer billing relating to accuracy and timeliness of customer bills;

(6) Adopt reasonable rules and regulations relating to minimum resources which marketers are required to have in this state for customer service purposes. The rules and regulations shall require a marketer to have and maintain the ability to process cash payments from customers in this state. The rules and regulations shall provide procedures relating to the handling and disposition of customer complaints; and

(7) Adopt reasonable rules and regulations requiring marketers to provide notification to retail customers of or include with customer bills information relating to where customers may obtain pricing information relative to gas marketers.

(b) Prior to the determination by the commission pursuant to Code Section 46-4-156 that adequate market conditions exist within a delivery group, each marketer must separately state on its bills to retail customers within the delivery group the charges for firm distribution service and for commodity sales.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by this article, the price at which a marketer sells gas shall not be regulated by the commission.

(d) The commission and the consumers' utility counsel division of the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs shall have access to the books and records of marketers as may be necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this article and with the commission's rules and regulations promulgated under this article.

(e) Except as otherwise provided in this article, certification of a person as a marketer by the commission pursuant to Code Section 46-4-153 does not subject the person to the jurisdiction of the commission under this title, including without limitation the provisions of Article 2 of Chapter 2 of this title.

(f) The provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 2 of this title shall apply to an investigation or hearing regarding a marketer. The provisions of Articles 4 and 5 of Chapter 2 of this title shall apply to a marketer.

(g) The commission, subject to receiving state funds for such purpose, is required to have published at least quarterly in newspapers throughout the state a summary of the price per therm and any other amounts charged to retail customers by each marketer operating in this state and any additional information which the commission deems appropriate to assist customers in making decisions regarding choice of a marketer. In addition, the commission shall make such information available to Georgia Public Telecommunications (GPTV) under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission which will provide such information to the general public at a designated time at least once a month.

(h) A marketer shall render a bill to retail customers for services within 30 days of the date following the monthly meter reading. A marketer's bill shall utilize the results of the actual meter reading subject to paragraph (8) of Code Section 46-4-158.2. The price for natural gas billed to a natural gas consumer shall not exceed the marketer's published price effective at the beginning of the consumer's billing cycle. A marketer shall allow the natural gas consumer a reasonable period of time to pay the bill from the date the consumer receives the bill, prior to the application of any late fees or penalties. Marketers shall not impose unreasonable late fees or penalties and in no event shall any such fees or penalties exceed $10.00 or 1.5 percent of the past due balance, whichever is greater.

(i) Any marketer which willfully violates any provision of this Code section or any duly promulgated rules or regulations issued under this Code section, including but not limited to rules relating to false billing, or which fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any order of the commission after notice thereof shall be liable for any penalties authorized under Code Section 46-2-91.

(j) As used in this subsection, the phrase "terms and conditions" does not include price. At least 30 days prior to the effective date of any changes in the terms and conditions for service authorized by the marketer's certificate of authority, a marketer shall file such changes with the commission. Such changes to the terms and conditions of service shall go into effect on the effective date proposed by the marketer; provided, however, that the commission shall be authorized to suspend the effective date of the proposed changes for up to 90 days if it appears to the commission that the proposed terms and conditions are unconscionable or are unfair, deceptive, misleading, or confusing to consumers. If the commission does not issue a final decision on the proposed terms and conditions of service within the 90 day suspension period, the proposed changes shall be deemed approved.

(k) Any consumer determined by the commission to be the victim of slamming shall be able to switch back to his or her desired marketer without any charge. No marketer responsible for slamming a consumer shall be entitled to any remuneration for services provided to that customer, and any refund owed to such a consumer by the marketer who switched the consumer without his or her consent shall be paid within 30 days of the date the commission determined the consumer was a victim of slamming. No marketer responsible for slamming a consumer who is determined to be a victim of slamming shall report to a credit reporting agency any moneys owed by such a consumer to such marketer; any marketer who violates the prohibition set out in this sentence shall be required by the commission to pay such a consumer $1,000.00 for each such prohibited report.
O.C.G.A. § 46-4-160. Commission's authority over certificated marketers; access to records; investigations and hearings; price summary; billing; violations; slamming

(a) With respect to a marketer certificated pursuant to Code Section 46-4-153, the commission shall have authority to:

(1) Adopt reasonable rules and regulations governing the certification of a marketer;

(2) Grant, modify, impose conditions upon, or revoke a certificate;

(3) Adopt reasonable rules governing service quality. In promulgating consumer protection rules under this article, the commission shall, to the extent practicable, provide for rules with a self-executing mechanism to resolve such complaints in a timely manner. Such consumer protection rules shall encourage marketers to resolve complaints without recourse to the commission and shall expedite the handling of those complaints that do require action by the commission by providing for a minimum payment of $100.00 to the consumer, plus penalties and fines as determined by the commission, for violations of such rules;

(4) Resolve complaints against a marketer regarding that marketer's service;

(5) Adopt reasonable rules and regulations relating to billing practices of marketers and information required on customers' bills. The commission shall require at a minimum that bills specify the gas consumption amount, price per therm, distribution charges, and any service charges. The commission shall prescribe performance standards for marketer billing relating to accuracy and timeliness of customer bills;

(6) Adopt reasonable rules and regulations relating to minimum resources which marketers are required to have in this state for customer service purposes. The rules and regulations shall require a marketer to have and maintain the ability to process cash payments from customers in this state. The rules and regulations shall provide procedures relating to the handling and disposition of customer complaints; and

(7) Adopt reasonable rules and regulations requiring marketers to provide notification to retail customers of or include with customer bills information relating to where customers may obtain pricing information relative to gas marketers.

(b) Prior to the determination by the commission pursuant to Code Section 46-4-156 that adequate market conditions exist within a delivery group, each marketer must separately state on its bills to retail customers within the delivery group the charges for firm distribution service and for commodity sales.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by this article, the price at which a marketer sells gas shall not be regulated by the commission.

(d) The commission and the consumers' utility counsel division of the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs shall have access to the books and records of marketers as may be necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this article and with the commission's rules and regulations promulgated under this article.

(e) Except as otherwise provided in this article, certification of a person as a marketer by the commission pursuant to Code Section 46-4-153 does not subject the person to the jurisdiction of the commission under this title, including without limitation the provisions of Article 2 of Chapter 2 of this title.

(f) The provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 2 of this title shall apply to an investigation or hearing regarding a marketer. The provisions of Articles 4 and 5 of Chapter 2 of this title shall apply to a marketer.

(g) The commission, subject to receiving state funds for such purpose, is required to have published at least quarterly in newspapers throughout the state a summary of the price per therm and any other amounts charged to retail customers by each marketer operating in this state and any additional information which the commission deems appropriate to assist customers in making decisions regarding choice of a marketer. In addition, the commission shall make such information available to Georgia Public Telecommunications (GPTV) under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission which will provide such information to the general public at a designated time at least once a month.

(h) A marketer shall render a bill to retail customers for services within 30 days of the date following the monthly meter reading. A marketer's bill shall utilize the results of the actual meter reading subject to paragraph (8) of Code Section 46-4-158.2. The price for natural gas billed to a natural gas consumer shall not exceed the marketer's published price effective at the beginning of the consumer's billing cycle. A marketer shall allow the natural gas consumer a reasonable period of time to pay the bill from the date the consumer receives the bill, prior to the application of any late fees or penalties. Marketers shall not impose unreasonable late fees or penalties and in no event shall any such fees or penalties exceed $10.00 or 1.5 percent of the past due balance, whichever is greater.

(i) Any marketer which willfully violates any provision of this Code section or any duly promulgated rules or regulations issued under this Code section, including but not limited to rules relating to false billing, or which fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with any order of the commission after notice thereof shall be liable for any penalties authorized under Code Section 46-2-91.

(j) As used in this subsection, the phrase "terms and conditions" does not include price. At least 30 days prior to the effective date of any changes in the terms and conditions for service authorized by the marketer's certificate of authority, a marketer shall file such changes with the commission. Such changes to the terms and conditions of service shall go into effect on the effective date proposed by the marketer; provided, however, that the commission shall be authorized to suspend the effective date of the proposed changes for up to 90 days if it appears to the commission that the proposed terms and conditions are unconscionable or are unfair, deceptive, misleading, or confusing to consumers. If the commission does not issue a final decision on the proposed terms and conditions of service within the 90 day suspension period, the proposed changes shall be deemed approved.

(k) Any consumer determined by the commission to be the victim of slamming shall be able to switch back to his or her desired marketer without any charge. No marketer responsible for slamming a consumer shall be entitled to any remuneration for services provided to that customer, and any refund owed to such a consumer by the marketer who switched the consumer without his or her consent shall be paid within 30 days of the date the commission determined the consumer was a victim of slamming. No marketer responsible for slamming a consumer who is determined to be a victim of slamming shall report to a credit reporting agency any moneys owed by such a consumer to such marketer; any marketer who violates the prohibition set out in this sentence shall be required by the commission to pay such a consumer $1,000.00 for each such prohibited report.