Joseph P. Hougnon, Attorney at Law

What Happens When a Complaint is Filed Against a Real Estate Broker or Agent


The California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE) issues licenses and imposes disciplinary action against real estate brokers and real estate agents in California.

When a complaint is filed against a broker or an agent, you will be contacted by the Bureau’s Enforcement section which is responsible for investigating misconduct.

The investigations may be initiated with a BRE investigator who will contact the agent or broker by a letter of complaint and inquiry. In other instances the BRE may conduct the investigation covertly if it has reason to believe contacting the agent or broker will inhibit the investigation.

Why You Should Engage a Real Estate Brokers & Agents License Defense Attorney

Should you be a licensed real estate professional being investigated by the BRE, you will be contacted by the Enforcement section which is responsible for investigating misconduct committed by agents and brokers. You should cooperate with this investigation only after discussing the matter with an experienced professional real estate brokers & agents license defense attorney.

The most commonly pursued grounds for discipline include the following violations:

  • Trust fund record keeping
  • Trust fund shortage
  • Failure to supervise a sponsored salesperson
  • Unlicensed activity
  • Misrepresentation
  • Criminal conviction after being licensed or failure to disclose a criminal conviction on licensing application resulting in a Denial of Licensure

Real estate agents and brokers are also regularly audited. During the audit, the BRE will look for inaccurate and inappropriate record keeping and violations of the Business and Professions Code. These audits very often lead to prosecution. Typically, you will be notified about an upcoming audit and if you have concerns, this is also another case where being represented by a real estate brokers & agents license defense attorney in Sacramento is a smart and proactive move.

In BRE cases, the Real Estate Commissioner makes the final decision and not the administrative law judge. BRE has the power to either reject or modify the proposed decision of the administrative law judge. Some cases can be resolved without an administrative hearing.

Joseph P. Hougnon serves clients in Sacramento and other nearby northern California communities.

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About the Author

Since 1996, Joe Hougnon, Esq. has provided the best legal services for DUI, Criminal charges & personal injury cases in northern California.