The California Department of Real Estate (DRE), pursuant to § 17520 of the state’s family law code, is precluded from issuing or renewing a full-term license if an applicant is on a list of persons, i.e., obligors, who have failed to comply with a court order to make child support payments. Section 17520 applies to finance lenders and to anyone registered to do business in the State of California. In fact, § 17520 of the California Family Code applies to anyone who engages in a business, occupation, or profession in California.
Local child support agencies are mandated to maintain a list of anyone included in a case enforced under Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act against whom a support order or judgment has been rendered by, or registered in, a California court who are not in compliance with such order or judgment.
A child support agency must verify, under penalty of perjury, that the persons on the list are:
- subject to an order or judgment for the payment of support; and
- not in compliance with the order or judgment.
Subject to § 17520, a “licensee” as defined by the statute is any person holding a license, certificate, credential, permit, registration, or other authorization issued by a board, to engage in a business, occupation, or profession. For licenses issued to an entity that is not an individual person, “licensee” includes an individual who is either listed on the license or who qualifies for the license.
The DRE will still issue a 150-day license to an otherwise qualified applicant who appears on a list of child support obligors. The applicant will be advised by the DRE that a license cannot be issued unless the Department of Child Support Services provides a release to the DRE during the 150-day period of the pending license.
A supplemental list of obligors over four months delinquent in child support payments is also maintained and periodically compared to the list of all California real estate licensees. If an existing licensee appears on this list and this license is not due for renewal for at least six months, the DRE will advise the licensee that the license will be suspended if the support arrearages are not paid within the 150-day period.
All California real estate licensees must be aware of the ramifications for failing to abide by § 17520. Any suspension remains in effect until the delinquency related to the child support is cured. Also, Commissioner’s Regulation 2716.5 requires that a licensee or applicant whose name appears on a certified or supplemental list mandated by § 17520 pay a processing fee of $95 to the DRE.
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