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Statutes Text

Article - Commercial Law




§13–204.

    (a)    In addition to any other of its powers and duties, the Division has the powers and duties to:

        (1)    Receive and investigate complaints from any person affected by any potential or actual violation of this title;

        (2)    Initiate its own investigation of any unfair or deceptive trade practice;

        (3)    In accordance with § 13–402 of this title, conciliate all matters covered by this title;

        (4)    In accordance with § 13–403 of this title, issue a cease and desist order with respect to any practice found by the Division to be an unfair or deceptive trade practice;

        (5)    In cooperation with the Maryland Department of Labor, suspend or revoke the license of any merchant who refuses to cease and desist from engaging in an unfair or deceptive trade practice;

        (6)    Report to the appropriate law enforcement officer any information concerning violations of any consumer protection law;

        (7)    Assist, advise, and cooperate with local and federal agencies and officials to protect and promote the interests of consumers in the State;

        (8)    Assist, develop, and conduct programs of consumer education and information through publications and other materials prepared for distribution to consumers;

        (9)    Undertake activities to encourage business and industry to maintain high standards of honesty, fair business practices, and public responsibility in the production, promotion, and sale or lease or rental of consumer goods, consumer realty, and consumer services and in the extension of consumer credit;

        (10)    Assess against any violator of this title the costs of investigation by the Division and damages which flow from the improper, incomplete or untimely restitution by the violator to the consumer of money, property, or other thing received from the consumer in connection with a violation of this title;

        (11)    Exercise and perform any other function, power, and duty appropriate to protect and promote the welfare of consumers;

        (12)    In accordance with § 13–205 of this subtitle, adopt rules, regulations, and standards which:

            (i)    Are necessary to assure the orderly operation of the Division; and

            (ii)    Further define unfair or deceptive trade practices for purposes of this title;

        (13)    Enter into reciprocal agreements with consumer protection agencies of other states, in which each state mutually agrees to receive and investigate complaints from the foreign state’s consumer protection agency on behalf of their consumers against businesses in the receiving and investigating state;

        (14)    Maintain a list of nonprofit organizations that:

            (i)    Solely offer counseling or advice to homeowners in foreclosure or loan default; and

            (ii)    Are not directly or indirectly related to and do not contract for services with for–profit lenders or foreclosure purchasers, as defined in § 7–301 of the Real Property Article; and

        (15)    (i)    Bring a civil action for damages against a person who violates § 8–801 of the Criminal Law Article on behalf of a victim of the offense or, if the victim is deceased, the victim’s estate;

            (ii)    Recover damages under this item for property loss or damage; and

            (iii)    If the Division prevails in an action brought under this item, recover the costs of the action for the use of the Office of the Attorney General.

    (b)    A conviction for an offense under § 8–801 of the Criminal Law Article is not a prerequisite for maintenance of an action under subsection (a)(15) of this section.