So, you received a complaint. What is the next thing that you should do? The easy answer to that question is to contact an attorney. But frankly, the first thing that you really need to do is read everything that was sent to you by your licensing entity, in detail. You’re specifically looking for any deadlines. A lot of times, the licensing entities will say, within X number of days, you’re required to provide us with any and all documentation related to the situation with A, B, or C. And they’ll usually quote the administrative code or statute that allows them to, or that requires them to provide you with that notification and that deadline.
So, you really want to make sure that you don’t miss any deadlines at all because some of these deadlines can be quite short, like 15 days, and that doesn’t seem like a short turnaround. But some of the Boards or agencies, those 15 days will start running from when they sent it to you, not from when you received it.
Other times, the countdown will begin when you received it. So even if it starts when you received it, that 15 days can pass by quite quickly. I mean, you’re constantly busy, perhaps juggling family and numerous other responsibilities, and you might think, “I’ll get to it, I’ll get to it, I’ll get to it.” Then, the next thing you know, just two days before the deadline, you’re scrambling around to find everything that you’re required to send over to the Board or agency.
So, you want to make really sure to read over everything that a licensing entity sends to you and read it over multiple times. If there’s a deadline, make sure you put it on your calendar right away. Also, make sure that you start looking for any of the required documentation. For example, some of them may require a written statement, and some may be more lenient in regard to requests.
However, what they’re not going to be open to is a request made after the deadline has passed. So, if you have a tight turnaround and, let’s say, you’re required to obtain bank records, you need to reach out and say, “Hey, I’ve worked with this bank before. Their turnaround for getting these documents is typically two to three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, or whatever the case may be.” In some situations, with banks, depending on how far back the records go, just using that as an example, it could be months. So, having an open line of communication and requesting additional time in situations like that is perfectly fine and appropriate.
The worst thing you could do is to simply say, “I’ll get to this, I’ll get to this, I’ll get to this,” and then start acting after the deadlines have passed. You don’t want to do that. You want to pay particular attention to what they send you. Be familiar with it. Read it over multiple times. Also, consider contacting an attorney. An attorney can help you acquire that documentation. Sometimes, it depends on what type of documentation it is. Most of the time, you, as the licensee, will need to provide the documentation yourself. That’s just the way it is.