STUDENT LOAN DEFAULT NOTICE
The Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners has the authority to proceed against a Podiatric Physician for violations of its statues and rules concerning the practice of Podiatric Medicine, Texas Occupations Code, §202.501 Board Disciplinary Powers; Administrative Procedure.
Should the Board receive information from a state/federal lender indicating that you have defaulted on payment of your Student Loan(s), you will be investigated.
A “Notice of Complaint Allegation” will be submitted pursuant to the following authority:
Podiatric Medical Practice Act of Texas: Texas Occupations Code Chapter 202
Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners Rule: 22 TAC 18 §371.19
Texas Occupations Code: Chapter 56
Texas Education Code: Chapter 57
In order to investigate the allegations made against you, it will then be necessary that you send to this office, ANY & ALL documents, certificates, statements affirming your current “loan default” or “loan re-payment” status with the state/federal lender. You will be required to indicate to the Board whether or not you have entered into a “loan payment agreement” with the lender, or whether or not you are actually in default.
Your written response will be due within the Board’s office.
Failure to respond to a Board “Notice of Complaint” within the prescribed deadline will result in a penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) per day, for each day or part of the day that we do not have the response in our possession.
In accordance with the provisions of the Board Statute, Board Rules, Texas Occupations Code and the Texas Education Code, failure to meet obligations or repay a student loan or failure to respond to a Board “Notice” can result in the following actions, after a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings in Austin, TX:
- Your application for a podiatry license can be Denied.
- Your podiatry license can be Suspended.
- The renewal of your podiatry license can be Denied.
- Other “Disciplinary Actions” may be enforced (i.e. probation, administrative fines, etc.).
Failure to meet payment obligations regarding state or federally funded Education Loans is a serious matter. However, repayment and/or forbearance options are available to licensees from your lender. It is your responsibility to contact the lender to enter into a repayment agreement.
Once more, if the Board is in receipt of information indicating that a licensee is in default of Student Loan payments (i.e. “NOT IN GOOD STANDING”), the licensee will be notified that his/her license to practice podiatric medicine in the State of Texas will be
“Suspended / Not Renewed” effective November 1 (of the next renewal period) unless the licensee enters into a
“repayment agreement” with the state/federal lender.
It is “Recommended” by the Board that licensees ensure compliance with any and all education loan (state or federal) repayment obligations as failure to do so can result in a
“Suspension” of one’s license to practice podiatric medicine in the State of Texas. It is
imperative that licensees in such a situation contact their lender and discuss re-payment options to
avoid future financial hardship.
Terms of “License Suspension” (& Criminal Penalty)
Board Rule §376.19 “Conditions of Suspension of License” provides that:
“(a) Suspension of a license means that the office of the licensee is to be closed for the purposes of receiving, diagnosing, treating, or consulting with patients, and the licensee may not participate for income in any professional activity that is directly related to diagnosis or treatment of a patient or activities that involve consultation services related to management of a practice. The licensee may refer patients to another practitioner for treatment or consultation during the period of the suspension, but the licensee shall not derive any income from such referrals. The licensee may allow another practitioner to see the licensee's patients during the period of the suspension the licensee's office or other practitioner's office, but the licensee shall derive no income from the other practitioner by way of referral fees, or the like.
(b) The licensee's office may remain open for the purposes of administrative work, including making future appointments, arranging referrals, handling mail, processing accounts, billing, and insurance matters, and other similar matters not directly related to the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
(c) If the suspended licensee shares offices with another practitioner, the other practitioner shall be allowed to continue to practice, but the suspended licensee shall not share income with the other practitioner, including any income derived in any way from the diagnosis or treatment of patients. The board may, through unannounced visits or by requesting documentation, check on the business arrangement that the suspended practitioner has with the other practitioner(s) regarding the renting of equipment, rental of business facilities, referral fees or any other negotiated arrangement so as to be sure that the suspended practitioner is not deriving any monies from the practice of podiatric medicine.
(d) If a license suspension is probated, the Board may require the licensee to: (1) report regularly to the Board on matters that are the basis of the probation; (2) limit practice to the areas prescribed by the Board; or (3) continue or review continuing professional education until the licensee attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the Board in those areas that are the basis of the probation.”
Texas Occupations Code §202.251 “License Required” provides that:
“A person may not practice podiatry or hold the person out as a podiatrist unless the person is licensed under this chapter.”
Texas Occupations Code §202.303 “Practice Without Renewing License” provides that:
“A person who practices podiatry without an annual renewal certificate for the current year is considered to be practicing without a license and is subject to all the penalties of the practice of podiatry without a license.”
Texas Occupations Code §202.605 “General Criminal Penalty: Practicing
Without License” provides that:
“A person commits an offense if the person professes to be a podiatrist or practices or assumes the duties incident to the practice of podiatry without holding a license to practice podiatry. An offense under this section is punishable by: (1) a fine of not less than $50 or more than $500; (2) confinement in the county jail for not less than 30 days or more than six months; or (3) both the fine and confinement.”