Complaint Filing Process

The Secretary of State will investigate substantiated complaints of violations of Chapter 240A against registered Document Preparation Services and against unregistered individuals or businesses providing document preparation services.

To the extent practicable, a complaint must include:

  1. the name of the person or business responsible for the alleged violation;
  2. the address or location  where the person or business is allegedly conducting document preparation services; and,
  3. an explanation of the reason for the complaint.  Consumers should describe in detail in what way(s) they have been harmed and provide a copy of any and all documents relevant to the complaint.  Unsubstantiated complaints cannot be investigated, so it is important to provide all receipts and documents relevant to the complaint.

Please note that complaints filed anonymously severely limit an investigation.  It is therefore not recommended that you file an anonymous complaint as it may hinder the ability to investigate the alleged violation(s) and to seek any remedy or recourse which may be available.

After filing a complaint, you will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint from the assigned investigator.  The letter will indicate action(s) that may be taken if it is determined that the allegations in the complaint, if substantiated, would result in violation of law.  The investigator may also request additional information and/or documents as well as seek clarification on the allegations raised in the complaint.  Investigations of the complaint are confidential until any public documents are filed for civil action, and witnesses are often necessary in order to make the State’s case and to seek restitution and justice for any victims.

The Secretary of State’s website makes available a public search for Document Preparation Services that have been approved and issued a certificate of registration.  The search will indicate the status of the registration, including whether it is in approved status or has been suspended, cancelled, or revoked or is expired.  Click here to look up a Document Preparation Service.

Click here for the complaint form.