Code of Ethics

Preamble

The Indiana Auctioneers Association is the professional organization for practicing auctioneers, their associates, affiliated businesses and other related professionals. Membership in the IAA although voluntary, carries with it a requirement of professional commitment to other professionals, clients, customers and the public at large that extends beyond that of laws and professional regulations. Members of the IAA accept this obligation to conduct themselves and their businesses in a manner that serves the public interest, protects the public trust and furthers the goals of their profession.

This Code of Ethics of the Indiana Auctioneers Association and the accompanying Standards of Practice guides the Members in the performance of their professional responsibilities and duties. Complaints can be filed against IAA Members who do not adhere to the Code of Ethics and shall be handled in accordance with the procedures established by the Board of Directors.

Article 1. Members pledge to lawfully and ethically protect and promote the interests of the seller (from now on referred to as the Client).

Article 2. Members owe the buyer (from now on referred to as the Customer) the duties of honesty, integrity and fair dealing at all times.

Article 3. Members shall not accept compensation related to a Client's matter from any third party, even if permitted by law, without the full knowledge of all the parties to the transaction.

Article 4. Members shall disclose any potential conflict of interest to a current or potential Client.

Article 5. Members shall not make a profit on expenditures made for a Client without the Client's prior and expressed consent.

Article 6. Members shall not engage in activities that constitute the unauthorized practice of law.

Article 7. Members shall maintain a separate and designated account in an appropriate financial institution to maintain monies coming into their possession in trust for other persons such as escrows or trust funds.

Article 8.  Members shall not disclose any confidential Client information without the Client's prior, expressed consent, unless required by law.

Article 9. Members shall not misrepresent or conceal material facts.

Article 10. Members are duty bound at all times to abide by the laws and regulations which govern them.

Article 11. Members shall report violations of the Code of Ethics and participate in all investigations and disciplinary proceedings when requested.

Article 12. A Member's conviction of a felony involving the Member acting as an auctioneer, or otherwise participating in an auction, shall be deemed a violation of the Code of Ethics and result in discipline determined by the Board of Directors.

Article 13. During the period that a Member owes an unpaid and unsatisfied civil, criminal, or regulatory cost, damage, fine, judgment, penalty, sanction, or other amount which was awarded, entered, levied, or ordered against the Member by an agency, authority, board, bureau, commission, court, department, or other arm of government shall result in the Member being in violation of the Code of Ethics and subject to discipline determined by the Board of Directors.

Article 14. A Member's auctioneer license is revoked by a licensing authority in any jurisdiction within the United States, for misconduct, wrongdoing, or another violation that occurred in connection with the Member acting as an auctioneer, or otherwise participating in an auction shall result in a Member being deemed in violation of the Code of Ethics and subject to discipline as determined by the Board of Directors.

Adopted by the State Board of Directors of the Indiana Auctioneers Association, Inc. on the 20th day of June, 2011.


PROCEDURE FOR COMPLAINT OF THE CODE OF ETHICS

Upon receipt of a written complaint alleging that a Member has violated the Code of Ethics, the Executive Director shall forward a copy of such written complaint to the accused Member and request that the accused Member provide a response in writing to such charges. The complainant and the written response shall be forwarded by the ED to the Grievance Committee with the names of the complainant and accused Member redacted. The Grievance Committee shall thereafter undertake an investigation of the complaint and make a written report to the Board of Directors concerning said complaint. If there is a finding of no violation, the Member shall be notified.

If the finding includes a recommendation to the Board of Directors stating that there is a reasonable cause to believe that such Member has engaged in conduct in violation of the Code of Ethics, the Member against whom the complaint has been made will be notified of that decision and afforded an opportunity to respond to the complaint including allowing the accused to appear before the Board of Directors and present evidence in support of the Member position with the right of the Member to hire and be represented by counsel at such or hearing.

The parties may introduce such documentary evidence and present such testimony of witnesses, sworn by the Past President, as the Board of Directors shall reasonably deem relevant to the issues and both sides of the controversy shall be accorded a full opportunity to be heard. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board of Directors, as soon as it is practically possible, but not later than two (2) weeks thereafter, shall consider the evidence and render a written opinion and decision.

Should the Board of Directors find a violation of the Code of Ethics, the Board of Directors shall also determine the discipline to be assessed which may include private censure, public censure, suspension and/or revocation from Membership. The decision shall be conveyed to the Member by certified mail.

Adopted by the State Board of Directors of the Indiana Auctioneers Association, Inc. on the 20th day of June, 2011.

STANDARDS OF PRACTICE

The following Standards of Practice are provided to encourage the highest standards of conduct among the Membership of the Indiana Auctioneers Association. These guidelines are a companion document to the Code of Ethics for the IAA. While the Standards of Practice may not be enforced with Membership sanctions, these guidelines should nonetheless be promoted, practiced and encouraged by IAA Members. Non-compliance of these guidelines should be self-policed by fellow IAA Members.

  • Members must not build unreasonable expectations about the outcome of an auction in the mind of a potential Client in order to secure the Client's business.
  • Members should conduct their business affairs so as to promote a positive image of their business and therefore the auction profession.
  • Members shall provide customers with a clear understanding of all the terms and conditions of the auction. Prior to the auction, customers for real estate auctions should be provided a copy of the contract to be signed. Following the auction, customers for personal property auctions should be provided a written bill of sale.
  • It is highly recommended that Members communicate terms and conditions of the sale in written form prior to the commencement of the bidding.
  • Members should, to assure better service to the seller and to prevent misunderstandings, enter into written agreements or, at a minimum, clear oral agreements that set forth the specific terms and conditions of the engagement.
  • Members have an obligation to conduct their business affairs in a professional manner, developing their contract forms with this Article in mind.
  • Members should discuss all aspects of the services to be provided and include them in written form where appropriate including: duties and obligations of the parties; services provided by the Member; insurance coverage relating to liability, theft and casualty loss; use of a buyer's premium, if applicable; handling of funds received and controlled by the Member; sales tax, if applicable; and form of payment by buyers. Additionally, Members must provide the Client with a timely, detailed written accounting of the sale, which must include information concerning the handling and timely disposition of all funds received or controlled by the Member.
  • Members shall provide the highest level of competent service in those fields in which Members are customarily engaged. This competency is attained by education, training, study, practice and experience. Competence also includes the wisdom to recognize the limitations of that knowledge and when to seek the counsel, assistance or Client referral appropriate for the circumstances.
  • The concept of competency also extends to Members who are requested or required to travel to geographic areas where they do not have recent auction experience. Members not in a position to spend the necessary time in a market area to obtain the appropriate understanding of market conditions, may find affiliating with a qualified local auctioneer the appropriate response to ensure a competently conducted auction.
  • Members must ascertain all pertinent facts necessary to implement a professional marketing campaign.
  • Members should never publicly criticize a competitor using false or deceptive information. Where an opinion of a competitor's transaction is especially requested, it should be rendered in conformity with strict professional courtesy and dignity.
  • Members shall not directly or indirectly solicit the affiliation of an employee or independent contractor in the organization of other Members without the prior notice to said Member.
  • Members should willingly share with other Members the lessons learned through experience and study to better the profession, Members' business practices and how the profession is perceived by society. Members shall be loyal to the IAA; this includes active participation in educational, civic and charitable endeavors.
  • In order for any professional organization to earn and maintain the confidence of the constituencies it serves, it must demonstrate to them the ability to "police" its own. Members have the unique ability to observe and therefore assist in the stewardship of this trust. Members have an obligation to assist the IAA and its officers in all matters, including the investigation, censure, discipline, or dismissal of Members who engage in violations of the Code of Ethics.
  • Members shall adhere to the Indiana Auctioneer Commission Laws & Regulations.

Adopted by the State Board of Directors of the Indiana Auctioneers Association, Inc. on the 20th day of June, 2011.