(a) A hearing is an orderly presentation of arguments and evidence conducted by a hearing official.
(b) If the hearing official, the designated department official who brought a proceeding against an institution or third-party servicer under this subpart, and the institution or servicer, as applicable, agree, the hearing process may be expedited. Procedures to expedite the hearing process may include, but are not limited to, the following—
(1) A restriction on the number or length of submissions;
(2) The conduct of the hearing by telephone conference call;
(3) A stipulation by the parties to facts and legal authorities not in dispute; or
(4) A review limited to the written record.
(c) (1) The formal rules of evidence and procedures applicable to proceedings in a court of law are not applicable. However, discussions of settlement between the parties or the terms of settlement offers are not admissible.
(2) The designated department official has the burden of persuasion in any fine, suspension, limitation or termination proceeding under this subpart.
(3) Discovery, as provided for under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, is not permitted.
(4) The hearing official accepts only evidence that is relevant and material to the proceeding and is not unduly repetitious.
(d) The designated department official makes a transcribed record of the proceeding and makes one copy of the record available to the institution or servicer.