The number of consumer complaints filed with CSLB for solicitation or receipt of a down payment in excess of the legal limit has doubled in the past four years. Remember, it is illegal to request or receive a down payment larger than 10 percent of the contract price or $1,000, whichever is less. Failure to adhere to of the Business and Professions Code section 7159(a)(3) is punishable by up to $5,000 in administrative fines or criminal penalties of up to $5,000 and/or up to one year in county jail.