DOB: Bulletin 2714 - February 26, 2016

The Department of Banking News Bulletin 

Bulletin # 2714
Week Ending February 26, 2016

This bulletin constitutes the only official notification you will receive from this office concerning any of the following applications.  Any observations you may have are solicited.  Any comments should be in writing to Jorge L. Perez, Banking Commissioner, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800.  Written comments will be considered only if they are received within ten days from the date of this bulletin.

Branch Activity

Section 36a-145 of the Connecticut General Statutes requires certain applications for a branch, or for a limited branch at which loans will be made, address how the establishment of the branch will be consistent with safe and sound banking practices and promote the public convenience and advantage.  Plans are submitted when such applications are filed and are available for public inspection and comment at this Department for a period of 30 days.  Questions concerning branch activity should be directed to the Financial Institutions Division, (860) 240-8180.

Date Credit Union Location Activity
Sikorsky Financial Credit Union
2505 Main Street
Stratford, CT  06615
Filed application
to open branch

Stipulation and Agreement
On February 11 and 16, 2016, Consumer Law Associates, LLC (“CLA”), Towson, Maryland, and the Commissioner, respectively, entered into a Stipulation and Agreement concerning the contested cased initiated by the Commissioner via a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Order to Make Restitution, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing against CLA issued on April 1, 2013 (collectively, “Notice”), alleging that CLA engaged in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  On May 12, 2014, the Commissioner issued Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order (“Final Decision”) concluding that CLA was not entitled to the attorney exemption to the debt negotiation statutes set forth in Section 36a-671c(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes and, therefore, violated Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Acknowledging the Connecticut Supreme Court decision in Persels and Associates, LLC v. Banking Commissioner, 318 Conn. 652 (2015), the Stipulation and Agreement reversed and vacated the Final Decision and resolved all matters alleged by the Commissioner in the Notice.

Order to Cease and Desist and Order Imposing Civil Penalty
On February 18, 2016, the Commissioner issued an Order to Cease and Desist and Order Imposing Civil Penalty (“Order”) in the matter of:  Financial Help Services, Inc. (“Respondent”), Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The basis of the Order was that Respondent received money from a Connecticut debtor for the purpose of distributing such money to creditors of the Connecticut debtor without the requisite license, in violation of Section 36a-656(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Respondent was ordered to cease and desist from violating Section 36a-656(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $100,000.  In addition, an Order of Restitution issued against Respondent on November 23, 2015, remains in effect and became permanent against Respondent on December 15, 2015.
      Dated: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

      Jorge L. Perez
      Banking Commissioner