DOB: Homestead Funding Corp., Settlement Agreement

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IN THE MATTER OF:

HOMESTEAD FUNDING CORP.

    ("Homestead Funding")

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SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT        

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Mortgage Lenders, Brokers and Originators”;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking, conducted an examination pursuant to Section 36a-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes into the activities of Homestead Funding to determine if it had violated, was violating or was about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;
 
WHEREAS, Homestead Funding is a New York corporation that is currently licensed as a mortgage lender under Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq. of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, as a result of such examination, the Commissioner alleges that Homestead Funding employed or retained, during the period of February 2007 through April 2008, three (3) individuals as loan originators without registering them, in violation of Sections 36a-486(b) and 36a-511(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegations would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against Homestead Funding, including proceedings to revoke and/or refuse to renew Homestead Funding’s license pursuant to Section 36a-494(a) of the 2008 Supplement to the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Acts 07-91, 07-156, and 08-176, and Section 36a-51 of the 2008 Supplement to the General Statutes, issue a cease and desist order against Homestead Funding pursuant to Section 36a-494(b) of the 2008 Supplement to the General Statutes, as amended by Public Acts 07-91, 07-156, and 08-176, and Section 36a-52(a) of the 2008 Supplement to the General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation on Homestead Funding pursuant to Section 36a-494(b) of the 2008 Supplement to the General Statutes, as amended, and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, Section 4-177(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-1-55(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies provide that a contested case may be resolved by agreed settlement, unless precluded by law;
 
WHEREAS, both the Commissioner and Homestead Funding acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings;
 
WHEREAS, Homestead Funding agrees to voluntarily enter into this Settlement Agreement without admitting or denying any allegations set forth herein, and solely for the purposes of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegations described above;
 
WHEREAS, Homestead Funding herein represents to the Commissioner that three (3) of the individuals alleged to be unregistered loan originators in violation of Sections 36a-486(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes during the period of February 2007 through April 2008, are no longer engaged in any mortgage-related activity with Homestead Funding that would require Homestead Funding to obtain licensure for such individuals from the Commissioner under Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes, including but not limited to, licensure as originators under Section 36a-486(b) of the 2008 Supplement of the General Statutes, as amended by Public Acts 07-156 and 08-176;
 
WHEREAS, Homestead Funding herein represents to the Commissioner that it has reviewed and updated its internal policies, procedures and controls for assessing whether an individual engaged in mortgage-related activity with Homestead Funding requires licensure from the Commissioner under Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes, including but not limited to, licensure as originators under Section 36a-486(b) of the 2008 Supplement of the General Statutes, as amended;
 
WHEREAS, in connection with this settlement, Homestead Funding was provided the option to pay a civil penalty in the amount of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000) in settlement of the allegations contained herein;
 
WHEREAS, the State of Connecticut is a participant in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (“NMLS&R”), jointly developed by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators to establish a unified and modern system of mortgage licensing and registration, and is committed to the success of NMLS&R;
 
WHEREAS, in connection with this settlement, Homestead Funding was provided an alternative option to make a voluntary contribution in the amount of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000) to the State Regulatory Registry LLC (“SRR”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CSBS, to support the NMLS&R;
 
WHEREAS, Homestead Funding elected to make a voluntary contribution to SRR in lieu of a civil penalty;
 
AND WHEREAS, Homestead Funding, through its execution of this Settlement Agreement, voluntarily agrees to waive any rights to a hearing upon the allegations contained in this Settlement Agreement, and waives the right to seek judicial review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Settlement Agreement;
 
NOW THEREFORE, the Commissioner and Homestead Funding enter into this Settlement Agreement as follows:

1. No later than the date this Settlement Agreement is executed by Homestead Funding, Homestead Funding shall make a voluntary contribution by cashier’s check, certified check or money order in the amount of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000) to SRR to support NMLS&R;
2. Upon entry of this Settlement Agreement, this matter will be resolved and the Commissioner will not take any future enforcement action against Homestead Funding based upon the allegations contained herein; provided that entry of this Settlement Agreement is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Homestead Funding based on the allegations contained herein if any representations made by Homestead Funding in this Settlement Agreement are subsequently discovered to be untrue or if Homestead Funding is not fully complying with any term or condition stated herein;
3. Nothing in the entry of this Settlement Agreement shall adversely affect the ability of Homestead Funding to apply for or obtain licenses or renewal licenses under Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to apply for or obtain licensure of its originators from the Commissioner;
4. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Settlement Agreement, execution of this Settlement Agreement is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Homestead Funding to enforce this Settlement Agreement if the Commissioner determines that Homestead Funding is not fully complying with any term or condition stated herein.  For purposes of this paragraph, a violation of this Settlement Agreement shall be deemed to be a violation of an order of the Commissioner.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Settlement Agreement to be executed by each of them or their duly authorized representatives on the dates hereinafter subscribed.


Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 3rd day of March 2009.                ________/s/_________
                                                     Howard F. Pitkin
                                                     Banking Commissioner



I, Anthony T. Felitte, state on behalf of Homestead Funding Corp., that I have read the foregoing Settlement Agreement; that I know and fully understand its contents; that I am authorized to execute this Settlement Agreement on behalf of Homestead Funding Corp.; that Homestead Funding Corp. agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the terms and conditions stated herein; and that Homestead Funding Corp. voluntarily agrees to enter into this Settlement Agreement, expressly waiving any right to a hearing on the matters described herein.                             

                                            
                                    By:  ________/s/_________
                                           Name:  
                                           Title:
                                           Homestead Funding Corp.


State of:  New York

County of:  Albany


On this the 27th day of February 2009, before me, Barbara L. Cotugno, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Anthony T. Felitte who acknowledged himself/herself to be the Secretary & COO of Homestead Funding Corp., a corporation, and that he/she, as such Secretary & COO, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the corporation by himself/herself as Secretary & COO.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                            ________/s/_________
                                            Notary Public
                                            Date Commission Expires:  May 20, 2010


Administrative Orders and Settlements