DOB: Mortgage Assistance Company, LLC, Settlement Agreement

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IN THE MATTER OF:

MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE
COMPANY, LLC

    ("Mortgage Assistance")

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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 to 36a-534c, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Mortgage Lenders, Correspondent Lenders, Brokers and Loan Originators”, and Sections 9 and 19 to 21, inclusive, of Public Act 09-209;
 
WHEREAS, Mortgage Assistance is a Connecticut limited liability company that is currently licensed as a mortgage correspondent lender under Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq. of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
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 Mortgage Assistance 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, as a result of such examination, the Commissioner alleges that Mortgage Assistance employed or retained, during the period of September 2007 through March 2009, three (3) individuals as  originators or mortgage loan originators without registering or licensing them, in violation of Sections 36a-486(b) and 36a-511(b) of the then applicable Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, as a result of such examination, the Commissioner also alleges that in an advertisement used by Mortgage Assistance, Mortgage Assistance stated a simple interest rate without also stating an annual percentage rate (APR) in violation of 12 CFR 226.24(b), which is a regulation that is applicable to Mortgage Assistance’s business;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegations would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against Mortgage Assistance, including proceedings to revoke Mortgage Assistance’s license pursuant to Section 36a-494(a) of the Connecticut General statutes, as amended by Public Act 09-209, and subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue a cease and desist order against Mortgage Assistance pursuant to Section 36a-494(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 09-209, and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation on Mortgage Assistance pursuant to Section 36a-494(b) of the Connecticut 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 Mortgage Assistance acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings;
 
WHEREAS, Mortgage Assistance 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, Mortgage Assistance herein represents to the Commissioner that one of the three individuals alleged to be unregistered or unlicensed loan originators in violation of Sections 36a-486(b) and 36a-511(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes during the period of September 2007 through March 2009, is currently licensed as a mortgage loan originator under Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes and that the other two such individuals are no longer engaged in any mortgage-related activity with Mortgage Assistance that would require Mortgage Assistance 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 a mortgage loan originator under Section 36a-489 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 09-209;
 
WHEREAS, Mortgage Assistance 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 Mortgage Assistance 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 mortgage loan originators under Section 36a-489 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended;
 
WHEREAS, in connection with this settlement, Mortgage Assistance was provided the option to pay a civil penalty in the amount of Four Thousand Dollars ($4,000) 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, Mortgage Assistance was provided an alternative option to make a voluntary contribution in the amount of Four Thousand Dollars ($4,000) to the State Regulatory Registry LLC (“SRR”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CSBS, to support the NMLS&R;
 
WHEREAS, Mortgage Assistance elected to make a voluntary contribution to SRR in lieu of a civil penalty;
 
AND WHEREAS, Mortgage Assistance, 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 Mortgage Assistance enter into this Settlement Agreement as follows:

1. No later than the date this Settlement Agreement is executed by Mortgage Assistance, Mortgage Assistance shall make a voluntary contribution by cashier’s check, certified check or money order in the amount of Four Thousand Dollars ($4,000) 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 Mortgage Assistance 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 Mortgage Assistance based on the allegations contained herein if any representations made by Mortgage Assistance in this Settlement Agreement are subsequently discovered to be untrue or if Mortgage Assistance 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 Mortgage Assistance 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 mortgage loan 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 Mortgage Assistance to enforce this Settlement Agreement if the Commissioner determines that Mortgage Assistance 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 20th day of November 2009.         ________/s/_________
                                                     Howard F. Pitkin
                                                     Banking Commissioner



I, Mark Sidoti, state on behalf of Mortgage Assistance Company, LLC, 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 Mortgage Assistance Company, LLC ; that Mortgage Assistance Company, LLC agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the terms and conditions stated herein; and that Mortgage Assistance Company, LLC voluntarily agrees to enter into this Settlement Agreement, expressly waiving any right to a hearing on the matters described herein.                                        

                                            By:  ________/s/_________
                                                   Name:  Mark Sidoti
                                                   Title:  Managing Member
                                                   Mortgage Assistance Company, LLC


State of:  CT

County of:  Hartford


On this the 16th day of November 2009, before me, Tina A. Gomes, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Mark Sidoti who acknowledged himself to be the Managing Member of Mortgage Assistance Company, LLC, a limited liability company that he, as such Managing Member, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the limited liability company by himself as Managing Member.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                         ________/s/_________
                                         Notary Public
                                         Date Commission Expires:  12/31/12


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