DOB: EZ Mortgage, LLC, Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke and Refuse to Renew Mortgage Broker License, Issue Order to Cease and Desist

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IN THE MATTER OF:

EZ MORTGAGE, LLC

    ("Respondent")

 
 
 
 
 
 

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NOTICE OF AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION

TEMPORARY ORDER TO
CEASE AND DESIST

NOTICE OF INTENT TO REVOKE
AND REFUSE TO RENEW
MORTGAGE BROKER LICENSE

NOTICE OF INTENT TO ISSUE
ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

AND

NOTICE OF RIGHT TO HEARING

I. LEGAL AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION

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.
 
Pursuant to the authority granted by Section 36a-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division (“Division”) of the Department of Banking, has investigated the activities of Respondent to determine if it has violated, is violating or is about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner.
 
Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides that:

The commissioner, in the commissioner’s discretion, may make such public or private investigations or examinations within or outside this state, concerning any person subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner, as the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the duties of the commissioner.

Subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  The commissioner may . . . revoke or refuse to renew any license issued by the commissioner under any provision of the general statutes by sending a notice to the licensee by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that provides a dated delivery receipt.  The notice shall be deemed received by the licensee on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such notice shall include:  (1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (2) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; (3) a reference to the particular sections of the general statutes . . . involved; (4) a short and plain statement of the matters asserted; and (5) a statement indicating that the licensee may file a written request for a hearing on the matters asserted within fourteen days of receipt of the notice.  If the commissioner finds that public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in the notice, the commissioner may order summary suspension of a license in accordance with subsection (c) of section 4-182 and require the licensee to take or refrain from taking such action as in the opinion of the commissioner will effectuate the purposes of this section, pending proceedings for . . . revocation or refusal to renew.

(b)  If a hearing is requested within the time specified in the notice, the commissioner shall hold a hearing upon the matters asserted in the notice unless the licensee fails to appear at the hearing.  After the hearing, the commissioner shall . . . revoke or refuse to renew the license for any reason set forth in the applicable licensing provisions of the general statutes if the commissioner finds sufficient grounds exist for such . . . revocation or refusal to renew.  If the licensee does not request a hearing within the time specified in the notice or fails to appear at the hearing, the commissioner shall . . . revoke or refuse to renew the license.  No such license shall be . . . revoked except in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

Section 36a-52 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any provision of the general statutes within the jurisdiction of the commissioner, . . . the commissioner may send a notice to such person by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that provides a dated delivery receipt.  The notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such notice shall include:  (1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (2) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; (3) a reference to the particular sections of the general statutes . . . alleged to have been violated; (4) a short and plain statement of the matters asserted; and (5) a statement indicating that such person may file a written request for a hearing on the matters asserted within fourteen days of receipt of the notice.  If a hearing is requested within the time specified in the notice, the commissioner shall hold a hearing upon the matters asserted in the notice, unless the person fails to appear at the hearing.  After the hearing, the commissioner shall determine whether an order to cease and desist should be issued against the person named in the notice.  If the person does not request a hearing within the time specified in the notice or fails to appear at the hearing, the commissioner shall issue an order to cease and desist against the person.  No such order shall be issued except in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(b)  If the commissioner finds that the public welfare requires immediate action, the commissioner may incorporate a finding to that effect in the notice sent in accordance with subsection (a) of this section and issue a temporary order requiring the person to cease and desist from the activity which constitutes such alleged violation and to take or refrain from taking such action as in the opinion of the commissioner will effectuate the purposes of this section.  Such temporary order shall become effective on receipt and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in the notice.

Section 36a-492 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Acts 09-208 and 09-209, provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)(1)  No . . . mortgage broker license, and no renewal thereof, shall be granted unless the applicant has filed a bond with the commissioner written by a surety authorized to write such bonds in this state, in the sum of forty thousand dollars . . . .

(b)  . . . The bond shall run concurrently with the period of the license granted to the applicant, and the aggregate liability under the bond shall not exceed the penal sum of the bond.

(c)  The surety company shall have the right to cancel the bond at any time by a written notice to the licensee stating the date cancellation shall take effect.  Such notice shall be sent by certified mail to the licensee at least thirty days prior to the date of cancellation.  A surety bond shall not be cancelled unless the surety company notifies the commissioner in writing not less than thirty days prior to the effective date of cancellation.  After receipt of such notification from the surety company, the commissioner shall give written notice to the licensee of the date such bond cancellation shall take effect.  The commissioner shall automatically suspend the license on such date, unless the licensee prior to such date submits a letter of reinstatement of the bond from the surety company or a new bond or the licensee has ceased business and has surrendered the license in accordance with subsection (a) of section 36a-490.  After a license has been automatically suspended, the commissioner shall give the licensee notice of the automatic suspension, proceedings pursuant to section 36a-494 and an opportunity for a hearing on such action in accordance with section 36a-51, . . . and require the licensee to take or refrain from taking such action as in the opinion of the commissioner will effectuate the purposes of this section.

Section 4-182(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

When a licensee has made timely and sufficient application for the renewal of a license . . . , the existing license shall not expire until the application has been finally determined by the agency . . . .


II.  MATTERS ASSERTED

1.
Respondent is a Connecticut limited liability company with an office at 240 Butler Street, Hamden, Connecticut (“Hamden Office”).
2.
On December 9, 2008, Respondent filed an application for renewal of its mortgage broker license for the Hamden Office on the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System for the January 1 through December 31, 2009 licensing period.
3.
On September 21, 2009, the Commissioner received notice from Hartford Fire Insurance Company that surety bond number 14BSBBS7880 issued on behalf of Respondent with respect to its mortgage broker license for the Hamden Office would be cancelled, effective on October 27, 2009.
4.
On September 24, 2009, pursuant to Section 4-182(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Division sent a letter to Respondent giving Respondent an opportunity to show compliance with all lawful requirements for retention of its mortgage broker license in Connecticut.
5.
To date, Respondent has failed to file with the Commissioner a new surety bond or replacement surety bond.
6.
The Commissioner automatically suspended Respondent’s mortgage broker license in Connecticut for the Hamden Office effective on October 27, 2009.
 

III.  STATUTORY BASIS FOR REVOCATION AND REFUSAL TO RENEW
MORTGAGE BROKER LICENSE AND ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

Section 36a-494 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 09-209, provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)(1)  The commissioner may . . . revoke or refuse to renew any . . . mortgage broker license or take any other action, in accordance with the provisions of section 36a-51, for any reason which would be sufficient grounds for the commissioner to deny an application for such license under sections 36a-485 to 36a-498c, inclusive, . . . sections 36a-534a and 36a-534b . . . and sections 9 and 19 to 21, inclusive, of . . . [public act 09-209], or if the commissioner finds that the licensee, any control person of the licensee, the qualified individual or branch manager with supervisory authority, trustee, employee or agent of such licensee has . . . (C) violated any of the provisions of this title . . . .

(b)  Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any of the provisions of sections 36a-485 to 36a-498c, inclusive, . . . sections 36a-534a and 36a-534b . . . and sections 9 and 19 to 21, inclusive, of . . . [public act 09-209] . . . the commissioner may take action against such person or licensee in accordance with . . . [section] 36a-52.

Respondent’s failure to maintain a surety bond that runs concurrently with the period of its mortgage broker license, as more fully described in paragraphs 2 through 5, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to deny an application for such license and constitutes a violation of Section 36a-492 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, both of which constitute grounds for the Commissioner to revoke and refuse to renew Respondent’s license to act as a mortgage broker in Connecticut from the Hamden Office pursuant to Sections 36a-494(a)(1) and 36a-494(a)(1)(C) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, and subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and forms a basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-494(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.


IV.  FINDING AND STATUTORY BASIS FOR
TEMPORARY ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

The Commissioner finds that public welfare requires immediate action to issue a temporary order requiring Respondent to cease and desist from violating Section 36a-492 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, pursuant to Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, in that due to Respondent’s failure to maintain its surety bond, any borrower or prospective borrower who may be damaged by Respondent’s failure to perform any written agreements or commitments, or Respondent’s wrongful conversion of funds paid by a borrower or prospective borrower to Respondent, will not be able to proceed on such surety bond to recover damages.


V.  NOTICE OF AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION, TEMPORARY ORDER TO
CEASE AND DESIST, NOTICE OF INTENT TO REVOKE AND
REFUSE TO RENEW MORTGAGE BROKER LICENSE, NOTICE OF
INTENT TO ISSUE ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST
AND NOTICE OF RIGHT TO HEARING

WHEREAS, the Commissioner has reason to believe that Respondent has engaged in acts or conduct which constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to revoke and refuse to renew its license to act as a mortgage broker in Connecticut from the Hamden Office pursuant to Sections 36a-494(a)(1) and 36a-494(a)(1)(C) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, and subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and forms a basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-494(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
AND WHEREAS, the Commissioner has made the finding required under Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
 
NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority granted in Section 36a-492(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, the Commissioner gives NOTICE that on October 27, 2009, the license of EZ Mortgage, LLC to act as a mortgage broker in Connecticut from 240 Butler Street, Hamden, Connecticut, was AUTOMATICALLY SUSPENDED pending proceedings for revocation and refusal to renew.
 
THE COMMISSIONER ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that EZ Mortgage, LLC immediately CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-492 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.  This Temporary Order shall become effective upon receipt by EZ Mortgage, LLC, and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in this Temporary Order.
 
FURTHER, notice is hereby given to Respondent that the Commissioner intends to REVOKE and REFUSE TO RENEW Respondent’s license to act as a mortgage broker in Connecticut from the Hamden Office and issue an order requiring Respondent to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-492 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, subject to its right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.
 
A hearing will be granted to Respondent if a written request for a hearing is received by the Department of Banking, Consumer Credit Division, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800 within fourteen (14) days following its receipt of this Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke and Refuse to Renew Mortgage Broker License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Right to Hearing as set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  This Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke and Refuse to Renew Mortgage Broker License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Right to Hearing shall be deemed received on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending.  The enclosed Appearance and Request for Hearing Form must be completed and mailed to the above address.  If Respondent will not be represented by an attorney at the hearing, please complete the Appearance and Request for Hearing Form as “pro se”.  Once a written request for hearing is received, the Commissioner may issue a notification of hearing and designation of hearing officer that acknowledges receipt of a request for a hearing, designates a hearing officer and sets the date of the hearing in accordance with Section 4-177 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-1-21 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.  If a hearing is requested, the hearing will be held on February 17, 2010, at 10 a.m., at the Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut.
 
The hearing will be held in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 54 of the Connecticut General Statutes, unless Respondent fails to appear at the requested hearing.  At such hearing, Respondent will have the right to appear and present evidence, rebuttal evidence and argument on all issues of fact and law to be considered by the Commissioner.
 
If Respondent does not request a hearing within the time prescribed, the Commissioner will issue an order revoking Respondent’s license to act as a mortgage broker in Connecticut from 240 Butler Street, Hamden, Connecticut, and issue an order that Respondent cease and desist from violating Section 36a-492 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended.


So ordered at Hartford, Connecticut
this 22nd of December 2009.                        ________/s/_________
                                                               Howard F. Pitkin
                                                               Banking Commissioner



CERTIFICATION

I hereby certify that on this 22nd day of December 2009, the foregoing Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke and Refuse to Renew Mortgage Broker License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Right to Hearing was sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to EZ Mortgage, LLC, Attention:  Janet Lee Dawson, Owner, 240 Butler Street, Hamden, Connecticut 06517, registered mail no. RB028036773US.

                                                              ________/s/_________
                                                              Doniel Kitt
                                                              Prosecuting Attorney
 


Administrative Orders and Settlements