DOB: Equity America Mortgage Services - SA

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IN THE MATTER OF:

EQUITY AMERICA MORTGAGE
SERVICES, INC.

    ("Equity America Mortgage")

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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”;
 
WHEREAS, Equity America Mortgage is a New Hampshire corporation that is currently licensed as a mortgage broker under Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, on May 5, 2010, 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 Equity America Mortgage 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 Equity America Mortgage employed or retained, during the period of January 6, 2009 through February 7, 2009, one (1) individual as mortgage loan originator without licensing such individual, in violation of Section 36a-486(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegation would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against Equity America Mortgage, including proceedings to revoke Equity America Mortgage’s license pursuant to Section 36a-494(a) and subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 of the 2010 Supplement of the General Statutes, issue a cease and desist order against Equity America Mortgage pursuant to Section 36a-494(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes 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 Equity America Mortgage pursuant to Section 36a-494(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes 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 Equity America Mortgage acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings;
 
WHEREAS, Equity America Mortgage voluntarily agrees to enter into this Settlement Agreement without admitting or denying any allegation set forth herein, and solely for the purpose of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegation described above;
 
WHEREAS, Equity America Mortgage herein represents to the Commissioner that the individual alleged to be an unlicensed mortgage loan originator in violation of Section 36a-486(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, during the period of January 6, 2009 through February 7, 2009, is no longer employed by Equity America Mortgage and is not engaged in any mortgage-related activity with Equity America Mortgage in Connecticut that would prohibit Equity America Mortgage from engaging the services of such individual without licensure as mortgage loan originator under Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, Equity America Mortgage 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 Equity America Mortgage requires licensure from the Commissioner under Part I of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-485 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
AND WHEREAS, Equity America Mortgage, through its execution of this Settlement Agreement, voluntarily agrees to waive any rights to a hearing upon the allegation 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 Equity America Mortgage enter into this Settlement Agreement as follows:

1. No later than the date this Settlement Agreement is executed by Equity America Mortgage, Equity America Mortgage shall remit to the Department of Banking by cashier’s check, certified check or money order made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) as a civil penalty;
2. Upon entry of this Settlement Agreement, this matter will be resolved and the Commissioner will not take any future enforcement action against Equity America Mortgage based upon the allegation contained herein; provided that entry of this Settlement Agreement is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Equity America Mortgage based on the allegation contained herein if any representations made by Equity America Mortgage in this Settlement Agreement are subsequently discovered to be untrue or if Equity America Mortgage 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 Equity America Mortgage 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 for its mortgage loan originators to apply for or obtain licensure from the Commissioner;
4. Notwithstanding paragraph 2 herein, execution of this Settlement Agreement is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Equity America Mortgage to enforce this Settlement Agreement if the Commissioner determines that Equity America Mortgage 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 7th day of October 2010.             ________/s/_________
                                                     Howard F. Pitkin
                                                     Banking Commissioner



I, Edward Otto Lanzoni, state on behalf of Equity America Mortgage Services, Inc., 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 Equity America Mortgage Services, Inc.; that Equity America Mortgage Services, Inc., agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the terms and conditions stated herein; and that Equity America Mortgage Services, Inc., voluntarily agrees to enter into this Settlement Agreement, expressly waiving any right to a hearing on the matters described herein.                            

                                            
                                              By:  ________/s/_________
                                                    Name:  Edward Otto Lanzoni
                                                    Title:  Managing Partner
                                                    Equity America Mortage Services, Inc.


State of:  Connecticut

County of:  Middlesex

On this the 6 day of October 2010, before me, Jennifer St. Arnauld, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Edward Otto Lanzoni who acknowledged himself to be the Managing Partner of Equity America Mortgage Services, Inc., a corporation, and that he as such Managing Partner, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the corporation by himself as Managing Partner.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                                    ________/s/_________
                                                    Notary Public
                                                    Date Commission Expires:  10/31/2012


Administrative Orders and Settlements