DOB: The Lloyd Ward Group, PC - CD-Repay-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:

THE LLOYD WARD GROUP, PC
d/b/a LLOYD WARD GROUP II
a/k/a THE LLOYD WARD
GROUP PC2

    ("Respondent")

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ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

ORDER OF REPAYMENT OF FEES

AND

ORDER IMPOSING CIVIL PENALTY


I.  PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671d, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Debt Adjusters and Debt Negotiation”;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking, conducted an investigation of the activities of Respondent, pursuant to the authority granted by Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, 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, on May 23, 2011, the Commissioner, acting pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b), 36a-671a(c), 36a-52(b), 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issued a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing (collectively “Notice”) against Respondent, which Notice is incorporated herein by reference;
 
WHEREAS, on May 24, 2011, the Notice was sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to Respondent (Registered Mail No. RB028020075US), and to Respondent’s registered agent Lloyd Ward PC (Registered Mail No. RB028020084US) and Lloyd Ward (Registered Mail No. RB028020169US);
 
WHEREAS, the Notice provided Respondent with the opportunity for a hearing, and stated that if a hearing was not requested within 14 days of its receipt, the Commissioner would issue an order that Respondent cease and desist from violating Sections 36a-671(b) and 36a-671b(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order for repayment of fees or charges to the Connecticut resident identified in Exhibit A to the Notice and may order that the maximum civil penalty of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000) be imposed upon Respondent;
 
WHEREAS, on June 2, 2011, Respondent’s agent Lloyd Ward PC received the Notice and on June 6, 2001, Respondent received the Notice and no request for a hearing has been received by the Commissioner;
 
WHEREAS, on August 17, 2011, the Notice sent to Respondent’s agent Lloyd Ward was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Unclaimed”;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that Respondent’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license constitutes a violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that Respondent’s engaging in debt negotiation services on and after October 1, 2009, with at least fifty (50) Connecticut residents and collecting fees under terms which did not comply with Section 36a-671b(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and the Schedule of Maximum Fees established by the Commissioner pursuant to said section, constitutes fifty (50) violations of Section 36a-671b(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, also in the Notice, the Commissioner found that the fees charged by Respondent for debt negotiation services were excessive and ordered, pursuant to Sections 36a-52(b) and 36a-671a(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes that, not later than 10 days from receipt of the Notice, Respondent provide repayment of $2,668.74 to the Connecticut resident identified in Exhibit A of the Notice by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, and, among other things, provide evidence of such repayment to the Director of the Consumer Credit Division;
 
WHEREAS, no evidence of such repayment was provided to the Director of the Consumer Credit Division by June 16, 2011;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[i]f 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”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(a)(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[i]f such person does not request a hearing within the time specified in the notice or fails to appear at the hearing, the commissioner may, as the facts require, order that a civil penalty not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars per violation be imposed upon such person”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(a)(3) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[e]ach action undertaken by the commissioner under this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54”;
 
AND WHEREAS, Section 36a-1-31(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies provides, in pertinent part, that “[w]hen a party fails to request a hearing within the time specified in the notice, the allegations against the party may be deemed admitted.  Without further proceedings or notice to the party, the commissioner shall issue a final decision in accordance with section 4-180 of the Connecticut General Statutes and section 36a-1-52 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies”.


II.  FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1.
The Commissioner finds that the matters asserted, as set forth in paragraphs 1 through 7, inclusive, of Section II of the Notice, shall constitute findings of fact within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and that the conclusions, as set forth in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Section III of the Notice, shall constitute conclusions of law within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-1-52 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
2.
The Commissioner finds that Respondent has engaged in acts or conduct which, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent, and, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms the basis to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent.
3.
The Commissioner finds that the payment of $2,668.74 in fees by the Connecticut resident identified in Exhibit A of the Notice to be excessive, after taking into consideration the fact that (1) the Schedule of Maximum Fees only permits a debt negotiator of unsecured debt to collect total aggregate fees, including the initial fee and service fees, not to exceed ten percent (10%) of the amount by which the consumer’s debt is reduced as part of each achieved settlement as agreed to in the debt negotiation service contract, (2) the debt negotiation service contract was not successfully completed, and (3) the Connecticut resident received no benefit from such contract, which forms the basis to order repayment of such fees pursuant to Section 36a-671a(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
4. The Commissioner finds that the Notice was given in compliance with Sections 36a-52(a), 36a-50(a) and 4-177 of the Connecticut General Statutes.


III.  ORDER

Having read the record, I HEREBY ORDER, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b), 36a-52(a) 36a-50(a) and 36a-671a(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that:

1.
The Lloyd Ward Group, PC d/b/a Lloyd Ward Group II a/k/a The Lloyd Ward Group PC2 CEASE AND DESIST from violating Sections 36a-671(b) and 36a-671b(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
2.
A CIVIL PENALTY of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000) be imposed against The Lloyd Ward Group, PC d/b/a Lloyd Ward Group II a/k/a The Lloyd Ward Group PC2, to be remitted to the Department of Banking by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, no later than thirty (30) days from the date this Order is mailed;
3.
The Lloyd Ward Group, PC d/b/a Lloyd Ward Group II a/k/a The Lloyd Ward Group PC2 REPAY FEES in the amount of Two Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-Eight Dollars Seventy Four Cents ($2,668.74) by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, to be remitted and made payable to the Connecticut resident identified in Exhibit A attached hereto, no later than ten (10) days from the date this Order is mailed, and shall provide to Marlene M. Mannix, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or marlene.mannix@ct.gov evidence of such repayment; and
4.
This Order shall become effective when mailed.
 
 

Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 9th day of September 2011.                 ________/s/_________
                                                            Howard F. Pitkin
                                                            Banking Commissioner



This Order was sent by certified mail,
return receipt requested, to
Respondent on September 12, 2011.


The Lloyd Ward Group, PC            Certified Mail No. 70101870000136193069
d/b/a Lloyd Ward Group II
a/k/a The Lloyd Ward Group PC2
17120 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 235
Dallas, Texas 75248

Lloyd Ward PC, Agent                  Certified Mail No. 70101870000136193076
12655 N. Central Expressway, Suite 1000
Dallas, Texas 75243

Lloyd Ward, Agent                       Certified Mail No. 70101870000136193083
6040 Preston Creek
Dallas, Texas 75240


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