DOB: Alliance Mitigation Group - CD-Repay-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:

ALLIANCE MITIGATION GROUP

    ("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-671e, 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 2012 Supplement to the 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 March 5, 2012, the Commissioner, acting pursuant to Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Sections 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 March 6, 2012, the Notice was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Respondent (Certified Mail Nos. 70112000000247358239 and 70112000000247358246);
 
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 Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, in effect on July 2, 2010, and Section 36a-671(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes, issue an order of repayment of fees to specified Connecticut residents, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Respondent;
 
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2012, the Notice sent by Certified Mail No. 70112000000247358239 was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Attempted – Not Known – Unable to Forward”, and on April 19, 2012, the Notice sent by Certified Mail No. 70112000000247358246 was returned to the Department marked “Returned to Sender – Unclaimed”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending”;
 
WHEREAS, no request for a hearing has been received by the Commissioner;
 
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, in effect on July 2, 2010.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes. 
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner also alleged in the Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that Respondent’s offering to engage in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license constitutes a violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 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 Section 36a-671a(c) and 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes that not later than 10 days from Respondent’s receipt of the Notice, Respondent provide repayment of $1,795 to the Connecticut residents identified in Exhibit A of the Notice, 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 March 22, 2012;
 
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 8, 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 Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent, and, pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 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 fees by the Connecticut residents identified in Exhibit A of the Notice to be excessive, upon consideration that the Schedule of Maximum Fees issued by the Commissioner only permits a debt negotiator of secured debt to collect a fee of $500 upon successful completion of the debt negotiation services contract, the debt negotiation services contract was not successfully completed and the Connecticut residents received no benefit from such contract.
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 Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Sections 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that:

1.
Alliance Mitigation Group CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, in effect on July 2, 2010, and Section 36a-671(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes;
2.
Alliance Mitigation Group REPAY FEES in the amount of One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-Five Dollars ($1,795) by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, to be remitted and made payable to the Connecticut residents identified in Exhibit A attached hereto, no later than ten (10) days from the date this Order is mailed, and shall provide Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, evidence of such repayment;
3.
A CIVIL PENALTY of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) be imposed against Alliance Mitigation Group 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; and
4.
This Order shall become effective when mailed.
 
 

Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 27th day of April 2012.                        ________/s/_________
                                                            Howard F. Pitkin
                                                            Banking Commissioner



This Order was sent by certified mail,
return receipt requested, to
Respondent on April 30, 2012.


Alliance Mitigation Group                    Certified mail No. 70112000000247358666
Attention:  Jason Rogland, Agent
3470 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 608
Los Angeles, California 90010

Alliance Mitigation Group                    Certified Mail No. 70112000000247358673
Attention:  Jason Rogland, Agent
801 East Chapman Avenue, Suite 218
Fullerton, California 92831


Administrative Orders and Settlements