DOB: New Era Group, Inc. - CO

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IN THE MATTER OF:

NEW ERA GROUP, INC.
d/b/a NEW ERA DEBT SOLUTIONS

    ("New Era")

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CONSENT ORDER        

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Debt Adjusters and Debt Negotiation”;
 
WHEREAS, New Era is a California corporation with an office at 295 Willis Avenue, Suite K, Camarillo, California;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking, conducted an investigation pursuant to Section 36a-17(a) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes into the activities of New Era 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 investigation, the Commissioner alleges that from at least October 2009 to May 2010, New Era engaged in unlicensed debt negotiation activity in Connecticut, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the then applicable Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegation would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against New Era, including proceedings to issue a cease and desist order against New Era 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 of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation upon New Era 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, initiation of such enforcement proceedings would constitute a “contested case” within the meaning of Section 4-166(2) 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 consent order, unless precluded by law;
 
WHEREAS, both the Commissioner and New Era acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings, and New Era voluntarily agrees to consent to the entry of the sanctions described below without admitting or denying any allegation contained herein and solely for the purpose of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegation contained herein;
 
WHEREAS, New Era herein represents that, as of June 2011, New Era ceased and desisted from engaging or offering to engage in debt negotiation in this state;
 
WHEREAS, New Era herein represents that it is not aware of any additional Connecticut clients, other than those noted in Exhibit A attached hereto, who had retained New Era for debt negotiation services since October 1, 2009;
 
AND WHEREAS, New Era, through its execution of this Consent Order, voluntarily agrees to waive its procedural rights, including a right to notice and an opportunity for hearing as it pertains to the allegation set forth herein, and voluntarily waives its right to seek judicial review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Consent Order.


CONSENT TO ENTRY OF SANCTIONS

WHEREAS, New Era, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order imposing the following sanctions:

1. No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by New Era, New Era 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 Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000) as a civil penalty;
2.
New Era shall immediately cease and desist from engaging or offering to engage in unlicensed debt negotiation activity in Connecticut, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the applicable Connecticut General Statutes; and
3.
No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by New Era, New Era shall refund all fees paid to New Era by Connecticut residents for debt negotiation services from October 2009 through the date this Consent Order is issued and shall promptly provide satisfactory evidence of such repayments to:  Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov.
 

CONSENT ORDER

NOW THEREFORE, the Commissioner enters the following:

1. The Sanctions set forth above be and are hereby entered;
2. Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, this matter will be resolved and the Commissioner will not take any future enforcement action against New Era based upon the allegation contained herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against New Era based upon a violation of this Consent Order or the matters underlying its entry, if the Commissioner determines that compliance with the terms herein is not being observed or if any representation made by New Era and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue; and
3.
This Consent Order shall become final when issued.
 

Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 6th day of September 2012.         ________/s/_________
                                                     Howard F. Pitkin
                                                     Banking Commissioner


I, Daniel A. Smith, state on behalf of New Era Group, Inc. d/b/a New Era Debt Solutions, that I have read the foregoing Consent Order; that I know and fully understand its contents; that I am authorized to execute this Consent Order on behalf of New Era Group, Inc. d/b/a New Era Debt Solutions; that New Era Group, Inc. d/b/a New Era Debt Solutions agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the sanctions entered and terms and conditions ordered herein; and that New Era Group, Inc. d/b/a New Era Debt Solutions voluntarily agrees to enter into this Consent Order, expressly waiving the procedural rights set forth herein as to the matters described herein.                                          


                                            By:  ________/s/_________
                                                   Name:  Daniel A. Smith
                                                   Title:  President
                                                   New Era Group, Inc. d/b/a New Era Debt Solutions
                                                   
                                                   

State of:  CA

County of:  Ventura

On this the 28 day of August 2012, before me, Gary D. Randolph, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Daniel A. Smith who acknowledged himself to be the President of New Era Group, Inc. d/b/a New Era Debt Solutions, a corporation, and that he as such President, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the corporation by himself as President.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                         ________/s/_________
                                         Notary Public
                                         Date Commission Expires:  6-19-13


Administrative Orders and Settlements