DOB: A & S Collection Associates, Inc. - CO

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IN THE MATTER OF:

A & S COLLECTION
ASSOCIATES

("A & S Collection")

   
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CONSENT ORDER        

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Part XII of Chapter 669, Sections 36a-800 to 36a-810, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Consumer Collection Agencies”, and the regulations promulgated thereunder (Sections 36a-809-6 to 36a-809-17, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies) (“Regulations”);
 
WHEREAS, A & S Collection is a Florida corporation that has not been licensed to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut since October 1, 2009, and is not otherwise exempt from licensure under Part XII of Chapter 669, Sections 36a-800, et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking, conducted an investigation pursuant to Section 36a-17 of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes into the activities of A & S Collection to determine if it had violated, was violating or was about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes and Regulations within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;

WHEREAS, as a result of such investigation, the Commissioner alleges that A & S Collection, during the period of March 16, 2011 though January 4, 2012, acted within this state as a consumer collection agency without a consumer collection agency license, in violation of Section 36a-801 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-801 of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes;

WHEREAS, as a result of such investigation, the Commissioner also alleges that A & S Collection failed to account for and remit to its clients all money collected which is not in dispute within sixty days from the last day of the month in which said money was collected, in violation of Section 36a-805(a)(9) of the Connecticut General Statutes;

WHEREAS, as a result of such investigation, the Commissioner additionally alleges that A & S Collection added charges or fees to the amount of claims which it received for collection or knowingly accepted for collection claims to which charges and fees had already been added to the amount of the claim, which charges and fees the consumer debtors were not legally liable for and which also exceeded fifteen percent of the amount actually collected on the debt, in violation of Section 36a-805(a)(13) of the Connecticut General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegations would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against A & S Collection, including proceedings to issue a cease and desist order against A & S Collection pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation against A & S Collection pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 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 agreed settlement, unless precluded by law;

WHEREAS, both the Commissioner and A & S Collection acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings;
 
WHEREAS, A & S Collection voluntarily agrees to enter into this Consent Order without admitting or denying the allegations set forth herein, and solely for the purpose of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegations set forth herein;

WHEREAS, A & S Collection herein represents to the Commissioner that it has not acted within this state as a consumer collection agency since January 4, 2012;

WHEREAS, A & S Collection specifically assures the Commissioner that the violations described herein shall not occur in the future;

AND WHEREAS, A & S Collection, 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 allegations 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, A & S Collection, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order imposing the following sanctions:

1. A & S Collection shall immediately cease and desist from acting as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut without a license in violation of Section 36a-801(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-801(a) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes;
2. No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by A & S Collection, A & S Collection 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 Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) as a civil penalty;
3. A & S Collection shall promptly refund all charges and fees paid by Connecticut consumer debtors that could not be legally added to claims charged to such consumer debtors and provide proof to the Commissioner of such payments in a form determined by the Commissioner;
4. A & S Collection shall promptly waive any charges and fees added to Connecticut consumer debtors’ accounts that could not be legally added to such claim, which have not been paid by or collected from such consumer debtors and provide proof to the Commissioner of such adjustments in a form determined by the Commissioner;
5. A & S Collection shall promptly remit after making the adjustments in paragraphs 2 and 3 above, the balance of all funds, as appropriate, to creditors with respect to all accounts for which payment was not made as agreed and include any penalties, interest and related charges that may have been imposed due to late payments made by A & S Collection, and provide proof to the Commissioner of such payments in a form determined by the Commissioner; and
6. A & S Collection shall promptly withdraw information sent to credit reporting agencies regarding all Connecticut consumer debtors during the period in which it was not licensed and provide proof to the Commissioner of such withdrawals in a form determined by the Commissioner.


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 A & S Collection based upon the allegations contained herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against A & S Collection 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 A & S Collection and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
3. Nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of A & S Collection to apply for or obtain a license or renewal licenses under Part XII of Chapter 669, Sections 36a-800 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes, provided A & S Collection meets the statutory requirements for such license or renewal license; and
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This Consent Order shall become final when issued.
 


Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 10th day of December 2012.        ________/s/_________
                                                     Howard F. Pitkin
                                                     Banking Commissioner



I, Jean Adams, state on behalf of A & S Collection Associates, Inc., 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 A & S Collection Associates, Inc; that A & S Collection Associates, Inc., agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the sanctions entered and terms and conditions ordered herein; and that A & S Collection Associates, Inc., 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:  Jean Adams
                                                 Title:  President
                                                 A & S Collection Associates, Inc.

State of:  Vermont

County of:  Orange


On this the 30th day of November 2012, before me, Annette M Hood, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Jean Adams who acknowledged himself/herself to be the President of A & S Collection Associates, Inc., a corporation, and that he/she 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/herself as Jean Adams.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                                       _________/s/_________
                                                       Notary Public  Annette M Hood
                                                       Date Commission Expires:  2/10/12 



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