DOB: Professional Bureau of Collections of Maryland, Inc. - CO

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IN THE MATTER OF:

PROFESSIONAL BUREAU OF
COLLECTIONS OF MARYLAND, INC.   

   ("Professional Bureau of Collections")   

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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, Professional Bureau of Collections is a Maryland corporation that is currently licensed to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut under Part XII of Chapter 669, Sections 36a-800, et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes;

WHEREAS, on September 16, 2011, Professional Bureau of Collections filed a Renewal of Consumer Collection Agency License – Main Office application (“Renewal Application”), which renewal was issued on October 1, 2011;
 
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, as amended by Public Act 12-96, into the activities of Professional Bureau of Collections 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 Professional Bureau of Collections:  (a) made a material statement in its Renewal Application by responding “no” to the disclosure question in the Renewal Application with respect to consumer-related litigation, when, in fact, during the period of January 2010 to October 2012, Professional Bureau of Collections was the subject of at least forty-four consumer-initiated lawsuits, and (b) failed to notify the Commissioner, in writing, of changes in the information provided in its Renewal Application not later than ten business days after the occurrence of the event that resulted in such information becoming inaccurate, in violation of Section 36a-801(b)(1) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegations would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against Professional Bureau of Collections, including proceedings to revoke Professional Bureau of Collections’ license to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut pursuant to Section 36a-804(a) of the Connecticut General and Section 36a-51 of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes, issue a cease and desist order against Professional Bureau of Collections 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 on Professional Bureau of Collections pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 12-96;

WHEREAS, Professional Bureau of Collections alleges that the disclosure question was compound and that it was not possible to answer “yes” or “no” to such a compound question in a definitive way;
 
WHEREAS, Professional Bureau of Collections immediately complied with a request for explanation from the Commissioner and all issues related to the disclosure question have been resolved in a satisfactory manner;
 
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 Professional Bureau of Collections acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings;
 
WHEREAS, Professional Bureau of Collections 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 described above;
 
WHEREAS, Professional Bureau of Collections specifically assures the Commissioner that the conduct and violations described herein shall not occur in the future;
 
AND WHEREAS, Professional Bureau of Collections, through its execution of this Consent Order, voluntarily agrees to waive its procedural rights, including a right to a 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 SANCTION

WHEREAS, Professional Bureau of Collections, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order imposing the following sanction:

No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by Professional Bureau of Collections, Professional Bureau of Collections 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;

CONSENT ORDER

NOW THEREFORE, the Commissioner enters the following:

1. The Sanction set forth above be and is 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 Professional Bureau of Collections 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 Professional Bureau of Collections 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 Professional Bureau of Collections and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
3. Nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of Professional Bureau of Collections 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; and
4.
This Consent Order shall become final when issued.



Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 28th day of February 2013.          ________/s/_________
                                                     Howard F. Pitkin
                                                     Banking Commissioner



 
I, Travis L. Justus, state on behalf of Professional Bureau of Collections of Maryland, 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 Professional Bureau of Collections of Maryland, Inc.; that Professional Bureau of Collections of Maryland, Inc., agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the sanction entered and terms and conditions ordered herein; and that Professional Bureau of Collections of Maryland, 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:  Travis L. Justus
                                                     Title:  President
                                                     Professional Bureau of Collections of
                                                     Maryland, Inc.



State of:  CO

County of:  Arapahoe


On this the 24 day of January 2013, before me, Travis Justus, the undersigned officer, personally appeared who acknowledged himself/herself to be the President of Professional Bureau of Collections of Maryland, 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 President.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                                       _________/s/_________
                                                       Notary Public  
                                                       Date Commission Expires:  8/8/2015



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