DOB: Collective Solutions, LLC - Temp CD-NOI Rev-CD-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:

COLLECTIVE SOLUTIONS, LLC 

   ("Respondent")


 





 

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TEMPORARY ORDER TO
CEASE AND DESIST

NOTICE OF INTENT TO REVOKE
CONSUMER COLLECTION AGENCY
LICENSE

NOTICE OF INTENT TO ISSUE
ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

NOTICE OF INTENT TO IMPOSE
CIVIL PENALTY

                       AND

NOTICE OF RIGHT TO HEARING
                     

I. LEGAL AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION

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”).

Pursuant to the authority granted by Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division (“Division”) of the Department of Banking, has investigated the activities of Respondent to determine if it has violated, is violating or is about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes or Regulations within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner.
 
Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

The commissioner, in the commissioner’s discretion, may, subject to the provisions of section 36a-21 and the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200; (1) make such public or private investigations or examinations within or outside this state, concerning any person subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner, as the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the duties of the commissioner . . . .

Section 36a-806(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

The commissioner shall have power to examine the affairs of every consumer collection agency in this state in order to determine whether it has been or is engaged in any act or practice prohibited by sections 36a 805 to 36a-808, inclusive.

Section 36a-52 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any provision of the general statutes within the jurisdiction of the commissioner or any regulation . . . adopted . . . thereunder, the commissioner may send a notice to such person by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that provides a dated delivery receipt.  The notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such notice shall include:  (1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (2) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; (3) a reference to the particular sections of the general statutes, [or] regulations. . . alleged to have been violated; (4) a short and plain statement of the matters asserted; and (5) a statement indicating that such person may file a written request for a hearing on the matters asserted within fourteen days of receipt of the notice.  If a hearing is requested within the time specified in the notice, the commissioner shall hold a hearing upon the matters asserted in the notice, unless the person fails to appear at the hearing.  After the hearing, the commissioner shall determine whether an order to cease and desist should be issued against the person named in the notice.  If 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.

(b)  If the commissioner finds that the public welfare requires immediate action, the commissioner may incorporate a finding to that effect in the notice sent in accordance with subsection (a) of this section and issue a temporary order requiring the person to cease and desist from the activity which constitutes such alleged violation and to take or refrain from taking such action as in the opinion of the commissioner will effectuate the purposes of this section.  Such temporary order shall become effective on receipt and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in the notice.

Section 36a-51 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  The commissioner may . . . revoke . . . any license issued by the commissioner under any provision of the general statutes by sending a notice to the licensee by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that provides a dated delivery receipt.  The notice shall be deemed received by the licensee on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such notice shall include:  (1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (2) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; (3) a reference to the particular sections of the general statutes, [or] regulations . . . involved; (4) a short and plain statement of the matters asserted; and (5) a statement indicating that the licensee may file a written request for a hearing on the matters asserted within fourteen days of receipt of the notice. . . .

(b)  If a hearing is requested within the time specified in the notice, the commissioner shall hold a hearing upon the matters asserted in the notice unless the licensee fails to appear at the hearing.  After the hearing, the commissioner shall . . . revoke . . . the license for any reason set forth in the applicable licensing provisions of the general statutes if the commissioner finds sufficient grounds exist for such . . . revocation . . . .  If the licensee does not request a hearing within the time specified in the notice or fails to appear at the hearing, the commissioner shall . . . revoke . . . the license.  No such license shall be . . . revoked except in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(1)  Whenever the commissioner finds as the result of an investigation that any person has violated any provision of the general statutes within the jurisdiction of the commissioner, or any regulation . . . adopted . . . thereunder, the commissioner may send a notice to such person by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that provides a dated delivery receipt.  The notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such notice shall include:  (A) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (B) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; (C) a reference to the particular sections of the general statutes, [or] regulations . . . alleged to have been violated; (D) a short and plain statement of the matters asserted; (E) the maximum penalty that may be imposed for such violation; and (F) a statement indicating that such person may file a written request for a hearing on the matters asserted within fourteen days of receipt of the notice.

(2)  If a hearing is requested within the time specified in the notice, the commissioner shall hold a hearing upon the matters asserted in the notice unless such person fails to appear at the hearing.  After the hearing, if the commissioner finds that the person has violated any such provision, . . . the commissioner may, in the commissioner’s discretion and in addition to any other remedy authorized by law, order that a civil penalty not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars per violation be imposed upon such person.  If 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.

(3)  Each action undertaken by the commissioner under this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

Section 4-182(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

If the agency finds that public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, summary suspension of a license may be ordered pending proceedings for revocation or other action.  These proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined.


II.  MATTERS ASSERTED

1. Respondent is a California limited liability company with its main office at Plaza Uno 1ra Calle Este Entre 13 y 14 Avenidas, San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
2. Respondent currently holds a license to act as a consumer collection agency license in this state (No. 29713).
3. Hooman Simon Lahijani is the President of Respondent.
4. On December 5, 2012, the Division sent an e-mail to Mr. Lahijani regarding the Division’s examination of Respondent.  Attached to the e-mail was a first day letter examination request dated November 7, 2012 (“1st Day Letter”) and Managers Questionnaire. 
5. In an e-mail dated December 5, 2012, Mr. Lahijani responded to the e-mail as more fully described in paragraph 4 above and stated that “I will call you tomorrow to discuss.  I have a list of questions you are asking our organization and most of the questions don’t apply to us since we only collect money on behalf of other collection companies”.
6. On January 7, 2013, a Division examiner called Mr. Lahijani, who indicated that he would have to call the examiner back, but did not.
7. On January 22, 2013, a Division manager spoke with Mr. Lahijani, who requested another copy of the December 5, 2012 e-mail, which e-mail was sent to Mr. Lahijani with a response date of January 28, 2013.
8. On February 19, 2013, the Division sent a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Respondent, pursuant to Section 4-182(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes (“Compliance Letter”), requesting again that Respondent provide certain information as part of the Division’s examination of Respondent.  The Compliance Letter gave Respondent an opportunity to show compliance with all lawful requirements for the retention of its consumer collection agency license.  To date, no response has been received by the Division.


III.  STATUTORY BASIS FOR REVOCATION OF CONSUMER 
COLLECTION AGENCY LICENSE, ORDER TO CEASE AND
DESIST AND IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

Section 36a-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(c)  For the purpose of any investigation, [or] examination . . . under this title the commissioner may . . . require written statements and require the production of any records which the commissioner deems relevant or material.  The commissioner may require that certified copies of any such records be provided to the commissioner at the commissioner’s office. . . .

(d)  Any person who is the subject of any such investigation, [or] examination . . . shall make its records available to the commissioner in readable form; . . . provide copies or computer printouts of records when so requested; furnish unrestricted access to all areas of its principal place of business or wherever records may be located; and otherwise cooperate with the commissioner. . . .

(f)  As used in this section, “records” includes, but is not limited to, books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, diaries, logs, notes, ledgers, journals, visual, audio, magnetic or electronic recordings, computer printouts and software, and any other documents.

Section 36a-804(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

The commissioner may . . . revoke . . . any license or take any other action, in accordance with the provisions of section 36a-51, for any reason which would be sufficient grounds for the commissioner to deny an application for a license under sections 36a-800 to 36a-810, inclusive . . . .

1. Respondent’s failure to fully cooperate with the Commissioner during the course of an examination, as more fully described in paragraphs 4 through 8, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes a violation of Section 36a-17(d) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
2. Respondent’s failure to fully cooperate with the Commissioner during the course of an examination, as more fully described in paragraphs 4 through 8, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, fails to demonstrate that Respondent is in all respects properly qualified and trustworthy and that the granting of a consumer collection agency license is not against the public interest.  Such failure would be sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to deny an application for such license, which would constitute sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to revoke Respondent’s license to act as a consumer collection agency in this state pursuant to Section 36a-804(a) and subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 of the Connecticut General Statutes.


IV.   FINDINGS AND STATUTORY BASIS FOR
TEMPORARY ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

The Commissioner finds that public welfare requires immediate action to issue a temporary order requiring Respondent to cease and desist from violating Section 36a-17(d) of the Connecticut General Statutes, in that Respondent’s failure to respond to the 1st Day Letter and Managers Questionnaire impedes the Commissioner’s ability to carry out his duties to examine Respondent’s activities in order to determine whether the business is being operated soundly and efficiently, in the public interest and consistent with the purposes of Sections 36a 800 to 36a-810, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, and therefore adversely affects the public.


V.  TEMPORARY ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST, NOTICE OF INTENT TO REVOKE
CONSUMER COLLECTION AGENCY LICENSE, NOTICE OF INTENT TO ISSUE
ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST, NOTICE OF INTENT TO IMPOSE 
CIVIL PENALTY AND NOTICE OF RIGHT TO HEARING

WHEREAS, the Commissioner has reason to believe that Respondent has engaged in acts or conduct which constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to revoke Respondent’s license to act as a consumer collection agency in this state pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms a basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
AND WHEREAS, the Commissioner has made the findings required under Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
 
THE COMMISSIONER THEREFORE ORDERS, pursuant to the authority granted in Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that Collective Solutions, LLC immediately CEASE AND DESIST from further violations of Section 36a-17(d) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  This Temporary Order to Cease and Desist shall become effective upon receipt by Collective Solutions, LLC and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.

FURTHER, notice is hereby given to Respondent that the Commissioner intends to REVOKE Respondent’s license to act as a consumer collection agency in this state, issue an order requiring Respondent to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-17(d) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Respondent as set forth herein, subject to Respondent’s right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.
 
A hearing will be granted to Respondent if a written request for a hearing is received by the Department of Banking, Consumer Credit Division, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103 1800 within fourteen (14) days following Respondent’s receipt of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke Consumer Collection Agency License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing as set forth in subsection (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 and Sections 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  This Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke Consumer Collection Agency License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing shall be deemed received on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending.  The enclosed Appearance and Request for Hearing Form must be completed and mailed to the above address.  If Respondent will not be represented by an attorney at the hearing, please complete the Appearance and Request for Hearing Form as “pro se”.  Once a written request for a hearing is received, the Commissioner may issue a notification of hearing and designation of hearing officer that acknowledges receipt of a request for a hearing, designates a presiding officer and sets the date of the hearing in accordance with Section 4-177 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-1-21 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.  If a hearing is requested, the hearing will be held on September 4, 2013, at 10 a.m., at the Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut.
 
The hearing will be held in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 54 of the Connecticut General Statutes, unless Respondent fails to appear at the requested hearing.  At such hearing, Respondent will have the right to appear and present evidence, rebuttal evidence and argument on all issues of fact and law to be considered by the Commissioner.

If Respondent does not request a hearing within the time prescribed, the Commissioner will issue an order revoking Respondent’s license to act as a consumer collection agency in this state, issue an order that Respondent cease and desist from violating Section 36a-17(d) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and may order a civil penalty not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Respondent.

Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 8th day of July 2013.                ________/s/_________
                                                    Howard F. Pitkin
                                                    Banking Commissioner

CERTIFICATION

I hereby certify that on this 8th day of July 2013, the foregoing Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke Consumer Collection Agency License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing was sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to Collective Solutions, LLC, Attention:  Hooman Simon Lahijani, President, Plaza Uno 1ra Calle Este Entre 13 y 14 Avenidas, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, registered mail no RA878575106US.

                                                    ________/s/_________
                                                    Doniel Kitt
                                                    Prosecuting Attorney
 


Administrative Orders and Settlements