DOB: G. Darrell Rigley - Rest-NOI CD-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:

G. DARRELL RIGLEY
("Rigley")

THE RIGLEY GROUP, INC.
("Rigley Group")

TRIMARK FINANCIAL
SOLUTIONS INC
("TriMark")

     (collectively "Respondents")

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ORDER TO MAKE RESTITUTION

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 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”.
 
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 Respondents to determine if they have violated, are violating or are about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes 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-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

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, . . . 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 . . . 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.

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

(a)(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, . . . 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 . . . 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 not later than fourteen days after 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. . . .

(c)  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, . . . the commissioner may, in addition to any other remedy authorized by law, order such person to (1) make restitution of any sums shown to have been obtained in violation of any such provision . . . plus interest at the legal rate set forth in section 37-1 . . . .  After the commissioner issues such an order, the person named in the order may, not later than fourteen days after the receipt of such order, file a written request for a hearing.  The order 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 hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

II.  MATTERS ASSERTED

1. Rigley Group was a Florida corporation with a principal place of business at 20283 State Road 7, Suite 400, Boca Raton, Florida, which filed for dissolution on April 26, 2012.  On May 11, 2012, TriMark became a Wyoming corporation with a principal place of business at 6956 East Broad Street, Suite 114, Columbus, Ohio.  At all relevant times hereto, Rigley was the President of Rigley Group and is the President of TriMark.
2. On or about December 7, 2011, a Connecticut resident entered into a contract with Rigley Group for “Forensic & Securitization Audits and Mortgage Claims Preparation” in connection with his mortgage on residential property in Connecticut.  By letter dated December 13, 2011, Rigley, as Loan Compliance Officer of Rigley Group, informed the Connecticut resident that “no communications will begin with your lender” until a minimum payment of $1495 has been received and congratulated him for “taking the initial steps towards getting a principal reduction”.
3. From December 2011 to February 2012, the Connecticut resident paid Rigley Group the sum of $3,600, in three equal installments of $1,200.  Such fees are in excess of amounts that debt negotiators may charge pursuant to the Schedule of Maximum Fees established by the Commissioner on or about October 1, 2009 (“Schedule of Maximum Fees”).  The Schedule of Maximum Fees states, in pertinent part, that “[a] debt negotiator of secured debt, including Short Sales and Foreclosure Rescue Services, may impose a fee upon the mortgagor or debtor for performing debt negotiation services not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).  Such fee shall only be collectable upon the successful completion of all services stated in the debt negotiation service contract”.
4. By letter dated May 10, 2012, Rigley communicated with the Connecticut resident’s lender, seeking various forms of mortgage relief, including that the lender immediately cease and desist all efforts of foreclosure, rescind the loan securing the Connecticut resident’s residential property and enter into a new loan.  Also on such date, Rigley provided an update to the Connecticut resident, stating that “[w]e are working hard with a strong and compelling case to get your mortgage adjusted and/or renegotiated” and “[w]e are continuing to work diligently towards helping you obtain a loan work out solution from the lender for you.”
5. On or about August 24, 2012, TriMark announced that it had emerged as the new name and focus of Rigley Group.  The announcement listed Rigley as the Founder and Owner of TriMark and explained that Trimark “provides forensic mortgage audits and mortgage restructuring services for homeowners in distress.  They also specialize in credit restoration and debt reduction for individuals needing assistance”.
6. On TriMark’s website at www.loanreductionplans.com, TriMark promotes its services as being “comprised of loan compliance auditors and attorneys who have special training in the areas of forensic mortgage audits, foreclosures, and loan modifications.  With our assistance, we can guide you through the complexities of the modification process”.  It solicits consumers, not excluding Connecticut residents, to “Get Mortgage Help Now!” by submitting an online form.
7. In response to inquiries made by the Division, Rigley agreed to provide assurance to the Department that there were no additional Connecticut clients and to refund the fees paid to Rigley Group by the Connecticut resident in three installments, the first to be paid in January 2013, the second payment to be made February 10, 2013, and the third payment to be made March 10, 2013.  To date, the Connecticut resident has not received any such payments.
8. At no time relevant hereto have Respondents been licensed to engage or offer to engage in debt negotiation in this state, nor do Respondents qualify for an exemption from such licensure.


III.  STATUTORY BASIS FOR ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST, ORDER TO
MAKE RESTITUTION AND IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

Section 36a-671 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:
(a)  As used in this section and sections 36a-671a to 36a-671d, inclusive, (1) “debt negotiation” means, for or with the expectation of a fee, commission or other valuable consideration, assisting a debtor in negotiating or attempting to negotiate on behalf of a debtor the terms of a debtor’s obligations with one or more mortgagees or creditors of the debtor . . . (2) “debtor” means any individual who has incurred indebtedness or owes a debt for personal, family or household purposes . . .; (4) “mortgagor” means a debtor who is an owner of residential property, including, but not limited to, a single-family unit in a common interest community, who is also the borrower under a mortgage encumbering such residential property; . . . and (7) “residential property” means one-to-four family owner-occupied real property.
(b)  No person shall engage or offer to engage in debt negotiation in this state without a license issued under this section for each location where debt negotiation will be conducted. . . .  A person is engaging in debt negotiation in this state if such person:  . . . (2) has a place of business located outside of this state and the debtor is a resident of this state who negotiates or agrees to the terms of the services in person, by mail, by telephone or via the Internet; or (3) has its place of business located outside of this state and the services concern a debt that is secured by property located within this state.
Section 36a-671a(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:
Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate the provisions of sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, . . . the commissioner may take action against such person . . . in accordance with sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.  For purposes of sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, each engagement and each offer to engage in debt negotiation shall constitute a separate violation.
1. Rigley’s and Rigley Group’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 4, inclusive, 7 and 8 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes violations of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Rigley and Rigley Group pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution against Rigley and Rigley Group pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty upon Rigley and Rigley Group pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 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 Rigley and Rigley Group, individually, in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
2. TriMark’s offering to engage in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 and 5 through 8, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes a violation of Section 36a-671(b) of Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 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 TriMark in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.


IV.  ORDER TO MAKE RESTITUTION, 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 Respondents have engaged in acts or conduct which forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
 
THE COMMISSIONER THEREFORE ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that G. Darrell Rigley and The Rigley Group, Inc., MAKE RESTITUTION of any sums obtained as a result of G. Darrell Rigley and The Rigley Group, Inc., violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, plus interest at the legal rate set forth in Section 37-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Specifically, the Commissioner ORDERS that:  Not later than thirty (30) days from the date this Order to Make Restitution becomes permanent, G. Darrell Rigley and The Rigley Group, Inc. shall:

1. Repay the Connecticut resident identified in Exhibit A attached hereto plus interest and repay any other Connecticut resident who entered into an agreement for debt negotiation services with G. Darrell Rigley or The Rigley Group, Inc., on and after October 1, 2009, any fees paid by such Connecticut resident to G. Darrell Rigley or The Rigley Group, Inc., plus interest.  Payments shall be made by cashier’s check, certified check or money order; and
2. Provide to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, evidence of such repayments.

NOW THEREFORE, notice is hereby given to Rigley that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Rigley to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Rigley as set forth herein, subject to Rigley’s right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.

FURTHER, notice is hereby given to Rigley Group that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Rigley Group to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Rigley Group as set forth herein, subject to Rigley Group’s right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.
 
FURTHER, notice is hereby given to TriMark that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring TriMark to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon TriMark as set forth herein, subject to TriMark’s right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.

A hearing will be granted to each 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 such Respondent’s receipt of this Order to Make Restitution, 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 Section 36a-52(a) and subsections (a) and (c) of Section 36a-50 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  This Order to Make Restitution, 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 any 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 hearing 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 October 3, 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 Respondents fail to appear at the requested hearing.  At such hearing, Respondents 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 Rigley does not request a hearing within the time period prescribed or fails to appear at any hearing, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against Rigley, and the Commissioner will issue an order that Rigley cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Rigley.

If Rigley Group does not request a hearing within the time period prescribed or fails to appear at any hearing, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against Rigley Group and the Commissioner will issue an order that Rigley Group cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Rigley Group.

If TriMark does not request a hearing within the time period prescribed or fails to appear at any hearing, the Commissioner will issue an order that TriMark cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon TriMark.

Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 10th day of July 2013.               ________/s/_________
                                                    Howard F. Pitkin
                                                    Banking Commissioner

CERTIFICATION

I hereby certify that on this 11th day of July 2013, the foregoing Order to Make Restitution, 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 certified mail, return receipt requested, to G. Darrell Rigley, 20283 State Road 7, Suite 400, Boca Raton, Florida 33498, certified mail no. 70123050000216929515; The Rigley Group, Inc., 20283 State Road 7, Suite 400, Boca Raton, Florida 33498, certified mail no. 70123050000216929522; TriMark Financial Solutions Inc, 6956 East Broad Street, Suite 114, Columbus, Ohio 43213, certified mail no. 70123050000216929539; and Registered Agents Inc., Registered Agent for TriMark Financial Solutions Inc, 412 N. Main Street, Suite 100, Buffalo, Wyoming 82834, certified mail no. 70123050000216930009.

                                                    ________/s/_________
                                                    Stacey L. Serrano
                                                    Prosecuting Attorney
 


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