DOB: Integrity Modification Co. - Rest-NOI CD-CP

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

IN THE MATTER OF:

INTEGRITY MODIFICATION CO.
d/b/a INTEGRITY MORTGAGE
MODIFICATION
("Integrity")

TODD HAGGERTY
NMLS # 171598
("Haggerty")

BARRY C. VIGODA
("Vigoda")

     (Collectively "Respondents")

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 



*
*
*
*
*

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*



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 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 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. Integrity was a Nevada corporation having its principal place of business at 37 Plaistow Road, Suite 7-123, Plaistow, New Hampshire.  At all relevant times hereto, Vigoda was President, Director and Treasurer of Integrity, and Haggerty was Sales & Marketing Manager for Integrity.  Integrity’s corporation status has since been revoked by the Nevada Secretary of State.
2. During December 2009, Haggerty solicited a Connecticut resident to engage Integrity to obtain a loan modification and assisted such resident in completing loan modification paperwork.  On or about December 7, 2009, the Connecticut resident entered into a “Loan Modification Service Agreement” with Integrity concerning her mortgage debt for residential property in Connecticut (“Agreement”).  In particular, the Agreement appointed Integrity as her “sole agent to negotiate with . . . [her] lender(s) in regard to renegotiating or modifying loan(s) secured by deed(s) of trust on the property”.  The Agreement was signed by Vigoda, as Operations Manager for Integrity.  In addition, on or about March 24, 2010, the Connecticut resident authorized Vigoda, as Loss Mitigation Specialist, to negotiate with her mortgage lender.
3. From January to March 2010, Integrity debited the Connecticut resident’s bank account approximately $931 on three occasions for a total of approximately $2,795 in fees for such debt negotiation services, in excess of amounts that debt negotiators may charge for services 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 provides, 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. On or about September 2, 2010, the Connecticut resident filed a complaint with the Commissioner that Integrity had failed to perform the services stated in the Agreement.
5. 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, in effect prior to October 1, 2011, provided, 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 . . . 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 contract in person, by mail, by telephone or via the Internet while physically present in this state; or (3) has its place of business located outside of the state and the concerns 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. Integrity’s and Vigoda’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without the required license, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 5, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes violations of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011.  Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Integrity and Vigoda pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution against Integrity and Vigoda pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty against Integrity and Vigoda 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 Integrity and Vigoda, individually, in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
2. Integrity’s and Haggerty’s offering to engage in debt negotiation in this state without the required license, as more fully described in paragraphs 1, 2 and 5 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes violations of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011.  Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Integrity and Haggerty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty against Integrity and Haggerty 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 Integrity and Haggerty, individually, 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 against each Respondent pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution against Integrity and Vigoda pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty against each Respondent 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 Integrity Modification Co. d/b/a Integrity Mortgage Modification and Barry C. Vigoda MAKE RESTITUTION of any sums obtained as a result of violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011, 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, Integrity Modification Co. d/b/a Integrity Mortgage Modification and Barry C. Vigoda shall:

1. Repay each Connecticut resident identified in Exhibit A attached hereto the identified amount plus interest and any other Connecticut resident who entered into an agreement for debt negotiation services with Integrity Modification Co. d/b/a Integrity Mortgage Modification on and after October 1, 2009, any fees paid by such Connecticut resident to Integrity Modification Co. d/b/a Integrity Mortgage Modification or Barry C. Vigoda, 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 Integrity that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Integrity to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Integrity as set forth herein, subject to Integrity’s right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.

FURTHER, notice is hereby given to Haggerty that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Haggerty to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Haggerty as set forth herein, subject to Haggerty’s right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.
 
FURTHER, notice is hereby given to Vigoda that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Vigoda to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Vigoda as set forth herein, subject to Vigoda’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 each 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) of the Connecticut General Statutes 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 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 2, 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 Integrity 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 Integrity and the Commissioner will issue an order that Integrity cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Integrity.

If Haggerty does not request a hearing within the time period prescribed or fails to appear at any hearing, Commissioner will issue an order that Haggerty cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Haggerty.
 
If Vigoda 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 Vigoda, and the Commissioner will issue an order that Vigoda cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Vigoda.

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, Integrity Modification Co. d/b/a Integrity Mortgage Modification, 37 Plaistow Road, Suite 7-123, Plaistow, New Hampshire 03865, certified mail no. 70121010000173171833; Todd Haggerty, 115 Russett Drive, Guilford, Connecticut 06437, certified mail no. 70121010000173171857; Barry C. Vigoda, 27 Bayberry Drive, Atkinson, New Hampshire 03811, certified mail no. 70121010000173171864; Barry C. Vigoda, 1802 North Carson Street, Suite 108, Carson City, Nevada 89701, certified mail no. 70123050000216929775.

                                                    ________/s/_________
                                                    Stacey L. Serrano
                                                    Prosecuting Attorney
 


Administrative Orders and Settlements