DOB: AmerAssist A/R Solutions - CO

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IN THE MATTER OF:

AMERASSIST A/R SOLUTIONS, INC.

     ("AmerAssist")

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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, AmerAssist is a Nevada corporation with its main office at 445 Hutchinson Avenue, Suite 500, Columbus, Ohio;
 
WHEREAS, AmerAssist is currently licensed as a consumer collection agency in this state (License No. 16826) and surrendered its license to the Department of Banking on June 17, 2013;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division (“Division”) of the Department of Banking, conducted an examination of AmerAssist pursuant to Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes to determine if it had violated, was violating or was about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes or Regulations within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;
 
WHEREAS, as a result of such examination, on May 1, 2013, the Commissioner, acting pursuant to Section 36a-804, subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-52, subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51, and Sections 4-182(c) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issued a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Order of Summary Suspension, Order to Make Restitution, 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 against AmerAssist (collectively “Notice”), which Notice is incorporated by reference herein;
 
WHEREAS, on May 1, 2013, the Notice was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to AmerAssist (Certified Mail No. 70121010000173171871);
 
WHEREAS, on May 6, 2013, AmerAssist received the Notice sent by certified mail;
 
WHEREAS, on May 9, 2013, AmerAssist requested a hearing, which hearing is currently scheduled for a date to be determined;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleges in the Notice that AmerAssist made statements to the Division concerning its litigation experience which were, at the time and in light of the circumstances under which they were made, false or misleading in a material respect, in violation of Section 36a-53a of the Connecticut General Statutes, which constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to revoke AmerAssist’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, and forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner also alleges in the Notice that AmerAssist failed to notify the Commissioner of change to information provided in its most recent renewal application, in violation of Section 36a-801(b)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes, which constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to revoke AmerAssist’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, and forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner also alleges in the Notice that AmerAssist commingled monies in its Connecticut debtor trust account and operating accounts, in violation of Section 36a-805(a)(12) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-809-7(b) of the Regulations, which constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to revoke AmerAssist’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, and forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner also alleges in the Notice that AmerAssist inappropriately withheld monies for Connecticut sales tax purposes, in violation of Section 36a-805(a)(9) of the Connecticut General Statutes, which constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to revoke AmerAssist’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, forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleges in the Notice that by commingling of monies, inaccurate accounting of its trust account balance, and erroneously withholding monies for Connecticut sales tax purposes, AmerAssist fails to demonstrate that the licensee is financially responsible, as required pursuant to Section 36a-801(b)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes, which constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to revoke AmerAssist’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;
 
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 consent order, unless precluded by law;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner and AmerAssist now desire to resolve the matters alleged in the Notice and set forth herein;
 
WHEREAS, AmerAssist voluntarily agrees to consent to the entry of the sanctions described below without admitting or denying any allegation contained in the Notice and set forth herein and solely for the purpose of obviating the need for further formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegations contained in the Notice and set forth herein;
 
WHEREAS, AmerAssist herein represents to the Commissioner that it has not acted as a consumer collection agency in this state since receipt of the Notice on May 6, 2013;
 
WHEREAS, by letters dated August 12, 2013, certain employees of AmerAssist made representations to the Commissioner, which representations are incorporated herein as terms of this Consent Order;
 
WHEREAS, AmerAssist agrees that the Notice may be used in construing the terms of this Consent Order and agrees to the language of this Consent Order;
 
AND WHEREAS, AmerAssist, 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 contained in the Notice and 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, AmerAssist, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order imposing the following sanctions:

1.AmerAssist shall remit to the Department of Banking the sum of Forty Thousand Dollars ($40,000) as a civil penalty by cashier’s check, certified check or money order made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut” in three installments as follows:  (a) The first payment of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) shall be remitted no later than the date this Consent Order is executed by AmerAssist; (b) the second payment of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000) shall be remitted no later than thirty (30) days after the date this Consent Order is issued by the Commissioner; and (c) the third payment of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000) shall be remitted no later than sixty (60) days after the date this Consent Order is issued by the Commissioner.  Failure to remit such payments shall be cause for the Commissioner to not accept AmerAssist’s surrender pursuant to paragraph (3) below;
2.No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by AmerAssist, AmerAssist shall:  (a) remit to its clients, by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, all monies erroneously withheld for Connecticut sales tax purposes, plus interest at the rate of eight percent (8%) per year; and (b) provide evidence of such payments to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov;
3.AmerAssist’s surrender of its license shall only become effective upon remittance of all payments required pursuant to paragraph (1) above and the issuance of an Order Accepting Surrender by the Commissioner;
4.For a period of three (3) years commencing on the date this Consent Order is issued by the Commissioner, AmerAssist and any successor in interest shall be BARRED from acting as a consumer collection agency in this state; and
5.For a period of ten (10) years commencing on the date this Consent Order is issued by the Commissioner, if AmerAssist or any successor in interest makes an application to the Commissioner for a license to act as a consumer collection agency in this state, such application shall be accompanied by audited financial statements for the most recent fiscal year-end.  Approval of any such application shall be within the complete discretion of the Commissioner and in accordance with Sections 36a-800 to 36a-810, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, as from time to time amended.


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 AmerAssist 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 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 herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue.  For purposes of this paragraph, representations made to the Commissioner by certain employees of AmerAssist by letters dated August 12, 2013, shall be considered representations made herein and terms of this Consent Order; and
3.This Consent Order shall become final when issued.


Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 20th day of August 2013.   

 _______/s/_________
Howard F. Pitkin
Banking Commissioner



I, Kenneth E. Monnett, state on behalf of AmerAssist A/R Solutions, 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 AmerAssist A/R Solutions, Inc.; that AmerAssist A/R Solutions, 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 AmerAssist A/R Solutions, 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:  Kenneth E. Monnett
                                                         Title:  President
                                                          AmerAssist A/R Solutions, Inc..

State of:  Ohio

County of:  Franklin


On this the 15th day of August 2013, before me, __________________________________, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Kenneth E. Monnett who acknowledged himself to be the President of AmerAssist A/R Solutions, Inc., a Nevada corporation, and that he, 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 as AmerAssist A/R Solutions, Inc.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                                       _________/s/_________
                                                       Notary Public  
                                                       Date Commission Expires:  01/24/2015


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