DOB: Mader Law Group, LLC - CO

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IN THE MATTER OF:

MADER LAW GROUP, LLC
("Mader Law Group")

AMERICAN FINANCIAL
LAW GROUP, LLC
("American Financial Law")

MERIDIAN LAW GROUP, LLC
("Meridian Law Group")
    
ERIC ANDREW MADER, ESQ.
("Mader")

        (collectively, "Respondents")


   
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CONSENT ORDER        

WHEREAS, 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”;

WHEREAS, Mader Law Group was a Florida limited liability company with an office at 3902 Henderson Boulevard, Suite 206, Tampa, Florida, which at all times relevant hereto had an office at 1800 Old Okeechobee Road, Suite 103, West Palm Beach, Florida;
 
WHEREAS, American Financial Law is a Florida limited liability company with an office at 5010 W. Carmen Street, Suite 2640, Tampa, Florida;
 
WHEREAS, Meridian Law Group is a South Carolina limited liability company with an office at 2036 eWall Street, Suite E, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, which at all times relevant hereto maintained an office at 5010 W. Carmen Street, Suite 2160, Tampa, Florida;
 
WHEREAS, Mader is an individual whose address last known to the Commissioner is 1800 Old Okeechobee Road, Suite 130, West Palm Beach, Florida.  At all times relevant hereto, Mader was an attorney and was the Managing Member of Mader Law Group and American Financial Law, and the Managing Partner of Meridian Law Group;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division (“Division”) of the Department of Banking (“Department”), conducted an investigation pursuant to Section 36a-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Acts 14-7 and 14-89, into the activities of Respondents within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;
 
WHEREAS, on July 31, 2014, as a result of such investigation, the Commissioner, acting pursuant to Sections 36a-52(b), 36a-50(c), 36a-671a(b), 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issued a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Order to Make Restitution (“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 (collectively “Order and Notice”) against Respondents, which Order and Notice is incorporated herein by reference;
 
WHEREAS, on July 31, 2014, the Order and Notice was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Mader Law Group’s Manager and Registered Agent (Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646738); to American Financial Law’s Manager and Registered Agent (Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646745); to Meridian Law Group (Certified Mail Nos. 70121010000172646752 and 70121010000172646769); to Meridian Law Group’s Registered Agent (Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646776); and to Mader (Certified Mail No. 70120470000147902198);
 
WHEREAS, on August 2, 2014, Mader received the Order and Notice;
 
WHEREAS, on August 4, 2014, the Order and Notice was received by Mader Law Group’s Manager and Registered Agent, American Financial Law’s Manager and Registered Agent, Meridian Law Group and Meridian Law Group’s Registered Agent;
 
WHEREAS, on August 12, 2014, American Financial Law and Meridian Law Group requested a hearing, and on August 13, 2014, Mader Law Group and Mader also requested a hearing, which hearing is subject to an open-ended continuance;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Order and Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that each Respondent engaged in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011.  Such allegations, if proven true, form 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 to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, as part of the Order to Make Restitution, the Commissioner ordered, pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that Respondents make restitution of any sums obtained from any Connecticut resident as a result of each Respondent’s violations of 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;
 
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 Respondents now desire to resolve the matters alleged in the Order and Notice and set forth herein;
 
WHEREAS, each Respondent voluntarily agrees to consent to the entry of the below described relief without admitting or denying any allegation contained in the Order and 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 Order and Notice and set forth herein;
 
WHEREAS, American Financial Law herein represents that on September 10, 2010, it ceased and desisted from engaging or offering any services in this state;
 
WHEREAS, Mader Law Group and Mader herein represent that by January 2013, they ceased and desisted from engaging or offering any services in this state;
 
WHEREAS, Meridian Law Group herein represents that on August 5, 2011, it ceased and desisted from engaging or offering any services in this state;
 
WHEREAS, each Respondent specifically assures the Commissioner that the alleged violations contained in the Order and Notice and set forth herein shall not occur in the future;
 
WHEREAS, each Respondent agrees that the Order and Notice may be used in construing the terms of this Consent Order and agrees to the language of this Consent Order;
 
AND WHEREAS, Respondents, through their execution of this Consent Order, each voluntarily agrees to waive its or his procedural rights, including a right to a hearing as it pertains to the allegations contained in the Order and Notice and set forth herein, and voluntarily waive their right to seek judicial review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Consent Order.


CONSENT TO ENTRY OF SANCTIONS

WHEREAS, Mader Law Group, American Financial Law, Meridian Law Group and Mader, through their execution of this Consent Order, consent to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order imposing the following terms, as applicable:

1.
Mader Law Group shall immediately comply with Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
2.No later than thirty (30) days following the date Mader Law Group and Mader execute this Consent Order, Mader Law Group and Mader shall repay $595 to the Connecticut residents identified in Exhibit A attached hereto, and shall provide evidence of such repayment in accordance with paragraph 8 below;
3.American Financial Law shall comply with Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
4. No later than thirty (30) days following the date American Financial Law and Mader execute this Consent Order, American Financial Law and Mader shall repay fees to the Connecticut residents and in the amounts identified in Exhibit B attached hereto, and shall provide evidence of such repayment in accordance with paragraph 8 below;
5.Meridian Law Group shall comply with Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
6.No later than thirty (30) days following the date Meridian Law Group and Mader execute this Consent Order, Meridian Law Group and Mader shall repay fees to the Connecticut residents in the amounts identified in Exhibit C attached hereto, and shall provide evidence of such repayment in accordance with paragraph 8 below;
7.No later than the date Mader Law Group, American Financial Law, Meridian Law Group and Mader execute this Consent Order, Respondents shall remit to the Department by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) as a civil penalty imposed on Respondents; and
8.Respondents shall provide Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, evidence of their respective repayments.


CONSENT ORDER

NOW THEREFORE, the Commissioner enters the following:

1.The terms 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 Mader Law Group based upon the allegations contained in the Order and Notice and set forth herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Mader Law Group 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 Mader Law Group and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
3.Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, and so long as Mader Law Group complies with the terms of this Consent Order, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of Mader Law Group to apply for or obtain renewal licenses under Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes;
4.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 American Financial Law based upon the allegations contained in the Order and Notice and set forth herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against American Financial Law 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 American Financial Law and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
5.Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, and so long as American Financial Law complies with the terms of this Consent Order, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of American Financial Law to apply for or obtain renewal licenses under Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes;
6.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 Meridian Law Group based upon the allegations contained in the Order and Notice and set forth herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Meridian Law Group 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 Meridian Law Group and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
7.Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, and so long as Meridian Law Group complies with the terms of this Consent Order, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of Meridian Law Group to apply for or obtain renewal licenses under Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes;
8.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 Mader based upon the allegations contained in the Order and Notice and set forth herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Mader 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 Mader and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
9.Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, and so long as Mader complies with the terms of this Consent Order, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of Mader to apply for or obtain renewal licenses under Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes; and
10.

This Consent Order shall become final when issued.


Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 1st day of December 2014.        _______/s/_________
                                                     Howard F. Pitkin
                                                     Banking Commissioner

I, Eric Mader, state on behalf of Mader Law Group, LLC, 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 Mader Law Group, LLC; that Mader Law Group, LLC agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the provisions of this Consent Order; and that Mader Law Group, LLC 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:  Eric Mader
                                                     Title:  Managing Partner
                                                     Mader Law Group, LLC

State of:  Florida

County of:  Hillsborough


On this the 20th day of November 2014, before me, _______________________________, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Eric Mader, who acknowledged himself/herself to be the Managing Partner of Mader Law Group, LLC, a member managed/manager managed limited liability company, and that he/she, as such Managing Partner, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the limited liability company by himself/herself as Managing Partner.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                                     _________/s/_________
                                                     Notary Public  
                                                     Date Commission Expires:  1/6/17


I, Eric Mader, state on behalf of American Financial Law Group, LLC, 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 American Financial Law Group, LLC; that American Financial Law Group, LLC agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the provisions of this Consent Order; and that American Financial Law Group, LLC 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:  Eric Mader
                                                      Title:  Attorney
                                                      American Financial Law Group, LLC

State of:  Florida

County of:  Hillsborough

On this the 20th day of November 2014, before me, _______________________________, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Eric Mader, who acknowledged himself/herself to be the Attorney of American Financial Law Group, LLC, a member managed/manager managed limited liability company, and that he/she, as such Attorney, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the limited liability company by himself/herself as Attorney.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.

                                                           _________/s/_________
                                                           Notary Public
                                                           Date Commission Expires:  1/6/17

I, Eric Mader, state on behalf of Meridian Law Group, LLC, 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 Meridian Law Group, LLC; that Meridian Law Group, LLC agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the provisions of this Consent Order; and that Meridian Law Group, LLC 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:  Eric Mader
                                                             Title:  Attorney
                                                             Meridian Law Group, LLC

State of:  Florida

County of:  Hillsborough

On this the 20th day of November 2014, before me, _______________________________, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Eric Mader, who acknowledged himself/herself to be the Attorney of Meridian Law Group, LLC, a member managed/manager managed limited liability company, and that he/she, as such Attorney, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the limited liability company by himself/herself as Attorney.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.

                                                            _________/s/________
                                                            Notary Public
                                                            Date Commission Expires:  1/6/17

I, Eric Andrew Mader, state that I have read the foregoing Consent Order; that I know and fully understand its contents; that I agree freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the provisions of this Consent Order; and that I voluntarily agree to enter into this Consent Order, expressly waiving the procedural rights set forth herein as to the matters described herein.

                                                            ________/s/________
                                                            Eric Andrew Mader

State of:  Florida

County of:  Hillsborough

On this the 20th day of November 2014, before me, _________________________________, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Eric Mader, known to me (or satisfactorily proven) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged that he executed the same for the purposes therein contained.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.

                                                            ________/s/________
                                                            Notary Public
                                                            Date Commission Expires:  1/6/17



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