DOB: Southwestern Investors Group, LLC - CO

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IN THE MATTER OF:

SOUTHWESTERN INVESTORS
GROUP, LLC

       ("Southwestern Investors
")
   
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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-812, 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, Southwestern Investors is a New York limited liability company with an office at 3368 Nash Road, Hamburg, New York.  Southwestern Investors is not currently licensed to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking, 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 Southwestern Investors to determine if it had violated, was violating or was about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;
 
WHEREAS, as a result of such investigation, the Commissioner alleges that Southwestern Investors acted as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut without a consumer collection agency license, in violation of Section 36a-801(a) of the 2014 Supplement to the General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegation would support the initiation of enforcement proceedings against Southwestern Investors, including proceedings to issue a cease and desist order against Southwestern Investors pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation against Southwestern Investors pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, initiation of such enforcement proceedings would constitute a “contested case” within the meaning of Section 4-166(4) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 14-187;
 
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, both the Commissioner and Southwestern Investors acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings, and Southwestern Investors voluntarily agrees to consent to the entry of the sanction imposed below without admitting or denying the allegation set forth herein, and solely for the purpose of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegation set forth herein;
 
WHEREAS, by letter dated November12, 2014, Southwestern Investors represented that it had a total of 67 accounts with Connecticut addresses, some of which have either been abandoned or determined to be uncollectible, and eleven (11) of which had been collected upon, and further represented that all such accounts have been forgiven and closed and shall neither be sold nor placed with any agency for collection;
 
WHEREAS, Southwestern Investors herein represents to the Commissioner that it has not acted within this state as a consumer collection agency since November 2014;
 
WHEREAS, Southwestern Investors specifically assures the Commissioner that the violation alleged herein shall not occur in the future;
 
AND WHEREAS, Southwestern Investors, through its execution of this Consent Order, voluntarily agrees to waive its procedural rights, including a right to notice and an opportunity for a hearing as it pertains to the allegation 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, Southwestern Investors, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order imposing the following sanctions:

1.No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by Southwestern Investors, Southwestern Investors shall remit to the Department of Banking by cashier’s check, certified check or money order made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, the sum of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500) as a civil penalty;
2.No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by Southwestern Investors, Southwestern Investors shall remit to the Department of Banking by cashier’s check, certified check or money order made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500) as a back licensing fee;
3.No later than thirty (30) days following the date this Consent Order is executed by Southwestern Investors, Southwestern Investors shall refund all payments received from Connecticut consumer debtors in the amounts identified in Exhibit A attached hereto, and shall provide evidence of such repayment to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov;

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 Southwestern Investors based upon the allegation contained herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Southwestern Investors 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 Southwestern Investors and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
3.Nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of Southwestern Investors to apply for or obtain a license or renewal license under Part XII of Chapter 669, Sections 36a-800 to 36a-812 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes; and
4.This Consent Order shall become final when issued.


Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 20th day of January 2015.         _______/s/_________
                                                     Bruce H. Adams
                                                     Acting Banking Commissioner

I, Marcos F. Santana, state on behalf of Southwestern Investors 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 Southwestern Investors Group, LLC; that Southwestern Investors Group, LLC agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the sanction entered and terms and conditions ordered herein; and that Southwestern Investors 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:  Marcos F. Santana
                                                    Title:  CFO
                                                    Southwestern Investors Group, LLC

State of:  New York

County of:  Erie

On this the 29 day of Dec 2014, before me, Debra M Montroy, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Marcos Santana who acknowledged himself/herself to be the CFO of Southwestern Investors Group, LLC., a member managed/manager managed limited liability company, and that he/she as such ___________________, 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 ____________________.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                                   _________/s/_________
                                                   Notary Public  
                                                   Date Commission Expires:  11/27/18



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