DOB: Universal Consumer Law Group - CD-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:

UNIVERSAL CONSUMER LAW
GROUP

    ("Respondent")

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ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

AND

ORDER IMPOSING CIVIL PENALTY


I.  PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

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, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking (“Department”), conducted an investigation of the activities of Respondent, pursuant to the authority granted by Section 36a-17 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 within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;
 
WHEREAS, on December 17, 2015, 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 Respondent, which Order and Notice is incorporated herein by reference;
 
WHEREAS, on December 17, 2015, the Order and Notice was caused to be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Respondent (Certified Mail Nos. 70133020000042267698,
70133020000042267704 and 70133020000042267711);
 
WHEREAS, the Order and Notice provided Respondent with the opportunity for a hearing, and stated that if a hearing was not requested by Respondent within 14 days of its receipt, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against Respondent and the Commissioner would issue an order that Respondent 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 Respondent;
 
WHEREAS, on December 21, 2015, Respondent received the Order and Notice sent by Certified Mail No. 70133020000042267711, and no request for a hearing has been received by the Commissioner;
 
WHEREAS, on December 29, 2015, the Order and Notice sent to Respondent by Certified Mail No. 70133020000042267704 was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Attempted - Not Known – Unable to Forward”;
 
WHEREAS, on December 31, 2015, the Order and Notice sent to Respondent by Certified Mail No. 70133020000042267698 was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Attempted - Not Known – Unable to Forward”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he order shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending”;
 
WHEREAS, Respondent failed to request a hearing within the prescribed time period; 

WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Order and Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that Respondent’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license 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 pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, to 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, also in the Order and Notice, the Commissioner ordered, pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that not later than thirty (30) days from the date the Order to Make Restitution becomes permanent, Respondent shall repay $26,893.99 to identified Connecticut debtors plus interest and repay to any other Connecticut debtor who entered into an agreement for debt negotiation services with Respondent on or after October 1, 2009, any fees paid plus interest, and provide evidence of such repayments to the Director of the Consumer Credit Division;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[i]f 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”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(a)(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[i]f 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”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(a)(3) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides that “[e]ach action undertaken by the commissioner under this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54”;
 
AND WHEREAS, Section 36a-1-31(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies provides, in pertinent part, that “[w]hen a party fails to request a hearing within the time specified in the notice, the allegations against the party may be deemed admitted.  Without further proceedings or notice to the party, the commissioner shall issue a final decision in accordance with section 4-180 of the Connecticut General Statutes and section 36a-1-52 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies”.


II.  FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1.
The Commissioner finds that the matters asserted, as set forth in paragraphs 1 through 16, inclusive, of Section II of the Order and Notice, shall constitute findings of fact within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and that the conclusions, as set forth in Section III of the Order and Notice, shall constitute conclusions of law within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-1-52 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
2.
The Commissioner finds that Respondent has engaged in acts or conduct which, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent, and, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms the basis to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent.
3.
The Commissioner finds that the Order and Notice was given in compliance with Section 36a-52(a), subsections (a) and (c) of Section 36a-50 and Section 4-177 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
 

III.  ORDER

Having read the record, I HEREBY ORDER, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b), 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes that:

1. Universal Consumer Law Group CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
2.
A CIVIL PENALTY of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) be imposed upon Universal Consumer Law Group, to be remitted to the Department of Banking by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, no later than thirty (30) days from the date this Order is mailed;
3.
The ORDER TO MAKE RESTITUTION issued on December 17, 2015, remains in effect and became permanent against Universal Consumer Law Group on January 5, 2016; and
4.
This Order shall become effective when mailed.
 

Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 15th day of January 2016.                   ________/s/_________
                                                            Jorge L. Perez
                                                            Banking Commissioner


This Order was sent by certified mail,
return receipt requested, to
Respondent on January 19, 2016.


Universal Consumer Law Group                   Certified Mail No. 7012 3050 0000 6997 8197
1418 N Main Street
Santa Ana, California, 92701

Universal Consumer Law Group                   Certified Mail No. 7012 3050 0000 6997 8203
16808 Armstrong Avenue, Suite 180
Irvine, California 92606

Universal Consumer Law Group                   Certified Mail No. 7012 3050 0000 6997 8210
4790 Irvine Boulevard, Suite 105-330
Irvine, California 92620



Administrative Orders and Settlements