DOB: Financial Help Services, Inc. - CD-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:

FINANCIAL HELP SERVICES, INC.

        ("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-655 to 36a-665, 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 November 23, 2015, the Commissioner, acting pursuant to Sections 36a-657(b) and 36a-52(a) and subsections (a) and (c) of Section 36a-50 of the Connecticut General Statutes, issued an 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 November 23, 2015, the Order and Notice was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Respondent (Certified Mail Nos. 70143490000235259701 and 70143490000235259718), and to its registered agents Business Filings Incorp (Certified Mail No. 70143490000235259725), and Bobby Blackmon (Certified Mail No. 70133020000042267650);

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 fourteen (14) days of Respondent’s 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-656(a) 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 November 30, 2015, the Order and Notice sent to Respondent’s Registered Agent, Business filings Incorp, was received and no request for hearing has been received by the Commissioner;

WHEREAS, on December 7, 2015, the Order and Notice sent to Respondent by Certified Mail No. 70143490000235259718 was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Not Deliverable as Addressed – Unable to Forward”;

WHEREAS, on December 9, 2015, the Order and Notice sent to Respondent’s Registered Agent Bobby Blackmon was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Not Deliverable as Addressed – 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 conduct constitutes a violation of Section 36a-656(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-657(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and an order imposing civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-657(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 $3,474 to an identified Connecticut debtor plus interest and repay to any other Connecticut debtor who entered into an agreement for debt adjustment service in Connecticut 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 4, 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 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-657(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent from violating Section 36a-656(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and pursuant to Sections 36a-657(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-657(b), 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that:

1.
Financial Help Services, Inc., CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-656(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
2.
A CIVIL PENALTY of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) be imposed upon Financial Help Services, Inc., 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 November 23, 2015, remains in effect and became permanent against Financial Help Services, Inc., on December 15, 2015; and
4.
This Order shall become effective when mailed.

Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 18th day of February 2016.             

  ________/s/_________
 Jorge L. Perez
 Banking Commissioner

This order was sent by certified mail,
return receipt requested, to Respondent
and its Registered Agents
on February 19, 2016.

Financial Help Services, Inc.                       Certified Mail No. 70142120000036974008
6400 North Andrews Avenue, Suite 530
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309

Financial Help Services, Inc.                       Certified Mail No. 70142120000036974015
9045 La Fontana Boulevard, Suite 112-4
Boca Raton, Florida 33434

Financial Help Services, Inc.                       Certified Mail No. 70142120000036974022
c/o Business Filings Incorp
124 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 1900
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

Bobby Blackmon, Registered Agent             Certified Mail No. 70142120000036974039
2455 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 117
Hollywood, Florida 33020



Administrative Orders and Settlements