DOB: SMART Payment Plan, LLC - CO

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IN THE MATTER OF:

SMART PAYMENT PLAN, LLC
NMLS # 1182910

       ("SPP")
   
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CONSENT ORDER        

WHEREAS, SPP is a Florida limited liability company with a place of business at 999 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 200, Naples, Florida;

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Part V of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-595 to 36a-612, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Payment Instruments.  Money Transmission”, and 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, conducted an investigation pursuant to Section 36a-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes into the activities of SPP 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 from approximately May 2009 to February 2016, SPP engaged in the business of money transmission in this state without a license, in violation of Section 36a-597 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and engaged in the business of debt adjustment in this state without a license, in violation of Section 36a-656 of the Connecticut General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegations would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against SPP, including proceedings to issue a cease and desist order pursuant to Sections 36a-608(c), 36a-657(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Sections 36a-608(c), 36a-657(b) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation pursuant to Sections 36a-608(c), 36a-657(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 2016 Supplement to the 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 SPP acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings, and SPP voluntarily agrees to consent to the entry of the sanctions imposed below without admitting or denying any allegation set forth herein and solely for the purpose of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegations set forth herein;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner and SPP now desire to resolve the matters set forth herein;

WHEREAS, SPP represents that it will waive all debit fees for customers who are Connecticut residents for the six-month period from April 1 to September 30, 2016;

WHEREAS, SPP acknowledges that this Consent Order is a public record and is a reportable event for purposes of the regulatory disclosure questions on the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (“NMLS”), as applicable;

WHEREAS, SPP has submitted applications to engage in the business of money transmission and debt adjustment in this state, and specifically assures the Commissioner that the violations alleged herein shall not occur in the future;

AND WHEREAS, SPP, through its execution of this Consent Order, voluntarily agrees to waive its procedural rights, including a right to a notice and an opportunity for a hearing as it pertains to the allegations 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, SPP, 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 SPP, it 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 Seven Thousand Three Hundred Seventy Five Dollars ($7,375) as payment for back licensing fees; and
2.SPP shall remit to the Department of Banking by wire transfer, cashier’s check, certified check or money order, made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, the sum of One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($150,000) as a civil penalty in three equal installments as follows:  (a) the first payment of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) shall be remitted no later than the date this Consent Order is executed by SPP; (b) a second payment of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) shall be remitted no later than May 1, 2016; and (c) a third payment of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) shall be remitted no later than June 1, 2016.

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 SPP based upon the allegations set forth herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against SPP 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 SPP and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
3.Subject to the foregoing, upon issuance of this Consent Order, licenses will be issued to SPP to engage in the business of money transmission under Part V of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-595 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes, and debt adjustment under Sections 36a-655 et seq., of the Connecticut General Statutes contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and so long as this Consent Order is promptly disclosed by SPP and its control persons on NMLS, as applicable, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of SPP to apply for or obtain renewal of such licenses, provided that all applicable legal requirements for such licenses are satisfied; and
4.This Consent Order shall become final when issued.


Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 8th day of April 2016.            ______/s/__________
                                                     Jorge L. Perez
                                                     Banking Commissioner

I, Jackson Bigham, state on behalf of SMART Payment Plan, 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 SMART Payment Plan, LLC; that SMART Payment Plan, LLC agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the sanctions entered and terms and conditions ordered herein; and that SMART Payment Plan, 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:  Jackson Bigham
                                                    Title:  Chief Compliance Officer
                                                    and General Counsel
                                                    SMART Payment Plan, LLC


State of:  Texas

County of:  Williamson

On this the 30th day of March 2016, before me, Jackson Bigham, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Heather Alison Johnston who acknowledged himself/herself to be the Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel of SMART Payment Plan, LLC, a member managed/manager managed limited liability company, and that he/she as such Jackson Bigham, 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 Chief Compliance Officer.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                                     __________/s/___________
                                                     Notary Public  
                                                     Date Commission Expires:  3-9-2020



Administrative Orders and Settlements