DOB: Preferred Investment Associates, Inc. - CO

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IN THE MATTER OF:

PREFERRED INVESTMENT 
ASSOCIATES, INC.
NMLS # 69347


       ("PIA")
   
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CONSENT ORDER        

WHEREAS, PIA is a Connecticut corporation with its main office located at 15 Candlewood Drive, West Hartford, Connecticut;

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Part VII of Chapter 669, Sections 36a-715 to 36a-719l, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Mortgage Servicing”;

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 PIA 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 January 2015 to May 2016, PIA acted as a mortgage servicer while neither licensed nor exempt from licensure, in violation of Section 36a-718 of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegation would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against PIA, including proceedings to issue a cease and desist order pursuant to Sections 36a-719j(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and to impose a civil penalty of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation pursuant to Sections 36a-719j(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, both the Commissioner and PIA acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings, and PIA 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 allegation set forth herein;

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

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

WHEREAS, PIA has submitted an application to the Commissioner for a mortgage lender license under Part I of Chapter 668 of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Mortgage Lenders, Correspondent Lenders, Brokers and Loan Originators”, and has provided the supplemental mortgage servicer surety bond, fidelity bond and errors and omissions coverage required pursuant to Section 36a-719c of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes, in order to avail itself of the exemption to mortgage servicer licensure set forth in Section 36a-718(b)(4) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes;

WHEREAS, PIA specifically assures the Commissioner that the violation alleged herein shall not occur in the future;

AND WHEREAS, PIA, through its execution of this Consent Order, voluntarily agrees to waive its procedural rights, including a right to notice and an opportunity for 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, PIA, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of this Consent Order imposing the following sanctions:

1. PIA shall immediately cease and desist from acting as a mortgage servicer while neither licensed nor exempt from licensure, in violation of Section 36a-718 of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes; and
2. No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by PIA, it 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 Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) as a civil penalty.


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 PIA based upon the allegation set forth herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against PIA 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 PIA and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
3. Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, and so long as this Consent Order is promptly disclosed by PIA and its control persons on NMLS, as applicable, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of PIA to apply for or obtain initial or renewal licenses under Part I of Chapter 668 or Part VII of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes, provided that all legal requirements for such licenses are satisfied; and
4. This Consent Order shall become final when issued.


Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 17th day of June 2016.            ______/s/__________
                                                     Jorge L. Perez
                                                     Banking Commissioner

I, Josephine Freed, state on behalf of Preferred Investment Associates, Inc., 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 Preferred Investment Associates, Inc.; that Preferred Investment Associates, Inc., agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the provisions of this Consent Order; and that Preferred Investment Associates, Inc., 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:  Josephine Freed
                                                    Title:  President
                                                    Preferred Investment Associates, Inc.

State of:  Connecticut

County of:  Hartford

On this the 14th day of June 2016, before me, Eileen D. Fay, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Josephine Freed who acknowledged himself/herself to be the President of Preferred Investment Associates, Inc., a corporation, and that he/she as such President, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the corporation by himself/herself as President.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                                     __________/s/___________
                                                     Notary Public  
                                                     Date Commission Expires:  May 31, 2018

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