DOB: American Billing & Collections, Inc. - Temp CD-Rest-NOI CD-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:
 
AMERICAN BILLING &
COLLECTIONS, INC.
 
       ("Respondent")
 






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TEMPORARY ORDER TO
CEASE AND DESIST

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

I. LEGAL AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION

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”).
 
Pursuant to the authority granted by Section 36a-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking (“Division”), has investigated the activities of Respondent to determine if it has violated, is violating or is about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes or Regulations within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner.
 
Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, provides, in pertinent part, that:

The commissioner, in the commissioner’s discretion, may, subject to the provisions of section 36a-21 and the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200, (1) make such public or private investigations or examinations within or outside this state, concerning any person subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner, as the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the duties of the commissioner . . . .

Section 36a-52 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any provision of the general statutes within the jurisdiction of the commissioner, or any regulation . . . adopted . . . thereunder, the commissioner may send a notice to such person by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that provides a dated delivery receipt.  The notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such notice shall include:  (1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (2) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; (3) a reference to the particular sections of the general statutes, [or] regulations . . . alleged to have been violated; (4) a short and plain statement of the matters asserted; and (5) a statement indicating that such person may file a written request for a hearing on the matters asserted within fourteen days of receipt of the notice.  If a hearing is requested within the time specified in the notice, the commissioner shall hold a hearing upon the matters asserted in the notice, unless the person fails to appear at the hearing.  After the hearing, the commissioner shall determine whether an order to cease and desist should be issued against the person named in the notice.  If 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.

(b)  If the commissioner finds that the public welfare requires immediate action, the commissioner may incorporate a finding to that effect in the notice sent in accordance with subsection (a) of this section and issue a temporary order requiring the person to cease and desist from the activity which constitutes such alleged violation and to take or refrain from taking such action as in the opinion of the commissioner will effectuate the purposes of this section.  Such temporary order shall become effective on receipt and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in the notice.

Section 36a-50 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)(1)  Whenever the commissioner finds as the result of an investigation that any person has violated any provision of the general statutes within the jurisdiction of the commissioner, or any regulation . . . adopted . . . thereunder, the commissioner may send a notice to such person by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that provides a dated delivery receipt.  The notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such notice shall include:  (A) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (B) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; (C) a reference to the particular sections of the general statutes, [or] regulations . . . alleged to have been violated; (D) a short and plain statement of the matters asserted; (E) the maximum penalty that may be imposed for such violation; and (F) a statement indicating that such person may file a written request for a hearing on the matters asserted not later than fourteen days after receipt of the notice.

(2)  If a hearing is requested within the time specified in the notice, the commissioner shall hold a hearing upon the matters asserted in the notice unless such person fails to appear at the hearing.  After the hearing, if the commissioner finds that the person has violated any such provision, [or] regulation, . . . the commissioner may, in the commissioner’s discretion and in addition to any other remedy authorized by law, order that a civil penalty not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars per violation be imposed upon such person.  If 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.

(3)  Each action undertaken by the commissioner under this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(c)  Whenever the commissioner finds as the result of an investigation that any person has violated any provision of the general statutes within the jurisdiction of the commissioner, . . . the commissioner may, in addition to any other remedy authorized by law, order such person to (1) make restitution of any sums shown to have been obtained in violation of any such provision . . . plus interest at the legal rate set forth in section 37-1 . . . .  After the commissioner issues such an order, the person named in the order may, not later than fourteen days after the receipt of such order, file a written request for a hearing.  The order shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any of the provisions of sections 36a-800 to 36a-812, inclusive, or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto, . . . the commissioner may take action against such person . . . in accordance with sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.


II.  MATTERS ASSERTED

1.
Respondent is a corporation organized under the laws of Connecticut with a business address at 705 North Mountain Road, Newington, Connecticut.
2.
Respondent was licensed to act as a consumer collection agency in this state from October 15, 1993 to September 30, 2005.  Respondent ceased being so licensed effective October 1, 2005.  Therefore, from October 1, 2005 to the present, Respondent has not been licensed to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut nor has Respondent otherwise been exempt from such licensure.
3.
Since at least March 9, 2007, Respondent has acted as a consumer collection agency in this state, inter alia, by engaging as a third party in the business of collecting or receiving for payment for others of any account, bill or other indebtedness from a Connecticut consumer debtor.
4.
For example, on March 19, 2007, Respondent was advised in writing by a creditor who had previously retained Respondent (“Creditor”) that its contract with Respondent to collect debts owed by Connecticut consumer debtors to the Creditor was terminated (“Termination Letter”).  The termination was effective March 9, 2007.
5. Despite the Termination Letter, Respondent continued to collect or attempt to collect debts from Connecticut consumer debtors owed to Creditor.  Therefore, on April 16, 2007, Creditor again submitted a letter to Respondent, demanding that it cease collecting or attempting to collect debts owed to Creditor (“Additional Termination Letter”).
6. Despite the Additional Termination Letter, Respondent continued to collect or attempt to collect debts from Connecticut consumer debtors owed to Creditor.  Therefore, on November 12, 2007, Creditor mailed Respondent a cease and desist letter, demanding that Respondent “cease any and all collection activities and related communications” with Creditor’s consumer debtor clients (“Cease and Desist Letter”).
7. Creditor later contacted the Office of the Attorney General by letter dated November 24, 2008, and enclosed information concerning Respondent.
8. On November 5, 2015, a Connecticut consumer debtor client of Creditor (“Debtor Client”) contacted Creditor to lodge a complaint about Respondent’s debt collection activities on a debt owed to Creditor.  Creditor advised the Debtor Client that Respondent was not authorized to collect debt on its behalf, and had not been authorized to do so since 2007, as more fully described in paragraphs 4 through 6, inclusive, above.
9. Nevertheless, in 2015, Respondent collected or attempted to collect no less than $900 from Debtor Client and did not remit those collections to Creditor.
10. In addition, when Debtor Client ceased making payments to Respondent as a result of communicating with Creditor, as more fully described in paragraph 8 above, Respondent mailed Debtor Client a demand letter which claimed that Debtor Client had “issued a worthless check”, threatened Debtor Client that issuing such a “worthless check” was a criminal offense which might result in Debtor Client paying $1,000 in fines or serving one year in jail, and levied a $20 fee to Debtor Client’s account.
11. As a result of Respondent’s collection tactics, Creditor sent out a form letter to clients whose accounts had been placed with Respondent before the Termination Letter to advise them to cease making any payments to Respondent, as Respondent was not authorized to collect or attempt to collect on Creditor’s behalf.
12. In 2016, Creditor forwarded the Division information concerning paragraphs 3 through 11, inclusive, above.
13. Respondent has also collected or attempted to collect on the debt of another Connecticut consumer debtor client of Creditor (“Debtor Client 2”).  Since Respondent ceased being licensed, Respondent has collected approximately $2,400 from Debtor Client 2 and demands that Debtor Client 2 “not delay” in making additional payments on Debtor Client 2’s debt to Creditor, which Respondent alleges exceeds $23,000.  After Respondent ceased being licensed, it never remitted payments to Creditor that Debtor Client 2 made to Respondent.
14. As a result of Respondent’s illegal collection activities, as described in paragraph 13 above, and due to the extreme hardship Respondent’s activities placed Debtor Client 2 in 2016, Creditor, upon learning that Debtor Client 2 had been making payments to Respondent which were not being forwarded to it, forgave Debtor Client 2’s debt.
15. The Division performed an additional investigation into the activities of Respondent and has determined that Respondent continues to cash checks made payable to Creditor, despite not being authorized by Creditor to do so and continues to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut without a consumer collection agency license.
16. For example, in a written admission to a Division subpoena for Respondent’s business records, Respondent alleged that there was “no way” to “ascertain” the requested records since those records were “electronically held on a computer that has stopped functioning”.


III.  STATUTORY BASIS FOR ORDER TO MAKE RESTITUTION,
ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST AND IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

Section 36a-800 of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(2)  “Consumer collection agency” means any person (A) engaged as a third party in the business of collecting or receiving for payment for others of any account, bill or other indebtedness from a consumer debtor, (B) engaged directly or indirectly in the business of collecting any account, bill or other indebtedness from a consumer debtor for such person’s own account if the indebtedness was acquired from another person and if the indebtedness was either delinquent or in default at the time is was acquired . . . .

(3)  “Consumer debtor” means any natural person, not an organization, who has incurred indebtedness or owes a debt for personal, family or household purposes . . . .

(4)  “Creditor” means a person . . . that retains, hires, or engages the services of a consumer collection agency . . . .

Section 36a-801(a) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

No person shall act within this state as a consumer collection agency unless such person has first obtained a consumer collection agency license for such person’s main office and each branch office where such person’s business is conducted.  A consumer collection agency is acting within this state if it (1) has a place of business located within this state . . . .

Section 36a-805(a) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

No consumer collection agency shall . . . (9) refuse or fail to account for and remit to its clients all money collected which is not in dispute within sixty days from the last day of the month in which said money is collected; [or] (10) refuse or intentionally fail to return to the creditor all valuable papers deposited with a claim when such claim is returned . . . .

Section 36a-806(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

No consumer collection agency shall engage in this state in any practice which is prohibited in section 36a-805 or determined pursuant to section 36a-808 to be an unfair or deceptive act or practice . . . .

Section 36a-808 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides that:

Whenever the commissioner has reason to believe that any consumer collection agency is engaging in this state in any act or practice in the conduct of such business which is not defined in section 36a-805, and that such act or practice is unfair or deceptive, the commissioner may take action against such consumer collection agency in accordance with sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

Section 36a-811 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  Each consumer collection agency shall maintain its consumer debtor and creditor records so as to clearly identify the amounts and dates of all payments collected or received from consumer debtors and all remittances made to creditors.  Consumer debtor and creditor records shall be kept so as to be readily available to the Banking Commissioner and retained for a period of not less than two years after the date of final entry thereon. . . .

(b)  Each third party consumer collection agency shall deposit funds collected or received from consumer debtors for payment for others on an account, bill or other indebtedness in one or more trust accounts maintained at a bank, Connecticut credit union, federal credit union or an out-of-state bank that maintains in this state a branch . . . which accounts shall be reconciled monthly.  Such funds shall not be commingled with funds of the consumer collection agency or used in the conduct of the consumer collection agency’s business.  Such account shall not be used for any purpose other than (1) the deposit of funds received from consumer debtors, (2) the payment of such funds to creditors, (3) the refund of any overpayments to be made to consumer debtors, and (4) the payment of earned fees to the consumer collection agency, which shall be withdrawn on a monthly basis. . . .  Funds received from consumer debtors shall be posted to their respective accounts in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices.

Section 36a-812 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

Each consumer collection agency shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC Section 1692 et seq., . . . and any regulations adopted under said act.  In addition to any other remedies provided by law, a violation of such federal law or regulation shall be deemed to be a violation of this section and a basis upon which the Banking Commissioner may take enforcement action pursuant to section 36a-804.

Section 36a-809-9(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies provides that:

Each consumer collection agency shall maintain a record of all contacts or attempted contacts with the debtor or others regarding an alleged debt, whether such contacts or attempted contacts are made by telephone, in writing, in person or by any other method.  Such record shall indicate the date, the nature of the contact, the name of the collector making the contact, the name of the person contacted and a brief summary of any conversation or individually composed correspondents.  Form letters shall be identified by number or title.

1.
Respondent’s acting within this state as a consumer collection agency without a consumer collection agency license, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 16, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes a violation of Section 36a-801(a) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and an order imposing civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
2.
Respondent’s practice of refusing or failing to account for and remit to its clients all money collected which is not in dispute within sixty (60) days from the last day of the month in which said money is collected, and refusing or intentionally failing to return to the creditor all valuable papers deposited with a claim when such claim is returned, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 16, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes a violation of Sections 36a-805(a)(9) and 36a-805(a)(10) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and an order imposing civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
3.
Respondent’s engaging in this state in unfair or deceptive acts or practices, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 16, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes a violation of Sections 36a-806(a) and 36a-808 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and an order imposing civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
4.
Respondent’s failure to maintain its consumer debtor and creditor records so as to clearly identify the amounts and dates of all payments collected or received from consumer debtors and all remittances made to creditors, and failure to keep such records so as to be readily available to the Commissioner and retained for a period of not less than two (2) years after the date of final entry thereon, and Respondent’s commingling of funds, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 16, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitute violations of Section 36a-811 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and an order imposing civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
5. Respondent’s false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 16, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes a violation the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a violation of which constitutes a violation of Section 36a-812 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and an order imposing civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
6. Respondent’s failure to maintain a record of all contacts or attempted contacts with debtors or others regarding an alleged debt, whether such contacts or attempted contacts were made by telephone, in writing, in person or by any other method, as more fully described in paragraph 16 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes a violation of Section 36a-809-9 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and an order imposing civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.


IV.  FINDING AND STATUTORY BASIS FOR
TEMPORARY ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

The Commissioner finds that public welfare requires immediate action to issue a temporary order requiring Respondent to cease and desist from violating Sections 36a-801(a), 36a-805(a)(9) and 36a-805(a)(10) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes, Sections 36a-806(a), 36a-808, 36a-811 and 36a-812 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-809-9 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies and to take such action as set forth herein to effectuate the purposes of Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in that the interests of Connecticut consumer debtors may be materially prejudiced by Respondent acting as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut while not being duly licensed.


V.  TEMPORARY ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST, 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

WHEREAS, the Commissioner has reason to believe that Respondent has engaged in acts or conduct which forms a basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-804(b) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
AND WHEREAS, the Commissioner has made the findings required under Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
 
THE COMMISSIONER THEREFORE ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that American Billing & Collections, Inc., immediately CEASE AND DESIST from violating Sections 36a-801(a), 36a-805(a)(9) and 36a-805(a)(10) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes, Sections 36a-806(a), 36a-808, 36a-811 and 36a-812 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-809-9 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.  This Temporary Order to Cease and Desist shall become effective upon receipt by American Billing & Collections, Inc., and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.
 
THE COMMISSIONER FUTHER ORDERS, pursuant to Sections 36a-17(a) and 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that:  Not later than fourteen (14) days from receipt of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, 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, American Billing & Collections, Inc., shall provide to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, the following records, including, but not limited to, books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, diaries, logs, notes, ledgers, journals, visual, audio, magnetic or electronic recordings, computer printouts and software, and any other documents in American Billing & Collections, Inc.’s possession, custody or control relating to:

1.
American Billing & Collections, Inc.’s agreements or contracts with its clients to collect debts owed by Connecticut consumer debtors on American Billing & Collections, Inc.’s clients’ behalves, from October 1, 2005, to the date of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.
2.
The names and addresses of all Connecticut consumer debtors who have been contacted or attempted to have been contacted, whether by telephone, mail, e-mail or electronic correspondence, by American Billing & Collections, Inc., concerning a debt owned by a client of American Billing & Collections, Inc., including the date of contact or attempted contact, amount of money collected by American Billing & Collections, Inc., the name of the creditor that American Billing & Collections, Inc. is collecting on behalf of, the total amount of the debt, the sum remitted by American Billing & Collections, Inc. to its client, and the remaining balance on the debtor’s account, from October 1, 2005 to the date of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.
3. The collection activity, including any collection attempts, performed by American Billing & Collections, Inc., on the Connecticut consumer debtors identified in the preceding paragraph, including correspondence received and/or sent by American Billing & Collections, Inc., by telephone, mail, e-mail or electronic correspondence, from October 1, 2005, to the date of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.
4. American Billing & Collections, Inc.’s agreements or contracts with its clients to purchase or be assigned debts owed by Connecticut consumer debtors, from October 1, 2005, to the date of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.
5. The names and addresses of all Connecticut consumer debtors who have been contacted or attempted to have been contacted, whether by telephone, mail, e-mail or electronic correspondence, by American Billing & Collections, Inc., concerning a debt purchased by or assigned to American Billing & Collections, Inc., including the date of contact or attempted contact, amount of money collected by American Billing & Collections, Inc., the name of the creditor that assigned or sold the debt to American Billing & Collections, Inc., the total amount of the debt and the remaining balance on the debtor’s account, from October 1, 2005, to the date of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.
6. The collection activity, including any collection attempts, performed by American Billing & Collections, Inc., on the Connecticut consumer debtors identified in the preceding paragraph, including correspondence received and/or sent by American Billing & Collections, Inc., by telephone, mail, e-mail or electronic correspondence, from October 1, 2005, to the date of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.

THE COMMISSIONER FURTHER ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that American Billing & Collections, Inc., MAKE RESTITUTION of any sums obtained as a result of American Billing & Collections, Inc., violating Sections 36a-801(a), 36a-805(a)(9) and 36a-805(a)(10) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes, Sections 36a-806(a), 36a-808, 36a-811 and 36a-812 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-809-9 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, plus interest at the legal rate set forth in Section 37-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Specifically, the Commissioner ORDERS that:  Not later than thirty (30) days from the date this Order to Make Restitution becomes permanent, American Billing & Collections, Inc., shall:

1.
Repay any Connecticut consumer debtors plus interest who made payments to American Billing & Collections, Inc., after October 1, 2005.  Payments shall be made by cashier’s check, certified check or money order; and
2.
Provide to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, evidence of such repayments.
 
NOW THEREFORE, notice is hereby given to Respondent that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Respondent to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Sections 36a-801(a), 36a-805(a)(9) and 36a-805(a)(10) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes, Sections 36a-806(a), 36a-808, 36a-811 and 36a-812 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-809-9 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Respondent as set forth herein, subject to Respondent’s right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.
 
A hearing will be granted to Respondent if a written request for a hearing is received by the Department of Banking, Consumer Credit Division, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800 within fourteen (14) days following Respondent’s receipt of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, 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 as set forth in Section 36a-52(a) and subsections (a) and (c) of Section 36a-50 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  This Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, 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 shall be deemed received on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending.  To request a hearing, complete and return the enclosed Appearance and Request for Hearing Form to the above address.  If Respondent will not be represented by an attorney at the hearing, please complete the Appearance and Request for Hearing Form as “pro se”.  Once a written request for a hearing is received, the Commissioner may issue a notification of hearing and designation of hearing officer that acknowledges receipt of a request for a hearing, designates a hearing officer and sets the date of the hearing in accordance with Section 4-177 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-1-21 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.  If a hearing is requested, the hearing will be held on August 31, 2016, at 10 a.m., at the Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut.
 
The hearing will be held in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 54 of the Connecticut General Statutes, unless Respondent fails to appear at the requested hearing.  At such hearing, Respondent will have the right to appear and present evidence, rebuttal evidence and argument on all issues of fact and law to be considered by the Commissioner.
 
If Respondent does not request a hearing within the time prescribed or fails to appear at any such hearing, the allegations herein will be deemed admitted.  Accordingly, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against Respondent, and the Commissioner will issue an order that Respondent cease and desist from violating Sections 36a-801(a), 36a-805(a)(9) and 36a-805(a)(10) of the 2016 Supplement to the General Statutes, Sections 36a-806(a), 36a-808, 36a-811 and 36a-812 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-809-9 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Respondent.



So ordered at Hartford, Connecticut
this 14th day of July 2016.                                ________/s/_________
                                                                    Jorge L. Perez
                                                                    Banking Commissioner


CERTIFICATION

I hereby certify that on this 15th day of July 2016, I caused to be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, the foregoing Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, 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 to American Billing & Collections, Inc., 705 North Mountain Road, Newington, Connecticut 06111, certified mail no. 70123050000069999772; to American Billing & Collections, Inc., P.O. Box 283, Simsbury, Connecticut 06070, certified mail no. 70123050000069999789; to Robert A. Catalano, Registered Agent, 8 Treeborough Drive, P.O. Box 310356, West Hartford, Connecticut 06117, certified mail no. 70123050000069999796; and to Robert A. Catalano, Registered Agent, 45 Tom-Lin Road, Newington, Connecticut 06111, certified mail no. 70123050000069999802.

                                                                    ________/s/_________
                                                                    Amy Grillo
                                                                    Secretary


Administrative Orders and Settlements