The Department of Banking News Bulletin
Bulletin # 2917 - Week Ending January 17, 2020
This bulletin constitutes the only official notification you will receive from this office concerning any of the following applications. Any observations you may have are solicited. Any comments should be in writing to Jorge L. Perez, Banking Commissioner, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800. Written comments will be considered only if they are received within ten business days from the date of this bulletin.
COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT REGULATIONS
On January 9, 2020, the OCC and the FDIC published in the Federal Register a joint notice of proposed rulemaking to overhaul the agencies’ regulatory framework for evaluating banks’ Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance. The proposal would modernize CRA regulations by clarifying what loans, investments or activities count for CRA credit, consideration of electronic delivery services impact to defining assessment areas, measuring performance more objectively, and making reporting more timely and transparent. Here is the link to the Federal Register containing the proposal: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-01-09/pdf/2019-27940.pdf
Comments on the proposal to the federal regulators must be received by March 9, 2020. If you have commented on the proposal and would like to share your comments with the Connecticut Banking Commissioner, please forward them to Principal Examiner Terralyn Cooper at Terralyn.Cooper@ct.gov no later than February 19, 2020.
STATE BANK ACTIVITY
Section 36a-145 of the Connecticut General Statutes requires certain applications for a branch or limited branch at which loans will be made, address how the establishment of the branch will be consistent with safe and sound banking practices and promote the public convenience and advantage. Plans are submitted when such applications are filed and are available for public inspection and comment at the Department for a period of 30 days. Questions concerning branch activity should be directed to the Financial Institutions Division, (860) 240-8180.
DATE: January 13, 2020
BANK: Ion Bank, Naugatuck
LOCATION: 79 Main Street, Unionville, CT 06085
ACTIVITY-BRANCH TYPE: Filed to Establish Full Service Branch
CREDIT UNION ACTIVITY
Main Office Relocation
DATE: January 13, 2020
CREDIT UNION: New Haven County Credit Union, North Haven
LOCATION: FROM: 450 Universal Drive, North Haven, CT 06473
TO: 2 Broadway, North Haven, CT 06473
ACTIVITY: Filed to Relocate Main Office
CONSUMER CREDIT DIVISION ACTIVITY
Consent Order and Order Terminating Automatic Suspension
On January 8, 2020, the Commissioner entered into a Consent Order and Order Terminating Automatic Suspension with Bay-Valley Mortgage Group d/b/a Bay-Valley Mortgage Group, Inc. d/b/a Pacific Bay Lending Group d/b/a Valley View Home Loans (NMLS # 192103) (“Bay-Valley Mortgage”), Garden Grove, California. The Consent Order and Order Terminating Automatic Suspension was based on an investigation by the Consumer Credit Division. As a result of such investigation, on February 8, 2019, the Commissioner, pursuant to Section 36a-490(b)(3) of the Connecticut General Statutes, automatically suspended Bay-Valley Mortgage’s license to engage in the business of a mortgage lender in Connecticut from its branch office, Branch ID # 1729775 (“Branch Office”), due to its failure to designate a branch manager meeting the standards set forth in Section 36a 488(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes. Also as a result of such investigation, on June 3, 2019, the Commissioner issued a Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke Mortgage Lender License of Branch Office, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Right to Hearing (“Notice”) against Bay-Valley Mortgage. The Commissioner alleged in the Notice that Bay-Valley Mortgage’s failure to designate a qualified branch manager constituted sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to deny an application for a mortgage lender license under Section 36a-489(a)(1)(A) of the Connecticut General Statutes and constituted a violation of Section 36a-488(a)(1)(B) of the Connecticut General Statutes, which constitutes sufficient grounds to revoke Bay-Valley Mortgage’s mortgage lender license for its Branch Office and forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist from violating Section 36a-488(a)(1)(B).
The termination of automatic suspension is based on the fact that Bay-Valley Mortgage has shown compliance with Section 36a-488(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes by designating a qualified branch manager for its Branch Office, and as part of the Consent Order, Bay Valley Mortgage paid $2,500 as a civil penalty.
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order
On January 6, 2020, following an administrative hearing, the Banking Commissioner issued Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order in the matter of: Smart Marketing Corp. (“Smart Marketing”), Smart Family Group LLC (“Smart Family”), both of Mineola, New York, and Rency Mejia (collectively, “Respondents”).
The hearing considered allegations brought by the Commissioner on June 18, 2019, through a 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 issued against Respondents (collectively, “Notice”). In the Notice, the Commissioner alleged that Respondents engaged or offered to engage in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, in effect prior to October 1, 2017, and that Rency Mejia also engaged or offered to engage in debt negotiation of a residential mortgage loan on behalf of a mortgagor for compensation or gain in this state without obtaining and maintaining the required mortgage loan originator license, in violation of subsections (b) and (c) of Section 36a-671e of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Having found the violations, in the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order, the Commissioner ordered Respondents to cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and that Rency Mejia also cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671e of the Connecticut General Statutes. In addition, Smart Marketing and Smart Family were ordered to pay a $100,000 civil penalty each and Rency Mejia was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $200,000. Respondents were also ordered to make restitution of $2,700 to an identified Connecticut resident.
Dated: Wednesday, January 22, 2020