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IN THE MATTER OF:
LEGAL HELPERS DEBT
WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Debt Adjusters and Debt Negotiation”;
WHEREAS, Legal Helpers is a Nevada limited liability company with offices located at 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 5150, Chicago, Illinois; and 303 E. 17th Avenue #1070, Denver, Colorado;
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking, conducted an investigation, pursuant to Section 36a-17(a) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 12-96, into the activities of Legal Helpers 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 Legal Helpers engaged and offered to engage in debt negotiation in this state without the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-671(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes;
WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegation would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against Legal Helpers, including proceedings to issue a cease and desist order against Legal Helpers pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty on Legal Helpers pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 12-96;
WHEREAS, Legal Helpers maintains that is exempt from such licensure and denies that it has violated any Connecticut laws;
WHEREAS, initiation of such enforcement proceedings would constitute a “contested case” within the meaning of Section 4-166(2) of the Connecticut 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 Legal Helpers acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings, and Legal Helpers voluntarily agrees to consent to the entry of the sanctions described below without admitting or denying any allegation contained herein and solely for the purpose of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegation contained herein;
WHEREAS, the Commissioner and Legal Helpers now desire to resolve the allegation set forth herein;
WHEREAS, Legal Helpers herein represents that as of April 26, 2011, Legal Helpers ceased and desisted from engaging or offering to engage in debt negotiation in this state with any new Connecticut-resident client;
WHEREAS, by letter dated January 11, 2013, Legal Helpers provided a list of Connecticut residents and herein represents that the Connecticut residents listed in Exhibit A attached hereto represents all of the Connecticut residents who had engaged the services of Legal Helpers and the total fees that such Connecticut residents paid to Legal Helpers;
WHEREAS, Legal Helpers herein represents to the Commissioner that it is not currently aware of any additional Connecticut residents who had retained Legal Helpers for debt negotiation services from October 1, 2009 through the date that Legal Helpers executes this Consent Order;
WHEREAS, in order to maximize the amount of refunds to Connecticut residents, the Commissioner has determined that no civil penalty will be imposed on Legal Helpers;
AND WHEREAS, Legal Helpers, 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 AND AGREEMENT
WHEREAS, Legal Helpers, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order as follows:
|1.||Legal Helpers shall immediately cease and desist from engaging and offering to engage in debt negotiation in this state without the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-671(b) of the 2012 Supplement to the General Statutes other than continuing to provide services to its remaining Connecticut-resident clients, but without charging any further fees for such services; and|
|2.||No later than sixty (60) days following the date this Consent Order is executed by Legal Helpers, Legal Helpers shall refund a total of Two Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($225,000) to the Connecticut residents listed in Exhibit A attached hereto. Such payments are to be divided among such Connecticut residents who have not already received full refunds, calculated as a percentage of the $225,000. The percentage for each Connecticut resident shall be calculated based on the numerator equal to the total fees paid by the Connecticut resident less any refunds paid to the Connecticut resident, and the denominator equal to the total fees received by Legal Helpers from all Connecticut residents listed in Exhibit A less all refunds already paid by Legal Helpers to all Connecticut residents. Legal Helpers shall provide satisfactory evidence of such refunds to: Carmine Costa, Division Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or email@example.com.|
NOW THEREFORE, the Commissioner enters the following:
|1.||The agreement set forth above be and is hereby entered;|
|2.||Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, this Consent Order will constitute a complete settlement and release on behalf of the Department of Banking against Legal Helpers and its members, managers, employees and attorneys with respect to all claims, causes of action, penalties and costs that were or could have been asserted prior to the effective date of this Consent Order, and relating to or based upon the subject matter of this Consent Order; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Legal Helpers 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 Legal Helpers and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;|
|3.||Nothing contained herein may be construed as an admission of any violation of law, or of any liability or wrongdoing by Legal Helpers or any of its members, managers, employees or attorneys. This Consent Order constitutes the settlement of disputed claims. It does not and shall not constitute an admission of liability by Legal Helpers and shall not be used by the Department of Banking or any other person or entity in any litigation or proceeding for that purpose. Legal Helpers’ members, managers, employees and attorneys shall be included in this Consent Order only to the extent that they continue to comply with all applicable laws, and there has been no finding of liability against them;|
Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, and so long as Legal Helpers complies with the terms of this Consent Order, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of Legal Helpers to apply for or obtain renewal licenses under Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes contain in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes; and
This Consent Order shall become final when issued.
Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 27th day of March 2013. ________/s/_________
Howard F. Pitkin
I, Jeffrey Aleman, state on behalf of Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC a/k/a Macey, Aleman, Hyslip & Searns 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 Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC a/k/a Macey, Aleman, Hyslip & Searns; that Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC a/k/a Macey, Aleman, Hyslip & Searns agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the provisions of this Consent Order; and that Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC a/k/a Macey, Aleman, Hyslip & Searns voluntarily agrees to enter into this Consent Order, expressly waiving the procedural rights set forth herein as to the matters described herein.
Name: Jeffrey Aleman
Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC
a/k/a Macey, Aleman, Hyslip & Searns
State of: Illinois
County of: Cook
On this the 19th day of March 2013, before me, Virginia Uriostegui, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Jeffrey Aleman who acknowledged himself/herself to be the Manager of Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC a/k/a Macey, Aleman, Hyslip & Searns, a member managed/manager managed limited liability company, and that he/she as such Manager 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 Manager.
In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.
Date Commission Expires: 6/21/15