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IN THE MATTER OF:
LIBERTY CREDIT LAW, P.C.
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, Liberty Credit Law was a Pennsylvania professional corporation that has never been licensed as a debt negotiator in Connecticut;
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division (“Division”) of the Department of Banking, conducted an investigation pursuant to Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes into the activities of Liberty Credit Law 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 during the period of at least June 6, 2011 through July 30, 2012, Liberty Credit Law engaged in debt negotiation activity in this state without having obtained the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the then applicable Connecticut General Statutes;
WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegation would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against Liberty Credit Law, including proceedings to issue a cease and desist order against Liberty Credit Law pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation on Liberty Credit Law pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(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(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 Liberty Credit Law acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings, and Liberty Credit Law voluntarily agrees to consent to the entry of the sanctions described 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, Liberty Credit Law herein represents to the Commissioner that it has not engaged or offered to engage in debt negotiation in this state since December 2012;
WHEREAS, Liberty Credit Law has provided evidence to the Division that it has refunded all fees paid to Liberty Credit Law by two (2) Connecticut residents who had retained Liberty Credit Law for debt negotiation services;
WHEREAS, Liberty Credit Law herein represents to the Commissioner that it is not currently aware of any more than one (1) additional Connecticut resident who had retained Liberty Credit Law for debt negotiation services from June 6, 2011, through the date that Liberty Credit Law executes this Consent Order;
WHEREAS, Liberty Credit Law specifically assures the Commissioner that the violation described herein shall not occur in the future;
AND WHEREAS, Liberty Credit Law, 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 allegation set forth herein, and voluntarily waives its rights to seek judicial review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Consent Order.
CONSENT TO ENTRY OF SANCTIONS
WHEREAS, Liberty Credit Law, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order imposing the following sanctions:
Liberty Credit Law shall repay the Connecticut resident identified in Exhibit A hereto Three Thousand Seven Hundred Forty-Nine Dollars ($3,749) by cashier’s check, certified check or money order in eight installments as follows:
a. Five Hundred Dollars ($500) on or before March 1, 2014;
b. Five Hundred Dollars ($500) on or before April 1, 2014;
c. Five Hundred Dollars ($500) on or before May 1, 2014;
d. Five Hundred Dollars ($500) on or before June 1, 2014;
e. Five Hundred Dollars ($500) on or before July 1, 2014;
f. Five Hundred Dollars ($500) on or before August 1, 2014;
g. Five Hundred Dollars ($500) on or before September 1, 2014; and
h. Two Hundred Forty-Nine Dollars ($249) on or before October 1, 2014.
|2.||Liberty Credit Law shall repay to any other Connecticut resident who entered into an agreement for debt negotiation services with Liberty Credit Law on or after October 1, 2009, by cashier’s check, certified check or money order;|
|3.||Liberty Credit Law shall promptly provide satisfactory evidence of any repayments made in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 above to Carmine Costa, Division Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or email@example.com.|
|4.||No later than November 1, 2014, Liberty Credit Law 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 Five Hundred Dollars ($500) as a civil penalty;|
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 Liberty Credit Law based upon the allegation contained herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Liberty Credit Law 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 Liberty Credit Law and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;|
|3.||Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, and so long as Liberty Credit Law complies with the terms of this Consent Order, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of Liberty Credit Law to apply for or obtain a license or renewal license under Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes, provided all applicable legal requirements for such license are satisfied; and|
|4.||This Consent Order shall become final when issued.|
Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 20th day of February 2014. _______/s/_________
Howard F. Pitkin
CONSENT TO ENTRY OF ORDER
I, H. Bruce Bronson, state on behalf of Liberty Credit Law, P.C., 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 Liberty Credit Law, P.C., that Liberty Credit Law, P.C., agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the sanctions entered herein; and that Liberty Credit Law, P.C., voluntarily agrees to enter into this Consent Order, expressly waiving the procedural rights set forth herein as to the matters described herein.
Name: H. Bruce Bronson
Liberty Credit Law, P.C.
State of: New York
County of: Westchester
On this the 18th day of February 2014, before me, Carl Nelson, the undersigned officer, personally appeared H. Bruce Bronson who acknowledged himself/herself to be the Owner of Liberty Credit Law, P.C., a professional corporation, and that he/she as such Owner, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the professional corporation by himself/herself as Owner.
In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.
Date Commission Expires: March 15, 2014