NOTICE: In accordance with Governor Lamont's emergency declaration, employees and the public are asked to observe social distancing measures to ensure communal safety and to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). People are asked to work from home and telecommute wherever possible. Adhering to these instructions, the Department of Banking has closed its offices to the public. However, agency staff will continue to provide services to consumers and industry through telework. When contacting the Department, please use electronic communication whenever possible. Agency staff will continue to check voicemails during this time. Consumers are encouraged to use our online form for complaints. If you are unsure where to send an inquiry, you may send it to Department.Banking@ct.gov and it will be routed appropriately. Thank you for your patience during this time.

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IN THE MATTER OF:

SIMON'S AGENCY, INC.
NMLS # 1584752

       ("Simon's Agency")
   
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CONSENT ORDER        

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Part XII of Chapter 669, Sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, 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”);

WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency is a New York corporation with an office located at 4963 Wintersweet Drive, Liverpool, New York;

WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency was licensed to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut from June 6, 2011 to September 30, 2015;

WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency is not currently licensed to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut;

WHEREAS, on December 23, 2016, Simon’s Agency learned of the lapse in their consumer collection agency license in Connecticut and, on January 4, 2017, initiated the process for re-licensing; 

WHEREAS, on March 8, 2017, Simon’s Agency filed an application to obtain a consumer collection agency license in Connecticut with the Commissioner on the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (“NMLS”);

WHEREAS, in 2015, this department required all licensees to transition from paper-based licensing to NMLS in order to renew their license for the 2016 licensing period.

WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency mistakenly did not but in good faith believed that it had renewed its license for the 2016 licensing period;

WHEREAS, upon discovering its lapse in licensing, Simon’s Agency immediately ceased conducting business in Connecticut as a consumer collection agency and sought to diligently correct same;

WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency represents to the Commissioner that though it has not been licensed to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut beginning on October 1, 2015 and continuing to the date of this Consent Order, it has nevertheless uninterruptedly maintained a surety bond satisfying the requirements of Connecticut General Statutes Section 36a-802 throughout that period;

WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency represents to the Commissioner that it has reviewed and updated its internal policies, procedures and controls for timely and accurately applying for licensure and renewal licensing on NMLS;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking, conducted an investigation pursuant to Sections 36a-17 and 36a-801(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes into the activities of Simon’s Agency to determine if it had violated, was violating or was about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes and Regulations within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;

WHEREAS, as a result of such investigation, the Commissioner alleges that on or about September 30, 2015 to December 23, 2016 , Simon’s Agency unknowingly acted within this state as a consumer collection agency without the requisite consumer collection agency license, in violation of Section 36a-801(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegation would support the initiation of enforcement proceedings against Simon’s Agency, including, without limitation, proceedings to issue a cease and desist order against Simon’s Agency pursuant to Sections 36a-804(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty upon Simon’s Agency pursuant to Sections 36a-804(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 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 Simon’s Agency acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings, and Simon’s Agency voluntarily agrees to enter into the terms below without admitting or denying the allegation set forth herein, and solely for the purpose of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegation set forth herein;

WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency specifically assures the Commissioner that the violation alleged herein shall not occur in the future;

WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency acknowledges that this Consent Order is a public record and is a reportable event for the purposes of the regulatory disclosure questions on NMLS, as applicable; 

AND WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency, 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 right to seek judicial review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Consent Order.


CONSENT TO ENTRY OF SANCTIONS

WHEREAS, Simon’s Agency, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order imposing the following terms:
1. No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by Simon’s Agency, 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 Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) as a civil penalty;
2.
Simon’s Agency shall not act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut without a license, in violation of Section 36a-801(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.

CONSENT ORDER

NOW THEREFORE, the Commissioner enters the following:

1. The terms 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 Simon’s Agency 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 Simon’s Agency 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 Simon’s Agency and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;
3. Subject to the foregoing, and so long as this Consent Order is promptly disclosed by Simon’s Agency and its control persons on NMLS, as applicable, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of Simon’s Agency to apply for or obtain licenses or renewal licenses under Part XII of Chapter 669, Sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes provided all applicable legal requirements for such licenses are satisfied and the terms of this Consent Order are followed; and
4.
This Consent Order shall become final when issued.


Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 5th day of September 2017.            ______/s/__________
                                                       Jorge L. Perez
                                                       Banking Commissioner

I, Timothy S. Buckles, state on behalf of Simon’s Agency, 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 Simon’s Agency, Inc.; that Simon’s Agency, Inc., agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the sanctions entered and terms and conditions ordered herein; and that Simon’s Agency, 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:  Timothy S. Buckles
                                                       Title:  COO
                                                       Simon's Agency, Inc.


State of:  New York

County of:  Onondaga

On this the 28th day of August 2017, before me, Nancy E. Cheevers, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Timothy S. Buckles who acknowledged himself to be the C.O.O. of Simon’s Agency, Inc., a corporation, and that he as such C.O.O., being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the corporation by himself as C.O.O.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.


                                                     __________/s/___________
                                                     Notary Public:  
                                                     Date Commission Expires:  01/17/2018

Administrative Orders and Settlements