Search Department of Banking Filtered Topic Search
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

IN THE MATTER OF:

PBCM OF WEST VIRGINIA, INC.
NMLS # 1658069

     ("Respondent")

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

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-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”).

Pursuant to the authority granted by Section 36a-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division (“Division”) of the Department of Banking, 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(a) of the 2018 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 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.

Section 36a-50(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(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.


II.  MATTERS ASSERTED

1. Respondent is a West Virginia corporation with an office located at 10128 West Broad Street, Suite D, Glen Allen, Virginia.
2. On or about September 15, 2017, Respondent filed an application with the Commissioner on the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (“NMLS”) to obtain a consumer collection agency in Connecticut.
3. On or about October 5, 2017, the application was reviewed and deficiencies were posted to Respondent’s NMLS account requesting certain information necessary to confirm that Respondent was maintaining the required statutory tangible net worth of $50,000.
4.
Thereafter, on or about November 10, 2017, Respondent uploaded to NMLS and attested to the accuracy of a new balance sheet showing a net worth in excess of $50,000, primarily due to assets held in a bank account.  The Division subsequently requested Respondent to provide the most recent bank statement for said account.
5.
On or about November 17, 2017, Respondent uploaded to NMLS a bank statement for such account dated October 31, 2017.
6. On January 30, 2018, for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the information provided, the Division subpoenaed, in relevant part, bank records for Respondent’s account.
7.
In a business records affidavit dated February 15, 2018, a representative of the bank attested that she had submitted true and correct copies of Respondent’s statements to the Division, which included statements dated August 31, 2017 through January 31, 2018.
8. The statements submitted to the Division by the bank showed that, in fact, Respondent’s ending balance on October 31, 2017, was substantially less than the amount represented on the bank statement Respondent provided to the Division.  These numbers directly contradicted Respondent’s November 17, 2017, submission to the Division and show evidence that the bank statement provided by Respondent in paragraph 5 above had been altered.
9. As a result of the financial statements described in paragraphs 4 and 5 above intentionally misrepresenting the assets of Respondent, Respondent has not established that it has the statutorily required net worth to obtain a consumer collection agency license in Connecticut.


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

Section 36a-53a of the Connecticut General Statutes provides that:
No person shall make or cause to be made orally or in any document filed with the commissioner or in any proceeding, investigation or examination under this title, any statement which is, at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it is made, false or misleading in any material respect.
Respondent’s submission of financial and bank statements, as more fully described in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Matters Asserted, which directly conflict with subpoenaed bank records, as more fully described in paragraphs 6 to 8, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes making statements to the Commissioner which were, at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, false or misleading in a material respect, in violation of Section 36a-53a of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the 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, subject to Respondent’s right to a hearing on the allegation set forth above.


IV.  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-52(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes.

NOW THEREFORE, notice is hereby given to Respondent that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Respondent to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-53a of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Respondent as set forth herein, subject to Respondent’s right to a hearing on the allegation 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 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 Sections 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes.  This 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 July 25, 2018, 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 allegation herein will be deemed admitted.  Accordingly, the Commissioner will issue an order that Respondent cease and desist from violating Section 36a-53a of the Connecticut General Statutes, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Respondent.

Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 24th day of May 2018                   ________/s/_________
                                                      Jorge L. Perez
                                                      Banking Commissioner


Administrative Orders and Settlements