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IN THE MATTER OF:
BLUECHIP FINANCIAL
d/b/a SPOTLOAN

    ("Respondent")


      



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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

I. LEGAL AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION

The Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Part III of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Small Loan Lending and Related Activities”, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, Section 36a-570-1 to 36a-570-17, 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 of the Department of Banking (“Department”), 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 and 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 . . . 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, (2) require or permit any person to testify, produce a record or file a statement in writing, under oath, or otherwise as the commissioner determines, as to all the facts and circumstances concerning the matter to be investigated or about which an action or proceeding is pending . . . .

Section 36a-52 of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  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.

(b)  If the commissioner finds that the public welfare requires immediate action, the commissioner may incorporate a finding to that effect in the notice sent in accordance with subsection (a) of this section and issue a temporary order requiring the person to cease and desist from the activity which constitutes such alleged violation and to take or refrain from taking such action as in the opinion of the commissioner will effectuate the purposes of this section.  Such temporary order shall become effective on receipt and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in the notice.

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

(a) (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. . . .

(c)  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 . . . under such provisions, the commissioner may, in addition to any other remedy authorized by law, order such person to (1) make restitution of any sums shown to have been obtained in violation of any such provision, [or] regulation . . . plus interest at the legal rate set forth in section 37-1 . . . .  After the commissioner issues such an order, the person named in the order may, not later than fourteen days after the receipt of such order, file a written request for a hearing.  The order 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 hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.


II.  MATTERS ASSERTED

1.
Respondent is allegedly an entity owned by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and allegedly operates within the boundaries of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indian Reservation in North Dakota (“Reservation”) with a place of business at 914 Chief Little Shell Street, NE, Belcourt, North Dakota.
2.
From at least November 2013 to February 2014, Respondent offered, via its website at www.spotloan.com, unsecured consumer loans in amounts of $300 to $800 with annual interest rates of approximately 390% (“Consumer Loans”).
3.
Also between November 2013 to February 2014, at least one Connecticut resident entered into a “Loan Agreement” with Respondent (“Agreement”) agreeing to pay interest at a rate of 390% on a Consumer Loan.
4. By letter dated January 29, 2014, the Department notified Respondent that it appeared to be acting as a small loan lender in Connecticut and requested that Respondent cease all small loan lending and collection activity in Connecticut.
5. By letter dated February 12, 2014, Richard W. McCloud, Chairman of the BlueChip Financial Board of Directors, responded to the Department and represented that Respondent no longer makes loans to Connecticut residents.
6. Nonetheless, Respondent continued to offer and make Consumer Loans to Connecticut residents and collect and receive payments from Connecticut residents on Consumer Loans.
7. Between at least July 1, 2016 and the present, at least one Connecticut resident entered into a “Loan Agreement” with Respondent agreeing to pay interest at a rate of at least 390% on a Consumer Loan.
8. As recent as April 2018, Respondent continued to offer, via its website at www.spotloan.com, unsecured small loans in amounts of $300 to $800 with annual percentage rates of up to 490%.  In particular, Respondent’s website solicits consumers to apply online, including Connecticut residents via a drop-down box.  The website states that “Spotloans are currently available to residents of all states except Arkansas, District of Columbia, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.”
9. All Agreements were electronically signed via the Internet by Connecticut residents while physically present in this state.  At no time did Connecticut residents leave the physical boundaries of this state or enter the physical boundaries of the Reservation to receive a Consumer Loan.
10. At no time relevant hereto was Respondent licensed as a small loan lender in Connecticut, nor is Respondent exempt from such licensure requirements.

III.  STATUTORY BASIS FOR ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST,
ORDER TO MAKE RESTITUTION 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.

Section 36a-555 of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, provided, in pertinent part, that:

No person shall (1) engage in the business of making loans of money or credit; (2) make, offer, broker or assist a borrower in Connecticut to obtain such a loan . . . through any method, including, but not limited to, mail, telephone, Internet or any electronic means, in the amount or to the value of fifteen thousand dollars or less for loans made under section 36a-563 or section 36a-565, and charge, contract for or receive a greater rate of interest, charge or consideration than twelve per cent per annum therefor, unless licensed to do so by the commissioner pursuant to sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive. . . .

Section 36a-573 of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect from July 13, 2011 to June 18, 2015, provided, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  No person, except as authorized by the provisions of sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, shall, directly or indirectly, charge, contract for or receive any interest, charge or consideration greater than twelve per cent per annum upon the loan, use or forbearance of money or credit of the amount or value of . . . (2) fifteen thousand dollars or less for any such transaction entered into on and after October 1, 1997. . . .  No loan for which a greater rate of interest or charge than is allowed by the provisions of sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, has been contracted for or received, wherever made, shall be enforced in this state, and any person in any way participating therein in this state shall be subject to the provisions of said sections . . . .

(b)  The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall apply to any loan made or renewed in this state if the loan is made to a borrower who resides in or maintains a domicile in this state and such borrower (1) negotiates or agrees to the terms of the loan in person, by mail, by telephone or via the Internet while physically present in this state; (2) enters into or executes a loan agreement with the lender in person, by mail, by telephone or via the Internet while physically present in this state; or (3) makes a payment of the loan in this state.  As used in this subsection, “payment of the loan” includes a debit on an account the borrower holds in a branch of a financial institution or the use of a negotiable instrument drawn on an account at a financial institution, and “financial institution” means any bank or credit union chartered or licensed under the laws of this state, any other state or the United States and having its main office or a branch office in this state.

(c)  Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or offered a loan that violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner may investigate, take administrative action or assess civil penalties and restitution in accordance with the provisions of sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

Section 36a-573 of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect from June 19, 2015 to July 1, 2016, provided, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  No person, except as authorized by the provisions of sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, shall, directly or indirectly, charge, contract for or receive any interest, charge or consideration greater than twelve per cent per annum upon the loan, use or forbearance of money or credit of the amount or value of . . . (2) fifteen thousand dollars or less for any such transaction entered into on and after October 1, 1997. . . . No loan for which a greater rate of interest or charge than is allowed by the provisions of sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, has been contracted for or received, wherever made, shall be enforced in this state, and any person in any way participating therein in this state shall be subject to the provisions of said sections . . . .

(b)  The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall apply to any loan made or renewed in this state if the loan is made to a borrower who resides in or maintains a domicile in this state and such borrower (1) negotiates or agrees to the terms of the loan in person, by mail, by telephone or via the Internet while physically present in this state; (2) enters into or executes a loan agreement with the lender in person, by mail, by telephone or via the Internet while physically present in this state; or (3) makes a payment of the loan in this state.  As used in this subsection, “payment of the loan” includes a debit on an account the borrower holds in a branch of a financial institution or the use of a negotiable instrument drawn on an account at a financial institution, and “financial institution” means any bank or credit union chartered or licensed under the laws of this state, any other state or the United States and having its main office or a branch office in this state.

(c)  For transactions subject to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, if any interest, consideration or charges in excess of those permitted are charged, contracted for or received, the contract of loan, use or forbearance of money or credit shall be void and no person shall have the right to collect or receive any principal, interest, charge or other consideration.

(d)  No person shall, directly or indirectly, assist or aid and abet any person in conduct prohibited by sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive.

(e)  Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated the provisions of this section or offered a loan that violates the provisions of this section, the commissioner may investigate, take administrative action or assess civil penalties and restitution in accordance with the provisions of sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

On and after July 1, 2016, Section 36a-555(11) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

“Small loan” means any loan of money or extension of credit, or the purchase of, or an advance of money on, a borrower’s future income where the following conditions are present: (A) The amount or value is fifteen thousand dollars or less; and (B) the APR is greater than twelve per cent.

On and after July 1, 2016, Section 36a-556 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  Without having first obtained a small loan license from the commissioner pursuant to section 36a-565, no person shall, by any method, including, but not limited to, mail, telephone, Internet or other electronic means, unless exempt pursuant to section 36a-557:

(1)  Make a small loan to a Connecticut borrower;

(2)  Offer, solicit, broker, directly or indirectly arrange, place or find a small loan for a prospective Connecticut borrower; . . . and

(6)  Advertise or cause to be advertised in this state a small loan or any of the services described in subdivisions (1) to (5), inclusive, of this subsection.

On and after July 1, 2016, Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

Whenever it appears to the commissioner that (1) any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any of the provisions of sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto . . . the commissioner may take action against such person . . . in accordance with sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

1.
Respondent’s engaging in the business of making loans of money or credit without obtaining the required license prior to July 1, 2016, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 6, inclusive, 9 and 10 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-555(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to make restitution against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty upon Respondent 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 in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
2.
Respondent’s making, offering or assisting Connecticut borrowers to obtain a small loan in Connecticut without the required license prior to July 1, 2016, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 6, inclusive, 9 and 10 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-555(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to make restitution against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty upon Respondent 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 in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
3. Respondent’s charging, contracting for and receiving interest at a rate greater than 12% on at least one small loan to a Connecticut resident in an amount less than $15,000 without the required license prior to July 1, 2016, as more fully described in paragraphs 1 through 6, inclusive, 9 and 10 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-573(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, and Section 36a-52(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-573(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, and Section 36a-50(c) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty upon Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-573(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, and 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 in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
4. Respondent’s making of at least one small loan to a Connecticut borrower without obtaining the required license on or after July 1, 2016, as more fully described in paragraphs 7 through 10, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-556(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-50(c) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty upon Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and 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 in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
5. Respondent’s offering or soliciting small loans in Connecticut without the required license on or after July 1, 2016, as more fully described in paragraphs 7 through 10, inclusive, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-556(a)(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes and impose a civil penalty upon Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and 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 in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
6. Respondent’s advertising a small loan in this state without the required licenses on or after July 1, 2016, as more fully described in paragraphs 8 and 10, of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least two violations of Section 36a-556(a)(6) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect on or after July 1, 2016.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes and impose a civil penalty upon Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and 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 in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
7. The act of Respondent representing to the Department that it had ceased making loans in Connecticut, but nevertheless, continuing to offer to make and make small loans in Connecticut, as more fully described in paragraphs 5 through 9, inclusive, constitutes making a statement to the Commissioner which is 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 against Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes and impose a civil penalty upon Respondent 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 in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.


IV.  FINDING AND STATUTORY BASIS FOR
TEMPORARY ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

The Commissioner finds that the public welfare requires immediate action to issue a temporary order requiring Respondent to cease and desist from violating subdivisions (1), (2) and (6) of Section 36a-556(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Respondent shall take such action as set forth herein to effectuate the purposes of Section 36a-52(b) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes in that the interests of Connecticut residents are being materially prejudiced by Respondent not being duly licensed as a small loan lender in Connecticut and continuing to offer and make loans of $800 or less with rates of interest of up to 490% after being advised by the Commissioner to cease such activity and representing to the Commissioner that Respondent has done so.


V.  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

WHEREAS, the Commissioner has reason to believe that Respondent has engaged in acts or conduct which forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-573(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes effective July 1, 2016 and Section 36a-52(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Section 36a-573(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes effective July 1, 2016 and Section 36a-50(c) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-573(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes effective July 1, 2016 and Section 36a-50(a) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes;

AND WHEREAS, the Commissioner has made the finding required under Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.

THE COMMISSIONER THEREFORE ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan immediately CEASE AND DESIST from violating subdivisions (1), (2) and (6) of Section 36a-556(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect on July 1, 2016, including, but not limited to, enforcing Consumer Loans by any means.  This Temporary Order to Cease and Desist shall become effective upon receipt by BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan, and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.

THE COMMISSIONER FURTHER ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-52(b) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, that:  Not later than fourteen (14) days from receipt of this 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, BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan shall provide to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, a list of all Connecticut residents who, on or after November 1, 2013, have:  (1) applied for a Consumer Loan from BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan; or (2) contracted with BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan to pay interest at a rate in excess of 12% on a Consumer Loan.  For each Consumer Loan consummated by a Connecticut resident, such submission shall include:  (a) a copy of each loan agreement specifying the amount and annual interest rate of the loan, and (b) a list of each Connecticut resident’s name and address and full itemization of payments made pursuant to the loan agreement, specifying the dates and amounts of such payments.

THE COMMISSIONER FURTHER ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-573(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-50(c) of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes, that BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan MAKE RESTITUTION of any sums obtained as a result of BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan violating subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-556(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-555 of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, plus interest at the legal rate set forth in Section 37-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Specifically, the Commissioner ORDERS that:  Not later than thirty (30) days from the date this Order to Make Restitution becomes permanent, BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan shall:

1.
Repay any interest received by BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan from the Connecticut residents identified in Exhibit A, and repay any interest received by BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan from a Connecticut resident in connection with a Consumer Loan made on or after November 1, 2013.  Payments shall be made by cashier’s check, certified check or money order; and
2.
Provide to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, evidence of such repayments.

NOW THEREFORE, notice is hereby given to Respondent that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Respondent to CEASE AND DESIST from violating subdivisions (1), (2) and (6) of Section 36a-556(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Section 36a-53a of the Connecticut General Statutes, and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, including, but not limited to, enforcing such loans by any means, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Respondent as set forth herein, subject to Respondent’s right to a hearing on the allegations 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 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 as set forth in Section 36a-52(a) and subsections (a) and (c) of Section 36a-50 of the 2018 Supplement to the General Statutes.  This 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 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 August 9, 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 any 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 such hearing, the allegations herein will be deemed admitted.  Accordingly, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent, and the Commissioner will issue an order that Respondent cease and desist from violating subdivisions (1), (2) and (6) of Section 36a-556(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Section 36a-53a of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to July 1, 2016, including, but not limited to, enforcing such loans by any means, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Respondent.


So ordered at Hartford, Connecticut
this 22nd day of June 2018.                               ________/s/_________
                                                                    Jorge L. Perez
                                                                    Banking Commissioner

CERTIFICATION

I hereby certify that on this 25th day of June 2018, I caused to be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, the foregoing 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 to BlueChip Financial d/b/a Spotloan at P.O. Box 720, Belcourt, North Dakota 58316, certified mail no. 7012 3050 0000 6999 5484; 914 Chief Little Shell Street, NE, Belcourt, North Dakota 58316, certified mail no. 7012 3050 0000 6999 5491; and P. O. Box 927, Palatine, Illinois 60078, certified mail no. 7012 3050 0000 6999 5507.


    ________/s/__________
    Tina M. Daigle
    Paralegal


Administrative Orders and Settlements