On December 1, the Connecticut Department of Banking (Department) fined a collection law firm $100,000 and ordered it to cease and desist from collection activity for operating without a valid license. According to the order, in August, the Department issued a temporary order to cease and desist, a notice of intent to issue order to cease and desist, a notice of intent to impose a civil penalty, and a notice of a right to a hearing, which provided the firm 14 days to respond to request a hearing. Furthermore, the firm was warned that if a request for hearing was not made, a cease and desist order would likely be forthcoming. During its investigation, the state discovered that in 2019, the firm was conducting unlicensed collection agency activity for about 10,000 Connecticut accounts with a total balance of about $1.4 million. The firm allegedly collected approximately $81,000 of that amount. In late 2019, the state sent the firm a certified letter regarding its collection activity and asked for a response, which was never provided. In the August order, the firm was asked to supply the state with a list of all the creditors with whom the firm has entered into agreements for consumer collection services since July 2018, including copies of all the agreements with those creditors, and an itemized list of each Connecticut debtor account that the firm had attempted collections on for the same time period.
This content originally appeared in the InfoBytes blog, a collection of news and alerts covering legal and regulatory developments for the financial services industry. To read more or have the InfoBytes weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox, please visit infobytesblog.com.