The Connecticut Department of Banking has assessed nearly $11,000 in fines against a collection agency for operating in the state without a license, according to a copy of a consent order that was published this week.
Seattle Service Bureau, which does business as National Service Bureau, will pay a fine of $10,000 and $800 in back licensing fees. The agency, which surrendered its license to collect in Connecticut in 2018 was found to have continued to operate in the state until it re-filed an application last year to act as a consumer collection agency.
This is the second enforcement action in less than a month taken by the Connecticut Department of Banking against a collection agency. Last month, it assessed a $500,000 fine against Diversified Consultants for not making the proper notifications that it had filed for bankruptcy protection and was no longer operating in the state.
While it could have been subject to a cease and desist order and a fine of $100,000, the state opted for a lesser fine because the agency “voluntarily” agreed “to consent to the entry of the sanctions imposed below solely for the purpose of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegation set forth herein” and because it “specifically” assured the department that the specific violation would not occur in the future.
It appears as though the only reason the state was alerted to the fact that the collector was operating without a license was because it re-applied for one, which triggered an investigation to determine if the agency had violated, was violating, or was about to violated any state law or regulation in Connecticut.