COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
COMMISSIONER OF BANKS
DEBT COLLECTOR LICENSING
Docket No. 2010-347
In the Matter of
A.C.B. AMERICAN, INC.
Debt Collector License No. DC1099
WHEREAS, A.C.B. AMERICAN, INC., Covington, Kentucky ("A.C.B. American" or the "Corporation"), a licensed debt collector under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section 24A, has been advised of its right to Notice and Hearing pursuant to General Laws chapter 93, section 24J, and having waived those rights, entered into a STIPULATION AND CONSENT TO THE ISSUANCE OF A CONSENT ORDER ("Consent Agreement") with representatives of the Division of Banks ("Division") dated December 7, 2010, whereby, solely for the purpose of settling this matter, and without admitting any allegations or implications of fact or the existence of any violation of state or federal laws and regulations governing the conduct and operation of a debt collector, A.C.B. American agrees to the issuance of this CONSENT ORDER ("Consent Order") by the Commissioner of Banks ("Commissioner");
WHEREAS, an examination/inspection of A.C.B. American was conducted pursuant to General Laws chapter 93, section 24D, as of July 28, 2009, to assess the Corporation's level of compliance with applicable Massachusetts statutes and the Division's regulations governing the conduct of those engaged in the business of a debt collector in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the Report of Examination/Inspection (the "Report") issued pursuant to the Division's examination/inspection of A.C.B. American as of July 28, 2009 alleged substantial non-compliance with certain applicable state and federal statutes, rules, and regulations governing the conduct of those engaged in the business of a debt collector in Massachusetts.
NOW COME the parties in the above-captioned matter, the Division and A.C.B. American, and stipulate and agree as follows:
- A.C.B. American shall ensure that the Corporation will continue to maintain a separate client trust account for Massachusetts consumers at a federally insured bank and will continue to deposit into such account the gross amount of monies collected from consumers and any other client funds. A.C.B. American shall maintain procedures to ensure that the Corporation refrains from commingling money collected for a creditor with the Corporation's own funds.
- The Corporation shall establish, implement, and maintain written procedures to ensure that all client funds are maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Division's regulation 209 CMR 18.12 and that such account is routinely monitored and reconciled on a monthly basis.
- A.C.B. American shall establish, implement and maintain procedures to ensure that the Corporation does not communicate with a Massachusetts consumer in connection with the collection of any debt in excess of two telephone calls to a consumer's residence in each seven day period, in compliance with the provisions of 209 CMR 18.14(1)(d).
- A.C.B. American shall comply with all laws and regulations applicable to its conducting the business of a debt collector, including, but not limited to, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93 sections 24 through 28, and the Division's regulation 209 CMR 18.00 et seq. Such obligations shall necessarily include the duty to address and correct, within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Report, all violations and areas of concern addressed in the Report.
- Within thirty (30) days of A.C.B. American's receipt of the Report, the Corporation shall submit to the Commissioner a written response that addresses each of the violations and areas of concern specified in the Report. The written response shall describe the revised policies and procedures adopted by A.C.B. American to implement all corrective actions set forth in: (i) the "Examiner's Comments and Conclusions" section of the Report and (ii) the provisions of this Consent Order; and
- A.C.B. American shall establish, implement, and maintain procedures and policies to ensure that all applicable staff persons receive adequate instruction and ongoing, periodic training to ensure proper implementation and execution of the revised practices and procedures implemented pursuant to this Consent Order.
- On the thirtieth (30 th) day after the end of each calendar quarter following the date of this Consent Order, A.C.B. American shall furnish written progress reports to the Division, which shall address and include the following:
- A description of the form, content, and manner of any actions taken to address each Section of this Consent Order and the results thereof, including but not limited to, documentation of client trust account activity that would demonstrate the Corporation's compliance with Section 1 of this Consent Order; and
- Written findings prepared by A.C.B. American detailing a review of management's and staff persons' adherence to the policies, programs, and procedures adopted pursuant to this Consent Order and to applicable statutes, regulations, and rules, as well as a description of any operational changes implemented during such quarter which are intended to improve A.C.B. American's compliance condition in Massachusetts and the results thereof.
- The reporting requirement to the Division referenced in Section 4 of this Consent Order shall remain in effect and shall not be amended or rescinded without the prior written modification, termination, or suspension of the applicable provision of this Consent Order from the Commissioner.
- Nothing in this Consent Order shall be construed as permitting A.C.B. American to violate any law, rule, regulation, or regulatory bulletin to which A.C.B. American is subject.
- In consideration of the foregoing Consent Order, the Division agrees not to pursue formal measures, relative to this matter, to suspend or revoke A.C.B. American's debt collector license under General Laws chapter 93, section 24I, while this Consent Order is in effect.
- Failure to comply with the terms of this Consent Order shall constitute grounds for license suspension and/or revocation, or other formal regulatory action pursuant to applicable provisions of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- This Consent Order shall become effective immediately upon the date of its issuance.
- The provisions of this Consent Order shall remain effective and enforceable except to the extent that, and until such time as, any provisions of this Consent Order shall have been modified, terminated, suspended, or set aside by the Commissioner or upon an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
- This Consent Order and the Consent Agreement are the complete documents representing the resolution of this matter. There are no other agreements between the Division and A.C.B. American.
BY ORDER AND DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF BANKS.
Dated at Boston, Massachusetts, this 7th day of December, 2010
By: David J. Cotney
Acting Commissioner of Banks
Commonwealth of Massachusetts