By the Division of Banks


COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

Suffolk, SS.

COMMISSIONER OF BANKS
DEBT COLLECTOR LICENSING

CEASE DIRECTIVE

In the Matter of

PROFESSIONAL DEBT MEDIATION, INC.
Jacksonville, Florida


The Commissioner of Banks (Commissioner) is charged with the administration of

Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, sections 24 through 28, inclusive, applicable regulations found at 209 CMR 18.00 et seq., governing the licensing and supervision of debt collectors. Pursuant to the authority granted by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, sections 24 through 28, the Commissioner has investigated the activities of Professional Debt Mediation, Inc. (Professional Debt Mediation or the Corporation) with an address of 7948 Baymeadows Way, Jacksonville, Florida to determine if Professional Debt Mediation has engaged in the business of, and/or is continuing to engage in, acts or practices constituting violations of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93. Based upon such investigation, the Division of Banks (Division) hereby issues the following CEASE DIRECTIVE (Directive) as a result of the findings alleged herein.

A. FINDINGS OF FACT

  1. The Division, through the Commissioner has jurisdiction over the licensing and regulation of persons and entities engaged in the business of debt collection in Massachusetts pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section 24A.
  2. Professional Debt Mediation is, and at all relevant times has been a foreign corporation conducting business in Massachusetts, with a main address of 7948 Baymeadows Way, Second Floor, Jacksonville, Florida.
  3. Rohan R. Kissoonlal is, and at all relevant times has been the sole owner of Professional Debt Mediation.
  4. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93, section 24A, relative to the licensing requirements for entities engaged in debt collection states, in part:

    No person shall directly or indirectly engage in the commonwealth in the business of a debt collector, or engage in the commonwealth in soliciting the right to collect or receive payment for another of an account, bill or other indebtedness, or advertise for or solicit in print the right to collect or receive payment for another of an account, bill or other indebtedness, without first obtaining from the commissioner a license to carry on the business, nor unless the person or the person for whom he or it may be acting as agent has on file with the state treasurer a good and sufficient bond.

  5. On March 14, 2012, the Division’s Consumer Assistance Unit received a consumer complaint against Professional Debt Mediation regarding the Corporation’s unlicensed debt collection activities in Massachusetts.
  6. On March 27, 2012 the Division issued a cease letter to Professional Debt Mediation ordering the Corporation to cease engaging in unlicensed debt collection activity and required Professional Debt Mediation to complete an affidavit attesting that no business entity owned operated or controlled by Rohan R. Kissoonlal would operate as a debt collector prior to obtaining a license.
  7. On April 18, 2012, Professional Debt Mediation applied for a Massachusetts debt collector license through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS).
  8. On April 19, 2012, in response to the cease letter, the Division received a signed affidavit by Rohan R. Kissoonlal as the owner of Professional Debt Mediation, certifying that the Corporation had ceased operating as a debt collector in Massachusetts. Rohan R. Kissoonlal further certified that no business entity owned operated or controlled by Rohan R. Kissoonlal would begin operating as a debt collector prior to obtaining a license.
  9. On May 5, 2012, while the Corporation’s Massachusetts debt collector license application was pending, the Division’s Consumer Assistance Unit received a second consumer complaint against Professional Debt Mediation regarding the Corporation’s continued unlicensed debt collection activities in Massachusetts.
  10. On May 10, 2012 the Division issued a second cease letter to Professional Debt Mediation ordering the Corporation to cease engaging in unlicensed debt collection activity.
  11. On May 30, 2012, in response to the cease letter, the Division received a signed affidavit by Rohan R. Kissoonlal as the owner of Professional Debt Mediation, certifying that the Corporation had ceased operating as a debt collector in Massachusetts. Rohan R. Kissoonlal further certified that no business entity owned operated or controlled by Rohan R. Kissoonlal would begin operating as a debt collector prior to obtaining a license.
  12. On June 7, 2012, Professional Debt Mediation’s pending license application was placed in a "withdrawn-application abandoned" status on NMLS as a result of the Corporation’s failure to satisfy the requirements of the NMLS new application checklist.
  13. On or about March 25, 2013, the Division received a third consumer complaint, regarding Professional Debt Mediation’s unlicensed debt collection activity in Massachusetts.
  14. The Division’s review of the March 25, 2013 consumer complaint indicates that on or about February 29, 2013, Professional Debt Mediation contacted a Massachusetts consumer to collect payment on the debt of a third party.
  15. According to the Division’s records and NMLS, as of the date of this Directive, Professional Debt Mediation does not have a license in Massachusetts to engage in the practice of a debt collector.
  16. Based on the information detailed in paragraphs 5 through 15 of this Directive, the Division has reason to believe that Professional Debt Mediation continues to engage in unlicensed debt collection activity in Massachusetts, in violation of General Laws chapter 93, section 24 through 28.

    B. CEASE DIRECTIVE

  17. Professional Debt Mediation shall immediately cease from collecting debt on any accounts until such time that Professional Debt Mediation has obtained a license to conduct business in the Commonwealth pursuant to General Laws 93, section 24A.
  18. Professional Debt Mediation is ordered to immediately cease collecting on any consumer collection accounts from debtors located within Massachusetts and to cease soliciting the right to collect or receive payment for another of an account, bill or other indebtedness, or advertise for or solicit in print the right to collect or receive payment for another of an account, bill.
  19. Professional Debt Mediation must submit a response within five (5) days of receipt of this Directive. The response submitted by Professional Debt Mediation must also include a signed copy of the enclosed affidavit, attesting that Professional Debt Mediation will immediately cease from engaging in the business of a debt collector in Massachusetts.
  20. Professional Debt Mediation shall within five (5) days of the effective date of this Directive provide the Division with a complete record, including a verification of receipt, of all funds collected on behalf of clients from January 1, 2012 through the effective date of this Directive.
  21. Professional Debt Mediation shall, within five (5) days of the effective date of this Directive, provide the Division with a record of all clients and/or creditors and a detailed record of all accounts held for collection by Professional Debt Mediation on behalf of such clients.

BY ORDER AND DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF BANKS:

Dated at Boston, Massachusetts, this 17th day of May, 2013

By:
David J. Cotney
Commissioner of Banks
Commonwealth of Massachusetts