Message from Deb Bortner, Director of Consumer Services:
I hope you are all having a good autumn. We had a very busy summer and early fall at the agency. While we continue to lose employees to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (who wouldn’t want to double their salary and work out of their home?) we are thrilled to have attracted several of them back. They decided that autonomy, flexibility, and awesome colleagues were more important.
Towards the end of the summer, Consumer Services took over an independent escrow agent when we discovered that the owner was redirecting settlement checks to her private account and she was altering bank account statements she was required to provide to the Department. When it appeared that our statutory authority to actually run the business was not clear, we went to court and obtained a receiver who is in the process of determining the total amount of the shortfall.
At the same time, our attorneys were busy drafting the pleadings necessary to bring 40 actions all at once against third-party loan modification providers that we allege are taking advantage of consumers in danger of losing their homes. All of the companies were unlicensed and all but two were located outside of the state.
Finally we also issued a statement of charges against a national consumer loan/payday lender for allegedly charging exorbitant fees, taking advantage of consumers who needed some fast cash.
I don’t know about you but I am finding it almost impossible to find the time to keep up with all the new rules issued by our federal counterpart. You will notice that we are issuing new rules on the requirement for pre-licensing education which will go into effect when we adopt the uniform state examination. Please read on to see what else is going on here.
Deb Bortner, Director Consumer Services