CHAPTER 669
REGULATED ACTIVITIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 36a-648. Abusive, harassing, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading debt collection practices. Liability. Exemptions. Limitations on actions.
Sec. 36a-657. (Formerly Sec. 36-369). Suspension, revocation or refusal to renew license or taking of other action. Enforcement powers of commissioner.
Sec. 36a-758. (Formerly Sec. 36-9y). Payment of loan proceeds by certified, bank treasurer's or cashier's check or by wire transfer.
Sec. 36a-758a. Payment of first or secondary mortgage loan proceeds by wire transfer. Time limits. Penalties.
Sec. 36a-800. (Formerly Sec. 42-127). Consumer collection agency. Definitions.
Sec. 36a-804. (Formerly Sec. 42-129a). Suspension, revocation or refusal to renew license or taking of other action.

PART I
CREDITORS' COLLECTION PRACTICES

      Sec. 36a-648. Abusive, harassing, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading debt collection practices. Liability. Exemptions. Limitations on actions. (a) A creditor, as defined in section 36a-645, who uses any abusive, harassing, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation, device or practice to collect or attempt to collect a debt in violation of section 36a-646 or the regulations adopted pursuant to section 36a-647 shall be liable to a person who is harmed by such conduct in an amount equal to the sum of: (1) Any actual damages sustained by such person, (2) if such person is an individual, such additional damages as the court may award, not to exceed one thousand dollars, and (3) in the case of any successful action to enforce liability under the provisions of this subsection, the costs of the action and, in the discretion of the court, a reasonable attorney's fee.

      (b) In determining the amount of liability in an action brought pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the trier of fact shall consider, among other relevant factors, the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the creditor, the nature of such noncompliance and the extent to which such noncompliance was intentional.

      (c) A creditor may not be held liable in an action brought under this section if the creditor shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error, notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted by the creditor to avoid any such error.

      (d) An action to enforce liability under this section may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction not later than one year after the date on which the violation occurs.

      (P.A. 07-176, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 07-176 effective July 1, 2007, and applicable to any cause of action accruing on or after that date.

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PART II
DEBT ADJUSTERS

      Sec. 36a-657. (Formerly Sec. 36-369). Suspension, revocation or refusal to renew license or taking of other action. Enforcement powers of commissioner. (a) The commissioner may suspend, revoke or refuse to renew any license or take any other action, in accordance with the provisions of section 36a-51, for any reason which would be sufficient grounds for the commissioner to deny an application for a license under sections 36a-655 to 36a-665, inclusive, or if the commissioner finds that the licensee or any proprietor, director, officer, member, partner, shareholder, trustee, employee or agent of such licensee has done any of the following: (1) Made any material misstatement in the application; (2) committed any fraud or misappropriated funds; (3) violated any of the provisions of sections 36a-655 to 36a-665, inclusive, or any other law or regulation applicable to the conduct of its business; or (4) failed to perform any agreement with a debtor.

      (b) Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate the provisions of sections 36a-655 to 36a-665, inclusive, or any licensee or any proprietor, director, officer, member, partner, shareholder, trustee, employee or agent of such licensee has committed any fraud, misappropriated funds or failed to perform any agreement with a debtor, the commissioner may take action against such person or licensee in accordance with sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

      (1967, P.A. 882, S. 6; P.A. 79-160, S. 3; P.A. 82-174, S. 11, 14; P.A. 94-122, S. 297, 340; P.A. 02-111, S. 42; P.A. 05-46, S. 13; P.A. 07-91, S. 23.)

      History: P.A. 79-160 rephrased provisions, added in Subdiv. (3) ground of material error if licensee was not at time of application entitled to obtain license and remains unentitled to do so, inserted new Subdiv. (4) and renumbered former Subdivs. (4) and (5) accordingly; P.A. 82-174 replaced the provision that the commissioner may revoke or suspend a license after notice and hearing with provisions concerning the form and manner of the notice and authorizing the commissioner to revoke or suspend a license "after allowing the licensee a reasonable opportunity to be heard"; P.A. 94-122 made technical changes, effective January 1, 1995; Sec. 36-369 transferred to Sec. 36a-657 in 1995; P.A. 02-111 replaced former provisions re denial, revocation or suspension of a license by the commissioner with new provisions re suspension, revocation or refusal to renew license; P.A. 05-46 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (b) re commissioner's authority to impose civil penalty or issue cease and desist order against person or licensee; P.A. 07-91 amended Subsec. (a) to authorize commissioner to take any other action, in accordance with Sec. 36a-51, effective June 5, 2007.

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PART X
OTHER MORTGAGE AND LOAN PRACTICES

      Sec. 36a-758. (Formerly Sec. 36-9y). Payment of loan proceeds by certified, bank treasurer's or cashier's check or by wire transfer. Any person who makes any first mortgage loan, as defined in section 36a-485, or any secondary mortgage loan, as defined in section 36a-510, shall, at the time of consummation of such loan or at the termination of any right to rescind the loan transaction under 12 CFR 226, as from time to time amended, whichever is later, pay the loan proceeds to the mortgagor, to the mortgagor's attorney, to the mortgagee's attorney or to any other person specified in any settlement statement, any written agreement between the mortgagor and the mortgagee or any written instruction of the mortgagor, by a certified, bank treasurer's or cashier's check or by means of wire transfer.

      (P.A. 85-430; P.A. 92-12, S. 8; P.A. 94-122, S. 323, 340; P.A. 07-91, S. 12.)

      History: P.A. 92-12 made a technical change; P.A. 94-122 made technical changes, effective January 1, 1995; Sec. 36-9y transferred to Sec. 36a-758 in 1995; P.A. 07-91 required any person who makes any first or secondary mortgage loan to pay loan proceeds at time of consummation of such loan or at termination of right to rescind and allowed payment of proceeds to any person specified in any settlement statement, written agreement between the mortgagor and mortgagee or written instruction of mortgagor.

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      Sec. 36a-758a. Payment of first or secondary mortgage loan proceeds by wire transfer. Time limits. Penalties. Section 36a-758a is repealed, effective October 1, 2007.

      (P.A. 02-112, S. 1, 2; P.A. 03-23, S. 1; 03-84, S. 80; P.A. 07-91, S. 38.)

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PART XII
CONSUMER COLLECTION AGENCIES

      Sec. 36a-800. (Formerly Sec. 42-127). Consumer collection agency. Definitions. As used in sections 36a-800 to 36a-810, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires:

      (1) "Consumer collection agency" means any person engaged in the business of collecting or receiving for payment for others of any account, bill or other indebtedness from a consumer debtor or engaged in the business of collecting or receiving for payment property tax from a property tax debtor on behalf of a municipality, including any person who, by any device, subterfuge or pretense, makes a pretended purchase or takes a pretended assignment of accounts from any other person or municipality of such indebtedness for the purpose of evading the provisions of sections 36a-800 to 36a-810, inclusive. It includes persons who furnish collection systems carrying a name which simulates the name of a consumer collection agency and who supply forms or form letters to be used by the creditor, even though such forms direct the consumer debtor or property tax debtor to make payments directly to the creditor rather than to such fictitious agency. "Consumer collection agency" further includes any person who, in attempting to collect or in collecting such person's own accounts or claims from a consumer debtor, uses a fictitious name or any name other than such person's own name which would indicate to the consumer debtor that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such account or claim. "Consumer collection agency" does not include (A) an individual employed on the staff of a licensed consumer collection agency, or by a creditor who is exempt from licensing, when attempting to collect on behalf of such consumer collection agency, (B) persons not primarily engaged in the collection of debts from consumer debtors who receive funds in escrow for subsequent distribution to others, including, but not limited to, real estate brokers and lenders holding funds of borrowers for payment of taxes or insurance, (C) any public officer or a person acting under the order of any court, (D) any member of the bar of this state, and (E) a person who services loans or accounts for the owners thereof when the arrangement includes, in addition to requesting payment from delinquent consumer debtors, the providing of other services such as receipt of payment, accounting, record-keeping, data processing services and remitting, for loans or accounts which are current as well as those which are delinquent. Any person not included in the definition contained in this subdivision is, for purposes of sections 36a-645 to 36a-647, inclusive, a "creditor", as defined in section 36a-645;

      (2) "Consumer debtor" means any natural person, not an organization, who has incurred indebtedness or owes a debt for personal, family or household purposes, including current or past due child support, or who has incurred indebtedness or owes a debt to a municipality due to a levy by such municipality of a personal property tax;

      (3) "Creditor" means a person, including a municipality, that retains, hires, or engages the services of a consumer collection agency;

      (4) "Municipality" means any town, city or borough, consolidated town and city, consolidated town and borough, district as defined in section 7-324 or municipal special services district established under chapter 105a;

      (5) "Organization" means a corporation, partnership, association, trust or any other legal entity or an individual operating under a trade name or a name having appended to it a commercial, occupational or professional designation;

      (6) "Property tax" has the meaning given to the term in section 7-560;

      (7) "Property tax debtor" means any natural person or organization who has incurred indebtedness or owes a debt to a municipality due to a levy by such municipality of a property tax.

      (1953, 1955, S. 3310d; 1967, P.A. 882, S. 19; 1971, P.A. 539, S. 1; P.A. 75-486, S. 64, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 161, 162, 610; P.A. 78-226, S. 1; 78-303, S. 54, 136; P.A. 80-482, S. 333, 348; P.A. 84-61, S. 1, 3; P.A. 87-9, S. 2, 3; P.A. 88-65, S. 56; P.A. 91-357, S. 61, 78; P.A. 92-12, S. 103; P.A. 93-127, S. 1, 3; P.A. 94-122, S. 328, 340; P.A. 01-207, S. 3, 12; P.A. 02-111, S. 46; P.A. 03-262, S. 1; P.A. 04-8, S. 11; P.A. 07-72, S. 8.)

      History: 1967 act deleted language which had specifically included debt adjustment and prorate companies in definition of "collection agency"; 1971 act defined "consumer collection agency" rather than "collection agency", expanding definition and specifically excluding lender licensed by banking commission under Ch. 647, and added definitions of "commissioner", "consumer debtor" and "organization"; P.A. 75-486 substituted replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority in Subdiv. (b); P.A. 77-614 replaced bank commissioner and public utilities commission with banking commissioner (within the department of business regulation, the banking department having been made a division within that department) and division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-226 defined "creditor"; P.A. 78-303 confirmed change in bank commissioner's title and replaced banking commission with banking commissioner to conform with P.A. 77-614 which abolished said commission; P.A. 80-482 restored division of banking to prior status as independent department, made division of public utility control an independent department and abolished the department of business regulation; P.A. 84-61 amended Subsec. (b) to exempt from the definition of "consumer collection agency" those persons delineated in Subdivs. (1) through (5), inclusive, replacing prior exemption provision; (Revisor's note: Pursuant to P.A. 87-9 "banking commissioner" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "commissioner of banking"); P.A. 88-65 substituted a reference to Sec. 42-133a for Sec. 42-133 in the introductory language; P.A. 91-357 made a technical change in Subsec. (c); P.A. 92-12 redesignated Subsecs. and Subdivs. and made technical changes; P.A. 93-127 amended Subdiv. (2) to include "municipality" in the definition of "consumer collection agency", amended Subdiv. (4) to include debts owed to a municipality in the definition of "consumer debtor", added a new Subdiv. (6) defining "municipality" and renumbered the former Subdiv. (6) as (7), effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-122 deleted the definitions of "person" and "commissioner", reordered definitions and made other technical changes, effective January 1, 1995; Sec. 42-127 transferred to Sec. 36a-800 in 1995; (Revisor's note: In 1997 the Revisors editorially changed the reference at the end of Subdiv. (1) from "creditor", as defined in "subsection (2)" of section 36a-645; to "creditor" as defined in "subdivision (3)" of section 36a-645; to reflect correctly P.A. 94-122, S. 293); P.A. 01-207 made a technical change in Subdiv. (1) and amended definition of "consumer debtor" in Subdiv. (2) to add the phrase "including current or past due child support", effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 02-111 redefined "consumer collection agency" in Subdiv. (1) and added Subdivs. (6) and (7) defining "property tax" and "property tax debtor", effective July 1, 2002; P.A. 03-262 redefined "consumer collection agency" in Subdiv. (1) by substituting "or receiving for payment" for ", without receiving," effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 04-8 made a technical change in Subdiv. (3), effective April 16, 2004; P.A. 07-72 made technical changes in Subdiv. (1).

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      Sec. 36a-804. (Formerly Sec. 42-129a). Suspension, revocation or refusal to renew license or taking of other action. (a) The commissioner may suspend, revoke or refuse to renew any license or take any other action, in accordance with the provisions of section 36a-51, for any reason which would be sufficient grounds for the commissioner to deny an application for a license under sections 36a-800 to 36a-810, inclusive, or if the commissioner finds that the licensee or any proprietor, director, officer, member, partner, shareholder, trustee, employee or agent of such licensee has done any of the following: (1) Made any material misstatement in the application; (2) committed any fraud or misrepresentation or misappropriated funds; or (3) violated any of the provisions of sections 36a-800 to 36a-810, inclusive, or of any regulations adopted pursuant thereto, or any other law or regulation applicable to the conduct of its business.

      (b) Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any of the provisions of sections 36a-800 to 36a-810, inclusive, or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or the licensee or any proprietor, director, officer, member, partner, shareholder, trustee, employee or agent of such licensee has committed any fraud, made any misrepresentation or misappropriated funds, the commissioner may take action against such person or licensee in accordance with sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

      (1971, P.A. 539, S. 6; 1972, P.A. 108, S. 8; P.A. 74-254, S. 8; P.A. 94-122, S. 331, 340; P.A. 02-111, S. 49; P.A. 05-46, S. 16; P.A. 07-91, S. 24.)

      History: 1972 act replaced superior court with court of common pleas, effective September 1, 1972, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction; P.A. 74-254 replaced detailed appeal provisions with statement requiring that appeals be made in accordance with chapter 54; P.A. 94-122 replaced notice, hearing and appeal provisions with a reference to Sec. 36a-51, effective January 1, 1995; Sec. 42-129a transferred to Sec. 36a-804 in 1995; P.A. 02-111 replaced former provisions with new Subsecs. (a) and (b) re commissioner's authority to suspend, revoke or refuse to renew license and the grounds for such action and commissioner's authority re violations of Secs. 36a-800 to 36a-810; P.A. 05-46 amended Subsec. (b) to allow commissioner to impose civil penalty or issue cease and desist order against licensee or any proprietor, director, officer, member, partner, shareholder, trustee, employee or agent of such licensee who has committed fraud, made any misrepresentation or misappropriated funds; P.A. 07-91 amended Subsec. (a) to authorize commissioner to take any other action, in accordance with Sec. 36a-51, effective June 5, 2007.

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