Optima Student Loan Services Runs Into Connecticut

It has been a while since I’ve written about the power of Connecticut when it comes to challenging debt relief companies.

Two California companies have learned that painful lesson. Optima Advocates and Optima Student Loan Services were recently issued a Consent Order from the State Banking Commissioner.

The allegation is the companies violated the law. The specific section is said to be the “Debt Adjusters and Debt Negotiation” and Sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive of Part III of Chapter 668 of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Small Loan Lenders.”

The public document says, “WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Notice that each Respondent engaged or offered to engage in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, in effect at such time. Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against each Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the 2022 Supplement to the General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution against each Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-50(c) of the 2022 Supplement to the General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty upon each Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the 2022 Supplement to the General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner also alleged in the Notice that SLS offered, solicited, brokered, directly or indirectly arranged, placed or found a small loan for a prospective Connecticut borrower, without obtaining the required license, in violation of Section 36a-556 of the Connecticut General Statutes, in effect at such time. Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-570 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the 2022 Supplement to the General Statutes, to issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-50(c) of the 2022 Supplement to the General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-570(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the 2022 Supplement to the General Statutes;”

According to the Consent Order to be signed by company president Essam Abdullah, all Connecticut residents must be refunded, both companies must pay a combined civil penalty of $20,000, Optima Advocates must pay an additional $2,400, and SLS must pay an additional $3,600.