Connecticut mortgage companies will have to be on their toes as the state Department of Banking cracks down on enforcement. Three mortgage companies have agreed to pay fines ranging from $1,000 to $14,000 for violations such as employing unregistered originators.

The DOB has been examining mortgage companies across the state, and the future will bring more investigations, according to Marlene Mannix, manager of the DOB’s Banking Department. The new banking commissioner, Howard Pitkin, has been very supportive of the enforcement efforts, she said. The DOB’s investigations also follow some in neighboring Massachusetts that turned up fraudulent activity at many mortgage companies across the state.

The DOB’s recent findings required action, Mannix said.

“We definitely feel like these [alleged violations] rise to the level of needing enforcement,” she said.

The Mortgage Store of Connecticut, which is based in Hamden, agreed to pay $14,000 as a civil penalty. The DOB alleged that the company employed at least four originators without registering them, and that the company advertised some locations that were not licensed.

The company voluntarily entered into the settlement agreement with the DOB and waived its right to a hearing.

The DOB also entered into a settlement agreement with Anthony DiCaprio Mortgage Consultants in Sandy Hook. An investigation by the Consumer Credit Division found that DiCaprio allegedly employed at least 12 originators without registering them. He agreed to pay $12,000 as a civil penalty, and waived his right to a hearing.

First Choice Mortgage Service in Stratford also entered into a settlement agreement with the DOB, agreeing to pay a $1,000 civil penalty for allegedly employing one originator without registering her.

The DOB’s Massachusetts counterpart over the past several months has uncovered many violations in that state. The Massachusetts Division of Banks went so far as to issue emergency regulations in September, in a response to those violations.

The Bay State’s emergency regulations prohibit mortgage brokers and lenders from acts like having a borrower sign blank or incomplete documents, or from falsifying income or asset information on applications or mortgage documents. They are common-sense practices that already are on the law books. The new regulations just codify them, said Kevin Cuff, executive director of the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association, in an interview last month.

The Division of Banks handed down the regulations after investigations uncovered fraudulent activity at many area mortgage companies over the course of several weeks.

The latest investigations resulted in the division issuing cease-and-desist orders against two licensed mortgage brokers with offices in the Massachusetts communities of Lawrence, Marshfield and Somerville, and four unlicensed entities operating at locations in Everett, Lawrence and Malden, also in the Bay State.

The Division of Banks’ sweep resulted in actions taken against licensed mortgage brokers Confidence Mortgage and Middlesex Financial Assoc. The division was looking for evidence that consumers were led into loans they could not afford by inflating the borrowers’ income.

An inspection of Confidence Mortgage’s main office in Lawrence allegedly uncovered evidence that income had been overstated on at least five loans.

In an Aug. 30 inspection of Middlesex Financial’s Moultonboro, N.H., office – where the company kept files on loans issued in Massachusetts – and in subsequent visits to an unlicensed branch office in Lowell, Mass., investigators said they found discrepancies in loan documents.

In six loans involving four condominiums and two homes, three borrowers each obtained loans on two properties, listing each property as their primary residence without disclosing their other mortgage on the other loan application.

Of the other four actions taken, three were against entities for operating a mortgage business at unlicensed locations. The other entity, Treasury Financial Group of Buffalo, N.Y, is not licensed at all to conduct business in Massachusetts and was found to be using the license number of an unrelated company.

The Division of Banks also recently released an alert to help consumers understand how to avoid deceptive or fraudulent mortgage practices.

The division had found more violations before that.

Achieva Home Loans in Worcester, Mass., was charged with inflating applicants’ incomes; Equity Solutions in Worcester was charged with submitting applications to lenders with applicants’ incomes and liabilities differing significantly from the documentation available on site; Fintera Capital Corp. in Natick, Mass., was charged with overstating the income of applicants; and National Lending Corp., which is based in Houston but runs several Massachusetts branch offices, was charged with operating with unapproved branch managers, failing to provide access to books, records and files, failure to notify the Division of Banks of a branch closure and misrepresenting borrowers’ incomes.

The Massachusetts division also issued cease-activity letters to The New York Mortgage Co., based in New York City, for doing business at an unlicensed location in Lowell; to Woburn, Mass.-based ARBC Financial Mortgage Corp. for conducting business at unlicensed locations in Lowell and Lynn, Mass.; and to National Lenders for conducting mortgage broker activity at an office in Lynn without first getting a license from the division.