CSCL Summarily Suspends Prepaid Sales Registration of Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet

October 27, 2021 - The Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau (CSCL) issued an Order of Summary Suspension and Formal Complaint against the Prepaid Funeral and Cemetery Sales Registration held by Hutchins Funeral Home. It also issued a Formal Complaint against the Mortuary Science Licenses of Roland Hutchins and Hutchins Funeral Home, located at 209 South Main Street in Watervliet, for violating Michigan's Occupational Code and Prepaid Funeral and Cemetery Sales Act (Prepaid Act).

The formal complaints allege that the funeral establishment and its owner and designated manager, Roland Hutchins, failed to deposit at least $65,704.72 received from July 1, 2019 through April 7, 2021, for prepaid funeral and cemetery goods and services with an authorized escrow agent due to an admitted "cash flow problem." Although the funds have since been placed with an authorized escrow agent or otherwise accounted for, prepaid contract funds do not belong to the funeral establishment that receives them and may not be used for everyday business expenses. These funds belong to the customers who purchase each prepaid contract and may only be used to purchase funeral and cemetery goods and services upon the death of each prepaid contract beneficiary.

As a result, CSCL summarily suspended Hutchins Funeral Home's registration under the Prepaid Act, effective October 27, 2021. The Order prohibits the funeral establishment from selling any new prepaid contracts, but it does not preclude it from meeting its obligations to provide funeral services and merchandise based on the terms of any existing prepaid contract executed before the Order's effective date. The mortuary science licenses held by the funeral establishment and Roland Hutchins under the Occupational Code were not suspended and remain active.

In response to the formal complaints and Order of Summary Suspension, Respondents may request to participate in an informal meeting with CSCL in an effort to resolve the matters or may request to proceed directly to a formal hearing before an administrative law judge to dissolve the Order or otherwise contest the formal complaint allegations brought against their licenses and registration.

Members of the public who have questions or concerns regarding the operation of Hutchins Funeral Home may contact the Securities & Audit Division within LARA's Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing bureau at 517-335-5237, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, or by email at LARA-CSCL-Securities-Audit@michigan.gov.