By the Division of Banks

Licensing Requirements For Entities Soliciting Consumer Financing In MA

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93 §§ 68A-68E govern the operations of credit services organizations in the Commonwealth. A credit services organization includes any person who receives compensation in exchange for providing certain services which include obtaining an extension of credit for a buyer or providing advice or assistance to a buyer with respect to obtaining credit. The statute prohibits such an organization from accepting payment for services prior to the complete and satisfactory performance of such services unless the organization obtained a surety bond of at least $10,000 and has established a trust account at a federally insured bank in the Commonwealth. Additionally, section 68B provides that a credit services organization shall not charge or receive any money solely for the referral of a buyer to a retail seller who may extend credit to the buyer upon substantially the same terms as those available to the general public. Violations of the statute constitute violations of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A (the Consumer Protection Act). An entity should contact the Commonwealth's Office of the Attorney General, Public Protection Bureau for information relative to entities doing business in the Commonwealth in violation of that statute.

An entity soliciting $2,000 "private personal loans" is required to obtain a license from the Division as a Small Loan Agency pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140 § 96. Acting as a small loan agency without a license is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140 § 110.