Licensing Requirement For The Service Center Of A Sales Finance Company - Q1 2000

By the Division of Banks

A sales finance company ("Company") is licensed to conduct business in the Commonwealth under Massachusetts General Laws chapters 255B and 255D. Company is in the process of setting up a service center in Greenville, South Carolina. While the licensed Massachusetts branches will continue to purchase contracts and retail installment contracts under their Massachusetts sales finance licenses, the service center will administer and service these contracts. Company inquires whether Massachusetts would require the service center to obtain an additional license.

Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255B, § 2 requires licensing for certain entities engaged in the business of a sales finance company relative to the sale of motor vehicles. Additionally, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255D, § 2 requires licensing for certain entities engaged in the business of a sales finance company relative to the sale of goods and services. Said chapters 255B and 255D define a sales finance company, in part, as "any person engaged, in whole or in part, in the business of purchasing retail installment contracts from one or more retail sellers." Chapter 255B contains additional language in its definition of a sales finance company to include "a retail seller engaged in whole or in part, in the business of holding retail installment contracts acquired from retail buyers." According to your letter the service center will not be purchasing retail installment contracts from retail sellers or acquiring contracts from retail buyers. It is the position of the Division that the service center is not engaged in the business of a sales finance company as defined in either chapter 255B or 255D. Therefore, it is also the position of the Division that the service center is not required to obtain a license as a sales finance company under said chapter 255B nor said chapter 255D.