Operating Under The D/B/A Name Of An Acquired Company - Q1 2000

By the Division of Banks

A subsidiary of a national association has entered into an agreement to purchase certain assets of another mortgage company, including its name and certain of its branch offices. The acquired offices would continue to use its own name on its signage and marketing material, but all loan documents would reflect the name of the acquiring mortgage company. The issue is whether the Division would object to the use of a d/b/a for the acquired company.

It has been the consistent position of the Division that it does not regulate the use of d/b/a's in the Commonwealth. If a mortgage company is exempt from a mortgage lender license pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E, section 2 because it is a subsidiary of a federally chartered national bank, an acquired entity, operating as a division of the mortgage company, would also be exempt from licensing after the acquisition is completed. When using a d/b/a, the Division would recommend that steps be taken to insure that consumers will not be confused as to which entity they are dealing with.