- Any motor vehicle dealer who sells motor vehicles under or subject to a retail installment contract and holds the retail installment contract must obtain a license as a “Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Company" from the Massachusetts Division of Banks (Division).
- The licensing requirement applies even if a dealer claims to finance the sale without charging any interest, finance charges or fees to a buyer.
- The licensing requirement applies to retail installment sales contracts which are signed by buyers in Massachusetts.
- The MassDot, Registry of Motor Vehicles will not allow a motor vehicle dealer engaged in the business of a sales finance company to obtain a lien code unless the dealer holds a valid license with the Division.
- Motor vehicle dealers that enter into so-called “motor vehicle lease agreements” with consumers may be required to obtain a license as a sales finance company license. See the Division’s Industry Letter for more information.
WHAT TO DO
- If you are a motor vehicle dealer engaged in motor vehicle financing as described, you must immediately cease the activity and contact the Division to discuss your options. You will be asked to provide the Division with information relating to executed contracts and sign an affidavit stating you have ceased entering into any additional contracts.
- You must either demonstrate to the Division's satisfaction that you are not subject to the licensing provisions of the law, or you must file an application and obtain a license to operate as a motor vehicle sales finance company.
Anyone seeking information or with additional questions regarding motor vehicle sales finance companies may contact the Division at (617) 956-1500 ext. 585, or email Nicole.Bullock@state.ma.us.
LICENSE APPLICATION PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS
- Each applicant for a license must submit a complete application package to the Division. Application instructions, as well as a checklist and the required forms, may be found on the Division’s website at www.mass.gov/dob by clicking on “Apply for or Amend a License” and following the links to Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Company Instructions.
- As part of a complete license application package, an applicant must remit a check in the amount of $300.00, payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for the investigation fee.
- Among other requirements, the Division reviews an applicant’s business plan and financial statements; and the backgrounds and other personal information of its officers, members, directors and owners.
- Applicants must exhibit a net worth of not less than $20,000, in accordance with the definition outlined in regulation 209 CMR 20.02.
LICENSE MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS
- Once an applicant is approved, the cost of the license is $1,000 annually. Licenses expire annually and each year licensees must submit renewal applications and be approved by the Division to conduct business for the next year.
- Licensed motor vehicle sales finance companies must annually submit financial statements which have been either audited or reviewed by an independent Certified Public Accountant and prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
- The Division's examiners conduct periodic examinations of licensees’ books and records to assess the licensee's ability to operate in a financially safe and sound manner and its compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The examination fee is $60.00 per examiner per hour.
- Licensees must annually, on or before April 15th, file a report with the Division containing information regarding its business and operations during the preceding calendar year.
REFERENCES: MASSACHUSETTS STATUTES AND REGULATIONS
- Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255B and the Division's regulation 209 CMR 20.00 et seq. concerning Retail Installment Sales of Motor Vehicles.
- Massachusetts General Laws chapter 140D: Consumer Credit Cost Disclosure and the Division's implementing regulation 209 CMR 32.00 et seq. concerning Truth-in-Lending and credit advertising.