Massachusetts law about credit, banking, and interest rates

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on credit, banking, and interest rate law.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws on credit

Massachusetts laws on interest rates

MGL c.271, § 49 Criminal usury

MGL c.184, § 17B 1/2 Variable or adjustable subprime loans for first-time home loan borrowers

MGL c.140, § 96 Small loan business

Massachusetts regulations

201 CMR 16 Placing, lifting and removal of security freezes 

209 CMR Division of Banking regulations

Federal laws

15 USC §§ 1601 et. seq. Truth in Lending Act

15 USC §§ 1681 et seq. Fair Credit Reporting Act

12 USC § 85 Rate of interest on loans, discounts and purchases

PL 111-24 Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, the Credit CARD Act of 2009

Federal regulations

12 CFR 226 Regulation Z Truth in lending

12 CFR 7.4001 Charging interest by national banks at rates permitted competing institutions; charging interest to corporate borrowers

Selected case law

Lance v. PNC Bank, NA, US District Court, Mass. (2015)
In "an action arising out of allegedly improper reporting of the status of a residential mortgage loan to a credit reporting company," claims under MGL c.93, s.54A and c.93A are preempted by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

Marquette National Bank v. First of Omaha Service Corp., 439 US 299 (1978)
Decision allowed a national bank to charge interest on credit cards at the rate allowed by the state where it was located, regardless of legal limits in the customers' home states.

Tyler v. Michaels Stores, 464 Mass. 492 (2013)
Construing G. L. c. 93, § 105 (a), the court held: "a zip code constitutes 'personal identification information' ...; that the term 'credit card transaction form' refers equally to electronic and paper transaction forms; and that a plaintiff may bring an action for violation of G. L. c. 93, § 105 (a), without alleging a claim of identity fraud."

Web sources

Advice for older consumers about credit cards, National Consumer Law Center, December 2014.
This is a helpful document for consumers of any age looking for information on getting and using credit cards.

Boost your credit I.Q.: limitations on interest rates and late charges (for credit cards), Mass. Attorney General
"Massachusetts law generally limits credit card annual interest rates to 18% and late charge penalties to $10 per payment. However, Massachusetts credit card customers of national banks located in South Dakota, Delaware, or other states may pay considerably higher interest rates and late penalties, because those states allow the higher rates and penalties. Therefore, make sure you are aware of which state the lender is located in and that you understand the credit terms before you take on a new credit card."

Compliance with Regulation CC: A Guide for Financial Institutions, Federal Reserve Board
Explains when your money will be available to you after you deposit it in a bank

Consumer rights for domestic violence survivors in Massachusetts, National Consumer Law Center, 2011
The information in this packet is intended to help you separate your finances from your abuser, deal with any existing debts, stay financially independent in the future and avoid traps and scams, and get more help and information with these issues.

Credit, loans, and debt, Federal Trade Commission
Includes information on credit scores, debit and credit cards, and loans

Credit card agreement database, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Credit card rules and the CARD Act, Findlaw.
A variety of protections for credit card holders and applicants.

Credit discrimination, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Include links to file a complaint and ask questions

Does a credit card make sense for me?, Mass. Attorney General
There are benefits and risks to making purchases with credit. These tips from the Attorney General's Office can help you protect yourself when using a credit card.

Financial resources for consumers, Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs
Provides links to Mass. information on banking, loans, credit reporting, debt collection,
filing a complaint and more

Guide to consumer credit, Mass. Attorney General, February 2018
Covers Truth in Lending, billing rights, costs of credit, Fair Credit Reporting, Fair Debt Collection, and more

Understanding debt and credit, Mass. Attorney General.
Learn more about managing your credit and your rights and responsibilities with credit and debt. Having an issue with a debt collector, a credit card company, or a credit reporting agency? File a consumer complaint with the Attorney General's Office.

Print sources

Banking 101, MCLE New England, 2013

Credit repair by Amy Loftsgordon, Nolo, 2020.

Computation of service or interest charge on bank credit cards as usurious under National Bank Act (12 U.S.C.A. § 85), 38 A.L.R. Fed. 805.

Consumer credit: law, transactions and forms, Matthew Bender, loose-leaf

Consumer credit regulation, NCLC, 2020

Consumer law, 4th edition (Mass. practice v.35A), West Group, 2021.
Chapter 15 Consumer credit loans

Credit discrimination, NCLC, 2018

Truth in lending, NCLC, 2019



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Last updated: April 13, 2022