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This opinion was issued during the 2nd quarter of 2000.
A company operates as a web site aggregator that permits consumers to access loan programs offered by various consumer lenders. The web site will allow consumers to choose the program they feel best meet their needs. The web site is designed to gather minimal information such as name, address, telephone number and social security number. Further, it will allow the consumer to authorize the client to obtain a credit report for the sole purpose of forwarding it to the lender along with the information gathered. The company does not make a credit decision or communicate with the consumer, but merely acts as an aggregator of unsecured and personal property secured consumer loans in the Commonwealth.
Mass.Gen.Laws chapter 140, section 96 states in part, that any person directly or indirectly engaging, for a fee, commission or bonus or other consideration, in the business of negotiating, arranging, aiding or assisting the borrower or lender in procuring or making loans or making loans of $6,000 or less, for which the amount paid or to be paid for the interest and expense, including all amount paid or to be paid to any other party therefore, exceeds in the aggregate an amount equivalent to 12% per annum shall be deemed to be engaged in the business of making small loans and shall be subject to licensure by the Division.
It is the position of the Division that if the loans are for $6,000 or less and exceed 12% per annum interest and expenses, and if the company is receiving a fee or other consideration in procuring a small loan as set forth in the statute, then it would be required to obtain a small loan license.