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Opinion Summary of Selected Opinion 99-149

Date: 01/01/2000
Organization: Division of Banks
Docket Number: 99-149

This opinion was issued in the 1st quarter of 2000.

Table of Contents

Licensure of a marketing information company as a mortgage broker pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E

Under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E, a mortgage broker is defined as "any person who for compensation or gain, or in the expectation of compensation or gain, directly or indirectly negotiates, places, assists in placement, finds or offers to negotiate, place, assist in placement or find mortgage loans on residential property for others." The statute goes on to state that any person who acts as a mortgage broker five or more times in a consecutive twelve-month period must obtain a license from the Commissioner of Banks. The statute only applies to mortgage brokers for owner-occupied, one-to-four family residential property.

A marketing information company provides leads to lenders for different types of loan products, including mortgage, automobile, personal, SBA and commercial loans. In determining whether the marketing information company is required to be licensed, we look to Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E.

The marketing information company is contacted by the consumers. The company would then forward the consumer provided information to the prospective lenders. If consumers did not hear from prospective lenders, they would be able to contact the marketing information company to inquire about the status of their applications. The company would not make loans, order or review credit reports, make decisions regarding creditworthiness, provide counseling, or endorse or recommend any particular lending institution or products. The company would be compensated solely by lenders for its services based upon the quantity of prospect profiles provided, the accuracy of the information in the profiles, and the success of its lenders.

It is the position of the Division that the company, performing the functions as described above, would fall within the definition of a mortgage broker. Based on the facts presented, the company would directly or indirectly be assisting to place and find loans on residential property for others for compensation or gain. Therefore, a mortgage broker license would be required under said chapter 255E.

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