Increase the Efficiency of Certain Consumer Credit Protection Laws

Last updated: Jun 5, 2019

Details about this bill
Category: General Business
Status: Carried Over
Sponsor: Senator Robert Foley, Senate 34 - York County
Session: 129
Bill #: LD 1767

Position:

Monitoring.

Summary:

Part A of this bill does the following.

1. It clarifies the jurisdiction of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection to regulate transactions entered into by mail, telephone or electronic mail or using a creditor's website when the consumer is located in Maine.

2. It establishes that an automobile seller is regularly engaged in credit sales if the seller sells more than 15 cars per year on credit. Currently, a dealer can sell up to 25 cars a year on credit without complying with any disclosure, rate cap or repossession standards.

3. It defines a supervised lender to include a company that purchases and collects on supervised loans, regardless of whether the company maintains an office in this State. Current law already holds in-state companies to this standard.

4. It clarifies confidentiality provisions by referencing an exception currently found in another section of the Maine Consumer Credit Code.

5. It authorizes the Superintendent of Consumer Credit Protection to adjust fees to support the costs of compliance and staff attorney positions with revenues derived from nonbank mortgage companies. It also allows the superintendent to reduce fees by order.

6. It corrects a reference to the Superintendent of Consumer Credit Protection.

7. It specifically provides that the Superintendent of Consumer Credit Protection or the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has the authority, after notice to the licensee and opportunity to be heard, to suspend, revoke or deny renewal of a payroll processor's license.

8. It confirms the ability of the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection to regulate transmission of digital currencies, such as Bitcoin.

9. It clarifies the definition of "debt buyer" as a regular purchaser of delinquent debt, regardless of whether the delinquent debt has been charged off and removed as an account from the books of the creditor as an asset and treated as a loss or expense.

10. It establishes the Superintendent of Consumer Credit Protection's authority over debt collectors consistent with authority granted the administrator with respect to other license types.

11. It adds to the laws governing debt collectors routine enforcement authority consistent with authority currently applied with respect to consumer lenders and creditors.

12. It adds to the laws governing debt collectors an assurance of discontinuance as an enforcement option consistent with current law applicable to consumer lenders and creditors.

Part B repeals mortgage lending restrictions applicable to nonbank mortgage lenders that have been made unnecessary due to subsequent enhancements to federal mortgage lending laws.

Part C does the following.

1. It permits the use of a nationwide multistate licensing system to process licenses and registrations with respect to general creditors, debt collectors, money transmitters and other entities regulated by the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. It also authorizes the use of that system by large, national companies that already use the system for their licenses in other states.

2. It amends a notification date provision in the law to permit the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection to use the nationwide mortgage licensing system for different business types.

Part D does the following.

1. It repeals language that requires annual reports to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over insurance and financial services matters.

2. It repeals language that requires a report to the Legislature every 90 days on the activities of the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection's foreclosure intake, counseling and referral program.

3. It consolidates accounts within the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection.

4. It repeals language that requires the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection to report to the Legislature every 6 months on the budgetary aspects of the bureau's foreclosure intake, counseling and referral program.