2015 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title XXXVI - PAWNBROKERS AND MONEYLENDERS
Chapter 399-A - REGULATION OF SMALL LOANS, TITLE LOANS, AND PAYDAY LOANS
Section 399-A:23 - Penalty.

NH Rev Stat § 399-A:23 (2015) What's This?


[RSA 399-A:23 effective January 1, 2016.]
    399-A:23 Penalty. –
    I. Any person or the members, officers, directors, agents, and employees thereof who knowingly violate any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or a felony if any other person.
    II. Any person violating the provisions of RSA 399-A:15 through RSA 399-A:19 or engaging in the business of a small loan lender, payday loan lender, or title loan lender without first obtaining a license, if a license is required under this chapter, shall be prohibited from recovering any finance charge, delinquency, or collection charge on the contract.
    III. Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this chapter, or rule or order of the commissioner may, upon notice and opportunity for hearing, except where another penalty is expressly provided, be subject to suspension or revocation of any registration or license, or an administrative fine not to exceed $2,500 for each violation in lieu of or in addition to such suspension or revocation as may be applicable under this chapter for violation of the provision to which such rule or order relates. Each of the acts specified shall constitute a separate violation and each such administrative action or fine may be imposed in addition to any criminal or civil penalties imposed.
    IV. Any person who negligently violates any provision of this chapter, or rule or order of the commissioner may, upon notice and opportunity for hearing, except where another penalty is expressly provided, be subject to suspension, revocation, or denial of any registration or license, including the forfeiture of any application fee, or the imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $1,500 for each violation, in lieu of or in addition to suspension or revocation as may be applicable under this chapter for violation of the provision to which such rule or order relates. Each of the acts specified shall constitute a separate violation and each such administrative action or fine may be imposed in addition to any criminal or civil penalties imposed.
    V. Every person who directly or indirectly controls a person liable under this section, every partner, principal executive officer, or director of such person, every person occupying a similar status or performing a similar function, every employee of such person who materially aids in any act constituting a violation of this chapter, and every licensee or person acting as a common law agent who materially aids in any act constituting a violation of this chapter, either knowingly or negligently, may, upon notice and opportunity for hearing, and in addition to any other penalty provided for by law, be subject to suspension, revocation, or denial of any registration or license, including the forfeiture of any application fee, or an administrative fine not to exceed $2,500, or both. Each of the acts specified shall constitute a separate violation, and such administrative action or fine may be imposed in addition to any criminal or civil penalties imposed. No person shall be liable under this paragraph who sustains the burden of proof that such person did not know, and in the exercise of reasonable care could not have known, of the existence of facts by reason of which the liability is alleged to exist.
    VI. Any person who refuses without just cause to be examined under oath or who willfully obstructs or interferes with the examiners in the exercise of their authority shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    VII. Any person who engages in the business of a small loan lender in this state or with consumers located in this state without first obtaining a license, shall have no right to collect, receive, or retain any principal, interest, or charges whatsoever on any purported small loan contract and any such contract shall be null and void.
    VIII. If charges in excess of those permitted by this chapter shall be charged, contracted for, or received, except as a result of an accidental or bona fide error, the contract of loan shall be void and the lender shall have no right to collect or receive any charges, interest, or recompense whatsoever.
    IX. Failure to comply with the provisions of RSA 399-A:4 and rules adopted under that section shall be cause for denial of future license applications.
    X. If the commissioner finds that any licensee is no longer in existence or has ceased to do business as a small loan lender or cannot be located after reasonable search, the commissioner may by order revoke the license or impose penalties.
    XI. The attorney general on the commissioner's behalf, may, with or without prior administrative action by the commissioner, bring an action against any person in any superior court in this state to enjoin the acts or practices and to enforce compliance with this chapter or any rule or order under this chapter. Upon a proper showing, a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or writ of mandamus shall be granted and a receiver may be appointed for the defendant or the defendant's assets. The court shall not require the commissioner or attorney general to post a bond. Any person who fails to comply with an injunction, restraining order, or writ of mandamus shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment, or both. In a proceeding in superior court under this paragraph where the state prevails, the commissioner and the attorney general shall be entitled to recover all costs and expenses of investigation, and the court shall include the costs in its final judgment.

Source. 2015, 73:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.


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