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:3 - Application and Fees.
I. (a) Every applicant for licensing under this chapter shall file with the commissioner a written verified application, on a form prescribed by the commissioner. The application shall contain the name of the applicant; the applicant's tax identification number; the address where the business is or is to be conducted and similar information for any branch office of the applicant; the trade name, if any, under which the applicant proposes to conduct such business; the articles of incorporation or organization or partnership agreement; the name and address of the New Hampshire resident agent if the applicant is a foreign entity; and such other pertinent information as the commissioner may require. The application shall include the names of the applicant's principals and the name of any person occupying a similar status or performing similar functions. Each such principal shall provide his or her social security number and shall authorize the commissioner to conduct a background check. The applicant shall submit any other information that the commissioner may require including, but not limited to, the applicant's form and place of organization, the applicant's proposed method of doing business, the qualifications and business history of the applicant and its principals, and the applicant's financial condition and history. The applicant shall disclose if any injunction or administrative order has been issued against the applicant or any of its principals and whether the applicant or any of its principals have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving the lending industry or any aspect of the lending business or of any felony. Each applicant and licensee who conducts payday or title loan lending shall maintain an office in this state that is accessible to consumers. Persons subject to this chapter shall be responsible for the supervision of their employees, agents, and branch offices. Each initial and renewal license application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $450 for the principal place of business of the licensee and the sum of $450 for each branch of such licensee maintained in this state.
(b) Unless the applicant is a publicly traded corporation, the department shall complete a background investigation and criminal history records check on the applicant's principals and any person in a similar position or performing similar functions. If the applicant is a subsidiary, the department shall complete a background investigation and criminal history records check on individuals who are indirect owners.
(c) The persons described in subparagraph I(b) shall submit to the department a notarized criminal history records release form, as provided by the New Hampshire division of state police, which authorizes the release of the person's criminal records, if any. The person shall submit with the release form a complete set of fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency or an authorized employee of the banking department. In the event that the first set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, a second set of fingerprints is necessary in order to complete the criminal history records check. If, after 2 attempts, a set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, the department may, in lieu of the criminal history records check, accept police clearances from every city, town, or county where the person has lived during the past 5 years.
(d) The department shall submit the criminal history records release form to the New Hampshire division of state police which shall conduct a criminal history records check through its records and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon completion of the background investigation, the division of state police shall release copies of the criminal conviction records to the department. The department shall maintain the confidentiality of all criminal history records information received pursuant to this paragraph.
(e) The department may require the applicant or licensee to pay the actual costs of each background investigation and criminal history records check.
(f) The department may rely on criminal records checks reported through a national licensing system in lieu of subparagraphs (c) and (d).
II. Every applicant for licensing shall be required to submit to the banking department detailed financial information sufficient for the commissioner to determine the applicant's ability to conduct the business of a small loan lender, payday lender, or title loan lender with financial integrity. The application shall include a financial statement that shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and shall include a balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in owner's equity, a cash flow statement, and note disclosures. If the financial statement is not audited, a certification statement shall be attached and signed by a duly authorized officer of the licensee. The certification statement shall state that the financial statement is true and accurate to the best of the officer's belief and knowledge. If the financial statement is more than 6 months old, the applicant shall also submit an interim balance sheet and income statement not more than 3 months old. Financial statements provided in connection with a license application under this section shall be subject to review and verification during the course of any examination or investigation conducted under this chapter. Each applicant and licensee shall maintain a positive net worth at all times. Each applicant shall demonstrate that it has available for use in such business at each location specified in the application, at least $25,000, or in the case of a licensee, has such amount available or actually invested in loans made under this chapter at each location or has posted a continuous surety bond in the amount of $25,000 in the form and under the terms determined by the commissioner.
III. Every applicant for licensing under this chapter shall file with the commissioner, in such form as the commissioner prescribes by rule, irrevocable consent appointing the commissioner to receive service of any lawful process in any non-criminal suit, action, or proceeding against the applicant or the applicant's successor, executor, or administrator which arises under this chapter or any rule or order under this chapter after the consent has been filed, with the same force and validity as if served personally on the person filing the consent. A person who has filed such a consent in connection with a previous application need not file another. When any person, including any nonresident of this state, engages in conduct prohibited or made actionable by this chapter or any rule or order under this chapter, and such person has not filed a consent to service of process under this section and personal jurisdiction over such person cannot otherwise be obtained in this state, that conduct shall be considered equivalent to such person's appointment of the commissioner to receive service of any lawful process. Service may be made by leaving a copy of the process in the office of the commissioner along with $5, but is not effective unless:
(a) The plaintiff, who may be the attorney general in a suit, action, or proceeding instituted by him or her, forthwith sends a notice of the service and a copy of the process by registered mail to the defendant or respondent at such person's last address on file with the commissioner, and
(b) The plaintiff's affidavit of compliance with this paragraph is filed in the case on or before the date specified by the court on the summons, if any, or within such further time as the court allows.
IV. The commissioner may license or register individuals or firms by means of or through the facilities of a national organization which facilitates registration and licensing on a nationwide basis.
399-A:3 Exemptions. --
This chapter shall not apply to:
I. Any person lawfully engaged in business as permitted by the laws of this state or of the United States relative to banks, trust companies, insurance companies, savings or building and loan associations, or credit unions, or to loans made by them.
II. Any person engaged solely in the business of making loans for educational purposes or to the loans made by such persons.
III. Any other person not within the intent of this chapter as the commissioner may designate by rule or order.
Source. 2015, 73:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.
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