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Loan Broker FAQ

Is Maine a "brick and mortar state" (i.e., does an out-of-state loan broker that desires to do business in Maine need to maintain a physical office in the state)?

No, a loan broker does not need to maintain a physical office in the state. However, it does need to be licensed by the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection , and registered as a foreign (i.e.) out-of-state) corporation with the Maine Secretary of State's Corporate Division's Office. A loan broker must also post a $25,000 surety bond.

What is a Loan Broker?

As defined in the Maine Consumer Credit Code, the phrase loan broker means any person that provides or offers to provide the following services for compensation: improving a consumer's credit record, history, or rating; arranging for or obtaining an extension of credit for a consumer; or providing advice or assistance to a consumer regarding the procurement of consumer credit or the improvement one's credit record, history, or rating.

Must an applicant have previous experience in order to qualify for license?

No, previous loan broker experience is not required. However, the licensing standard is that "upon investigation, the Administrator finds that the financial responsibility, character, and fitness, of the applicant, and where applicable, its partners, officers, or superintendents, warrant belief that the business will be operated honestly and fairly within the purposes of this Title (Maine Consumer Credit Code, Title 9-A, Maine Revised Statutes Annotated (MRSA))." Please note that a loan broker's initial application (main office or branch) does require submission of a resume of the principal party(s).
in addition, two letters of professional reference are also required .

Are there continuing education requirements in order to maintain my license?

Yes, see Rule 500 regarding Loan Officer Continuing Education here: Rule 500

Do each of my W-2 employees have to be individually registered?

Yes. Registration is required of loan officers employed by loan brokers, as well as those employed by non-bank mortgage lenders. Those loan officers who will have direct contact (by phone or in person) with Maine consumers must be registered. Employees performing clerical or administrative functions don't need to be registered. The registration fee is $20 per loan officer per year, up to a maximum of $400 per company per year.

Does Maine have any special disclosures that I will need to utilize?

Yes. The first special disclosure is the Disclosure Form to the Consumer. It can be found online at: http://www1.maine.gov/pfr/ccp/Lic-reg_forms/CSO/agreement.htm

The second special disclosure is the Disclosure Form required by the "Maine Fair Credit Reporting Act". It can be found online at: http://www1.maine.gov/pfr/ccp/Lic-reg_forms/CSO/disforms.rtf. Both forms are included in the loan broker license materials packet.

Is there a difference between W-2 employees and 1099 employees with respect to license and branch location status?

No. Both W-2 and 1099 loan officer employees should be registered at the office they are located.

I already am licensed as a loan broker. How do I apply for a branch license?

Recently, our office drafted a loan broker branch office application so that both our office and already licensed loan broker could save time. This application is available upon request and is also available online at http://www1.maine.gov/pfr/consumercredit/professions/loan_broker/CSObranch.doc. Please note that a new location necessitates either an additional, separate new $25,000 surety bond, or an increase of $25,000 of the original surety bond, to account for the new location. The address of the new location must be listed on the surety bond and all Maine disclosures submitted in the application package.

Can I broker one or two loans in Maine without being licensed?

No. Loan brokers must obtain a license with the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection prior to brokering any loans with Maine citizens.

Do commercial loan brokers have to be licensed?

No, the regulation of commercial loan brokers does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. Transactions involving two businesses are legal/contractual in nature. Therefore, disputes involving a commercial loan between a business and commercial loan provider or broker must be settled in the court system.

If the loan I broker is closed in another state (other than Maine), do I still need to be licensed in Maine?

No; a loan which is closed in another state is not considered a "Maine transaction"; thus, the broker is not required to be licensed with the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. For example, a New Hampshire firm that brokers a loan for a New Hampshire consumer buying a Maine property may close such loan in New Hampshire and need not be licensed as a loan broker in the state of Maine.

How long does it take to receive a decision on license approval?

If your application is complete and you have met the requirements to operate as a loan broker in the state of Maine, your license will typically be approved within three weeks following receipt by Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. To ensure a compliant and complete application, please utilize the loan broker application checklist.

Where can I find information on locating an individual or company to act as my designated agent for service of process in Maine?

The Maine state government provides a list of registered agents in Maine at: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/corp/regagent.htm (See additional question about agents at the end.)

Do loan broker's always have to maintain a consumer trust/escrow account?

It depends. If a loan broker accepts upfront fees from its clients that are not made payable to third-party service providers (credit reports, appraisals, title work, etc.), those funds must be maintained in an escrow/trust account until the conclusion of the loan process. If the loan broker maintains a policy of not accepting non-third-party fees, an escrow/trust account is not required.

Are there any net worth requirements for approval of loan broker license?

No, there are no net worth requirements for a loan broker; however, to become licensed, a loan broker must post a $25,000 surety bond and be prepared to demonstrate financial responsibility.

How long is the licensing period for?

Two years - February 1 through January 31. (2006-08, 2007-09, 2008-10, etc)

What term should my $25,000 surety bond run for?

The $25,000 surety bond must be continuous in nature with no maturity date.

Should my mailing address or physical address be listed on the surety bond?

Your physical address should be printed on the bond.

Do I need additional surety bonds for my proposed branch locations?

Yes, each branch requires a separate $25,000 surety bond with the address of that branch contained therein. A single bond may be issued that includes the aggregate amount needed to cover the sum of amounts due for each individual location of the loan broker. Such a bond must list each individual location's address. For example: a main office plus one branch= $50,000 aggregate bond; a main office plus three branches= $100,000 aggregate bond.

If my license is approved, what does my company have to provide to the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection at license renewal time?

Other than basic information about your firm and its activity in Maine, a renewal loan broker application must include the following five items: 1) a sample copy, completed so as to reflect a hypothetical transaction, of the signed Written Agreement containing a description of services offered, guarantees or promises of refund, effective term of agreement, terms of payment, and the "Notice to Consumer," as required by Section 10-302 of the Act; 2) a sample copy, showing provision for proof of receipt by the consumer, of the Written Disclosure, setting forth material consumer protections as required by Section 10-303 of the Act; 3) a check, made payable to "Treasurer, State of Maine," in the amount of $300; and 4) Volume information of loans and total dollar amount of loans brokered to Maine residents during the previous registration period.

When should I expect to receive my renewal package?

The Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection generally mails renewal application packets in early December.

Upon receipt, how long should I wait to forward the completed renewal material in order to avoid a "gap" in my registration status?

Completed loan broker renewal packets should be received by the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection no later than the end of the second week in January.

If my renewal information is received after January 31 by your agency, is there a penalty assessed in order to renew?

There is an additional fee of $100 for a renewal received after the due date.

I want to change the physical location of a main office or branch, what steps should I take?

Forward to our agency (on company letterhead) a written request containing the current address and proposed (new) location along with the surrendered license. Enclose a $25.00 check payable to, "Treasurer, State of Maine" (fee). Finally enclose a surety bond rider containing the new address and enclose your license. Our agency will forward an updated license to you within three weeks.

What are some fact patterns that have resulted in the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection terminating a loan broker license?

If during the term of a loan broker's license, the Administrator finds that the financial responsibility, character, and fitness, of the applicant, and where applicable, its partners, officers, or superintendents, warrant the belief that that the business can no longer be operated honestly and fairly within the provisions of Article X of the Maine Consumer Credit Code, then a loan broker's license may be terminated. Specific reasons for license termination include, but are not limited to, systemic and repeated violations such as: filing false corporate documents, failing to segregate consumer's funds from working capital in escrow accounts, failing to pay loan appraisers, undue mortgage application delays, surprise closing costs, loss of rate-locks, obstructing Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection investigations, forging customer's documents, demonstrating fiscal irresponsibility by overdrawing one's checking and consumer escrow account, and failing to pay for a state compliance examination.

Where can I find the Maine Consumer Credit Code online so that I may better understand the law and thereby assure my compliance, or better understand my rights as a consumer?

The Maine Consumer Credit Code can be found online here: http://www1.maine.gov/sos/cec/rcn/apa/02/chaps02.htm.

Advisory rulings which may modify and clarify certain parts of the Maine Consumer Credit Code may be found here: http://www1.maine.gov/pfr/ccp/ccp_advisory_doc.htm.

If I want to close loans in my company's name, is there a special license required?

Yes. The Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection issues supervised lender licenses which allow your company to act as a lender and also retain your powers to broker consumer loans to Maine citizens. The application form and other documents related to supervised lender licensing can be found at: http://www1.maine.gov/pfr/ccp/ccp_applicat.htm#SUPERVISED%20LENDER

Do I need a special license to broker home equity loans?

No. Your loan broker license allows you the ability to broker all types of secured or unsecured consumer loans to Maine consumers.

What is a registered agent?

Virtually all states require corporations and LLCs to appoint a registered agent in the state where the company is conducting business. The registered agent is responsible for receiving important legal and tax documents including: notice of litigation (service of process), franchise tax forms and annual report forms.

The registered agent may be an individual or a company approved by the state to act as agent, located at a street address in the state where the company is conducting business. The registered agent's name and address are included in documents on file with the Secretary of State's Office. This information is a matter of public record.

What services do most registered agents provide?

  • Accept any legal service of process (notice of litigation) documents and record the service in your company file. Notify you via telephone and/or email upon receipt of service of process.
  • Forward any official documents and tax notices received from the Secretary of State and/or tax authorities.
  • Notification of changes to statutes or regulations, ensuring that your company remains compliant with government regulations in any state.

Where can I find a registered agent?

You can check with the Maine Secretary of State Office online at http://www.maine.gov/sos/. You can also find a large list of registered agents on the internet by searching for "registered agents." You should make sure that the agent you choose has been approved by the State to act as an agent and is located in Maine.

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