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Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation

 

Businesses Required to Register with the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation 08-08 - Advisory Notices

 

Download this advisory in Word format (Word document, 215KB, download Word viewer for free)

 

August 1, 2008
(Revised December 24, 2008)

It has come to the attention of the Office of The Commissioner of Financial Regulation (the "Office") that certain Maryland businesses required to register with this Office are not in compliance with State law. Businesses that are required to register with this Office can find the Commissioner of Financial Regulation Business Registration Form on-line (Word document, 132KB, download Word viewer for free). Businesses required to register that fail to do so may be subject to enforcement action that may result in penalties or other sanctions under the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Businesses Required To Register with the Commissioner of Financial Regulation

  • Exempt Mortgage Lenders Affiliated with or a Subsidiary of a Bank, Trust Company, or Credit Union
  • Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies
  • Collection Agency Registrants

Bank, Trust Company or Credit Union-Affiliated Mortgage Lenders

The Maryland Mortgage Lender Law, FI §11-502 (11) requires subsidiaries and affiliates of: "… (1) Any bank, trust company, savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union incorporated or chartered under the laws of this State or the United States that maintains its principal office in this State; (2) Any out-of-state bank…; (3) Any institution incorporated under federal law as a savings association or savings bank that does not maintain its principal office in this State but has a branch that accepts deposits in this State… to file with the Commissioner, prior to making mortgage loans, information sufficient to identify:

  1. The correct corporate name of the subsidiary or affiliate;
  2. An address and telephone number of a contact person for the subsidiary or affiliate;
  3. A resident agent; and
  4. Any additional information considered necessary by the Commissioner for the protection of the public."

This information is incorporated in the Commissioner of Financial Regulation Business Registration Form on-line (Word document, 167KB, download Word viewer for free).

Consumer Reporting Agencies

A consumer reporting agency is defined in the Commercial Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland §14-1201(e), as "…any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports…" If your business is involved in this type of activity, please complete the Commissioner of Financial Regulation Business Registration Form on-line (Word document, 167KB, download Word viewer for free). COMAR 09.03.07.03 requires annual registration on or before January 1 of each year; however, a consumer reporting agency is not required to register each year if information previously registered remains unchanged. NOTE: The consumer reporting agency still needs to send in the Commissioner of Financial Regulation Business Registration Form indicating the information has not changed since the last registration.

Collection Agency Registrants

Certain persons that are exempt from licensing under the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act must file a Business Registration Form with the Commissioner. Those required to file a Business Registration Form include:

Persons who collect debts for others if:
(i) both persons are related by common ownership;
(ii) the person who is collecting the debt does so only for those persons to whom it is related by common ownership; and 
(iii) the principal business of the person collecting the debt is not the collection of debts.

See Md. Code Ann., Business Registration § 7-102(a) for definitions of "common ownership" and "principal business."

In order to be in compliance with Maryland law all bank, trust company, or credit union-affiliated mortgage lenders, consumer reporting agencies, and collection agency registrants should review with their legal counsel the requirements imposed by the Annotated Code of Maryland to determine the need to register with the Office of The Commissioner of Financial Regulation. For additional information, please contact Michael Jackson at 410-230-6017.