Section 25: Lending or borrowing money or receipt of credit by licensees
Section 25. It shall be unlawful for any licensee under this chapter to lend or borrow money, directly or indirectly, to or from any other licensee under this chapter. It shall be unlawful for any licensee under this chapter to receive or extend credit, directly or indirectly, for alcoholic beverages sold or delivered to any licensee engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages except in the usual course of business and for a period of not more than sixty days, or for any manufacturer, wholesaler or importer of alcoholic beverages, or any winegrower not holding a license under section twelve, to acquire, retain or own, directly or indirectly, any interest in the business of any licensee under section twelve, or for any winegrower licensed under section twelve to acquire, retain or own, directly or indirectly, any interest in the business of any other licensee under section twelve, or for any manufacturer of alcoholic beverages or any winegrower to acquire, retain or own, directly or indirectly, any interest in the business of any licensee under section fifteen. Nothing in this chapter shall require any manufacturer, winegrower or wholesaler to extend credit to any licensee. The credit period shall be calculated from the date of the delivery of the alcoholic beverages to the purchaser to the date when the purchaser discharges in full the indebtedness for which the credit was extended. If any licensee does not discharge in full any such indebtedness within such sixty day period, the indebtedness shall be overdue and such licensee shall be delinquent within the meaning of this section. Within three days after a licensee becomes delinquent, the licensee who extended the credit shall mail a letter of notice by certified mail to the commission and a copy thereof to the delinquent licensee. The letter of notice shall be in forms provided by the commission. The notice shall contain the name of the delinquent licensee, the date of delivery of the alcoholic beverages and the amount of the indebtedness remaining undischarged. Within five days after receipt of such a letter of notice, the commission shall post the name and address only of the delinquent licensee in a delinquent list containing the names and addresses of all delinquent licensees. Such posting shall constitute notice to all licensees of the delinquency of such licensee.
If a licensee is seriously damaged in his business by riot, insurrection, civil disturbance, fire, explosion or by an act of God, so-called, the licensee may file an application with the commission requesting that the provisions of the first paragraph of this section be suspended as to him for a reasonable period. The commission shall set down the application for hearing within twenty-one days and shall notify all licensees engaged in selling to said applicant of the hearing and give all interested parties the right to be heard. Pending such hearing, the commission may, after an investigation and determination that the facts as stated by the licensee in his application would constitute reasonable grounds for relief, order that such licensee shall not be posted as delinquent. If the commission finds it is in the public interest to do so, it may suspend the application of said first paragraph with respect to the applicant for such period as it may consider to be reasonable and in the public interest. Such action shall not deprive creditors of all legal rights available to them for the collection of the indebtedness and shall be contingent on such terms and conditions as the commission shall determine.
No licensee under this chapter shall sell or deliver, directly or indirectly, alcoholic beverages to a licensee whose name is posted on the delinquent list, except for payment in cash on or before delivery, and no licensee who is posted on the delinquent list shall purchase or accept delivery of any alcoholic beverages except for payment in cash on or before delivery.
Whenever the license of any licensee whose name appears on the delinquent list is transferred, the name of the transferee shall appear in the place and stead of the transferor, as of the date of license transfer, in the same manner as if no transfer had occurred, but the provisions of this sentence shall not apply to transfers of licenses by assignees, court-appointed receivers or trustees under a voluntary assignment for the benefit of creditors, provided that prior approval of such assignment is obtained from the commission after notice to all creditors has been given and reasonable time allowed for objections by such creditors.
Upon full discharge of the indebtedness for which a licensee was posted, the licensee who filed the letter of notice of delinquency shall, within twenty-four hours thereafter, notify the commission, by mailing a letter by certified mail addressed to the commission of the discharge of the indebtedness. The commission shall immediately strike the name of the delinquent licensee from the list. The commission shall by regulations prescribe how licensees, other than the two concerned, shall be notified of the filing of the name of a licensee on the delinquency list and of the removal of the name of a delinquent from such list. If, after a hearing, the commission finds that any licensee has violated this section or participated in such violation, the commission shall suspend the license of the licensee until full discharge of the indebtedness.
Notwithstanding and in lieu of any other penalty in any other provision of this chapter, any person who violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.
The posting list shall be available for inspection by any licensee or his duly authorized agent only.
Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a person holding any interest in a business licensed under section nineteen, nineteen B or nineteen C from holding at the same time any interest in not more than one business licensed under section eighteen.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to credit extended prior to April the first, nineteen hundred and sixty-nine.
A holder of a certificate of compliance under the provisions of section eighteen B shall not be construed to be a licensee within the commonwealth under the provisions of this section.