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General Laws

Section 96. No person shall directly or indirectly engage in the business of making loans of six thousand dollars or less, if the amount to be paid on any such loan for interest and expenses exceeds in the aggregate an amount equivalent to twelve per cent per annum upon the sum loaned, without first obtaining from the commissioner of banks, in sections ninety-six to one hundred and fourteen, inclusive, called the commissioner, a license to carry on the said business in the town where the business is to be transacted. When an application for a loan or for an endorsement or guarantee or for the purchase of a note is made by any person within this commonwealth, and the money is advanced or the endorsement or guarantee is made or furnished by any person without this commonwealth, the transaction shall be deemed a loan made within this commonwealth, and such a loan and the parties making it shall be subject to sections ninety-six to one hundred and thirteen, inclusive. The buying or endorsing of notes or the furnishing of guarantee or security for compensation shall be considered to be engaging in the business of making small loans within said sections, but the foregoing provisions of this sentence shall not apply in the case of any transaction which involves any note or other instrument evidencing the indebtedness of a buyer to the seller of goods, services or insurance for a part or all of the purchase price; provided, however, that any advance of money by such seller or, by a person acting on his behalf for the purpose of paying an existing indebtedness of such buyer or for any other purpose shall constitute a loan of money subject to the provisions of this section. For the purposes of said sections, the amount to be paid upon any loan of six thousand dollars or less for interest or expenses shall include all sums paid or to be paid by or on behalf of the borrower for interest, brokerage, recording fees, commissions, services, extension of loan, forbearance to enforce payment, and all other sums charged against or paid or to be paid by the borrower for making or securing directly or indirectly the loan, and shall include all such sums when paid by or on behalf of or charged against the borrower for or on account of making or securing the loan, directly or indirectly, to or by any person, other than the lender, if such payment or charge was known to the lender at the time of making the loan, or might have been ascertained by reasonable inquiry. Any person directly or indirectly engaging, for a fee, commission, bonus or other consideration, in the business of negotiating, arranging, aiding or assisting the borrower or lender in procuring or making loans of six thousand dollars or less, for which the amount paid or to be paid for interest and expenses, including all amounts paid or to be paid to any other party therefor, exceeds in the aggregate an amount equivalent to twelve per cent per annum, whether such loans are actually made by such person or by another party, shall be deemed to be engaged in the business of making small loans, and shall be subject to sections ninety-six to one hundred and twelve, inclusive. If, after all deductions or payments, whether on account of interest, expenses or principal made substantially contemporaneously with the making of the loan, the amount retained by the borrower be six thousand dollars or less, the transaction shall be deemed to be a loan in the amount of the sum so retained by the borrower after such deductions or payments, notwithstanding that the loan be nominally for a greater sum.

This section shall not apply to loans that are subject to section 90A or section 28B of chapter 183.

The provisions of this section and sections ninety-six A to one hundred and fourteen A, inclusive, shall apply only to loans made primarily for personal, family or household purpose; provided, however, that the provisions of this section and said sections ninety-six A to one hundred and fourteen, inclusive, shall not apply to loans to any student, or to any parent, legal guardian or sponsor of a student, made by any nonprofit, public or independent post-secondary educational institution within the commonwealth authorized by law to grant degrees, by the commonwealth or by any agency or instrumentality thereof; and provided, further, that such institutions may not take, receive, reserve, or charge interest, expenses and other consideration for making or securing a loan of six thousand dollars or less in excess of those permitted by section one hundred, except in the event of prepayment or refinancing, in whole or in part, of any existing loans by such institution to any such student, or to any such parent, legal guardian or sponsor of a student, which refinancing or prepayment occurs within eighteen months of the date such loan was made.

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