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  • Acts
  • 2006
  • Chapter 209 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE USE OF THE NAME OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 37 of chapter 167 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the first paragraph the following 5 paragraphs:-

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a person, domestic or foreign corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company or similar entity shall not use the name, trade name or trademark of any bank, federal bank, federal branch, foreign bank, out-of-state bank or out-of-state branch or out-of-state federal bank, as defined in section 1, or any federal credit union as defined in section 1 of chapter 171, or any subsidiary thereof, in any written or oral advertisement or solicitation for products or services, without the express written consent of the financial institution. For the purposes of this section, the word “advertisement” or “solicitation” shall mean an email, direct mail solicitation, or oral solicitation to a specifically identified consumer or which contains specific information on the account or loan of a specifically identified consumer.

A person, domestic or foreign corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company or similar entity shall not make reference to an existing bank, federal bank, federal branch, foreign bank, out-of-state bank, out-of-state branch, out-of-state federal bank as defined in section 1 of this chapter, or federal credit union as defined in section 1 of chapter 171, or any subsidiary thereof, without the express written consent of the bank, federal bank, federal branch, foreign bank, out-of-state bank, out-of-state branch, out-of-state federal bank or federal credit union, or any subsidiary thereof, or make reference to a loan number, loan amount or other specific loan information on the outside of an envelope, visible through the envelope window, or on a postcard in connection with any written solicitation or an email for products or services to a specifically identified consumer.

A person, domestic or foreign corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company, or similar entity shall not include a loan number, loan amount or other specific loan information relative to a specifically identified consumer that is publicly available in a written or oral solicitation for the purchase of products or services unless the solicitation clearly and conspicuously states in bold-face type on the front page of the correspondence that the person, domestic or foreign corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company or similar entity is not sponsored by or affiliated with and that the solicitation is not authorized by the bank, federal bank, federal branch, foreign bank, out-of-state bank, out-of-state branch, out-of-state federal bank as defined in section 1, or federal credit union as defined in section 1 of chapter 171, or any subsidiary thereof. The statement shall include the name, address and the telephone number of the person making the solicitation and that any loan information referenced was not provided by the bank, federal bank, federal branch, foreign bank, out-of-state bank, out-of-state branch, out-of-state federal bank or federal credit union, or any subsidiary thereof. The statements required in this paragraph shall also be given at the time of any oral solicitation to a specifically identified consumer.

A person, domestic or foreign corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company, association or similar entity, which is considered to have violated this section, shall be considered to have engaged in an unfair and deceptive practice and shall be a violation of chapter 93A.

A bank, federal bank, federal branch, foreign bank, out-of-state bank or out-of-state branch, or out-of-state federal bank, as defined in section 1, and any federal credit union as defined in section 1 of chapter 171, or any subsidiary thereof, that has had its name, trade name, or trademark used in violation of this section may in addition to any other remedy provided by law, bring an action in the superior court in which venue the financial institution has an office to enjoin an act in violation of this section and recover damages. The court shall award damages in the amount of actual damages or $10,000 per violation, whichever is greater. In any successful action for injunctive relief or for damages, the court shall award the financial institution or its subsidiary, attorney’s fees and costs, including court costs.

SECTION 2. Section 37A of said chapter 167, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “association”, in lines 2 and 3, the following words:-

he or his examiners believe is violating the preceding section or who is.

Approved August 2, 2006.