RETAIL INSTALLMENT SALES
RETAIL INSTALLMENT SALES OF MOTOR VEHICLES
361-A:2 Licensing of Sales Finance Companies and Retail Sellers Required.
I. No person shall engage in the business of a sales finance company or retail seller in this state without a license therefor as provided in this chapter. Persons subject to this chapter shall be responsible for the supervision of their employees, agents, and branch offices. No state or federally chartered bank, savings bank, trust company, credit union, cooperative bank, or industrial bank shall be required to obtain such a license but shall comply with the provisions of RSA 361-A:7-12, unless otherwise exempted in this chapter.
II. (a) The application for such license shall be in writing and verified through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry using the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry form. The application shall contain the name of the applicant; the tax applicant's identification number; date of incorporation, if incorporated; the address where the business is or is to be conducted and similar information as to any branch office of the applicant; the trade name, if any, under which the applicant proposes to conduct such business; and such other pertinent information as the commissioner may require. The application shall include a list of the names and resident addresses of principals and the name of any person occupying a similar status or performing similar functions. Each principal shall provide his or her social security numbers and shall authorize the commissioner to conduct a background check. The applicant shall submit any other information that the commissioner may require including, but not limited to, the applicant's form and place of organization, the applicant's proposed method of doing business, the qualifications and business history of the applicant and those persons listed in the application, and in the case of sales finance companies, the applicant's financial condition and history. The applicant shall disclose if any injunction or administrative order has been issued against the applicant or any of its principals listed in the application and whether the applicant or any of its principals have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving financial services or a financial services-related business, or any fraud, false statements or omissions, theft or any wrongful taking of property, bribery, perjury, forgery, counterfeiting, extortion, or a conspiracy to commit any of these offenses, or convicted of any felony, prior to the commissioner's approval of such change.
(1) Unless the applicant is a publicly traded corporation, the department shall complete a background investigation and criminal history records check on the applicant's principals and any person in a similar position or performing similar functions. If the applicant is a subsidiary, the department shall complete a background investigation and criminal history records check on individuals who are indirect owners.
(2) The persons described in subparagraph II(a) shall submit to the department a criminal history records release form, as provided by the New Hampshire division of state police, which authorizes the release of the person's criminal records, if any. The person shall submit with the release form a complete set of fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency or an authorized employee of the banking department. In the event that the first set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, a second set of fingerprints is necessary in order to complete the criminal history records check. If, after 2 attempts, a set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, the department may, in lieu of the criminal history records check, accept police clearances from every city, town, or county where the person has lived during the past 5 years.
(3) The department shall submit the criminal history records release form to the New Hampshire division of state police which shall conduct a criminal history records check through its records and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon completion of the background investigation, the division of state police shall release copies of the criminal conviction records to the department. The department shall maintain the confidentiality of all criminal history records information received pursuant to this paragraph.
(4) The department may require the applicant or licensee to pay the actual costs of each background investigation and criminal history records check.
(5) The department may rely on criminal records checks reported through a national licensing facility in lieu of (2) and (3) above.
(b) Every applicant for licensing under this chapter shall file with the commissioner, in such form as the commissioner prescribes by rule, irrevocable consent appointing the commissioner to receive service of any lawful process in any non-criminal suit, action, or proceeding against the applicant or the applicant's successor, executor, or administrator which arises under this chapter or any rule or order under this chapter after the consent has been filed, with the same force and validity as if served personally on the person filing the consent. A person who has filed such a consent in connection with a previous registration need not file another. When any person, including any nonresident of this state, engages in conduct prohibited or made actionable by this chapter or any rule or order under this chapter, and such person has not filed a consent to service of process under this section and personal jurisdiction over such person cannot otherwise be obtained in this state, that conduct shall be considered equivalent to such person's appointment of the commissioner to receive service of any lawful process. Service may be made by leaving a copy of the process in the office of the commissioner along with $5, but is not effective unless:
(1) The plaintiff, who may be the attorney general in a suit, action, or proceeding instituted by him or her, forthwith sends a notice of the service and a copy of the process by registered mail to the defendant or respondent at such person's last address on file with the commissioner; and
(2) The plaintiff's affidavit of compliance with this paragraph is filed in the case on or before the date specified by the court on the summons, if any, or within such further time as the court allows.
(c) If a person holds a valid license under this section and is in compliance with this chapter and the rules thereunder, such licensee may renew the license by paying the required fee to the banking department on or before December 1 for the ensuing year that begins on January 1. Failure to renew the license shall result in the license terminating on December 31.
III. Sales finance company license applicants shall at the same time file with the commissioner a $25,000 surety bond to the state for the use of the state and any person who may have a cause of action against the principal in the bond under the provisions of this chapter, and conditioned that the principal will conform to and abide by each provision of this chapter and will pay to the state and to any such person any sum that may become due or owing under this chapter from the principal of the bond to the state or to such person. Recovery against the bond may be made by the state after due notice and hearing in accordance with the provisions of RSA 541-A, and by any such person who may have obtained a final judgment in a court of competent jurisdiction naming said principal. The surety bond shall be continuous and shall include a provision requiring the surety to give written notice to the commissioner 20 days in advance of the cancellation or termination of the bond. Every bond shall provide that no recovery may be made against the bond unless the state makes a claim for recovery or the person brings suit naming the principal within 6 years after the act upon which the recovery or suit is based.
IV. Each initial and renewal retail seller application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $50 for the principal place of business of the licensee and the sum of $30 for each branch of such licensee maintained in this state.
V. Each initial and renewal sales finance company application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $350 for the principal place of business of the licensee within this state or outside of this state, and the sum of $100 for each branch of such licensee maintained in this state. A person required to obtain a license under the provisions of this section shall not be required to obtain a license as a retail seller.
VI. Sums collected under this chapter shall be payable to the state treasurer as restricted revenue and credited to the appropriation for the commissioner, consumer credit administration division.
VII. Each license shall specify the location of the office or branch and shall be conspicuously displayed there in a public area. In case such location is changed, the commissioner shall endorse the change of location on the license without charge.
VIII. (a) Upon the filing of the complete application for a sales finance company license and payment of the required application fee, if the commissioner determines that the applicant's financial resources and responsibility, experience, personnel, and record of past or proposed conduct warrant the public's confidence and that the business will be operated lawfully, honestly, and fairly within the purposes of this chapter, the commissioner shall enter an order approving such application and shall issue a license to the applicant and shall issue licenses to the applicant's branches to engage in the business of a sales finance company under and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Each sales finance company license shall expire on December 31 of each calendar year.
(b) Upon the filing of a complete application for a retail seller license and payment of the required application fee, if the commissioner determines that the applicant's experience and record of past or proposed conduct warrant the public's confidence and that the business will be operated lawfully, honestly and fairly within the purposes of this chapter, the commissioner shall enter an order approving such application and shall issue a license to the applicant and shall issue licenses to the applicant's branches to engage in the business of a retail seller under and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Each retail seller license shall expire on December 31 of each calendar year.
(c) No license issued under this chapter shall be transferable or assignable.
IX. No licensee shall transact any business provided for by this chapter under a trade name or any other name different from the name stated in its license or branch office license without immediately notifying the commissioner, who shall then amend the license accordingly.
X. No license shall be issued to any person whose principal place of business is located outside of this state unless that person designates an agent residing within this state for service of process.
XI. Each license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall state the name and address of the principal office of the licensee and, if the license is a branch office license, the name and address of the branch office location for which that license is issued.
XII. Retail sellers and sales finance companies licensed under this chapter are under a continuing obligation to update information on file with the commissioner. If any information filed with the commissioner becomes materially inaccurate, the retail seller and sales finance company licensee shall promptly submit an amendment to its application records to correct the information on file with the commissioner. An amendment shall be considered to be filed promptly if the amendment is filed within 30 days of the event that requires the filing of the amendment. Certain significant events as defined by rule shall be reported to the department in writing within 10 calendar days. A licensee shall submit written notification to the department of the addition or deletion of a person required to be listed in the application, and shall provide the name and address of each new person required to be listed no later than 30 days after such change. Each new person required to be listed shall provide his or her social security number and authorize the commissioner to conduct a background check. The commissioner shall investigate management and ownership changes including, but not limited to, the qualifications and business history of each person required to be listed. The licensee shall investigate and disclose any injunction or administrative order that has been issued against the person required to be listed and whether the person required to be listed has been convicted of a misdemeanor involving financial services or a financial services-related business, or any fraud, false statements or omissions, theft or any wrongful taking of property, bribery, perjury, forgery, counterfeiting, extortion, or a conspiracy to commit any of these offenses, or convicted of any felony, prior to the commissioner's approval of such change.
XIII. The fact that a person is licensed or registered in the state of New Hampshire under this chapter does not constitute a finding that the commissioner has passed in any way upon the merits or qualifications of such person or that the commissioner has recommended or given approval to any person. It is unlawful to make, or cause to be made, to any prospective purchaser, customer, or client any representation inconsistent with the provisions of this paragraph.
XIV. Any license fee required by this chapter shall be paid before a license may become effective.
XV. The commissioner may license or register individuals or firms by means of or through the facilities of a national organization which facilitates registration and licensing on a nationwide basis.
Source. 1961, 193:1. 1977, 563:4. 1985, 55:3. 1988, 220:2. 1995, 63:3; 159:1; 253:1. 1997, 322:2-5. 2003, 129:4. 2004, 139:3, 4. 2005, 255:38, 39, 76. 2006, 303:5, 6. 2008, 205:3, 61, eff. Aug. 15, 2008. 2009, 204:5, 34, 35, eff. Sept. 13, 2009. 2014, 204:15, eff. July 11, 2014. 2018, 318:28, eff. Aug. 24, 2018. 2021, 194:2, eff. Oct. 9, 2021.