(a)(1) To apply for a license, an applicant shall:
(i) Complete, sign, and submit to the Commissioner an application made under oath in the form, and in accordance with the process, that the Commissioner requires; and
(ii) Provide all the information that the Commissioner requests.
(2) The application shall include:
(i) The applicant's legal name and any trade name used by the applicant in accordance with § 2-121 of this article;
(ii) The applicant's principal executive office address;
(iii) If the applicant is not an individual, the name and residence address of each control person;
(iv) The address of each additional location, if any, that:
1. The general public may reasonably view as a location that makes loans, including any location that investigates customer complaints or directly communicates with customers verbally, electronically, or in writing;
2. Houses any core operational infrastructure or technology systems;
3. Conducts any core management, information security and technology, risk and compliance, or finance functions; or
4. Is otherwise required to be listed in NMLS by regulation the Commissioner adopts under this subtitle; and
(v) Any other pertinent information that the Commissioner requires for an investigation and findings under § 11-207 of this subtitle.
Investigation and license fees
(b) With the application, the applicant shall pay to the Commissioner:
(1) An investigation fee of $100; and
(2) A license fee of $850.
(c)(1) With the application, the applicant shall file a surety bond.
(2) The bond shall run to the Commissioner, as obligee, for the benefit of:
(i) The State; and
(ii) Any person who has a cause of action against the applicant under the Maryland Consumer Loan Law.1
(3) The bond shall be:
(i) In an amount determined by the Commissioner under subsection (d) of this section;
(ii) Issued by a surety company that:
1. Is authorized to do business in the State; and
2. Holds a certificate of authority issued by the Maryland Insurance Commissioner; and
(iii) Conditioned that the licensee shall:
1. Comply with the Maryland Consumer Loan Law; and
2. Pay to the State or to any person any money that the licensee may owe to the State or to the person under the Maryland Consumer Loan Law.
(4) The liability of the surety:
(i) Shall be continuous;
(ii) May not be aggregated or cumulative, whether or not the bond is renewed, continued, replaced, or modified;
(iii) May not be determined by adding together the penal sum of the bond, or any part of the penal sum of the bond, in existence at any two or more points in time;
(iv) Shall be considered to be one continuous obligation, regardless of increases or decreases in the penal sum of the bond;
(v) May not be affected by:
1. The insolvency or bankruptcy of the licensee;
2. Any misrepresentation, breach of warranty, failure to pay a premium, or any other act or omission of the licensee or an agent of the licensee; or
3. The suspension of the licensee's license;
(vi) May not require an administrative enforcement action by the Commissioner as a prerequisite to liability; and
(vii) Shall continue for 3 years after the later of the date on which:
1. The bond is canceled; or
2. The licensee, for any reason, ceases to be licensed.
(5)(i) A bond may be canceled by the surety or the licensee by giving notice of cancellation to the Commissioner.
(ii) Notice under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph shall:
1. Be in writing; and
2. Be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(iii) A cancellation of a bond under this paragraph is not effective until 90 days after receipt of a notice of cancellation by the Commissioner.
(6) A claim against the bond may be filed with the surety by:
(i) A claimant; or
(ii) The Commissioner for the benefit of a claimant or the State.
(7) If the amount of claims against a bond exceeds the amount of the bond, the surety:
(i) Shall pay the amount of the bond to the Commissioner for pro rata distribution to claimants; and
(ii) Is relieved of liability under the bond.
(8) If the penal amount of a bond is reduced by payment of a claim or judgment, the licensee shall file a new or additional bond with the Commissioner.
(9) A penalty imposed against a licensee under § 2-115(b) of this article may be collected and paid from the proceeds of a bond required under this subsection.
Separate applications and fees for separate licenses
(d)(1) The amount of the surety bond under subsection (c) of this section shall be in an amount of not less than $50,000 and not more than $200,000, as determined by the Commissioner for each licensee.
(2) In setting the amount of the surety bond, the Commissioner may consider:
(i) The nature and volume of the business or proposed business of the licensee or applicant;
(ii) The financial condition of the licensee or applicant, including:
1. The amount, nature, quality, and liquidity of the assets of the licensee or applicant;
2. The amount and nature of the liabilities, including contingent liabilities, of the licensee or applicant;
3. The history of and prospects for the licensee or applicant to earn and retain income; and
4. The potential harm to consumers if the applicant or licensee becomes financially impaired;
(iii) The quality of the operations of the licensee or applicant;
(iv) The quality of the management of the licensee or applicant;
(v) The nature and quality of the person that has control of the licensee or applicant; and
(vi) Any other factor that the Commissioner considers relevant.
Added by Acts 1980, c. 33, § 2, eff. July 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1997, c. 22, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1997; Acts 2017, c. 253, § 1, eff. July 1, 2017; Acts 2017, c. 479, § 1, eff. June 1, 2017; Acts 2023, c. 567, § 1, eff. July 1, 2023.