SENATE BILL 269
55th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2021
Daniel A. Ivey-Soto
RELATING TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS; EXEMPTING LOANS THAT DO NOT ACCRUE INTEREST FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE NEW MEXICO SMALL LOAN ACT OF 1955; CLARIFYING CERTAIN RECORD REQUIREMENTS FOR AN OUT-OF-STATE LICENSEE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 58-15-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1955, Chapter 128, Section 2, as amended) is amended to read:
"58-15-2. DEFINITIONS.--The following words and terms when used in the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires a different meaning. The meaning ascribed to the singular form applies also to the plural:
A. "consumer" means a person who resides in New Mexico or who enters into a loan agreement in New Mexico;
B. "consumer reporting agency" means any person that, for monetary fees or dues or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in the practice of assembling or evaluating, and maintaining, for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties bearing on a consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing or credit capacity, each of the following regarding consumers:
(1) public record information; or
(2) credit account information from persons who furnish that information regularly and in the ordinary course of business;
C. "debit authorization" means an authorization signed by a consumer to electronically transfer or withdraw funds from the consumer's account for the specific purpose of repaying a loan;
D. "division" means the financial institutions division of the regulation and licensing department;
E. "director" means the director of the division;
F. "installment loan" means a loan in an amount less than or equal to five thousand dollars ($5,000) that is to be repaid in a minimum of four substantially equal payments of principal and interest to pay off a loan in its entirety with an initial stated maturity of not less than one hundred twenty days to maturity. "Installment loan" does not mean a:
(1) refund anticipation loan; or
(2) loan that is five thousand dollars ($5,000) or less, and upon which no interest, finance charge or other fee is assessed;
G. "license" means a permit issued under the authority of the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 to make loans and collect charges therefor strictly in accordance with the provisions of that act at a single place of business. It shall constitute and shall be construed as a grant of a revocable privilege only to be held and enjoyed subject to all the conditions, restrictions and limitations contained in the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 and lawful regulations promulgated by the director and not otherwise;
H. "licensee" means a person to whom one or more licenses have been issued pursuant to the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 upon the person's written application electing to become a licensee and consenting to exercise the privilege of a licensee solely in conformity with the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 and the lawful regulations promulgated by the director under that act and whose name appears on the face of the license;
I. "make a loan" means to originate a new loan agreement or to make any change to the terms of an existing loan agreement, including the principal amount financed, the annual percentage rate, finance charge, fees or payment schedule;
J. "person" includes an individual, copartner, association, trust, corporation and any other legal entity;
K. "refund anticipation loan" means a loan that is secured by or that the creditor arranges or expects to be repaid, directly or indirectly, from the proceeds of the consumer's federal or state personal income tax refunds or tax credits, including any sale, assignment or purchase of a tax refund or tax credit at a discount or for a fee; and
L. "simple interest" means a method of calculating interest in which the amount of interest is calculated based on the annual percentage rate disclosed in the loan agreement and is computed only on the outstanding principal balance of the loan."
SECTION 2. Section 58-15-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1955, Chapter 128, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:
"58-15-3. APPLICABILITY OF ACT--EXEMPTIONS--EVASIONS-- PENALTY.--
A. A person shall not engage in the business of lending in amounts of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or less for a loan without first having obtained a license from the director. Nothing contained in this subsection shall restrict or prohibit a licensee under the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 from making loans in any amount under the New Mexico Bank Installment Loan Act of 1959 in accordance with the provisions of Section 58-7-2 NMSA 1978.
B. Nothing in the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 shall apply to a person making individual advances of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or less under a written agreement providing for a total loan or line of credit in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000).
C. A person engaged in the business of lending in amounts of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or less, upon which no interest, finance charge or other fee is assessed, shall be exempted from Sections 58-15-10.2 and 58-15-42 NMSA 1978.
[C.] D. A banking corporation, savings and loan association or credit union operating under the laws of the United States or of a state shall be exempt from the licensing requirements of the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955, nor shall that act apply to business transacted by any person under the authority of and as permitted by any such law nor to any bona fide pawnbroking business transacted under a pawnbroker's license nor to bona fide commercial loans made to dealers upon personal property held for resale. Nothing contained in the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 shall be construed as abridging the rights of any of those exempted from the operations of that act from contracting for or receiving interest or charges not in violation of an existing applicable statute of this state.
[D.] E. The provisions of Subsection A of this section apply to:
(1) a person who owns an interest, legal or equitable, in the business or profits of a licensee and whose name does not specifically appear on the face of the license, except a stockholder in a corporate licensee; and
(2) a person who seeks to evade its application by any device, subterfuge or pretense whatsoever, including but not thereby limiting the generality of the foregoing:
(a) the loan, forbearance, use or sale of credit (as guarantor, surety, endorser, comaker or otherwise), money, goods or things in action;
(b) the use of collateral or related sales or purchases of goods or services or agreements to sell or purchase, whether real or pretended;
(c) receiving or charging compensation for goods or services, whether or not sold, delivered or provided; and
(d) the real or pretended negotiation, arrangement or procurement of a loan through any use or activity of a third person, whether real or fictitious.
[E.] F. A person, copartnership, trust or a trustee or beneficiary thereof or an association or corporation or a member, officer, director, agent or employee thereof who violates or participates in the violation of a provision of Subsection A of this section is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Subsection B of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978. A contract or loan in the making or collection of which an act is done that violates Subsection A or [D] E of this section or Section 58-15-17 or 58-15-20 NMSA 1978 is void and the lender has no right to collect, receive or retain any principal, interest or charges whatsoever.
[F.] G. A loan in an amount equal to five thousand dollars ($5,000) or less shall be made only pursuant to the New Mexico Bank Installment Loan Act of 1959 or the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955.
[G.] H. A violation of a provision of the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 that constitutes either an unfair or deceptive trade practice or an unconscionable trade practice pursuant to Section 57-12-2 NMSA 1978 is actionable pursuant to the Unfair Practices Act."
SECTION 3. Section 58-15-9 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1955, Chapter 128, Section 9, as amended) is amended to read:
"58-15-9. EXAMINATION OF LICENSEE'S BOOKS AND RECORDS-- WITNESSES.--
A. At least once each year, the director or the director's authorized representative shall make an examination of the place of business of each licensee and the loans, transactions, books, papers and records of the licensee insofar as they pertain to the business licensed under the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 as the director may deem necessary. The licensee shall pay to the director for such annual examination a fee of two hundred dollars ($200).
B. Within a reasonable time after the completion of an examination of a licensed office, the director shall mail to the licensee a copy of the report of the examination, together with any comments, exceptions, objections or criticisms of the director concerning the conduct of the licensee and the operation of the licensed office.
C. For the purpose of discovering violations of the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 or of securing information lawfully required under that act, the director or the director's authorized representative may at any time investigate the business and examine the books, accounts, papers and records used therein, including income tax returns or other reports filed in the office of the director of the revenue processing division of the taxation and revenue department of:
(1) any licensee;
(2) any other person engaged in the business described in Subsection A of Section 58-15-3 NMSA 1978 or participating in such business as principal, agent, broker or otherwise; and
(3) any person [whom] who the director has reasonable cause to believe is violating any provision of the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955, whether the person claims to be within the authority or beyond the scope of that act.
D. For the purposes of this section, a person who advertises, solicits or makes any representation as being willing to make loan transactions in any amount, except persons, financial institutions or lending agencies operating under charters or licenses issued by a state or federal agency or under any special statute, shall be subject to investigation under the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 and shall be presumed to be engaged in the business described in Subsection A of Section 58-15-3 NMSA 1978 as to any loans of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or less.
E. To facilitate the examinations and investigations by the director and fully disclose the operations and methods of operation of each licensed office, the licensee shall, in each licensed office, keep on file as part of the records of the office all office manuals, communications or directives containing statements of loan policy to office managers and employees. If the licensee is an individual, corporation, trust or association, the licensee shall keep in at least one office for information of the director a record of the several individuals, firms, beneficiaries of any trust and corporations deriving or receiving any part of the benefits, net income or profits from the operation of the licensee within New Mexico. If the licensee is located in another state, the licensee shall make documents available to the director in a manner as requested by the director.
F. For the purposes of this section, the director or the director's authorized representative shall have and be given free access to the offices and places of business, files, safes and vaults of all licensees and shall have authority to require the attendance of any person and to examine the person under oath relative to such loans or business or to the subject matter of any examination, investigation or hearing as provided in the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955. Notices to appear before the director for examination under oath may be served by registered mail. If the party notified to appear is the licensee, any person named on the face of the license being investigated or any agent, employee or manager participating in the licensee's business and the party fails to appear for examination or refuses to answer questions submitted, the director may, forthwith and without further notice to the licensee, suspend the license involved pending compliance with the notice. Upon failure of any other person to appear or to answer questions, the director may apply to and invoke the aid of any district court of New Mexico in compelling the attendance and testimony of any such person and the production of books, records, written instruments and documents relating to the business of the licensee. The district court whose aid is so invoked by the director may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey any order of the district court issued to compel the attendance of the person or the production of books, records, written instruments and documents, punish the person as for contempt of court.
G. The director shall prescribe rules of procedure for all hearings, examinations or investigations provided for in the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955. The director is not bound by the usual common law or statutory rules of evidence or by any technical or formal rules of procedure or pleading and specification of charges other than as specifically provided in the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 but may conduct hearings, examinations and investigations in the manner best calculated to ascertain the substantial rights of the parties interested.
H. The director has the power to administer oaths, certify official acts and records of the director's office, issue subpoenas for witnesses in the name of and under the seal of the director's office and compel the production of papers, books, accounts and documents. The director shall issue subpoenas at the instance of any party to a hearing before the division upon payment of a fee of two dollars fifty cents ($2.50) for each subpoena so issued.
I. Depositions may be taken with or without a commission, and written interrogatories may be submitted in the same manner and on the same grounds provided by law for the taking of depositions or submission of written interrogatories in civil actions pending in the district courts of this state.
J. Each witness who appears before the director by the director's order shall receive the fees and mileage provided for witnesses in civil actions in the district court. Fees and mileage shall be paid by the state, but no witness subpoenaed at the instance of parties other than the director is entitled to compensation from the state for attendance or mileage unless the director certifies that the witness' testimony is material.
K. Whenever the director has reasonable cause to believe that a person is violating a provision of the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955, the director may, in addition to all actions provided for in that act and without prejudice thereto, enter an order requiring the person to desist or to refrain from the violation. An action may be brought on the relation of the attorney general and the director to enjoin the person from engaging in or continuing the violation or from doing any act in furtherance of the violation. In any such action, an order or judgment may be entered awarding a preliminary or final injunction as may be deemed proper. In addition to all other means provided by law for the enforcement of a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction or final injunction, the court in which such action is brought shall have power and jurisdiction to impound and to appoint a receiver for the property and business of the defendants, including books, papers, documents and records pertaining thereto or so much thereof as the court may deem reasonably necessary to prevent further violations of the New Mexico Small Loan Act of 1955 through or by means of the use of the property and business. The receiver, when appointed and qualified, shall have powers and duties as to custody, collection, administration, winding up and liquidation of the property and business as are from time to time conferred upon the receiver by the court."
- 13 -