CREDIT REPAIR LAWS IN MASSACHUSETTS
PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
TITLE XV. REGULATION OF TRADE
CHAPTER 93. REGULATION OF TRADE AND CERTAIN ENTERPRISES
REGULATION OF CREDIT BUREAUS
Chapter 93: Section 68A. Definitions
Section 68A. For the purposes of sections sixty-eight B to sixty-eight D, inclusive, the following words, unless the context requires otherwise, shall have the following meanings:-
“Buyer”, any individual who is solicited to purchase or who purchases the services of a credit services organization.
“Credit services organization”, any person who, with respect to the extension of credit by others, sells, provides, performs, or who represents to sell, provide or perform for the payment of money or other valuable consideration any of the following services: (i) improving a buyer’s credit record, history or rating; (ii) obtaining an extension of credit for a buyer; or (iii) providing advice or assistance to a buyer with respect to either clause (i) or (ii); provided, however, that such term shall not include (a) any person authorized to make loans or extensions of credit under the laws of the commonwealth or the United States, (b) a lender approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development of the United States for participation in any mortgage insurance program under 12 USC 1701 et seq. (National Housing Act), (c) any bank whose deposits or accounts are eligible for insurance by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, or any subsidiary of such bank, (d) any credit union authorized to do business in the commonwealth under state or federal law, (e) any nonprofit organization exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, (f) any person licensed by the commonwealth as a real estate broker when acting within the scope of such license, (g) an attorney at law authorized to practice in the commonwealth when acting within the scope of such practice, (h) any broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission of the United States when acting within the scope of such registration, or (i) any consumer reporting agency as defined in 15 USC 1681 et seq. (Fair Credit Reporting Act).
“Extension of credit”, credit extended to a buyer primarily for personal, family or household purposes including the right to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.
Chapter 93: Section 68B. Credit services organization; restrictions
Section 68B. No credit services organization, its salespersons, agents or representatives, or any independent contractor who sells or attempts to sell the services of a credit services organization shall (1) charge or receive any money or other valuable consideration prior to full, complete and satisfactory performance of the services the credit services organization has agreed to perform for the buyer, unless such organization has obtained a surety bond in an amount not less than ten thousand dollars issued by a surety company authorized to do business in the commonwealth and has established a trust account at a federally insured bank or savings and loan association located in the commonwealth; (2) charge or receive any money or other valuable consideration solely for the referral of a buyer to a retail seller who will or may extend credit to the buyer if such extension of credit is upon substantially the same terms as those available to the general public; (3) make, or advise any buyer to make, any statement that is untrue or misleading, or that should be known by the exercise of reasonable care to be untrue or misleading, with respect to a buyer’s credit worthiness, credit standing or credit rating to a credit reporting agency or to any person who has extended credit to a buyer or to whom a buyer has made application for an extension of credit; (4) make or use any untrue or misleading representations in the offer or sale of the services of a credit services organization or engage, directly or indirectly, in any act, practice or course of business intended to defraud or deceive a buyer in connection with the offer or sale of such services.
Chapter 93: Section 68C. Written statement provided to buyer; contents
Section 68C. Before the execution of a contract or other form of agreement between a buyer and a credit services organization or before the receipt by any such organization of money or other valuable consideration, whichever occurs first, such organization shall provide the buyer with a statement, in writing, containing the following:
(1) a complete and accurate statement of the buyer’s right to review any file on the buyer maintained by a consumer reporting agency, as provided under 15 USC 1681 et seq. (Fair Crediting Reporting Act);
(2) a statement that the buyer may review his consumer reporting agency file at no charge if a request therefor is made to such agency within thirty days after receipt by the buyer of notice that credit has been denied;
(3) if such request is not made within the allotted time, the approximate charge to the buyer for such review;
(4) a complete and accurate statement of the buyer’s right to dispute the completeness or accuracy of any item contained in any file on the buyer maintained by a consumer reporting agency;
(5) a complete and detailed description of the services to be performed by the credit services organization and the total cost to the buyer for such services;
(6) a statement asserting the buyer’s right to proceed against the surety bond or trust account required under section sixty-eight B; and
(7) the name and business address of any such surety company and of the depository of the trust account, together with the name of the trustee and the number of the account.
Chapter 93: Section 68D. Contract between buyer and credit services organization; requirements
Section 68D. Each contract or other form of agreement between a buyer and a credit services organization for the purchase of the services of such organization shall be in writing, dated, signed by the parties, and include the following:
(a) a conspicuous statement in a minimum size of ten point bold face type, in immediate proximity to the space reserved for the buyer’s signature, which reads: You, the buyer, have the right to cancel this contract or agreement at any time prior to midnight of the third business day following the date thereon.
(b) a form, in duplicate and captioned “NOTICE OF CANCELLATION”, attached to the contract or agreement and containing, in a minimum size of ten point bold face type, the following:
NOTICE OF CANCELLATION.
You have the right to cancel this contract, or agreement, without any penalty or obligation until midnight of the third business day following the date on which such contract or agreement was signed.
If you cancel, any payment made by you will be returned within ten days following receipt of your cancellation notice.
To cancel this contract or agreement, mail or deliver a signed and dated copy of this notice of cancellation, or other similar written notice to
(credit services organization) at (business address)
(date) (buyer’s signature)
(c) the terms and conditions of payment, including the total of all payments to be made by the buyer, whether to the credit services organization or to some other person;
(d) a full and detailed description of the services to be performed by the credit services organization for the buyer, including all guarantees and all promises of full or partial refunds, and the estimated date by which the services to be performed will be completed or the estimated length of time for the completion of such performance; and
(e) the principal business address of the credit services organization and the name and address of its agent in the commonwealth authorized to accept service of process.
The credit services organization shall maintain on file for a period of two years an exact copy of such statement, personally signed by the buyer acknowledging receipt of a copy of the same.
The credit services organization shall provide the buyer with a copy of the total contract or agreement, together with copies of all other documents which the credit services organization requires the buyer to sign at the time they are signed.
Chapter 93: Section 68E. Violations
Section 68E. Any violation of sections sixty-eight B to sixty-eight D, inclusive, shall constitute a violation of chapter ninety-three A.