Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 6.2. Financial Institutions and Services
Chapter 15. Consumer Finance Companies
5/11/2021

§ 6.2-1523.1. (Effective January 1, 2021) Access partners.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 6.2-1501 and 6.2-1518, a licensee may use the services of one or more access partners, provided that all of the following conditions are met:

1. All loans made in connection with an access partner comply with the requirements of this chapter.

2. The licensee maintains a written agreement with each access partner. The written agreement shall (i) require the access partner to comply with this section and all rules adopted under this section regarding the activities of access partners; (ii) give the Commission access to the access partner's books and records pertaining to the access partner's operations under the agreement with the licensee in accordance with § 6.2-1533 and authority to examine the access partner pursuant to § 6.2-1531; (iii) prohibit the access partner from charging or accepting any fees or compensation in connection with a loan from any person, other than what the licensee pays to the access partner under the terms of the contract; and (iv) require the access partner to keep written records sufficient to ensure compliance with this chapter, including records of all loan disbursements and loan payments for at least three years.

3. A licensee shall conduct a due diligence review of all access partners. The due diligence shall include a review of the access partner's financial soundness and legal compliance and the criminal history of the access partner and its employees. A licensee shall be responsible for implementing and maintaining a reasonable risk-based supervision program to monitor its access partners. The licensee shall provide to the Commission any information relating to the access partners as the Commissioner prescribes. Such information shall be provided in a form and manner as prescribed by the Commissioner.

4. The services of an access partner shall be limited to (i) distributing written materials or providing written factual information about loans that has been prepared or authorized in writing by the licensee; (ii) explaining the loan application process to prospective borrowers or assisting applicants to complete a loan application according to procedures the licensee approves; (iii) processing credit applications provided by the licensee, which applications shall clearly state that the licensee is the lender and disclose the licensee's contact information and how to submit complaints to the Commission; (iv) communicating with the licensee or the applicant about the status of applications; (v) obtaining the borrower's signature on documents prepared by the licensee and delivering final documents to the borrower; (vi) disbursing loan proceeds or receiving loan payments, provided the access partner provides a plain and complete written receipt at the time each disbursement or payment is made; and (vii) operating electronic access points through which a prospective borrower may directly access the website of the licensee to apply for a loan.

5. An access partner shall not (i) provide counseling or advice to a borrower or prospective borrower with respect to any loan term; (ii) provide loan-related marketing material that has not previously been approved by the licensee; (iii) negotiate a loan term between a licensee and a prospective borrower; (iv) offer information pertaining to a single prospective borrower to more than one licensee, except that if a licensee has declined to offer a loan to a prospective borrower in writing the access partner may offer information pertaining to that borrower to another licensee with whom it has an access partner agreement; or (v) offer information pertaining to any prospective borrower to any person or entity other than a licensee operating under this chapter, subject to clause (iv).

6. A licensee shall apply any payment a borrower makes to an access partner as of the date on which the payment is received by the access partner.

7. A licensee shall not (i) hold a borrower liable for a failure or delay by an access partner in transmitting a payment to the licensee; (ii) knowingly conduct business with an access partner that has solicited or accepted fees or compensation in connection with a licensee's loan other than what is specified in the written agreement described in subdivision 2; or (iii) directly or indirectly pass on to a borrower any fee or other compensation that a licensee pays to an access partner in connection with such borrower's loan.

B. A licensee shall be responsible for any act of its access partner if such act would violate any provision of this chapter.

C. The Commission may (i) bar a licensee that violates any part of this chapter from using the services of specified access partners, or access partners generally; (ii) subject a licensee to disciplinary action for any violation of this chapter committed by a contracted access partner; or (iii) bar any person who violates the requirements of this chapter from performing services pursuant to this chapter generally or at particular locations.

D. The Commission shall have the authority to conduct investigation and examination of access partners, provided the scope of any investigation or examination shall be limited to those books, accounts, records, documents, materials, and matters reasonably necessary to determine compliance with this chapter.

E. An access partner location shall not be considered an office for purposes of § 6.2-1508.1.

F. An access partner shall not be required to be licensed under Chapter 19 (§ 6.2-1900 et seq.) to provide the services of an access partner described in subdivision A 4.

2020, cc. 1215, 1258.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.