Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation


Check Casher Licensees - Refund Anticipation Loans/Rapid Refund Program Advisory 05-01 - Advisory Notices


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January 24, 2005

This tax season, you are reminded that if you are assisting Maryland consumers to obtain short term loans, whether secured by the consumers' anticipated tax refund or not and you receive compensation in return, you are in fact, operating as a credit services business as defined in Commercial Law Article, Section 14-1901(b), Maryland Annotated Code. Anyone who offer these short term loans, refund anticipation loans ("RALs"), through a third party, must be licensed as a credit services business as required by Commercial Law Article, Section  14-1903(b).

If you are engaging in credit service activities, you must obtain a Maryland Installment Loan license under Financial Institutions Article, Section 11-302(b)(3). For your convenience, you may submit an application online. Failure to comply with the licensing requirements of a credit services business is a violation of Maryland law.

The Office of the Commissioner cannot give you legal advice; however, if you are offering RALs to Maryland consumers, we strongly urge you to review the requirements of the Maryland Credit Services Business Act with your attorney and obtain the appropriate license.

For licensing inquiries, please contact the Division of Financial Regulation at 410-230-6100.