§46A-4-102. License to make regulated consumer loans.

(1) The commissioner shall receive and act on all applications for licenses to make regulated consumer loans under this chapter. Applications shall be under oath, be filed in the manner prescribed by the commissioner and contain the information the commissioner requires to make an evaluation of the financial responsibility, experience, character and fitness of the applicant and the findings required of him or her before he or she may issue a license. At the time of the filing of the application, the sum of $750 shall be paid to the commissioner as an investigation fee.

(2) A license may not be issued to a supervised financial organization other than to one primarily engaged in the business of making consumer loans through offices located within this state or to one licensed under the provisions of the West Virginia Mortgage Loan Act as contained in article seventeen, chapter thirty-one of this code, or to any banking institution as defined by the provisions of section two, article one, chapter thirty-one-a of this code. A license will not be granted to any office located outside this state: Provided, That the limitation of licensing contained in this subsection does not prevent any supervised financial organization from making regulated consumer loans when the applicable state or federal statute, law, rule or regulation permits. A license may not be issued to any person unless the commissioner, upon investigation, finds that the financial responsibility, experience, character and fitness of the applicant, and of the members thereof (if the applicant is a copartnership or association) and of the officers and directors thereof (if the applicant is a corporation), are such as to command the confidence of the community and to warrant belief that the business will be operated honestly, fairly and efficiently, within the purposes of this chapter, and the applicant has available for the operation of the business at least $10,000 in capital and has, for each specified location of operation, assets of at least $2,000.

(3) Upon written request, the applicant is entitled to a hearing on the question of his or her qualifications for a license if: (a) The commissioner has notified the applicant in writing that his or her application has been denied; or (b) the commissioner has not issued a license within sixty days after the application for the license was filed. A request for a hearing may not be made more than fifteen days after the commissioner has mailed a writing to the applicant notifying him or her that the application has been denied and stating in substance the commissioner's findings supporting denial of the application.

(4) Not more than one place of business shall be maintained under the same license, but the commissioner may issue more than one license to the same licensee upon compliance with all the provisions of this article governing an original issuance of a license for each such new license. Each license shall remain in full force and effect until surrendered, forfeited, suspended or revoked.

(5) Upon giving the commissioner at least fifteen days' prior written notice, a licensee may: (a) Change the location of any place of business located within a municipality to any other location within that same municipality; or (b) change the location of any place of business located outside of a municipality to a location no more than five miles from the originally licensed location, but in no case may a licensee move any place of business located outside a municipality to a location within a municipality. A licensee may not move the location of any place of business located within a municipality to any other location outside of that municipality.

(6) A licensee may conduct the business of making regulated consumer loans only at or from a place of business for which he or she holds a license and not under any other name than that stated in the license.

(7) A license issued under the provisions of this section shall not be transferable or assignable.

(8) A licensee must be incorporated under the laws of this state. The licensee may, however, be a subsidiary of an out-of-state company or financial institution.

(9) All mortgage loan originators, as defined in article seventeen-a, chapter thirty-one of this code, who are employed by a licensed regulated consumer lender must be licensed or registered and issued a unique identifier by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry pursuant to the requirements provided in article seventeen-a, chapter thirty-one of this code.

(10) All regulated consumer lenders must file with the commissioner a bond in favor of the state for the benefit of consumers or for a claim by the commissioner for an unpaid civil administrative penalty or an unpaid examination invoice in the amount of $100,000 for licensees with West Virginia mortgage loan originations of $0 to $3 million, $150,000 for West Virginia mortgage loan originations greater than $3 million and up to $10 million, and $200,000 for West Virginia mortgage loan originations over $10 million in a form and with conditions as the commissioner may prescribe and executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this state.

(11) All regulated consumer lenders shall notify the commissioner of any merger or acquisition which may result in a change of control or a change in principals of the regulated consumer lender within fifteen days of announcement or publication of the proposal, or its occurrence, whichever is earlier. Upon notice of these circumstances by a corporate licensee, the commissioner may require all information necessary to determine whether it results in a transfer or assignment of the license and thus if a new application is required in order for the company to continue doing business under this article. A licensee that is an entity other than a corporation shall in these circumstances submit a new application for licensure at the time of notice.