On April 20, 2024, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (“DoBS”) issued a policy statement (“Policy Statement”) to “clarify” that the Department’s interpretation of the term “money” in the Pennsylvania Money Transmitter Act (“MTA”) includes “virtual currency, such as Bitcoin.”  The MTA provides in part that “[n]o person shall engage in the business of transmitting money by means of a transmittal instrument for a fee or other consideration with or on behalf of an individual without first having obtained a license from the department.’”… Continue Reading

In April 2024, Wisconsin and Maine enacted the Model Money Transmission Modernization Law (“MTML”) to implement the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ Model Money Transmission Modernization Act.  As of April 22, 2024, twenty-one states have fully or partially enacted the model act, and eight additional states having legislation pending.

On April 4, 2024, Wisconsin enacted the MTML, which becomes effective January 1, 2025. … Continue Reading

The South Dakota Division of Banking issued a Memorandum notifying all licensed money lenders and non-residential mortgage lenders of their Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (“BSA/AML”) obligations under a 2020 Final Rule published by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). The final rule became effective in 2020, and the Memorandum requires licensees to comply by March 31, 2024.… Continue Reading

Maryland has joined the ranks of states considering legislation that would codify elements of “true lender” theory in an effort to impose federally preempted state licensing requirements and rate caps on loans to Maryland residents.

House Bill 254 (HB 254), introduced on January 10, 2024 in the Maryland House of Delegates, would add Subtitle 15 – the “True Lender Act” – to Title 12 (Credit Regulations) of the Maryland Commercial Law.… Continue Reading

As readers may recall, California previously attempted to enact a “Digital Financial Assets Law” with the introduction of AB 2269 in February 2022. In relevant part, AB 2269 proposed (1) a stringent licensing requirement for entities engaging in or holding themselves out as being able to engage in “digital financial business activity” with or on behalf of California residents and (2) substantial ongoing reporting and operational obligations, both of which California modeled after New York’s “BitLicense” requirements for virtual currency businesses.… Continue Reading

The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Financial Institutions is amending the rules that implement the state’s Residential Mortgage Lending Act. The Division is seeking preliminary feedback on the administrative rules, which are codified in the Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 1301:8-7, as they undergo a five-year rule review. Proposed updates will ensure the rules reflect amendments that were made to the Act in 2021.… Continue Reading

Earlier this month, the Maryland Office of Financial Regulation (“OFR”) issued guidance (the “Guidance”) to provide clarity on how the OFR views Earned Wage Access (“EWA”) products and describe the requirements entities offering EWA products must adhere to.

Providing some background for the Guidance, EWA is a financial concept that allows employees to access a portion of their earned but unpaid wages before a regular payday. … Continue Reading

To understand the regulatory requirements for cryptocurrency, one must first ask the question what is money.  This question is of paramount importance because the federal law definition of “money transmitting” depends in large part on state law definitions and regulator interpretations, and there is no uniform legislation that defines cryptocurrency as money for the purposes of state licensing requirements. … Continue Reading

Last year, Kentucky enacted the Student Education Loan Servicing, Licensing, and Protection Act of 2022 (the “Act”), which requires student loan services to be licensed in Kentucky.  The Act took effect on July 13, 2023 (the “Effective Date”). 

On the Effective Date, the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (“DFI”) released its new application checklist and made a license application available through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (“NMLS”). … Continue Reading

Nebraska Governor, Jim Pillen, signed into law Legislative Bill 92 on June 6, 2023, which amended the Nebraska Installment Loan Act (the “Act”) effective June 7, 2023 (the “Effective Date”).  As amended, the licensing requirement under the Act includes “any person that is not a financial institution who, at or after the time a loan [of $25,000 or less with rates exceeding the Nebraska general usury limit] is made by a financial institution, markets, owns in whole or in part, holds, acquires, services, or otherwise participates in such loan.” … Continue Reading