.

State2013 Statute Number2013 Statute Language

.

Maine5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 205-AThis chapter will be known as and may be cited as the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.

.

5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 206.
Defintions.
The following words, as used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires or a different meaning is specifically required, shall mean:

1. Documentary material. “Documentary material” shall include the original or a copy of any book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, map, chart, photograph, mechanical transcription or other tangible document or recording wherever situate.

2. Person. “Person” shall include, where applicable, natural persons, corporations, trusts, partnerships, incorporated or unincorporated associations and any other legal entity.

3. Trade and commerce. “Trade” and “commerce” shall include the advertising, offering for sale, sale or distribution of any services and any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal or mixed, and any other article, commodity or thing of value wherever situate, and shall include any trade or commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of this State.

.

5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 207.
Unlawful acts and conduct.
Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are declared unlawful.

1. Intent. It is the intent of the Legislature that in construing this section the courts will be guided by the interpretations given by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Courts to Section 45(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 United States Code 45(a)(1)), as from time to time amended.

2. Rules and regulations. The Attorney General may make rules and regulations interpreting this section. Such rules and regulations shall not be inconsistent with the rules, regulations and decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Courts interpreting the provisions of 15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1) (The Federal Trade Commission Act) as from time to time amended. Evidence of a violation of a rule or regulation made by the Attorney General shall constitute prima facie evidence of an act or practice declared to be unlawful by this chapter in any action thereafter brought under this chapter.

.

5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 208.
Exceptions.
Nothing in this chapter shall apply to:

1. Regulatory boards. Transactions or actions otherwise permitted under laws as administered by any regulatory board or officer acting under statutory authority of the State or of the United States. This exception applies only if the defendant shows that:

A. Its business activities are subject to regulation by a state or federal agency; and

B. The specific activity that would otherwise constitute a violation of this chapter is authorized, permitted or required by a state or federal agency or by applicable law, rule or regulation or other regulatory approval.

2. Repealed. Laws 1981, c. 569.

3. Repealed. Laws 1973, c. 323, § 2.

.

5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 209.
Injunction; procedures.
Whenever the Attorney General has reason to believe that any person is using or is about to use any method, act or practice declared by section 207 to be unlawful, and that proceedings would be in the public interest, he may bring an action in the name of the State against such person to restrain by temporary or permanent injunction the use of such method, act or practice and the court may make such other orders or judgments as may be necessary to restore to any person who has suffered any ascertainable loss by reason of the use or employment of such unlawful method, act or practice, any moneys or property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of such method, act or practice. At least 10 days prior to commencement of any action under this section, the Attorney General shall notify the person of his intended action, and give the person an opportunity to confer with the Attorney General in person or by counsel or other representative as to the proposed action. Notice shall be given the person by mail, postage prepaid, sent to his usual place of business, or if he has no usual place of business, to his last known address. The Attorney General may proceed without notice as required by this section upon a showing of facts by affidavit of immediate irreparable harm to the consumers of the State. The action may be brought in the Superior Court of the county in which such person resides or has his principal place of business, or may be brought in the Superior Court of Kennebec County. The said courts are authorized to issue temporary or permanent injunctions to restrain and prevent violations of this chapter. Any district attorney or law enforcement officer, receiving notice of any alleged violation of this chapter, shall immediately forward written notice of the same with any other information that he may have to the office of the Attorney General. Any person who violates the terms of an injunction issued under this section shall forfeit and pay to the State, to be applied in the carrying out of this chapter, a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation. For the purposes of this section, the court issuing such injunction shall retain jurisdiction, and the cause shall be continued, and in such cases the Attorney General acting in the name of the State may petition for recovery of such civil penalty. In any action under this section where a permanent injunction is issued, the court may order the person against whom the permanent injunction has been issued to pay to the State the costs of the investigation of that person by the Attorney General and the costs of the suit, which funds shall accrue to the General Fund.

In any action under this section where a permanent injunction is denied, the court may order the State to pay the costs of the defense of the prevailing party or parties and the costs of the suit upon a finding by the court that the action was frivolous.

In any action by the Attorney General brought against the defendant for violating the terms of an injunction issued under this section, the court may make such orders or judgments as may be necessary to restore to any persons who have suffered any ascertainable loss by reason of such conduct found to be in violation of an injunction, any money or property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of such conduct. Each intentional violation of section 207 in which the Attorney General establishes that the conduct giving rise to the violation is either unfair or deceptive is a violation for which a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 shall be adjudged. The Attorney General may seek to recover civil penalties for violations of section 207 which are intentional and are unfair or deceptive. The Attorney General in seeking civil penalties has the burden of proving that the conduct was intentional and was unfair or deceptive notwithstanding any other statute which declares a violation of that statute an unfair trade practice. These penalties shall be applied in the carrying out of this chapter.

.

5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 210.
Discontinuance; costs.
In any case where the Attorney General has authority to institute an action or proceeding under section 209, in lieu thereof he may accept an assurance of discontinuance of any method, act or practice in violation of this chapter from any person alleged to be engaged or to have been engaged in such method, act or practice. Such assurance may include a stipulation for the voluntary payment by such person of the costs of investigation, or of an amount to be held in escrow pending the outcome of an action or as restitution to aggrieved buyers, or both. Any such assurance of discontinuance shall be in writing and be filed with the Superior Court of Kennebec County. Matters thus closed may at any time be reopened by the Attorney General for further proceedings in the public interest. Evidence of a violation of such assurance shall constitute prima facie evidence of an act or practice declared to be unlawful by this chapter in any action thereafter brought under this chapter.

.

5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 211.
Examination; notice requirements.
The Attorney General, whenever he believes any person to be or to have been in violation of this chapter, may examine or cause to be examined for that purpose, any books, records, papers and memoranda of whatever nature relevant to such alleged violation. The Attorney General may require the attendance of such person or of any other person having knowledge in the premises at any place in the county where such person resides or has a place of business or in Kennebec County if such person is a nonresident or has no place of business within the State, and may take testimony and require proof material for his information, and may administer oaths or take acknowledgement in respect of any book, record, paper or memorandum. The Attorney General shall serve notice of the time, place and cause of such examination or attendance at least 10 days prior to the date of such examination.

1. Service. Service of any such notice may be made by:

A. Delivering a duly executed copy thereof to the person to be served or to a partner or to any officer or agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process on behalf of such person;

B. Delivering a duly executed copy thereof to the principal place of business in this State of the person to be served; or

C. Mailing by registered or certified mail a duly executed copy thereof addressed to the person to be served at the principal place of business in this State or, if said person has no place of business in this State, to his principal office or place of business.

2. Contents. Each such notice shall:

A. State the time and place for taking the examination and the name and address of each person to be examined, if known, and, if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify him or the particular class or group to which he belongs;

B. State the statute and section thereof, the alleged violation of which is under investigation, and the general subject matter of the investigation;

C. Describe the class or classes of documentary material to be produced thereunder with reasonable specificity so as fairly to indicate the material demand;

D. Prescribe a return date within which the documentary material is to be produced; and

E. Identify the members of the Attorney General's staff to whom such documentary material is to be made available for inspection and copying.

3. Exceptions. No such notice shall:

A. Contain any requirement which would be unreasonable or improper if contained in a subpoena duces tecum issued by a court of this State; or

B. Require the disclosure of any documentary material that would be privileged or that for any other reason would not be required by a subpoena duces tecum issued by a court of this State.

4. Disclosure of documentary material. Documentary material demanded pursuant to this section must be produced for inspection, reproduction and copying during normal business hours at the principal office or place of business of the person served, in the county where that person resides or has a place of business, in Kennebec County if the person served is a nonresident or has no place of business within the State or at such other times and places as may be agreed upon by the person served and the Attorney General. Any book, record, paper, memorandum or other information produced by any person pursuant to this section, unless otherwise ordered by a court of this State for good cause shown, may not be disclosed to any person other than the authorized agent or representative of the Attorney General unless with the consent of the person producing the same, except that such material or information may be disclosed by the Attorney General in court pleadings or other papers filed in court.

5. Motion for additional time, to modify or set aside or grant protective order. At any time prior to the date specified in the notice or within 21 days after the notice has been served, whichever period is shorter, the court upon motion for good cause shown may extend that reporting date or modify or set aside that demand or grant a protective order in accordance with the standards set forth in the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 26(c). The motion may be filed in the Superior Court of the county in which the person served resides or has a usual place of business or in Kennebec County.

6. Information not to be used in criminal proceeding. A person is not excused from attending and testifying or from producing documentary material in compliance with this section on the ground or for the reason that the testimony or other information, documentary or otherwise, may tend to incriminate that person or subject that person to a penalty or forfeiture. Testimony and other information obtained under the authority of this section and information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information may not be used against a natural person who has testified or produced information under oath in compliance with this section in any criminal case except a prosecution for perjury, giving a false statement or otherwise failing to comply with a notice served upon that person under this section.

7. Cost of court reporter. At the request of the person under investigation or that person's attorney, any testimony taken pursuant to a demand or notice under this section must be recorded on a recording device or taken before a court reporter authorized to serve as such under the laws of the State. Upon request of either party, all such testimony taken or recorded must be transcribed by an authorized court reporter, and in that case the original transcript of that testimony must be preserved by the Attorney General. The cost of the taking or recording and transcription must be paid by the State. In the event the Attorney General or some other party obtains judgment against the party whose testimony is taken for a violation of section 207, the cost of the court reporter or recording and transcription may be recovered by the State in such a judgment.

8. Authority not applicable in criminal proceedings. This section is not applicable to any criminal proceeding brought under the laws of this State.

.

5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 212.
Penalties.
A person upon whom a notice is served pursuant to section 211 shall comply with the terms thereof unless otherwise provided by the order of a court of this State. Any person who fails to appear, or with intent to avoid, evade or prevent compliance, in whole or in part, with any civil investigation under this section, removes from any place, conceals, withholds or destroys, mutilates, alters or by any other means falsifies any documentary material in the possession, custody or control of any person subject of any such notice, or knowingly conceals any relevant information, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 payable to the State to be recovered in a civil action.

Whenever any person fails to comply with any notice served upon him under section 211, or whenever satisfactory copying or reproduction of any such material cannot be done and such person refuses to surrender such material, the Attorney General may file, in the Superior Court of the county in which such person resides or has his principal place of business or of Kennebec County, if such person is a nonresident or has no principal place of business in this State, and serve upon such person or in the same manner as provided in section 211 a petition for an order of such court for the enforcement of this section. Any disobedience of any final order entered under this section by any court shall be punished as a contempt thereof.

.

5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 213.
Private remedies.
1. Court action. Any person who purchases or leases goods, services or property, real or personal, primarily for personal, family or household purposes and thereby suffers any loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of the use or employment by another person of a method, act or practice declared unlawful by section 207 or by any rule or regulation issued under section 207, subsection 2 may bring an action either in the Superior Court or District Court for actual damages, restitution and for such other equitable relief, including an injunction, as the court determines to be necessary and proper. There is a right to trial by jury in any action brought in Superior Court under this section.

1-A. Settlement offer. At least 30 days prior to the filing of an action for damages, a written demand for relief, identifying the claimant and reasonably describing the unfair and deceptive act or practice relied upon and the injuries suffered, must be mailed or delivered to any prospective respondent at the respondent's last known address. A person receiving a demand for relief, or otherwise a party to any litigation arising from the claim that is the subject of the court action, may make a written tender of settlement or, if a court action has been filed, an offer of judgment. If the judgment obtained in court by a claimant is not more favorable than any rejected tender of settlement or offer of judgment, the claimant may not recover attorney's fees or costs incurred after the more favorable tender of settlement or offer of judgment.
The demand requirement of this subsection does not apply if the claim is asserted by way of counterclaim or cross claim.

2. Fees and costs. If the court finds, in any action commenced under this section that there has been a violation of section 207, the petitioner shall, in addition to other relief provided for by this section and irrespective of the amount in controversy, be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in connection with said action.

3. Notices to Attorney General. Upon commencement of any action brought under subsection 1, the clerk of courts shall mail a copy of the complaint or other initial pleading to the Attorney General and upon entry of any judgment or decree in the action, shall mail a copy of such judgment or decree to the Attorney General.

4. Injunction as evidence. Any permanent injunction or order of the court issued under section 209 shall be prima facie evidence in an action brought under subsection 1 that the respondent used or employed an unfair or deceptive method, act or practice declared unlawful under section 207.

.

5 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 214.
Waiver; public policy.
Any waiver by a consumer of the provisions of this chapter is contrary to public policy and shall be unenforceable and void.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5001.
Short title.
This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Charitable Solicitations Act."

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5002.
Intent.
It is the intent of the Legislature to require the licensure and financial reporting of charitable organizations, professional solicitors, professional fund-raising counsel and commercial co-venturers and the bonding of professional solicitors and commercial co-venturers.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5003.
Definitions.
As used in this Act, unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the following words shall have the following meanings.
1. Charitable organization. "Charitable organization" means any person or entity, including any person or entity organized in a foreign state, that is or holds itself out to be organized or operated for any charitable purpose or that solicits, accepts or obtains contributions from the public for any charitable purpose and by any means, including, but not limited to, personal contact, telephone, mail, newspaper advertisement, television or radio. Status as a tax-exempt entity does not necessarily qualify that entity as a charitable organization. A chapter, branch, area office or similar affiliate or any person soliciting contributions for any charitable purpose within the State for a charitable organization that has its principal place of business outside the State is considered a charitable organization for the purposes of this Act. For purposes of this chapter, an organization established for and serving bona fide religious purposes is not a charitable organization.
2. Charitable purpose. "Charitable purpose" means any charitable, benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, patriotic or eleemosynary purpose.
3. Commercial co-venturer. "Commercial co-venturer" means any person who, for profit, is regularly and primarily engaged in trade or commerce in this State, other than in connection with the raising of funds for charitable organizations or purposes, and who conducts a sale, performance, event or collection and sale of donated goods that is advertised in conjunction with the name of any charitable organization. Any such person who will benefit in good will only may not be considered a commercial co-venturer if the collection and distribution of the proceeds of the sale, performance or event, or the collection and sale of donated goods, are supervised and controlled by the benefiting charitable organization. Any such person whose annual contributions to charitable organizations do not exceed $10,000 is exempt from the licensure requirement under section 5002.
[ 2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §2 (AMD) .]
3-A. Commissioner. "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Professional and Financial Regulation.
[ 1999, c. 386, Pt. A, §3 (AMD) .]
4. Contribution. "Contribution" means the promise or grant of any money or property of any kind or value, including the payment or promise to pay in consideration of a sale, performance or event of any kind which is advertised in conjunction with the name of any charitable organization. This definition does not include:
A. Payments by members of an organization for membership fees, dues, fines or assessments, or for services rendered to individual members, if membership in the organization confers a bona fide right, privilege, professional standing, honor or other direct benefits, other than the right to vote, elect officers or hold offices; [2005, c. 497, §3 (AMD).]
B. Money or property received from any governmental authority; or [2005, c. 497, §4 (AMD).]
C. Money or property received from a foundation established for charitable or educational purposes. [2005, c. 497, §5 (NEW).]
[ 2005, c. 497, §§3-5 (AMD) .]
4-A. Entity. "Entity" means any natural person, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, association or any other organization.
[ 1999, c. 386, Pt. A, §4 (NEW) .]
4-B. Department. "Department" means the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.
[ 2003, c. 541, §3 (NEW) .]
5. Federated fund-raising organization. "Federated fund-raising organization" means a federation of independent charitable organizations which have voluntarily joined together, including, but not limited to, a United Fund, United Way or Community Chest, for purposes of raising and distributing money for and among themselves and where membership does not confer operating authority and control of the individual organizations upon the federated fund-raising organization.
[ 1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW) .]
5-A. Independent public accountant. "Independent public accountant" means a public accountant who is not the prinicipal officer or other officer, professional solicitor, professional fund-raising counsel or commercial co-venturer of the charitable organization or parent organization.
[ 1977, c. 696, §359 (NEW) .]
5-B. Fund raising. "Fund raising" means a solicitation to the public for funds, except those solicitations which are made as an integral part of the presentation of program services.
[ 1979, c. 678, §1 (NEW) .]
5-C. Hospital. "Hospital" means an institution that is engaged primarily in providing inpatient, outpatient or both inpatient and outpatient medical and psychiatric diagnostic and therapeutic services in the care and treatment of injured, disabled, sick or mentally ill persons who are under the supervision of a physician.
[ 1999, c. 386, Pt. A, §5 (AMD) .]
5-D. Management. "Management" means the overall direction of the organization, general record keeping, business management, budgeting, general board activities and related management functions.
[ 1979, c. 678, §1 (NEW) .]
5-E. Membership. "Membership" means the relationship of a person to an organization that entitles that person to the privileges, professional standing, honors or other direct benefits of the organization in addition to the right to vote, elect officers and hold office in the organization.
[ 1999, c. 386, Pt. A, §6 (NEW) .]
5-F. Office. "Office" means the Office of Licensing and Registration within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.
[ 1999, c. 386, Pt. A, §6 (NEW) .]
6. Parent organization. "Parent organization" means that part of a charitable organization which coordinates, supervises or exercises control over policy, fund-raising and expenditures, or assists or advises one or more chapters, branches or affiliates in the State. A federated fund-raising organization, as defined in this chapter, shall not be considered a parent organization.
[ 1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW) .]
7. Person. "Person" means any individual, organization, trust, foundation, group, association, partnership, corporation, society or any combination of them.
[ 1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW) .]
8. Principal officer. "Principal officer" means the president, chairman or other charitable officers responsible for the daily operation of the charitable organization.
[ 1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW) .]
9. Professional fund-raising counsel. "Professional fund-raising counsel" means any person who is retained, for compensation, by a charitable organization to plan, manage, advise or provide consultation services with respect to the solicitation in this State of contributions, but who does not solicit contributions, has neither custody nor control of contributions and does not directly or indirectly employ, procure or engage any person compensated to solicit contributions. A bona fide nontemporary salaried officer or employee of a charitable organization is not considered to be a professional fund-raising counsel. An attorney, investment counselor or banker who advises any person to make a contribution to a charitable organization is not, as the result of such advice, a professional fund-raising counsel.
[ 2003, c. 541, §4 (AMD) .]
10. Professional solicitor. "Professional solicitor" means any person or entity that, alone or through its employees or agents, solicits contributions from the public on behalf of a charitable organization in exchange for a fee or other remuneration. "Professional solicitor" does not include a bona fide employee, bona fide salaried officer, attorney, accountant or investment counselor of a charitable organization.
[ 1999, c. 386, Pt. A, §7 (AMD) .]
10-A. Program services. "Program services" means those activities directly related to the stated charitable purposes of the charitable organization. "Program services" does not mean activities related to fund raising or management.
[ 1979, c. 678, §2 (NEW) .]
11. Solicit and solicitation. "Solicit and solicitation" means any oral or written request, however communicated directly or indirectly, for any contribution. "Solicitation" as defined herein shall be deemed to have taken place when the request is made, whether or not the person making the solicitation receives any contribution in response.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5004.
Licensure of charitable organizations.
Charitable organizations must be licensed as follows. [2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD).]
1. License applications by charitable organizations. The following provisions govern license applications by charitable organizations.
A. Unless exempt pursuant to section 5006, a charitable organization that intends to solicit, accept or obtain contributions in this State or to have contributions solicited, accepted or obtained on its behalf within this State shall file a license application with the office at least 30 days before soliciting, accepting or obtaining contributions in each year in which the organization is engaged in soliciting, accepting or obtaining contributions. The charitable organization shall identify any affiliate organizations or chapters on its license application. [2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD).]
B. A parent organization may file a consolidated license application for its affiliates, chapters and branches in this State and shall pay a single fee for such a consolidated license application. [2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD).]
C. Before issuance of a license by the office , a charitable organization that is required to file an initial license application or annual renewal application may not solicit, accept or obtain contributions or have contributions solicited, accepted or obtained on its behalf by any other person, charitable organization, commercial co-venturer or professional solicitor, or participate in charitable sales promotion. [2009, c. 112, Pt. A, §1 (AMD).]
[ 2009, c. 112, Pt. A, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Fee for registration statement.
[ 1977, c. 654, §2 (RP) .]
2-A. Fee for license application. Charitable organizations shall pay the application fee , initial fee and renewal fee as set under section 5015-A. The application fee is nonrefundable.
[ 2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD) .]
3. Content of license application. A license application must be sworn to or affirmed by the principal officer of any charitable organization and must contain the following information, which must be updated within 10 days when any change occurs in the information filed:
A. The name of the organization and the purpose for which it was organized; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
B. The principal address of the organization and the address of any offices in this State, or, if the organization does not maintain an office, the name and address of the person having custody of its financial records; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
C. The names and addresses of any chapters, branches or affiliates in this State; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
D. The place where and the date when the organization was legally established, the form of its organization and a reference to any determination of its tax-exempt status under the United States Internal Revenue Code; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
E. The names and addresses of the officers, directors or trustees and the principal salaried executive staff officer; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
F. A statement as to whether the organization intends to solicit contributions from the public directly or have such done on its behalf by others; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
G. The name and address of any professional fund-raising counsel, professional solicitor or commercial co-venturer who acts or will act on behalf of the charitable organization and terms of remuneration of the counsel, solicitor or co-venturer; [1979, c. 678, §3 (AMD).]
H. A statement as to whether the organization is authorized by any other governmental authority to solicit contributions and whether it is or has ever been enjoined by any court from soliciting contributions; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
I. The purpose or purposes for which the contributions to be solicited will be used; [2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD).]
J. [1999, c. 386, Pt. A, §11 (RP).]
K. The name or names under which it intends to solicit contributions; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
L. The names of the individuals or officers of the organizations who will have final responsibility for the custody of the contributions; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
M. The names of the individuals or officers of the organization responsible for the final distribution of the contributions; [1977, c. 488, §1 (NEW).]
N. The total amount of money received as contributions during the organization's preceding fiscal year and the dates of the fiscal year; and [2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD).]
O. [2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (RP).]
P. A determination letter from the federal Internal Revenue Service, confirming the tax-exempt status of the charitable organization. [2003, c. 541, §7 (NEW).]
[ 2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD) .]
4. Renewal of licensure as charitable organization. The following provisions govern the application and qualifications for renewal of a license as a charitable organization.
A. A person or entity that holds a valid license must submit to the office a completed application for renewal prior to the date of expiration of the license. [2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD).]
B. An application for license renewal may not be considered until it is complete. If the application is incomplete, the applicant must include a letter documenting the specific reasons the application is incomplete. If that letter is not included, the incomplete application must be returned for completion. [2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD).]
C. A charitable organization that submits an application for renewal after the expiration date must include with the application:
(1) A financial report covering the most recently audited fiscal year;
(2) The filing fee and license renewal fee as set under section 5015-A; and
(3) A completed application. [2007, c. 402, Pt. A, §3 (AMD).]
D. The complete packet for renewal of license application must include all the requirements identified in subsection 3 as well as the following:
(1) An audited financial statement, including federal Internal Revenue Service 990 and Schedule A forms or a 990 EZ form. Failure to file an audited financial statement of the organization's most recent audited fiscal year may be grounds for disciplinary action as provided under Title 10, section 8003, subsection 5. The office shall adopt rules governing the content of the audited financial statement. Rules adopted pursuant to this subparagraph are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5005-A.
Records.
A charitable organization shall maintain accurate and complete books and records of all fund-raising campaigns and shall keep those books and records available for inspection by the Attorney General or by the office for 3 years after the conclusion of each fund-raising campaign.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5005-B.
1. Content of report. A charitable organization shall submit to the director an annual fund-raising activity report that reflects data from the organization's preceding fiscal year, on a form prescribed by the director, as part of its application for license renewal. The report must state, at a minimum, the following:

A. The name, mailing address, telephone number and license number of the charitable organization making the report;

B. The name, mailing address, telephone number and license number of each professional solicitor and professional fund-raising counsel with which the charitable organization contracted to solicit contributions in this State or to plan, manage, advise or provide consultation services with respect to the solicitation of contributions in this State;

C. Deleted. Laws 2013, c. 313, § 11, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

D. The total dollar amount of contributions raised in this State during each fund-raising campaign and for the year;

E. The total dollar amount of contributions raised in this State that was actually received and retained by the charitable organization from each fund-raising campaign and for the year; and

F. The total dollar amount attributable to contributions raised in this State that was retained by or paid to any professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel from each fund-raising campaign and for the year.

G. to H. Deleted. Laws 2013, c. 313, § 11, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

2. Failure to file; discrepancies. Failure to file the annual fund-raising activity report required under this section or disagreement between the report filed by the charitable organization and that submitted by the professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel with which the charitable organization has contracted may result in disciplinary action as provided under Title10, section 8003, subsection 5-A. To resolve a disagreement between reports, the director may require the charitable organization to submit an annual fund-raising activity report according to a fiscal year other than the organization's fiscal year.

3. Contracting with unlicensed entities prohibited. A charitable organization may not contract with an unlicensed professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel. A violation of this subsection may result in disciplinary action as provided under Title 10, section 8003, subsection 5-A.

4. Deleted. Laws 2013, c. 313, § 11, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

.

11 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5006.
1. Exemption. The following charitable organizations, persons and institutions are exempt from the license requirements of section 5004:

A. Organizations that solicit primarily within their membership and do not contract with a professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “membership” does not include those persons who are granted a membership upon making a contribution as a result of a solicitation;

B. Repealed. Laws 1983, c. 277, § 3.

C. Persons soliciting contributions for the relief of any individual specified by name at the time of the solicitation, when all of the contributions collected, without any deductions whatsoever, are turned over to the named beneficiary for that individual's use;

D. Charitable organizations that do not intend to solicit and receive and do not actually solicit or receive contributions from the public in excess of $35,000 during a calendar year or do not receive contributions from more than 35 persons during a calendar year, if the charitable organizations do not contract with professional solicitors or professional fund-raising counsel and if no part of the assets or income inures to the benefit of or is paid to any officer or member. If a charitable organization that does not intend to solicit or receive contributions from the public in excess of $35,000 or does not intend to receive contributions from more than 35 persons during a calendar year does actually solicit or receive contributions in excess of that amount, whether or not all such contributions are received during a calendar year, or actually receives contributions from more than 35 persons during a calendar year, the charitable organization, within 30 days after the date contributions reach $35,000 or the number of contributors reaches 35, must be licensed with the director as required by this Act;

E. Educational institutions, the curriculums of which in whole or in part are registered or approved by the Department of Education, either directly or by acceptance of accreditation by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education, and organizations operated by the student bodies of such institutions;

F. Hospitals that are nonprofit and charitable; and

G. Free clinics.

2. Repealed. Laws 1989, c. 55, § 3.

3. Procedures for claiming exemption from licensure. A charitable organization claiming to be exempt under subsection 1 must submit to the director annually on forms prescribed by the director and accompanied by the fee as set under section 5015-A a sworn statement setting forth the name and address of the organization and its principal executive personnel, the purpose of the organization and the factual basis for the exemption. The organization claiming exemption must include a copy of any financial statement, report or return filed with the federal Internal Revenue Service. The director shall issue annually an exemption to those organizations considered exempt under subsection 1.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5007.
Out-of-state organization.
A charitable organization, professional solicitor, professional fund-raising counsel or commercial co-venturer having its principal place of business without the State, or organized under and by virtue of the laws of a foreign state, that solicits contributions from the people in this State by whatever means, including, but not limited to, personal contact, telephone, mail, newspaper advertisement, television or radio, or acts on behalf of a charitable organization in this State, is deemed to have irrevocably appointed the commissioner as its agent upon whom may be served any summons, subpoena, subpoena duces tecum or other process directed to such a charitable organization, professional solicitor, professional fund-raising counsel or commercial co-venturer or to any partner, principal, officer or director thereof, in any action or proceeding brought by the Attorney General under this chapter. [2003, c. 541, §11 (AMD).]

This section does not apply to a national bank, a federal savings bank, a subsidiary of a national bank or federal savings bank or any other financial institution or credit union chartered under the laws of the United States or any state and subject to supervision and regulation by a federal financial regulatory agency.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5008-A. Licensure, license renewal and records kept by professional solicitors and professional fund-raising counsel1. Initial licensure. A person or entity may not act as a professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel before that person or entity has received a license from the director. A professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel shall apply for initial licensure by filing a license application with the director and paying the application and license fees as set under section 5015-A. A professional solicitor, in addition, shall submit the bond required by subsection 5.
2. Content of application for initial licensure. A license application must be sworn to or affirmed by the principal officer of the professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel on a form prescribed by the director and must contain the following information:
A. The name, mailing address and license number of each charitable organization on whose behalf the professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel acts or will act in connection with fund-raising campaigns for contributions from the State's residents;
B. A list of all jurisdictions in which the professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel is authorized to solicit contributions;
C. Disclosure of, and the final disposition document pertaining to, any disciplinary action taken against the applicant by a licensing, registration or regulatory authority in any jurisdiction;
D. Disclosure of, and the final disposition document pertaining to, any court action taken against the applicant by a licensing, registration or regulatory authority or law enforcement agency in any jurisdiction that resulted in a restraining order, injunction, civil judgment, criminal conviction, consent judgment, consent agreement, agreement to pay restitution or investigative costs or any other type of negotiated disposition; and
E. Other information as the director may require.
3. Renewal of licensure as a professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel. A license issued by the director to a professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel expires on November 30th annually or such other time as the director may designate. A professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel shall apply for renewal by filing a renewal application with the director prior to the expiration date and paying the license fee as set under section 5015-A. A professional solicitor shall, in addition, submit the bond required by subsection 5.
4. Content of renewal application. A renewal application pursuant to subsection 3 must contain the following information:
A. The annual fund-raising activity report required by section 5008-B;
B. Disclosure of, and the final disposition document pertaining to, any disciplinary action taken against the licensee by a licensing, registration or regulatory authority in any jurisdiction since the date of the most recent application submitted by the professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel;
C. Disclosure of, and the final disposition document pertaining to, any court action taken against the licensee by a licensing, registration or regulatory authority or law enforcement agency in any jurisdiction that resulted in a restraining order, injunction, civil judgment, criminal conviction, consent judgment, consent agreement, agreement to pay restitution or investigative costs or any other type of negotiated disposition since the date of the most recent application submitted by the professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel;
D. Any changes to the information contained in the licensee's application for initial licensure or the most recent renewal application; and
E. Other information as the director may require.
5. Bonding of professional solicitors. An applicant for initial or renewal licensure as a professional solicitor shall submit with the application a bond approved by the director in which the professional solicitor is the principal obligor and the State the obligee, in the sum of $25,000, with one or more responsible sureties whose liability in the aggregate at least equals that sum. The bond runs to any person or entity who may have a cause of action against the principal obligor of the bond for any malfeasance or misfeasance in the conduct of charitable solicitation in this State that occurs during the term of the license applied for.
6. Late renewal. A license may be renewed up to 90 days after the date of its expiration upon payment of a late fee in addition to the renewal fee as set under section 5015-A.
7. Change of information. As an ongoing condition of licensure, a professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel must notify the director of a change to the information contained in the licensee's application for initial or renewal licensure, including any additional disciplinary or court action taken against the licensee, within 10 days of the change.
8. Records. A professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel shall maintain accurate and complete books and records of fund-raising activities and telephone solicitation scripts and shall keep those books and records available for inspection by or production to the Attorney General or the director for a period of 3 years after the conclusion of each specific instance in which that person or entity acts as a professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel.

.

11 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5008-B. Annual fund-raising activity reports to be filed by professional solicitors and professional fund-raising counsel1. Content of report. A professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel licensed pursuant to section 5008-A shall submit to the director an annual fund-raising activity report that reflects data from the licensee's preceding fiscal year, on a form prescribed by the director, as part of its application for license renewal. The report must state, at a minimum, the following:
A. The name, mailing address, telephone number and license number of the licensee making the report;
B. The name, mailing address, telephone number and license number of each charitable organization with which the licensee contracted to solicit contributions in this State or to plan, manage, advise or provide consultation services with respect to the solicitation of contributions in this State;
C. The total dollar amount of contributions raised in this State during each fund-raising campaign and for the year;
D. The total dollar amount of contributions raised in this State that was actually received and retained by the charitable organization from each fund-raising campaign and for the year; and
E. The total dollar amount attributable to contributions raised in this State that was retained by or paid to the licensee from each fund-raising campaign and for the year.
2. Failure to file; discrepancies. Failure to file the annual fund-raising activity report required under this section or filing a report that contains discrepancies between that report and the report submitted by the charitable organization with which the professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel has contracted may result in disciplinary action as provided under Title 10, section 8003, subsection 5-A. To resolve a disagreement between reports, the director may require the professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel to submit an annual fund-raising activity report according to a fiscal year other than the professional solicitor's or professional fund-raising counsel's fiscal year.
3. Contracting with unlicensed charitable organization. A person may not contract with an unlicensed charitable organization for the solicitation of funds from the State's residents. A violation of this subsection may result in disciplinary action as provided under Title 10, section 8003, subsection 5-A.

.

12 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5009. Retention of contractsAll contracts entered into between a professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel and a charitable organization, whether or not the organization is exempted under section 5006, must be in writing.
Contracts must be kept on file in the offices of the charitable organization and the professional solicitor or professional fund-raising counsel during the term of the contract and for 3 years after the date of solicitation of contributions provided for in the contract and must be made available for inspection by or production to the Attorney General or the director during that time.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5011.
Public information.
All information required to be filed under this chapter is a public record and must be available to the public at the office of the commissioner or in any manner the commissioner may prescribe.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5011-A.
Professional solicitor disclosure.
A professional solicitor or person who a professional solicitor employs or engages, directly or indirectly, to solicit contributions may not:
1. Misrepresentation of relationship. Misrepresent, directly or indirectly, that person's relationship to a charitable organization;
2. Misrepresentation of fact. Misrepresent, directly or indirectly, to a contributor or potential contributor any fact relating to the solicitation, including, but not limited to, the percentage of the contribution that will be paid over to the charitable organization or the purpose for which the contribution will be used;
3. Use of contributions. Represent, directly or indirectly, that any part of the contributions received will be given or donated to any charitable organization unless the organization has previously consented in writing to the use of its name; or
4. Disclosure of information. Solicit a contribution from any person in this State without clearly and conspicuously disclosing to the person, prior to the time the person makes or authorizes payment of a donation:
A. The name and address of the professional solicitor;
B. That the solicitor is being paid by the charitable organization on whose behalf the solicitation is being made; and
C. How the potential contributor may obtain information from the State on the respective percentages of contributions that will be paid to the charitable organization and to the paid fund-raiser.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5012.
Charitable solicitation disclosure.
It is a violation of this chapter for any person or entity to solicit contributions from a prospective donor without fully disclosing to the prospective donor, at the time of solicitation but prior to the request for contributions, the name and physical address of the charitable organization for which the solicitation is being conducted.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5013.
Unauthorized used of names.
1. Use of name; written consent. A person or entity may not, for the purpose of soliciting contributions from persons or entities in this State, use the name of any other person or entity in a misleading manner. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, the publication of endorsements purported to have been made by public or private individuals who have not, in fact, provided written authorization for the use of their names for this purpose.
2. Publication. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the publication of names of contributors without their written consents in an annual or other periodic report issued by a charitable organization for the purpose of reporting on its operations and affairs to its membership or for the purpose of reporting contributions to contributors.

.

9 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5014.
Violation as unfair trade practice.
Any violation of this chapter shall constitute a violation of Title 5, chapter 10, the Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Any intentional violation of this chapter shall be a Class D crime.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5015-A. Fees.The director may establish by rule fees for purposes authorized under this chapter in amounts that are reasonable and necessary for their respective purposes, except that the fee for any one purpose may not exceed $200 annually. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.1

.

11 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5017. Denial or refusal to renew license; disciplinary actionThe director or the director's designee may deny the license application, refuse to renew the license or suspend or revoke the license of a person or an entity that has been, or whose principals, officers, directors, employees or fundraisers have been, convicted of, found guilty of, pled guilty or nolo contendere to or have been incarcerated by any federal or state court for any felony or for any misdemeanor involving dishonesty, including, but not limited to, fraud, theft, larceny, embezzlement or any crime arising from the conduct of a solicitation for a charitable organization.
The director or the director's designee may deny a license, refuse to renew a license or impose the disciplinary sanctions authorized under Title 10, section 8003, subsection 5-A for any of the reasons enumerated in Title 10, section 8003, subsection 5-A, paragraph A.

.

12 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5018. RulemakingThe director shall propose, revise, adopt and enforce rules necessary to carry out this chapter. Rules adopted pursuant to this chapter are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.1

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-501.
Short title.
This Article may be cited as the "Maine Consumer Credit Code -- Truth-in-Lending."

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-502.
Findings and declaration of purpose.
The Legislature finds that economic stabilization would be enhanced and the competition among the various financial institutions and other firms engaged in the extension of consumer credit would be strengthened by the informed use of credit. The informed use of credit results from an awareness of the cost thereof by consumers. It is the purpose of this Article to ensure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available to the consumer and avoid the uninformed use of credit and to protect the consumer against inaccurate and unfair credit billing and credit card practices.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-503.
Conformity with federal law.
Unless the context otherwise indicates, any word or phrase that is not defined in this Article but that is defined in the Federal Truth in Lending Act, Title I of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1601 et seq. or its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.1 et seq., has the meaning set forth in the Federal Truth in Lending Act and its implementing regulations.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-504. Maine Consumer Credit Code--Truth-in-Lending.1. Compliance with Federal Truth in Lending Act. Notwithstanding any other law, a creditor shall comply with the Federal Truth in Lending Act, Title I of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1601 et seq. and its implementing regulations, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.1 et seq. and Regulation M, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 213.1 et seq., including any final regulations issued on or before July 21, 2011.

2. Rule-making authority. Consistent with the purposes of Title X and Title XIV of the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203 and with the purposes set forth in sections 1-102 and 8-502 and notwithstanding other law, the administrator may adopt rules substantially similar to or that afford more protection for consumers than those codified in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 226 and 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 213. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. In adopting rules pursuant to this subsection, the administrator shall specifically consider whether there is a substantial impact on consumer protection before adopting rules affecting the following provisions of section 8-506:

A. The rate thresholds pertaining to high-cost mortgage loans in section 8-506, subsection 1, paragraph H;

B. The prepayment penalties for high-cost mortgage loans in section 8-506, subsection 2, paragraph D;

C. The assignee liability for high-cost mortgage loans in section 8-506, subsection 3;

D. The ability to repay in section 8-506, subsection 4;

E. The prohibition against flipping and the principles of tangible net benefit in section 8-506, subsection 5; or

F. The enhanced penalties for violations in section 8-506, subsection 6.
The rules may contain classifications, differentiations or other provisions and may provide for adjustments and exceptions for any class of transactions subject to this Title that in the judgment of the administrator are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of this Title, or to prevent circumvention or evasion of or to facilitate compliance with, the provisions of this Title.

3. Compliance with rules prior to effective date. A creditor may comply with any rules adopted by the administrator pursuant to subsection 2 prior to the effective date of those rules.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-505. Enforcement1. Enforcement under Article 6. The administrator shall enforce this Article under the provisions of Article 6. When the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is acting as administrator, the superintendent may, in addition to the enforcement authority under Article 6, use any authority provided in Title 9-B for the supervision of financial institutions.

2. Reimbursement. The administrator may adopt by rule a reimbursement program such that creditors subject to an administrative order under section 6-108 may be ordered to make whatever adjustments are necessary to ensure that any person will not be required to pay a finance charge in excess of the finance charge actually disclosed or the dollar equivalent of the annual percentage rate actually disclosed, whichever is lower. In determining any readjustment, the administrator shall apply, with respect to the annual percentage rate, a tolerance allowed under the Federal Truth in Lending Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1607 and its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.1 et seq.and, with respect to the finance charge, a corresponding numerical tolerance as generated by the tolerance allowed by the Federal Truth in Lending Act and its implementing regulations for the annual percentage rate. The administrator may order partial adjustment or partial payments over an extended period if the administrator determines that a partial adjustment or making partial payments over an extended period is necessary to avoid causing the creditor to become undercapitalized pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.

3. Criminal liability for willful and knowing violation. Whoever willfully and knowingly gives false or inaccurate information or fails to provide information that the person is required to disclose under the provisions of this Article or any regulation issued thereunder, uses any chart or table authorized by the administrator under this Article in such a manner as to consistently understate the annual percentage rate determined under this Article or otherwise fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this Article is guilty of a Class D crime.

4. Penalties inapplicable to governmental agencies. A civil or criminal penalty provided under this Article for any violation thereof may not be imposed upon the United States or any agency thereof, or upon any state or political subdivision thereof, or any agency of any state or political subdivision thereof.

5. Civil liability. Except as otherwise provided for transactions subject to section 8-506, subsection 6, any creditor that fails to comply with the requirements imposed under this Article with respect to any person is liable to that person as provided for in the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1640.

6. Liability of assignees. Except as otherwise provided for transactions subject to section 8-506, subsection 3, any civil action for a violation of this Article that may be brought against a creditor may be maintained against any assignee of such creditor as provided for in the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1641.

7. Attorney General. The Attorney General has jurisdiction to enforce this Article against mortgage brokers as defined in section 8-506, subsection 1, paragraph J and supervised lenders that are not supervised financial organizations through their general regulatory powers and through civil process. The administrator, through the Attorney General, may bring a civil action to restrain any person from violating this Article.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-506. Enhanced restrictions on certain creditorsIn addition to the compliance requirements of section 8-504, subsection 1, unless otherwise required by rules adopted pursuant to section 8-504, subsection 2, a creditor shall comply with the following enhanced restrictions.

1. Definitions. The following definitions apply to the enhanced restrictions set forth in this section.

A. “Administrator” has the same meaning as set forth in section 1-301.

B. “Bona fide discount points” means an amount knowingly paid by a borrower for the express purpose of reducing, and that in fact does result in a bona fide reduction of, the interest rate applicable to a residential mortgage loan, as long as the undiscounted interest rate for the residential mortgage loan does not exceed the conventional mortgage rate by more than 2 percentage points for a residential mortgage loan secured by a first lien or by 3 ½ percentage points for a residential mortgage loan secured by a subordinated lien.

C. “Borrower” means any natural person obligated to repay a loan, including a coborrower, cosigner or guarantor.

D. “Conventional mortgage rate” means the most recently published annual yield on conventional mortgages published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as published in statistical release H.15 or any superseding publication, as of the applicable time set forth in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32(a)(1)(i).

E. “Conventional prepayment penalty” means any prepayment penalty or fee that may be collected or charged in a residential mortgage loan and that is authorized by law other than this section, as long as the residential mortgage loan does not have an annual percentage rate that exceeds the conventional mortgage rate by more than 2 percentage points and does not permit any prepayment fees or penalties that exceed 2% of the amount prepaid.

F. “Creditor” has the same meaning as set forth in section 1-301, subsection 17. For purposes of this section, “creditor” also includes an entity defined as a lender as set forth in24 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 3500.2, including a mortgage broker.

G. “Excluded points and fees” means, in connection with a residential mortgage loan, all bona fide fees paid to a federal or state government agency that insures payment of some portion of a residential mortgage loan plus an amount not to exceed 2% of the total loan amount attributable to bona fide discount points or a conventional prepayment penalty.

H. “High-cost mortgage loan” means a residential mortgage loan in which the terms of the loan meet or exceed one or more of the following thresholds:

(1) Rate threshold, which, for a residential mortgage loan, is the point at which the annual percentage rate equals or exceeds the rate set forth in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32(a)(1)(i) without regard to whether the residential mortgage loan may be considered a “residential mortgage transaction” or an extension of “open-end credit” as those terms are set forth in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.2; or

(2) The total points and fees threshold, which is:

(a) For loans in which the total loan amount is $40,000 or more, the point at which the total points and fees payable in connection with the residential mortgage loan less any excluded points and fees exceed 5% of the total loan amount; and

(b) For loans in which the total loan amount is less than $40,000, the point at which the total points and fees payable in connection with the residential mortgage loan less any excluded points and fees exceed 6% of the total loan amount.

I. “Higher-priced mortgage loan” has the same meaning as set forth in the Federal Truth in Lending Act and its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.35(a). “Higher-priced mortgage loan” also includes a residential mortgage loan that is a nontraditional mortgage as described in the “Interagency Guidance on Nontraditional Mortgage Product Risks” issued September 29, 2006 and published in 71 Federal Register, 58609 on October 4, 2006 and as updated from time to time, except that “higher-priced mortgage loan” does not include a mortgage that does not allow a borrower to defer repayment of principal or interest.

J. “Mortgage broker” has the same meaning as set forth in 24 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 3500.2, except as otherwise provided in this Article.

K. “Points and fees” has the same meaning as set forth in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32(b)(1). In addition, “points and fees” includes:

(1) The maximum prepayment fees and penalties that may be charged or collected under the terms of the loan documents;

(2) All prepayment fees and penalties that are incurred by the borrower if the loan refinances a previous loan made or currently held by the same creditor or an affiliate of the creditor; and

(3) All compensation paid directly or indirectly to a mortgage broker from any source, including a mortgage broker that originates a loan in its own name in a table-funded transaction.
For open-end loans, points and fees are calculated by adding the total points and fees known at or before closing, including the maximum prepayment penalties that may be charged or collected under the terms of the loan documents and the minimum additional fees the borrower would be required to pay to draw down an amount equal to the total credit line.

L. “Residential mortgage loan” means an extension of credit, including an open-end credit plan, in which:

(1) The loan does not exceed the maximum original principal obligation as set forth in and from time to time adjusted according to the provisions of 12 United States Code, Section 1454(a)(2);

(2) The loan is considered a federally related mortgage loan as set forth in 24 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 3500.2;

(3) The loan is not a reverse mortgage transaction or a loan made primarily for business, agricultural or commercial purposes;

(4) The loan is not a construction loan; and

(5) The loan is secured by the borrower's principal dwelling.

M. “Servicing” has the same meaning as set forth in 24 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 3500.2 and includes any other activities or responsibilities undertaken in connection with a residential mortgage loan by a person who acts as a servicer with respect to that residential mortgage loan, including collection and default management functions.

N. “Total loan amount” means the principal of a loan minus those points and fees that are included in the principal amount of the loan. For open-end loans, the total loan amount must be calculated using the total line of credit allowed under the residential mortgage loan at closing.

2. High-cost mortgage loans; restrictions. A high-cost mortgage loan is subject to the provisions applying to certain closed-end home mortgages covered by Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32 and the following restrictions.

A. In connection with a high-cost mortgage loan, a creditor may not directly or indirectly finance any points or fees.

B. In addition to the limitation on balloon payments found in Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32, a high-cost mortgage loan may not contain a scheduled payment that is more than twice as large as the average of earlier scheduled payments. This paragraph does not apply when the payment schedule is adjusted to the seasonal or irregular income of the borrower.

C. A creditor may not make a high-cost mortgage loan without first receiving certification from a counselor with a 3rd-party, nonprofit organization approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, a housing financing agency of this State or the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection that the borrower has received counseling on the advisability of the loan transaction.

D. A prepayment fee or penalty may not be included in the loan documents or charged under the terms of a high-cost mortgage loan.

3. High-cost mortgage loans; assignee liability. The following provisions apply to a claim made by a borrower against a purchaser or assignee of a high-cost mortgage loan.

A. Any person who purchases or is otherwise assigned a high-cost mortgage loan is subject to all affirmative claims and any defenses with respect to the loan that the borrower may assert against a creditor of the loan, except that this paragraph does not apply if the purchaser or assignee demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that it:

(1) Has in place, at the time of the purchase or assignment of the subject loan, policies that expressly prohibit the purchaser or assignee's purchase or acceptance of assignment of any high-cost mortgage loan;

(2) Requires by contract that a seller or assignor of residential high-cost mortgage loans to the purchaser or assignee represent and warrant to the purchaser or assignee that neither the seller or assignor will sell or assign any high-cost mortgage loans to the purchaser or assignee, nor that the seller or assignor is a beneficiary of a representation and warranty from a previous seller or assignor to that effect; and

(3) Exercises reasonable due diligence, at the time of purchase or assignment of residential mortgage loans or within a reasonable period of time after the purchase or assignment of such residential mortgage loans, intended by the purchaser or assignee to prevent the purchaser or assignee from purchasing or taking assignment of any high-cost mortgage loan. For purposes of this subparagraph, reasonable due diligence must provide for sampling and may not require loan-by-loan review.

B. Notwithstanding paragraph A, liability pursuant to this subsection may not accrue to a purchaser or assignee of a high-cost mortgage loan as a result of an alleged violation by a creditor of subsection 5.

4. Ability to repay. A creditor may not extend a high-cost mortgage loan or a higher-priced mortgage loan to a consumer based on the value of the consumer's collateral without regard to the consumer's repayment ability as of consummation, including the consumer's current and reasonably expected income, employment, assets other than the collateral, credit history, debt-to-income ratio, current obligations and mortgage-related obligations.

A. For purposes of this subsection, mortgage-related obligations are expected property taxes, premiums for mortgage-related insurance required by the creditor, such as insurance against loss of or damage to property or against liability arising out of the ownership or use of the property or insurance protecting the creditor against the consumer's default or other credit loss, and similar expenses.

B. Under this subsection, a creditor must verify the consumer's repayment ability as follows.

(1) A creditor must verify amounts of income or assets that it relies on to determine repayment ability, including expected income or assets, by the consumer's federal Internal Revenue Service Form W-2, tax returns, payroll receipts, financial institution records or other 3rd-party documents that provide reasonably reliable evidence of the consumer's income or assets. For the purposes of this subparagraph, “reasonably reliable evidence of the consumer's income or assets” includes, but is not limited to, statements from investment advisors, broker-dealers and others in a fiduciary relationship with the consumer as long as the statements reflect the consumer's actual income and not estimated, projected or anticipated income or a range of earnings for a consumer's type or class of employment.

(2) A creditor must verify the consumer's current obligations.

C. A creditor is presumed to have complied with this subsection with respect to a transaction if the creditor:

(1) Verifies the consumer's repayment ability as provided in paragraph B;

(2) Determines the consumer's repayment ability using the largest payment of principal and interest scheduled in the first 7 years following consummation and taking into account current obligations and mortgage-related obligations; and

(3) Assesses the consumer's repayment ability taking into account at least one of the following:

(a) The ratio of total debt obligations to income; and

(b) The income the consumer will have after paying debt obligations.

D. Notwithstanding paragraph C, no presumption of compliance is available for a transaction for which:

(1) The regular periodic payments for the first 7 years would cause the principal balance to increase; or

(2) The term of the loan is less than 7 years and the regular periodic payments when aggregated do not fully amortize the outstanding principal balance.

E. This subsection does not apply to a temporary or so-called “bridge” loan with a term of 12 months or less, such as a loan to purchase a new dwelling when the consumer plans to sell a current dwelling within 12 months.

5. Flipping. A creditor or a mortgage broker may not knowingly or intentionally engage in the act or practice of flipping a residential mortgage loan when making a high-cost mortgage loan or higher-priced mortgage loan. The administrator may adopt rules defining with reasonable specificity the requirements for compliance with this subsection. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. For the purposes of this subsection, “flipping a residential mortgage loan” means the making of a residential mortgage loan to a borrower that refinances an existing residential mortgage loan when the new loan does not have reasonable, tangible net benefit to the borrower considering all the circumstances, including, but not limited to, the terms of both the new and refinanced loans, the cost of the new loan and the borrower's circumstances.

6. Special liability. This subsection applies to any violation of this section in connection with the origination, brokering or servicing of a residential mortgage loan. This subsection does not apply to a purchaser or assignee of a residential mortgage loan except as permitted in subsection 3.

A. Any person who has been found in violation of this section with regard to residential mortgage loans may be liable to the borrower for the following:

(1) Actual damages, including consequential and incidental damages. The borrower may not be required to demonstrate reliance in order to receive actual damages;

(2) Punitive damages for violations of subsections 2 and 5, when the violation was malicious or reckless;

(3) Costs, including reasonable attorney's fees; and

(4) Statutory damages as follows:

(a) For violations described in subsection 2, statutory damages equal to 2 times the finance charge paid under the loan and forfeiture of the remaining interest under the loan; and

(b) For any other violations of this section, statutory damages in the amount of $5,000 per violation.

B. A borrower may be granted injunctive, declaratory and other equitable relief that the court determines appropriate in an action to enforce compliance with this section.

C. The right of rescission granted under 15 United States Code, Chapter 41, Subchapter I, Part A for a violation of that law is available to a borrower acting only in an individual capacity by way of recoupment as a defense against a party foreclosing on a residential mortgage loan at any time during the term of the loan. Any recoupment claim asserted pursuant to this provision is limited to amounts required to reduce or extinguish the borrower's liability under the residential mortgage loan plus amounts required to recover costs, including reasonable attorney's fees. This paragraph may not be construed to limit recoupment rights available to the borrower under any other law.

D. The remedies provided in this subsection are not intended to be the exclusive remedies available to a borrower, nor must the borrower exhaust any administrative remedies provided under this subsection or any other applicable law before proceeding under this subsection.

E. Any person who knowingly violates a provision of this section is guilty of a Class E crime.

F. A creditor in a residential mortgage loan who, when acting in good faith, fails to comply with any provision of this section related to residential mortgage loans is deemed not to have violated this section if the creditor establishes that either:

(1) Within 30 days of the loan closing and prior to receiving any notice of the compliance failure, the creditor has made appropriate restitution to the borrower and appropriate adjustments have been made to the loan; or

(2) Within 60 days of the loan closing and prior to receiving any notice of the compliance failure, when the compliance failure was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid such errors, the borrower is notified of the compliance failure, appropriate restitution is made to the borrower and appropriate adjustments are made to the loan. Examples of a bona fide error include clerical, calculation, computer malfunction and programming and printing errors. An error of legal judgment with respect to a person's obligations under this section is not a bona fide error.

G. The remedies provided in this subsection are cumulative.

H. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a residential mortgage loan agreement may not include any provision that waives any borrower's remedies available at law or equity, whether acting individually or on behalf of others similarly situated, or the borrower's rights to civil discovery or appeal. Any such provision is unenforceable and void as a matter of law.

I. Without regard to whether a borrower is acting individually or on behalf of others similarly situated, any provision of a residential mortgage loan agreement that allows a person to require a borrower to assert any claim or defense in a forum that is less convenient, more costly or more dilatory for the resolution of a dispute than a judicial forum established in this State where the borrower may otherwise properly bring a claim or defense or that limits in any way any claim or defense the borrower may have is unconscionable and void as a matter of law.

J. It is a violation of this section for any person to attempt in bad faith to avoid the application of this section by dividing any loan transaction into separate parts or structuring a residential mortgage loan transaction as an open-end loan for the purpose of evading the provisions of this section when the loan would have been a high-cost mortgage loan if the loan had been structured as a closed-end loan or by engaging in any other subterfuge with the intent of evading any provision of this section.

7. Exemption for supervised financial organizations and the Maine State Housing Authority. This section does not apply to any supervised financial organization as defined in section 1-301, subsection 38-A or to the Maine State Housing Authority.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-507. Exemption from the Federal Truth in Lending Act1. Preservation of federal exemption. As required by the Federal Truth in Lending Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1633 and its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.29, the administrator may take any action necessary to apply for or to preserve a determination by the Federal Reserve Board or its successor agency that under the laws of this State any class of credit transactions within this State is subject to requirements substantially similar to federal requirements and that there are adequate provisions for enforcement of such requirements.

2. Application. This Article does not apply to any class of credit transactions within this State that is subject to the requirements of the Federal Truth in Lending Act, Title I of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act unless any such class of transactions has first been exempted by a regulation of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board and that exemption remains in effect.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-508. Authority of administratorThe administrator, by rule or order, shall prohibit acts or practices in connection with:

1. Unfair or deceptive mortgage loans. The making of a residential mortgage loan that the administrator finds unfair, deceptive or designed to evade the provisions of section 8-506; and

2. Refinancing; abusive lending practices. The refinancing of a residential mortgage loan that the administrator finds is associated with abusive lending practices or that is otherwise not in the interest of the borrowing public.

Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-509. Credit card and debit card surcharge prohibition1. Surcharge prohibited. A seller in a sales transaction may not impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card or debit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means. For purposes of this section, “surcharge” means any means of increasing the regular price to a cardholder that is not imposed on a customer paying by cash, check or similar means. A discount or reduction from the regular price is not a surcharge.

2. Surcharge permitted for governmental entity. Notwithstanding subsection 1, a governmental entity may impose a surcharge for payments made with a credit card or debit card for taxes, fines, charges, utility fees, regulatory fees, license or permit fees or the provision of a specific service provided by that governmental entity if the surcharge:

A. Is disclosed clearly to the consumer prior to payment; and

B. Does not exceed the costs associated with providing the credit card or debit card service that are directly incurred by the governmental entity or assessed by an authorized 3rd-party payment service provider for a credit card or debit card transaction. If there is not a cost assessed by an authorized 3rd-party payment service provider for a debit card transaction, the governmental entity may not impose a surcharge associated with a debit card transaction.
A governmental entity shall disclose to the consumer that the surcharge may be avoided if the consumer makes payments by cash, check or other means not a credit card or debit card. A governmental entity is not subject to any liability to the issuer of a credit card or an authorized 3rd-party payment service provider for nonpayment of credit card charges by the consumer. As used in this subsection, “governmental entity” includes, but is not limited to, a county established or governed by Title 30-A, Part 1, a municipality as defined in Title 30-A, section 2001, subsection 8, a quasi-municipal corporation as defined in Title 30-A, section 2604, subsection 3, the Judicial Department as described in Title 4, the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System and the Maine Maritime Academy.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-510. Disclosure of lists of the names, addresses and account numbers of credit card holders1. Disclosure prohibited. Except as provided in subsection 2, it is unlawful for a person, business, corporation, partnership, agency, financial institution, credit card registration service or other entity to rent, sell, exchange or otherwise disclose or make available to another person or entity a list containing the names, addresses and account numbers of credit card holders without the express, written permission of the credit card holders.

2. Exceptions. The following disclosures of lists containing the names, addresses and account numbers of credit card holders are not prohibited:

A. Disclosure to or from a consumer reporting agency, as defined in Title 10, section 1312, subsection 4, as long as the transfer is for purposes of compliance with and in a manner consistent with the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act;

B. Disclosure between a parent corporation and a subsidiary or affiliate of that corporation or between subsidiaries or affiliates of a parent corporation;

C. Disclosure in connection with the sale or pledge, or negotiation of the sale or pledge, of any portion of a business or the assets of a business, as long as the party to whom disclosure is made maintains the confidentiality of the information disclosed;

D. Disclosure in connection with authorization, processing, billing, collection, charge-back, fraud prevention or credit card recovery; and

E. Disclosure pursuant to state or federal law or at the direction of a governmental entity pursuant to law or in response to a court order.

3. Violation. A violation of this section constitutes a violation of the Maine Consumer Credit Code and the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-511. Recurring charges to credit card or charge card accountsIf a sale of goods, services or insurance is charged to a credit card or charge card account on an annual basis without substantially contemporaneous authorizations by the consumer, the seller shall inform the consumer of the voluntary nature of the charge to the credit card or charge card account and of the steps necessary to prevent this charge at least 30 days prior to the annual charge. The card issuer may provide the notice on behalf of the seller. This section does not apply to insurance subject to notice and cancellation rights pursuant to section 4-204.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1101. Contracts in restraint of tradeEvery contract, combination in the form of trusts or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce in this State is declared to be illegal. Whoever makes any such contract or engages in any such combination or conspiracy is guilty of a Class C crime.

.

11 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1102. Conspiracies to monopolize tradeWhoever shall monopolize or attempt to monopolize or combine or conspire with any other person or persons to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce of this State shall be guilty of a Class C crime.

.

12 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1102-A. Acquisition of assets of person engaged in commerce which tends to create a monopolyNo person engaged in commerce in this State may acquire, directly or indirectly, the whole or any part of the stock or other share capital, or the whole of any part of the assets of another person also engaged in commerce in this State, where in any line of commerce or any activity affecting commerce in any section of this State, the effect of the acquisition or use of that share capital, or the acquisition of those assets, may be substantially to lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly.

This section does not apply to persons purchasing these stocks solely for investment and not using the same by voting or otherwise to bring about, or in attempting to bring about, the substantial lessening of competition, nor may anything contained in this section prevent a corporation from causing the formation of subsidiary corporations for the actual carrying on of their immediate lawful business, or the natural and legitimate branches or extensions thereof, or from owning and holding all or a part of the stock of those subsidiary corporations, if the effect of that formation is not to substantially lessen competition.

This section does not apply to the acquisition of stock, share capital or assets of a public utility when the acquisition has been approved by the Public Utilities Commission.

Any financial institution subject to the provisions of Title 9-B1 is exempt from this section.

.

13 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1104. Right of action and damages1. Right of action and damages. Any person, including the State or any political subdivision of the State, injured directly or indirectly in its business or property by any other person or corporation by reason of anything forbidden or declared to be unlawful by section 1101, 1102 or 1102-A, may sue for the injury in a civil action. If the court finds for the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall recover 3 times the amount of the damages sustained and cost of suit, including necessary and reasonable investigative costs, reasonable experts' fees and reasonable attorney's fees.
2. Injunction. The Attorney General may institute proceedings in equity to prevent and restrain violations of sections 1101, 1102 and 1102-A.
A. These proceedings may be by way of petitions setting forth the case and praying that the violation shall be enjoined or otherwise prohibited.
B. The action may be advanced on the docket and receive priority over other cases when the court determines that the interests of justice so require.
C. Pending the petition and before final decree, the court may at any time make such temporary restraining order or prohibition as considered just under the circumstances.
D. Any person who violates the terms of an injunction issued under this section must forfeit and pay to the State, to be applied in carrying out this chapter, a civil penalty of not more than $50,000 for each violation.
3. Civil penalty. Each course of conduct that constitutes a violation of section 1101 or 1102 is a civil violation for which a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each defendant may be adjudged.
A. In any action initiated by the Attorney General pursuant to this section to prevent and restrain violations of sections 1101 and 1102, the Attorney General may include an action to recover civil penalties by each defendant for each course of conduct alleged.
B. An action to recover a civil penalty from a defendant under this section bars a criminal prosecution pursuant to section 1101 or 1102 against that defendant for the same course of conduct on which the action to recover the civil penalty is based.
C. A criminal prosecution against a defendant pursuant to section 1101 or 1102 bars any action to recover a civil penalty under this section from that defendant for the same course of conduct on which the criminal prosecution is based.
4. Recovery of damages, costs and fees for antitrust violations from any political subdivision official or employee of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity. No damages, interest on damages, costs or attorneys fees may be recovered under this chapter from any political subdivision, as defined in Title 14, section 8102, subsection 3, or official or employee of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity.
5. Recovery of damages, costs and fees for antitrust violations on claim against person based on official action directed by political subdivision, or official or employee of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity. No damages, interest on damages, costs or attorneys fees may be recovered under this chapter in any claim against a person based on any official action directed by a political subdivision, as defined in Title 14, section 8102, subsection 3, or official or employee of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1105.
Profiteering in necessities.
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Abnormal market disruption" means a significant disruption to the production, distribution, supply, sale or availability of a commodity or commodities that:
(1) Is caused by an event such as a natural or man-made emergency or disaster, whether local or remote; and
(2) Causes ordinary competitive market forces to cease to function normally
B. "Cost" means the expense associated with the acquisition, production, distribution or sale of necessities and may include, among other things, replacement costs, taxes and transportation costs
C. "Necessities" includes food for human or animal consumption; pharmaceutical products, including prescription medications; wearing apparel; shoes; building materials; gas and electricity for light, heat and power; ice; fuel of all kinds; and fertilizer and fertilizer ingredients; together with tools, utensils, implements, machinery and equipment required for the actual production or manufacture of the same. "Necessities" includes any other vital or necessary good or service except those:
(1) Subject to continuous maximum price regulation under the provisions of any state or federal law;
(2) As to which the State's authority is preempted; or
(3) Furnished or provided by:
(a) Insurers; or
(b) Nonprofit hospitals, medical service organizations or health maintenance organizations authorized to transact business within the State pursuant to Title 24 and Title 24-A.
D. "Unconscionable price" means a price that is actionable under this section. There is a rebuttable presumption that a price is unconscionable when it exceeds by more than 15% the sum of:
(1) The price at which similar goods or services were offered for sale or sold by that person immediately prior to the beginning date of the abnormal market disruption. If that person did not offer such goods or services immediately prior to the abnormal market disruption, then the price is the price at which similar goods or services were offered for sale or sold by another person similarly situated prior to the abnormal market disruption; and
(2) The increased cost calculated according to the method used by that person prior to the abnormal market disruption.
2. Declaration. Whenever it appears upon due inquiry and consultation with the Attorney General that an abnormal market disruption exists or that there is a substantial likelihood that an abnormal market disruption is imminent, the Governor may, in the Governor's sole discretion and after considering whether the declaration of an abnormal market disruption itself will disrupt supplies for affected necessities, declare an abnormal market disruption.
A. A declaration made under this subsection must specify:
(1) The beginning date of the abnormal market disruption;
(2) The particular necessity, necessities or categories of necessities that are affected by the abnormal market disruption and made subject to the provisions of subsections 3 and 4; and
(3) The levels of trade or commerce that are affected by the abnormal market disruption and made subject to the provisions of subsections 3 and 4. [2005, c. 580, §1 (NEW).]
B. A declaration of abnormal market disruption under this subsection expires when the Governor declares it expired or 60 days from the date of its issuance, whichever is sooner. The declaration of abnormal market disruption may be modified by the Governor at any time.
C. The Governor shall publish decisions under this subsection in a manner reasonably calculated to give affected persons adequate notice.
D. Any person may petition the Governor regarding the Governor's decisions under this subsection.
3. Profiteering prohibited. After the Governor has declared an abnormal market disruption and before the declaration of the abnormal market disruption expires, a person may not sell or offer for sale necessities at an unconscionable price.
4. Civil violation. A violation of subsection 3 is a civil violation that constitutes and may be prosecuted as an unfair act or practice in the conduct of trade or commerce pursuant to Title 5, section 207, except that the provisions of Title 5, section 213 do not apply. The declaration of an abnormal market disruption creates a rebuttable presumption that the disruption occurred and existed from the beginning date in the declaration to the date of its expiration.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1106.
Profiteering in rents.
Whoever demands or collects an unreasonable or unjust rent or charge, taking into due consideration the actual market value of the property at the time, with a fair return thereon, or imposes an unreasonable or unjust term or condition, for the occupancy of a mobile home park lot or of any building or any part thereof, rented or hired for dwelling purposes, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 11 months, or by both.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1107.
Investigation by the Attorney General.
The Attorney General upon the Attorney General's own initiative or upon petition of 50 or more citizens of this State, shall investigate all seeming violations of sections 1102-A and 1105 to 1107, all contracts, combinations or conspiracies in restraint of trade or commerce, and all monopolies, and may require, by summons, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books and papers before the Attorney General relating to any such matter under investigation. The summons must be served in the same manner as summons for witnesses in criminal cases, and all provisions of law relating thereto apply to summonses issued under this section so far as they are applicable. All investigations or hearings thereunder or connected therewith to which witnesses are summoned or called upon to testify or to produce books, records or correspondence are public or private at the choice of the person summoned and must be held in the county where the act to be investigated is alleged to have been committed, or if the investigation is on petition it must be held in the county in which the petitioners reside. The expense of such investigation must be paid from the appropriation provided by Title 5, section 203.

If, upon investigation, it appears to the Attorney General that the laws of this State, including sections 1102-A or 1105 to 1107, have been violated in any respect, the Attorney General shall prosecute the guilty parties and present all available information bearing upon such apparent violation to the proper prosecuting officer of the United States.

Any Justice of the Superior Court may by order, upon application of the Attorney General, compel the attendance of witnesses, the production of books and papers, including correspondence, and the giving of testimony, before the Attorney General in the same manner and to the same extent as before the Superior Court. Any failure to obey such order may be punishable by such court as a contempt.

.

15 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1108. Final judgment or decree as prima facie evidenceA final judgment or decree hereafter rendered in any civil or criminal proceeding brought by or on behalf of the State under the antitrust laws to the effect that a defendant has violated these laws shall be prima facie evidence against the defendant in any action or proceeding brought by any party against that defendant under such laws as to matters respecting which that judgment or decree would be an estoppel as between the parties thereto; provided that this section shall not apply to consent judgments or decrees entered before any testimony has been taken. Nothing contained in this section may be construed to impose any limitation on the application of collateral estoppel.

.

16 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1109. Acquisition of gasoline and heating oil assets1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. “Gasoline sales” means the retail sale of internal combustion fuel for motor vehicles as defined in Title 29-A, section 101, subsection 42.
B. “Heating oil sales” means the retail sale of # 2 fuel oil used for heating residential, industrial or commercial space or water.
2. Prohibition. A person may not acquire, directly or indirectly, from a business engaged in gasoline sales or heating oil sales in this State, without prior notice as required under subsection 3:
A. Controlling stock; or
B. Substantial assets that include those used in gasoline sales or heating oil sales.
3. Report. The person acquiring stock or assets under subsection 2 shall provide notice of this acquisition to the Department of the Attorney General at least 30 days prior to the date of acquisition. That period may be shortened with the consent of the Attorney General.
4. Confidentiality. Information received by the Department of the Attorney General as a result of this reporting requirement is confidential.
5. Penalty. Violation of this section is a civil violation for which a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 may be assessed.

.

12 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5018. RulemakingThe director shall propose, revise, adopt and enforce rules necessary to carry out this chapter. Rules adopted pursuant to this chapter are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.1

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-501.
Short title.
This Article may be cited as the "Maine Consumer Credit Code -- Truth-in-Lending."

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-502.
Findings and declaration of purpose.
The Legislature finds that economic stabilization would be enhanced and the competition among the various financial institutions and other firms engaged in the extension of consumer credit would be strengthened by the informed use of credit. The informed use of credit results from an awareness of the cost thereof by consumers. It is the purpose of this Article to ensure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available to the consumer and avoid the uninformed use of credit and to protect the consumer against inaccurate and unfair credit billing and credit card practices.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-503.
Conformity with federal law.
Unless the context otherwise indicates, any word or phrase that is not defined in this Article but that is defined in the Federal Truth in Lending Act, Title I of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1601 et seq. or its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.1 et seq., has the meaning set forth in the Federal Truth in Lending Act and its implementing regulations.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-504. Maine Consumer Credit Code--Truth-in-Lending.1. Compliance with Federal Truth in Lending Act. Notwithstanding any other law, a creditor shall comply with the Federal Truth in Lending Act, Title I of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1601 et seq. and its implementing regulations, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.1 et seq. and Regulation M, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 213.1 et seq., including any final regulations issued on or before July 21, 2011.

2. Rule-making authority. Consistent with the purposes of Title X and Title XIV of the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203 and with the purposes set forth in sections 1-102 and 8-502 and notwithstanding other law, the administrator may adopt rules substantially similar to or that afford more protection for consumers than those codified in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 226 and 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 213. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. In adopting rules pursuant to this subsection, the administrator shall specifically consider whether there is a substantial impact on consumer protection before adopting rules affecting the following provisions of section 8-506:

A. The rate thresholds pertaining to high-cost mortgage loans in section 8-506, subsection 1, paragraph H;

B. The prepayment penalties for high-cost mortgage loans in section 8-506, subsection 2, paragraph D;

C. The assignee liability for high-cost mortgage loans in section 8-506, subsection 3;

D. The ability to repay in section 8-506, subsection 4;

E. The prohibition against flipping and the principles of tangible net benefit in section 8-506, subsection 5; or

F. The enhanced penalties for violations in section 8-506, subsection 6.
The rules may contain classifications, differentiations or other provisions and may provide for adjustments and exceptions for any class of transactions subject to this Title that in the judgment of the administrator are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of this Title, or to prevent circumvention or evasion of or to facilitate compliance with, the provisions of this Title.

3. Compliance with rules prior to effective date. A creditor may comply with any rules adopted by the administrator pursuant to subsection 2 prior to the effective date of those rules.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-505. Enforcement1. Enforcement under Article 6. The administrator shall enforce this Article under the provisions of Article 6. When the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is acting as administrator, the superintendent may, in addition to the enforcement authority under Article 6, use any authority provided in Title 9-B for the supervision of financial institutions.

2. Reimbursement. The administrator may adopt by rule a reimbursement program such that creditors subject to an administrative order under section 6-108 may be ordered to make whatever adjustments are necessary to ensure that any person will not be required to pay a finance charge in excess of the finance charge actually disclosed or the dollar equivalent of the annual percentage rate actually disclosed, whichever is lower. In determining any readjustment, the administrator shall apply, with respect to the annual percentage rate, a tolerance allowed under the Federal Truth in Lending Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1607 and its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.1 et seq.and, with respect to the finance charge, a corresponding numerical tolerance as generated by the tolerance allowed by the Federal Truth in Lending Act and its implementing regulations for the annual percentage rate. The administrator may order partial adjustment or partial payments over an extended period if the administrator determines that a partial adjustment or making partial payments over an extended period is necessary to avoid causing the creditor to become undercapitalized pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.

3. Criminal liability for willful and knowing violation. Whoever willfully and knowingly gives false or inaccurate information or fails to provide information that the person is required to disclose under the provisions of this Article or any regulation issued thereunder, uses any chart or table authorized by the administrator under this Article in such a manner as to consistently understate the annual percentage rate determined under this Article or otherwise fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this Article is guilty of a Class D crime.

4. Penalties inapplicable to governmental agencies. A civil or criminal penalty provided under this Article for any violation thereof may not be imposed upon the United States or any agency thereof, or upon any state or political subdivision thereof, or any agency of any state or political subdivision thereof.

5. Civil liability. Except as otherwise provided for transactions subject to section 8-506, subsection 6, any creditor that fails to comply with the requirements imposed under this Article with respect to any person is liable to that person as provided for in the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1640.

6. Liability of assignees. Except as otherwise provided for transactions subject to section 8-506, subsection 3, any civil action for a violation of this Article that may be brought against a creditor may be maintained against any assignee of such creditor as provided for in the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1641.

7. Attorney General. The Attorney General has jurisdiction to enforce this Article against mortgage brokers as defined in section 8-506, subsection 1, paragraph J and supervised lenders that are not supervised financial organizations through their general regulatory powers and through civil process. The administrator, through the Attorney General, may bring a civil action to restrain any person from violating this Article.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-506. Enhanced restrictions on certain creditorsIn addition to the compliance requirements of section 8-504, subsection 1, unless otherwise required by rules adopted pursuant to section 8-504, subsection 2, a creditor shall comply with the following enhanced restrictions.

1. Definitions. The following definitions apply to the enhanced restrictions set forth in this section.

A. “Administrator” has the same meaning as set forth in section 1-301.

B. “Bona fide discount points” means an amount knowingly paid by a borrower for the express purpose of reducing, and that in fact does result in a bona fide reduction of, the interest rate applicable to a residential mortgage loan, as long as the undiscounted interest rate for the residential mortgage loan does not exceed the conventional mortgage rate by more than 2 percentage points for a residential mortgage loan secured by a first lien or by 3 ½ percentage points for a residential mortgage loan secured by a subordinated lien.

C. “Borrower” means any natural person obligated to repay a loan, including a coborrower, cosigner or guarantor.

D. “Conventional mortgage rate” means the most recently published annual yield on conventional mortgages published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as published in statistical release H.15 or any superseding publication, as of the applicable time set forth in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32(a)(1)(i).

E. “Conventional prepayment penalty” means any prepayment penalty or fee that may be collected or charged in a residential mortgage loan and that is authorized by law other than this section, as long as the residential mortgage loan does not have an annual percentage rate that exceeds the conventional mortgage rate by more than 2 percentage points and does not permit any prepayment fees or penalties that exceed 2% of the amount prepaid.

F. “Creditor” has the same meaning as set forth in section 1-301, subsection 17. For purposes of this section, “creditor” also includes an entity defined as a lender as set forth in24 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 3500.2, including a mortgage broker.

G. “Excluded points and fees” means, in connection with a residential mortgage loan, all bona fide fees paid to a federal or state government agency that insures payment of some portion of a residential mortgage loan plus an amount not to exceed 2% of the total loan amount attributable to bona fide discount points or a conventional prepayment penalty.

H. “High-cost mortgage loan” means a residential mortgage loan in which the terms of the loan meet or exceed one or more of the following thresholds:

(1) Rate threshold, which, for a residential mortgage loan, is the point at which the annual percentage rate equals or exceeds the rate set forth in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32(a)(1)(i) without regard to whether the residential mortgage loan may be considered a “residential mortgage transaction” or an extension of “open-end credit” as those terms are set forth in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.2; or

(2) The total points and fees threshold, which is:

(a) For loans in which the total loan amount is $40,000 or more, the point at which the total points and fees payable in connection with the residential mortgage loan less any excluded points and fees exceed 5% of the total loan amount; and

(b) For loans in which the total loan amount is less than $40,000, the point at which the total points and fees payable in connection with the residential mortgage loan less any excluded points and fees exceed 6% of the total loan amount.

I. “Higher-priced mortgage loan” has the same meaning as set forth in the Federal Truth in Lending Act and its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.35(a). “Higher-priced mortgage loan” also includes a residential mortgage loan that is a nontraditional mortgage as described in the “Interagency Guidance on Nontraditional Mortgage Product Risks” issued September 29, 2006 and published in 71 Federal Register, 58609 on October 4, 2006 and as updated from time to time, except that “higher-priced mortgage loan” does not include a mortgage that does not allow a borrower to defer repayment of principal or interest.

J. “Mortgage broker” has the same meaning as set forth in 24 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 3500.2, except as otherwise provided in this Article.

K. “Points and fees” has the same meaning as set forth in 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32(b)(1). In addition, “points and fees” includes:

(1) The maximum prepayment fees and penalties that may be charged or collected under the terms of the loan documents;

(2) All prepayment fees and penalties that are incurred by the borrower if the loan refinances a previous loan made or currently held by the same creditor or an affiliate of the creditor; and

(3) All compensation paid directly or indirectly to a mortgage broker from any source, including a mortgage broker that originates a loan in its own name in a table-funded transaction.
For open-end loans, points and fees are calculated by adding the total points and fees known at or before closing, including the maximum prepayment penalties that may be charged or collected under the terms of the loan documents and the minimum additional fees the borrower would be required to pay to draw down an amount equal to the total credit line.

L. “Residential mortgage loan” means an extension of credit, including an open-end credit plan, in which:

(1) The loan does not exceed the maximum original principal obligation as set forth in and from time to time adjusted according to the provisions of 12 United States Code, Section 1454(a)(2);

(2) The loan is considered a federally related mortgage loan as set forth in 24 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 3500.2;

(3) The loan is not a reverse mortgage transaction or a loan made primarily for business, agricultural or commercial purposes;

(4) The loan is not a construction loan; and

(5) The loan is secured by the borrower's principal dwelling.

M. “Servicing” has the same meaning as set forth in 24 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 3500.2 and includes any other activities or responsibilities undertaken in connection with a residential mortgage loan by a person who acts as a servicer with respect to that residential mortgage loan, including collection and default management functions.

N. “Total loan amount” means the principal of a loan minus those points and fees that are included in the principal amount of the loan. For open-end loans, the total loan amount must be calculated using the total line of credit allowed under the residential mortgage loan at closing.

2. High-cost mortgage loans; restrictions. A high-cost mortgage loan is subject to the provisions applying to certain closed-end home mortgages covered by Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32 and the following restrictions.

A. In connection with a high-cost mortgage loan, a creditor may not directly or indirectly finance any points or fees.

B. In addition to the limitation on balloon payments found in Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.32, a high-cost mortgage loan may not contain a scheduled payment that is more than twice as large as the average of earlier scheduled payments. This paragraph does not apply when the payment schedule is adjusted to the seasonal or irregular income of the borrower.

C. A creditor may not make a high-cost mortgage loan without first receiving certification from a counselor with a 3rd-party, nonprofit organization approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, a housing financing agency of this State or the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection that the borrower has received counseling on the advisability of the loan transaction.

D. A prepayment fee or penalty may not be included in the loan documents or charged under the terms of a high-cost mortgage loan.

3. High-cost mortgage loans; assignee liability. The following provisions apply to a claim made by a borrower against a purchaser or assignee of a high-cost mortgage loan.

A. Any person who purchases or is otherwise assigned a high-cost mortgage loan is subject to all affirmative claims and any defenses with respect to the loan that the borrower may assert against a creditor of the loan, except that this paragraph does not apply if the purchaser or assignee demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that it:

(1) Has in place, at the time of the purchase or assignment of the subject loan, policies that expressly prohibit the purchaser or assignee's purchase or acceptance of assignment of any high-cost mortgage loan;

(2) Requires by contract that a seller or assignor of residential high-cost mortgage loans to the purchaser or assignee represent and warrant to the purchaser or assignee that neither the seller or assignor will sell or assign any high-cost mortgage loans to the purchaser or assignee, nor that the seller or assignor is a beneficiary of a representation and warranty from a previous seller or assignor to that effect; and

(3) Exercises reasonable due diligence, at the time of purchase or assignment of residential mortgage loans or within a reasonable period of time after the purchase or assignment of such residential mortgage loans, intended by the purchaser or assignee to prevent the purchaser or assignee from purchasing or taking assignment of any high-cost mortgage loan. For purposes of this subparagraph, reasonable due diligence must provide for sampling and may not require loan-by-loan review.

B. Notwithstanding paragraph A, liability pursuant to this subsection may not accrue to a purchaser or assignee of a high-cost mortgage loan as a result of an alleged violation by a creditor of subsection 5.

4. Ability to repay. A creditor may not extend a high-cost mortgage loan or a higher-priced mortgage loan to a consumer based on the value of the consumer's collateral without regard to the consumer's repayment ability as of consummation, including the consumer's current and reasonably expected income, employment, assets other than the collateral, credit history, debt-to-income ratio, current obligations and mortgage-related obligations.

A. For purposes of this subsection, mortgage-related obligations are expected property taxes, premiums for mortgage-related insurance required by the creditor, such as insurance against loss of or damage to property or against liability arising out of the ownership or use of the property or insurance protecting the creditor against the consumer's default or other credit loss, and similar expenses.

B. Under this subsection, a creditor must verify the consumer's repayment ability as follows.

(1) A creditor must verify amounts of income or assets that it relies on to determine repayment ability, including expected income or assets, by the consumer's federal Internal Revenue Service Form W-2, tax returns, payroll receipts, financial institution records or other 3rd-party documents that provide reasonably reliable evidence of the consumer's income or assets. For the purposes of this subparagraph, “reasonably reliable evidence of the consumer's income or assets” includes, but is not limited to, statements from investment advisors, broker-dealers and others in a fiduciary relationship with the consumer as long as the statements reflect the consumer's actual income and not estimated, projected or anticipated income or a range of earnings for a consumer's type or class of employment.

(2) A creditor must verify the consumer's current obligations.

C. A creditor is presumed to have complied with this subsection with respect to a transaction if the creditor:

(1) Verifies the consumer's repayment ability as provided in paragraph B;

(2) Determines the consumer's repayment ability using the largest payment of principal and interest scheduled in the first 7 years following consummation and taking into account current obligations and mortgage-related obligations; and

(3) Assesses the consumer's repayment ability taking into account at least one of the following:

(a) The ratio of total debt obligations to income; and

(b) The income the consumer will have after paying debt obligations.

D. Notwithstanding paragraph C, no presumption of compliance is available for a transaction for which:

(1) The regular periodic payments for the first 7 years would cause the principal balance to increase; or

(2) The term of the loan is less than 7 years and the regular periodic payments when aggregated do not fully amortize the outstanding principal balance.

E. This subsection does not apply to a temporary or so-called “bridge” loan with a term of 12 months or less, such as a loan to purchase a new dwelling when the consumer plans to sell a current dwelling within 12 months.

5. Flipping. A creditor or a mortgage broker may not knowingly or intentionally engage in the act or practice of flipping a residential mortgage loan when making a high-cost mortgage loan or higher-priced mortgage loan. The administrator may adopt rules defining with reasonable specificity the requirements for compliance with this subsection. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. For the purposes of this subsection, “flipping a residential mortgage loan” means the making of a residential mortgage loan to a borrower that refinances an existing residential mortgage loan when the new loan does not have reasonable, tangible net benefit to the borrower considering all the circumstances, including, but not limited to, the terms of both the new and refinanced loans, the cost of the new loan and the borrower's circumstances.

6. Special liability. This subsection applies to any violation of this section in connection with the origination, brokering or servicing of a residential mortgage loan. This subsection does not apply to a purchaser or assignee of a residential mortgage loan except as permitted in subsection 3.

A. Any person who has been found in violation of this section with regard to residential mortgage loans may be liable to the borrower for the following:

(1) Actual damages, including consequential and incidental damages. The borrower may not be required to demonstrate reliance in order to receive actual damages;

(2) Punitive damages for violations of subsections 2 and 5, when the violation was malicious or reckless;

(3) Costs, including reasonable attorney's fees; and

(4) Statutory damages as follows:

(a) For violations described in subsection 2, statutory damages equal to 2 times the finance charge paid under the loan and forfeiture of the remaining interest under the loan; and

(b) For any other violations of this section, statutory damages in the amount of $5,000 per violation.

B. A borrower may be granted injunctive, declaratory and other equitable relief that the court determines appropriate in an action to enforce compliance with this section.

C. The right of rescission granted under 15 United States Code, Chapter 41, Subchapter I, Part A for a violation of that law is available to a borrower acting only in an individual capacity by way of recoupment as a defense against a party foreclosing on a residential mortgage loan at any time during the term of the loan. Any recoupment claim asserted pursuant to this provision is limited to amounts required to reduce or extinguish the borrower's liability under the residential mortgage loan plus amounts required to recover costs, including reasonable attorney's fees. This paragraph may not be construed to limit recoupment rights available to the borrower under any other law.

D. The remedies provided in this subsection are not intended to be the exclusive remedies available to a borrower, nor must the borrower exhaust any administrative remedies provided under this subsection or any other applicable law before proceeding under this subsection.

E. Any person who knowingly violates a provision of this section is guilty of a Class E crime.

F. A creditor in a residential mortgage loan who, when acting in good faith, fails to comply with any provision of this section related to residential mortgage loans is deemed not to have violated this section if the creditor establishes that either:

(1) Within 30 days of the loan closing and prior to receiving any notice of the compliance failure, the creditor has made appropriate restitution to the borrower and appropriate adjustments have been made to the loan; or

(2) Within 60 days of the loan closing and prior to receiving any notice of the compliance failure, when the compliance failure was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid such errors, the borrower is notified of the compliance failure, appropriate restitution is made to the borrower and appropriate adjustments are made to the loan. Examples of a bona fide error include clerical, calculation, computer malfunction and programming and printing errors. An error of legal judgment with respect to a person's obligations under this section is not a bona fide error.

G. The remedies provided in this subsection are cumulative.

H. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a residential mortgage loan agreement may not include any provision that waives any borrower's remedies available at law or equity, whether acting individually or on behalf of others similarly situated, or the borrower's rights to civil discovery or appeal. Any such provision is unenforceable and void as a matter of law.

I. Without regard to whether a borrower is acting individually or on behalf of others similarly situated, any provision of a residential mortgage loan agreement that allows a person to require a borrower to assert any claim or defense in a forum that is less convenient, more costly or more dilatory for the resolution of a dispute than a judicial forum established in this State where the borrower may otherwise properly bring a claim or defense or that limits in any way any claim or defense the borrower may have is unconscionable and void as a matter of law.

J. It is a violation of this section for any person to attempt in bad faith to avoid the application of this section by dividing any loan transaction into separate parts or structuring a residential mortgage loan transaction as an open-end loan for the purpose of evading the provisions of this section when the loan would have been a high-cost mortgage loan if the loan had been structured as a closed-end loan or by engaging in any other subterfuge with the intent of evading any provision of this section.

7. Exemption for supervised financial organizations and the Maine State Housing Authority. This section does not apply to any supervised financial organization as defined in section 1-301, subsection 38-A or to the Maine State Housing Authority.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-507. Exemption from the Federal Truth in Lending Act1. Preservation of federal exemption. As required by the Federal Truth in Lending Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1633 and its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 226.29, the administrator may take any action necessary to apply for or to preserve a determination by the Federal Reserve Board or its successor agency that under the laws of this State any class of credit transactions within this State is subject to requirements substantially similar to federal requirements and that there are adequate provisions for enforcement of such requirements.

2. Application. This Article does not apply to any class of credit transactions within this State that is subject to the requirements of the Federal Truth in Lending Act, Title I of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act unless any such class of transactions has first been exempted by a regulation of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board and that exemption remains in effect.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-508. Authority of administratorThe administrator, by rule or order, shall prohibit acts or practices in connection with:

1. Unfair or deceptive mortgage loans. The making of a residential mortgage loan that the administrator finds unfair, deceptive or designed to evade the provisions of section 8-506; and

2. Refinancing; abusive lending practices. The refinancing of a residential mortgage loan that the administrator finds is associated with abusive lending practices or that is otherwise not in the interest of the borrowing public.

Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-509. Credit card and debit card surcharge prohibition1. Surcharge prohibited. A seller in a sales transaction may not impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card or debit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means. For purposes of this section, “surcharge” means any means of increasing the regular price to a cardholder that is not imposed on a customer paying by cash, check or similar means. A discount or reduction from the regular price is not a surcharge.

2. Surcharge permitted for governmental entity. Notwithstanding subsection 1, a governmental entity may impose a surcharge for payments made with a credit card or debit card for taxes, fines, charges, utility fees, regulatory fees, license or permit fees or the provision of a specific service provided by that governmental entity if the surcharge:

A. Is disclosed clearly to the consumer prior to payment; and

B. Does not exceed the costs associated with providing the credit card or debit card service that are directly incurred by the governmental entity or assessed by an authorized 3rd-party payment service provider for a credit card or debit card transaction. If there is not a cost assessed by an authorized 3rd-party payment service provider for a debit card transaction, the governmental entity may not impose a surcharge associated with a debit card transaction.
A governmental entity shall disclose to the consumer that the surcharge may be avoided if the consumer makes payments by cash, check or other means not a credit card or debit card. A governmental entity is not subject to any liability to the issuer of a credit card or an authorized 3rd-party payment service provider for nonpayment of credit card charges by the consumer. As used in this subsection, “governmental entity” includes, but is not limited to, a county established or governed by Title 30-A, Part 1, a municipality as defined in Title 30-A, section 2001, subsection 8, a quasi-municipal corporation as defined in Title 30-A, section 2604, subsection 3, the Judicial Department as described in Title 4, the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System and the Maine Maritime Academy.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-510. Disclosure of lists of the names, addresses and account numbers of credit card holders1. Disclosure prohibited. Except as provided in subsection 2, it is unlawful for a person, business, corporation, partnership, agency, financial institution, credit card registration service or other entity to rent, sell, exchange or otherwise disclose or make available to another person or entity a list containing the names, addresses and account numbers of credit card holders without the express, written permission of the credit card holders.

2. Exceptions. The following disclosures of lists containing the names, addresses and account numbers of credit card holders are not prohibited:

A. Disclosure to or from a consumer reporting agency, as defined in Title 10, section 1312, subsection 4, as long as the transfer is for purposes of compliance with and in a manner consistent with the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act;

B. Disclosure between a parent corporation and a subsidiary or affiliate of that corporation or between subsidiaries or affiliates of a parent corporation;

C. Disclosure in connection with the sale or pledge, or negotiation of the sale or pledge, of any portion of a business or the assets of a business, as long as the party to whom disclosure is made maintains the confidentiality of the information disclosed;

D. Disclosure in connection with authorization, processing, billing, collection, charge-back, fraud prevention or credit card recovery; and

E. Disclosure pursuant to state or federal law or at the direction of a governmental entity pursuant to law or in response to a court order.

3. Violation. A violation of this section constitutes a violation of the Maine Consumer Credit Code and the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.

.

9-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-511. Recurring charges to credit card or charge card accountsIf a sale of goods, services or insurance is charged to a credit card or charge card account on an annual basis without substantially contemporaneous authorizations by the consumer, the seller shall inform the consumer of the voluntary nature of the charge to the credit card or charge card account and of the steps necessary to prevent this charge at least 30 days prior to the annual charge. The card issuer may provide the notice on behalf of the seller. This section does not apply to insurance subject to notice and cancellation rights pursuant to section 4-204.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1101. Contracts in restraint of tradeEvery contract, combination in the form of trusts or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce in this State is declared to be illegal. Whoever makes any such contract or engages in any such combination or conspiracy is guilty of a Class C crime.

.

11 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1102. Conspiracies to monopolize tradeWhoever shall monopolize or attempt to monopolize or combine or conspire with any other person or persons to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce of this State shall be guilty of a Class C crime.

.

12 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1102-A. Acquisition of assets of person engaged in commerce which tends to create a monopolyNo person engaged in commerce in this State may acquire, directly or indirectly, the whole or any part of the stock or other share capital, or the whole of any part of the assets of another person also engaged in commerce in this State, where in any line of commerce or any activity affecting commerce in any section of this State, the effect of the acquisition or use of that share capital, or the acquisition of those assets, may be substantially to lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly.

This section does not apply to persons purchasing these stocks solely for investment and not using the same by voting or otherwise to bring about, or in attempting to bring about, the substantial lessening of competition, nor may anything contained in this section prevent a corporation from causing the formation of subsidiary corporations for the actual carrying on of their immediate lawful business, or the natural and legitimate branches or extensions thereof, or from owning and holding all or a part of the stock of those subsidiary corporations, if the effect of that formation is not to substantially lessen competition.

This section does not apply to the acquisition of stock, share capital or assets of a public utility when the acquisition has been approved by the Public Utilities Commission.

Any financial institution subject to the provisions of Title 9-B1 is exempt from this section.

.

13 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1104. Right of action and damages1. Right of action and damages. Any person, including the State or any political subdivision of the State, injured directly or indirectly in its business or property by any other person or corporation by reason of anything forbidden or declared to be unlawful by section 1101, 1102 or 1102-A, may sue for the injury in a civil action. If the court finds for the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall recover 3 times the amount of the damages sustained and cost of suit, including necessary and reasonable investigative costs, reasonable experts' fees and reasonable attorney's fees.
2. Injunction. The Attorney General may institute proceedings in equity to prevent and restrain violations of sections 1101, 1102 and 1102-A.
A. These proceedings may be by way of petitions setting forth the case and praying that the violation shall be enjoined or otherwise prohibited.
B. The action may be advanced on the docket and receive priority over other cases when the court determines that the interests of justice so require.
C. Pending the petition and before final decree, the court may at any time make such temporary restraining order or prohibition as considered just under the circumstances.
D. Any person who violates the terms of an injunction issued under this section must forfeit and pay to the State, to be applied in carrying out this chapter, a civil penalty of not more than $50,000 for each violation.
3. Civil penalty. Each course of conduct that constitutes a violation of section 1101 or 1102 is a civil violation for which a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each defendant may be adjudged.
A. In any action initiated by the Attorney General pursuant to this section to prevent and restrain violations of sections 1101 and 1102, the Attorney General may include an action to recover civil penalties by each defendant for each course of conduct alleged.
B. An action to recover a civil penalty from a defendant under this section bars a criminal prosecution pursuant to section 1101 or 1102 against that defendant for the same course of conduct on which the action to recover the civil penalty is based.
C. A criminal prosecution against a defendant pursuant to section 1101 or 1102 bars any action to recover a civil penalty under this section from that defendant for the same course of conduct on which the criminal prosecution is based.
4. Recovery of damages, costs and fees for antitrust violations from any political subdivision official or employee of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity. No damages, interest on damages, costs or attorneys fees may be recovered under this chapter from any political subdivision, as defined in Title 14, section 8102, subsection 3, or official or employee of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity.
5. Recovery of damages, costs and fees for antitrust violations on claim against person based on official action directed by political subdivision, or official or employee of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity. No damages, interest on damages, costs or attorneys fees may be recovered under this chapter in any claim against a person based on any official action directed by a political subdivision, as defined in Title 14, section 8102, subsection 3, or official or employee of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1105.
Profiteering in necessities.
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Abnormal market disruption" means a significant disruption to the production, distribution, supply, sale or availability of a commodity or commodities that:
(1) Is caused by an event such as a natural or man-made emergency or disaster, whether local or remote; and
(2) Causes ordinary competitive market forces to cease to function normally
B. "Cost" means the expense associated with the acquisition, production, distribution or sale of necessities and may include, among other things, replacement costs, taxes and transportation costs
C. "Necessities" includes food for human or animal consumption; pharmaceutical products, including prescription medications; wearing apparel; shoes; building materials; gas and electricity for light, heat and power; ice; fuel of all kinds; and fertilizer and fertilizer ingredients; together with tools, utensils, implements, machinery and equipment required for the actual production or manufacture of the same. "Necessities" includes any other vital or necessary good or service except those:
(1) Subject to continuous maximum price regulation under the provisions of any state or federal law;
(2) As to which the State's authority is preempted; or
(3) Furnished or provided by:
(a) Insurers; or
(b) Nonprofit hospitals, medical service organizations or health maintenance organizations authorized to transact business within the State pursuant to Title 24 and Title 24-A.
D. "Unconscionable price" means a price that is actionable under this section. There is a rebuttable presumption that a price is unconscionable when it exceeds by more than 15% the sum of:
(1) The price at which similar goods or services were offered for sale or sold by that person immediately prior to the beginning date of the abnormal market disruption. If that person did not offer such goods or services immediately prior to the abnormal market disruption, then the price is the price at which similar goods or services were offered for sale or sold by another person similarly situated prior to the abnormal market disruption; and
(2) The increased cost calculated according to the method used by that person prior to the abnormal market disruption.
2. Declaration. Whenever it appears upon due inquiry and consultation with the Attorney General that an abnormal market disruption exists or that there is a substantial likelihood that an abnormal market disruption is imminent, the Governor may, in the Governor's sole discretion and after considering whether the declaration of an abnormal market disruption itself will disrupt supplies for affected necessities, declare an abnormal market disruption.
A. A declaration made under this subsection must specify:
(1) The beginning date of the abnormal market disruption;
(2) The particular necessity, necessities or categories of necessities that are affected by the abnormal market disruption and made subject to the provisions of subsections 3 and 4; and
(3) The levels of trade or commerce that are affected by the abnormal market disruption and made subject to the provisions of subsections 3 and 4. [2005, c. 580, §1 (NEW).]
B. A declaration of abnormal market disruption under this subsection expires when the Governor declares it expired or 60 days from the date of its issuance, whichever is sooner. The declaration of abnormal market disruption may be modified by the Governor at any time.
C. The Governor shall publish decisions under this subsection in a manner reasonably calculated to give affected persons adequate notice.
D. Any person may petition the Governor regarding the Governor's decisions under this subsection.
3. Profiteering prohibited. After the Governor has declared an abnormal market disruption and before the declaration of the abnormal market disruption expires, a person may not sell or offer for sale necessities at an unconscionable price.
4. Civil violation. A violation of subsection 3 is a civil violation that constitutes and may be prosecuted as an unfair act or practice in the conduct of trade or commerce pursuant to Title 5, section 207, except that the provisions of Title 5, section 213 do not apply. The declaration of an abnormal market disruption creates a rebuttable presumption that the disruption occurred and existed from the beginning date in the declaration to the date of its expiration.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1106.
Profiteering in rents.
Whoever demands or collects an unreasonable or unjust rent or charge, taking into due consideration the actual market value of the property at the time, with a fair return thereon, or imposes an unreasonable or unjust term or condition, for the occupancy of a mobile home park lot or of any building or any part thereof, rented or hired for dwelling purposes, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 11 months, or by both.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1107.
Investigation by the Attorney General.
The Attorney General upon the Attorney General's own initiative or upon petition of 50 or more citizens of this State, shall investigate all seeming violations of sections 1102-A and 1105 to 1107, all contracts, combinations or conspiracies in restraint of trade or commerce, and all monopolies, and may require, by summons, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books and papers before the Attorney General relating to any such matter under investigation. The summons must be served in the same manner as summons for witnesses in criminal cases, and all provisions of law relating thereto apply to summonses issued under this section so far as they are applicable. All investigations or hearings thereunder or connected therewith to which witnesses are summoned or called upon to testify or to produce books, records or correspondence are public or private at the choice of the person summoned and must be held in the county where the act to be investigated is alleged to have been committed, or if the investigation is on petition it must be held in the county in which the petitioners reside. The expense of such investigation must be paid from the appropriation provided by Title 5, section 203.

If, upon investigation, it appears to the Attorney General that the laws of this State, including sections 1102-A or 1105 to 1107, have been violated in any respect, the Attorney General shall prosecute the guilty parties and present all available information bearing upon such apparent violation to the proper prosecuting officer of the United States.

Any Justice of the Superior Court may by order, upon application of the Attorney General, compel the attendance of witnesses, the production of books and papers, including correspondence, and the giving of testimony, before the Attorney General in the same manner and to the same extent as before the Superior Court. Any failure to obey such order may be punishable by such court as a contempt.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1108. Final judgment or decree as prima facie evidenceA final judgment or decree hereafter rendered in any civil or criminal proceeding brought by or on behalf of the State under the antitrust laws to the effect that a defendant has violated these laws shall be prima facie evidence against the defendant in any action or proceeding brought by any party against that defendant under such laws as to matters respecting which that judgment or decree would be an estoppel as between the parties thereto; provided that this section shall not apply to consent judgments or decrees entered before any testimony has been taken. Nothing contained in this section may be construed to impose any limitation on the application of collateral estoppel.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1109. Acquisition of gasoline and heating oil assets1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. “Gasoline sales” means the retail sale of internal combustion fuel for motor vehicles as defined in Title 29-A, section 101, subsection 42.
B. “Heating oil sales” means the retail sale of # 2 fuel oil used for heating residential, industrial or commercial space or water.
2. Prohibition. A person may not acquire, directly or indirectly, from a business engaged in gasoline sales or heating oil sales in this State, without prior notice as required under subsection 3:
A. Controlling stock; or
B. Substantial assets that include those used in gasoline sales or heating oil sales.
3. Report. The person acquiring stock or assets under subsection 2 shall provide notice of this acquisition to the Department of the Attorney General at least 30 days prior to the date of acquisition. That period may be shortened with the consent of the Attorney General.
4. Confidentiality. Information received by the Department of the Attorney General as a result of this reporting requirement is confidential.
5. Penalty. Violation of this section is a civil violation for which a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 may be assessed.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1110.
Requirements for price protection and prepaid contracts.
1. Contract and solicitation requirements. A contract for the retail sale of home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas that offers a guaranteed price plan, including a prepaid contract and any other similar term, must be in writing and the terms and conditions of the price plan must be disclosed. The disclosure of terms and conditions must be in plain language, must immediately follow the language concerning the price or service that could be affected and must be printed in no less than 12-point boldface type of uniform font. A solicitation for the retail sale of home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas that offers a guaranteed price plan that could become a contract upon a response from a consumer, including a prepaid contract and any other similar term, must be in writing and the terms and conditions of that offer must be disclosed in plain language.
2. Security for prepaid contracts required; options. A home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas dealer may not enter into a prepaid contract to provide home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas to a consumer unless that dealer has obtained and maintains in accordance with subsection 3 any one of the following:
A. Heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas contracts or other similar commitments that allow the dealer to purchase, at a fixed price, heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas in an amount not less than 75% of the maximum number of gallons that the dealer is committed to deliver pursuant to all prepaid contracts entered into by the dealer;
B. A surety bond in an amount not less than 50% of the total amount of funds paid to the dealer by consumers pursuant to all prepaid heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas contracts entered into by the dealer; or
C. A letter of credit in an amount not less than 100% of the total amount of funds paid to the dealer by consumers pursuant to all prepaid heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas contracts entered into by the dealer.
3. Maintenance of security. A dealer shall maintain the amount of futures contracts or other similar commitments, the amount of the surety bond or the letter of credit required by subsection 2 for the period of time for which the prepaid home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas contracts are effective, except that the amount of the futures contracts or surety bond may be reduced during such period of time to reflect any amount of home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas already delivered to and paid for by the consumer.
4. Disclosure; additional contract requirements. A prepaid home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas contract must indicate:
A. The amount of funds paid by the consumer to the dealer under the contract;
B. The maximum number of gallons of home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas committed by the dealer for delivery to the consumer pursuant to the contract; and
C. That the performance of the prepaid contract is secured by one of the options set forth in subsection 2.
5. Reimbursement provision required. A prepaid home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas contract must provide that the contract price of any undelivered home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas owed to the consumer under the contract at the end date of the contract must be reimbursed to the consumer not later than 30 days after the end date of the contract unless the parties to the contract agree otherwise.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1121. PurposeThe purpose of this chapter is to enable the average consumer, who makes a reasonable effort under ordinary circumstances, to read and understand the terms of loan and lease documents without having to obtain the assistance of a professional.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1122. DefinitionsAs used in this chapter unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings.
1. Agreement. “Agreement” means any writing which is substantially prepared in advance of a consumer loan or consumer lease and which a supervised lender or lessor furnishes to a consumer for the consumer to sign in connection with that loan or lease.
2. Amount financed. “Amount financed” means “amount financed” as defined by Title 9-A, section 1-301, subsection 5.
3. Consumer. “Consumer” means an individual to whom a consumer loan or consumer lease is made.
3-A. Consumer lease. “Consumer lease” means a lease of goods to a consumer by a lessor for personal, family or household purposes, which is for a term exceeding 4 months and which is not made pursuant to a lender credit card.
4. Consumer loan. “Consumer loan” means a loan made to a consumer by a supervised lender for personal, family or household purposes, if the debt is payable in installments or a finance charge is made, including a loan made pursuant to a lender credit card.
4-A. Lessor. “Lessor” means a person who, in the ordinary course of business, regularly leases, offers to lease or arranges for the lease of personal property under a consumer lease.
5. Supervised lender. “Supervised lender” means “supervised lender” as defined under Title 9-A, section 1-301, subsection 39.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1123. Scope1. Application. Except as provided in subsection 2, this chapter applies to any agreement signed in connection with a consumer loan or consumer lease entered into in this State between a consumer who is a resident of this State at the time of the loan or lease and a supervised lender or lessor.
2. Exclusions. This chapter does not apply:
A. To consumer loans or consumer leases in which the amount financed or in the case of consumer leases, the capitalized cost of the leased property, exceeds $100,000; and
B. To language or arrangement which is specifically required by federal or state law, regulation or official agency interpretation; or to agreements, the form or any part of which is required by any governmental instrumentality as a condition of the assignability of the agreement.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1124. Requirements for agreementsAfter October 1, 1982, every consumer loan agreement, and after January 1, 1987, every consumer lease agreement, shall be:
1. Plain language. Written in a clear and coherent manner using words with common and everyday meanings; and
2. Meaningful arrangement. Appropriately divided and captioned by its various sections.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1125. EnforcementA supervised lender's or lessor's failure to comply with the requirements of section 1124 shall constitute a violation of Title 9-A1 which shall be enforceable under Title 9-A, section 6-108.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1126. Certification of compliance1. Certification. A supervised lender or lessor, or any trade organization or association acting on behalf of supervised lenders or lessors, may submit any proposed form of agreement to the Office of Consumer Credit Regulation or, in the case of forms of agreement from supervised financial organizations, the Bureau of Financial Institutions. Within 45 days, the office or bureau shall either certify the form as complying with the requirements of section 1124 or refuse to certify the form as complying, setting forth written reasons for its refusal. Failure by the office or bureau to act under this section within 45 days is considered a certification of the form's compliance. A certification of compliance under this section is an absolute bar to any legal proceeding by the director or superintendent for failure to comply with the requirements of section 1124.
2. Fees. Any form of agreement submitted to the office under this section must be accompanied by a fee of $25. The period within which the office must act under this section commences upon receipt of the fee. The fees received under this section are to be used by the director for the purposes of this chapter. The balance of any fees so received does not lapse.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1211. DefinitionsAs used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. Article. “Article” means a product as distinguished from its trademark, label or distinctive dress in packaging;

2. Certification mark. “Certification mark” means a mark used in connection with the goods or services of a person other than the certifier to indicate geographic origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy or other characteristics of the goods or services or to indicate that the work or labor on the goods or services was performed by members of a union or other organization;

3. Collective mark. “Collective mark” means a mark used by members of a cooperative, association or other collective group or organization to identify goods or services and distinguish them from those of others, or to indicate membership in the collective group or organization;

4. Mark. “Mark” means a word, name, symbol, device or any combination of the foregoing in any form or arrangement;

5. Person. “Person” means an individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, unincorporated association, 2 or more of the foregoing having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity;

6. Service mark. “Service mark” means a mark used by a person to identify services and to distinguish them from the services of others;

7. Trademark. “Trademark” means a mark used by a person to identify goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others;

8. Trade name. “Trade name” means a work, name, symbol, device or any combination of the foregoing in any form or arrangement used by a person to identify his business, vocation or occupation and distinguish it from the business, vocation or occupation of others.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1212. Deceptive trade practices1. Lists. A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of his business, vocation or occupation, he

A. Passes off goods or services as those of another;

B. Causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval or certification of goods or services;

C. Causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection or association with, or certification by, another;

D. Uses deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;

E. Represents that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits or quantities that they do not have, or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation or connection that he does not have;

F. Represents that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used or secondhand;

G. Represents that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;

H. Disparages the goods, services or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact;

I. Advertises goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;

J. Advertises goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;

K. Makes false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of or amounts of, price reductions; or

L. Engages in any other conduct which similarly creates a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding.

2. Complaint. In order to prevail in an action under this chapter, a complainant need not prove competition between the parties or actual confusion or misunderstanding.

3. Application. This section does not affect unfair trade practices otherwise actionable at common law or under other statutes of this State.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1213. RemediesA person likely to be damaged by a deceptive trade practice of another may be granted an injunction against it under the principles of equity and on terms that the court considers reasonable. Proof of monetary damage, loss of profits or intent to deceive is not required. Relief granted for the copying of an article shall be limited to the prevention of confusion or misunderstanding as to source.

The court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorneys' fees to the prevailing party. Costs or attorneys' fees may be assessed against a defendant only if the court finds that he has willfully engaged in a deceptive trade practice.

The relief provided in this section is in addition to remedies otherwise available against the same conduct under the common law or other statutes of this State.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1214. Application1. Application. This chapter does not apply to:

A. Conduct in compliance with the orders or rules of, or a statute administered by, a federal, state or local governmental agency;

B. Publishers, broadcasters, printers or other persons engaged in the dissemination of information or reproduction of printed or pictorial matter who publish, broadcast or reproduce material without knowledge of its deceptive character; or

C. Actions or appeals pending on October 1, 1969.

2. Limitation. Section 1212, subsection 1, paragraphs B and C do not apply to the use of a service mark, trademark, certification mark, collective mark, trade name or other trade identification that was used and not abandoned before October 1, 1969, if the use was in good faith and is otherwise lawful except for this chapter.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1215. Uniformity of interpretationThis chapter shall be construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states which enact it.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1216. Short titleThis chapter may be cited as the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1231.
Defintions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
1. Consumer. "Consumer" means a natural person who purchases or contracts to purchase consumer goods.
2. Consumer goods. "Consumer goods" means any objects, wares, commodities or services offered for sale and intended to be used by consumers for personal, family or household purposes.
3. Manufacturer rebate. "Manufacturer rebate" means any offer or promise that a manufacturer or distributor will refund to a consumer all or a portion of the price paid by the consumer for the purchase of consumer goods.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1232.
Availability of rebate forms.
Any persons, firm, partnership, corporation or association which causes to be advertised by means of a newspaper advertisement, circular, television or radio announcement, in-store promotion or otherwise, the availability of a manufacturer's rebate form shall have available to the consumer at the time of advertising and promotion and make available to the purchaser at the time of sale the appropriate manufacturer's rebate form. This form, or a notice as to its location, shall be located with the merchandise to which it pertains. Forms which have expired shall be removed from consumer availability in a timely fashion.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1233.
Violations.
1. Private remedy. If the court finds in any action commenced under this chapter that the manufacturer or distributor or its agents violated section 1232, it shall award to the petitioner an amount not less than $100.
2. Unfair trade practice. A violation of this chapter constitutes a violation of Title 5, chapter 10.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1271. DefinitionsAs used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Credit card. “Credit card” means a card, plate, coupon book or other single credit device that may be used to obtain credit.

2. Customer service card. “Customer service card” means a card, plate, code or other device used by a business as a means of identifying customers who receive membership, purchasing or check-cashing privileges, or other rights or privileges by possession and use of that device.

3. Debit card. “Debit card” means a card, code or other device, other than a check, draft or similar paper instrument, by the use of which a person may institute an electronic fund transfer.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1272. ProhibitionA business operating in this State may not display a social security number on a credit card, customer service card or debit card issued or distributed by that business on or after January 1, 1994.

Notwithstanding this section, social security numbers may be used as identification for medical insurance, including health insurance, dental insurance or prescription drug coverage, except that a number other than a social security number must be used for insurance-related identification purposes upon the written request of an individual.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1272-B. Refusal to provide social security number1. No denial of goods or services. Except as otherwise provided in federal or state law, a person, corporation or other entity may not deny goods or services to an individual because the individual refuses to provide a social security number.

2. Exemptions. This section does not apply to:

A. A person, corporation or other entity requesting disclosure of the social security number to obtain a consumer report for any purpose permitted under the Fair Credit Reporting Act or the United States Fair Credit Reporting Act;

B. A supervised lender as defined in Title 9-A, section 1-301;

C. A supervised financial organization as defined in Title 9-A, section 1-301;

D. An affiliate or subsidiary of a supervised lender as defined in Title 9-A, section 1-301 or of a supervised financial organization as defined in Title 9-A, section 1-301;

E. A person, corporation or other entity that provides goods or services to the individual on behalf of or in conjunction with a supervised financial organization as defined in Title 9-A, section 1-301;

F. A person, corporation or other entity engaged in the business of insurance and all acts necessary or incidental to that business including insurance applications, enrollment, coverage and claims;

G. A person, corporation or other entity if the social security number is used in conjunction with the provision of and billing for health care or pharmaceutical-related services, including the issuance of identification cards and account numbers for users of health care or pharmaceutical-related services;

H. A person, corporation or other entity if the social security number is used in conjunction with a background check of the individual conducted by a landlord, lessor, employer or volunteer service organization; or

I. A person, corporation or other entity if the social security number is necessary to verify the identity of the individual to effect, administer or enforce a specific transaction requested or authorized by the individual or to prevent fraud.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1273. Administrative enforcementThe Director of Consumer Credit Regulation may take appropriate action to ensure compliance with this chapter, including without limitation: to receive and act on complaints; negotiate an assurance in writing that a violator will not engage in the same or similar conduct in the future; conduct hearings in accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act1 and issue a cease and desist order for violation of this chapter; refer cases to the Attorney General, who may bring a civil action against a person for knowingly violating a written assurance of discontinuance. If a court finds a violation of this chapter it may assess a civil forfeiture of not more than $1,000.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1306. Short titleThis chapter may be known and cited as “the Fair Credit Reporting Act.”

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1307. Statement of purpose1. Findings. The Legislature makes the following findings.

A. Creditors, insurers and prospective employers are dependent upon fair and accurate consumer reporting. Inaccurate consumer reports directly impair the efficiency of economic decisions, and unfair consumer reporting methods undermine the public confidence that is essential to our economic system.

B. An elaborate mechanism has been developed for investigating and evaluating the creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character and general reputation of consumers.

C. Consumer reporting agencies have assumed a vital role in assembling and evaluating consumer credit and other information on consumers.

D. There is a need to ensure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality and a respect for the consumer's right to privacy.

2. Purposes. The purposes of this chapter are to:

A. Require consumer reporting agencies to adopt reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of commerce for consumer credit, personnel, insurance and other information in a manner that is fair and equitable to the consumer, with regard for confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy and proper use of this information in accordance with the requirements of this chapter; and

B. Supplement the provisions of the United States Fair Credit Reporting Act of the United States Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1681 et seq.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1308. DefinitionsAs used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings. Unless the context otherwise indicates, any word or phrase that is not defined in this chapter but that is defined in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act has the meaning set forth in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

1. Administrator. “Administrator” means the Superintendent of Consumer Credit Protection within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.

2. Consumer. “Consumer” means an individual about whom a consumer report or an investigative consumer report has been prepared by a consumer reporting agency or an office of a consumer reporting agency.

3. Consumer reporting agency. “Consumer reporting agency” means a person that, for monetary fees, dues or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports or investigative consumer reports to 3rd parties.

4. Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. “Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act” means the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 United States Code, Section 1681 et seq., as amended.

5. Person subject to this chapter. “Person subject to this chapter” means a person subject to the provisions of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and a consumer reporting agency.

6. Proper identification. “Proper identification” means that information generally considered sufficient to identify a person.

7. Security freeze. “Security freeze” means a notice placed in a consumer report at the request of the consumer pursuant to section 1310 that prohibits a consumer reporting agency from releasing the consumer report or any information in the report without that consumer's express authorization.

8. Supervised financial organization. “Supervised financial organization” has the same meaning as in Title 9-A, section 1-301, subsection 38-A.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1309. Incorporation by reference of federal law and rulemaking1. Federal law and regulation. A person subject to this chapter shall comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and the provisions of 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1022.1 et seq., as amended.

2. Rules. Subject to the limitations in 15 United States Code, Section 1681t, the administrator may adopt rules not inconsistent with the provisions of 12 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1022.1 et seq., as amended; 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 681.1 et seq.; and 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 682.1 et seq. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1310. Additional requirements for persons subject to this chapterIn addition to the compliance requirements of section 1309, subsection 1, a person subject to this chapter shall comply with this section.

1. Security freeze by consumer reporting agency; time in effect. A person subject to this chapter shall comply with the following provisions regarding security freezes.

A. A consumer may place a security freeze on the consumer's consumer report as follows.

(1) A consumer who has been the victim of identity theft may place a security freeze on the consumer's consumer report by making a request in writing by certified mail to a consumer reporting agency with a valid copy of a police report, investigative report or complaint the consumer has filed with a law enforcement agency about unlawful use of personal information by another person. In the case of a victim of identity theft, a consumer reporting agency may not charge a fee for placing, removing or suspending for a specific party or period of time a security freeze on a consumer report.

(2) A consumer who has not been the victim of identity theft may place a security freeze on the consumer's consumer report by making a request in writing by certified mail to a consumer reporting agency. A consumer reporting agency may charge a fee of no more than $10 to a consumer for each security freeze, removal of a security freeze or temporary suspension of a security freeze for a period of time or for reissuing the same or a new personal identification number if the consumer fails to retain the original personal identification number provided by the agency under paragraph D. A consumer reporting agency may charge a fee of not more than $12 for a temporary suspension of a security freeze for a specific party.

B. Subject to the exceptions in paragraph M, when a security freeze has been placed on an account the consumer reporting agency may not:

(1) Release the consumer report or any information from it without the express authorization of the consumer; or

(2) Release information from a consumer report to a 3rd party without express authorization of the consumer. This subparagraph does not prevent a consumer reporting agency from advising a 3rd party that a security freeze is in effect with respect to the consumer report.

C. A consumer reporting agency shall place a security freeze on a consumer report no later than 5 business days after receiving a written request from the consumer.

D. The consumer reporting agency shall send a written confirmation of the security freeze to the consumer within 10 business days after receiving a written request from the consumer and shall provide the consumer with a personal identification number or password, other than the consumer's social security number, to be used by the consumer when providing authorization for the release of the consumer report to a specific party or for a period of time.

E. If a consumer wishes to allow access to a consumer report by a specific party or for a period of time while a security freeze is in place, the consumer may contact the consumer reporting agency, request that the security freeze be temporarily suspended and provide the following:

(1) Proper identification;

(2) The personal identification number or password provided by the consumer reporting agency pursuant to paragraph D; and

(3) The proper information regarding the specific party granted access or the time period for which the consumer report is to be available to users.

F. A consumer reporting agency may develop procedures involving the use of telephone, facsimile transmission, the Internet or other medium of electronic communications to receive and process a request from a consumer to temporarily suspend a security freeze on a consumer report pursuant to paragraph E in an expedited manner. A consumer reporting agency may not charge a fee to a consumer for use of these procedures in excess of those fees otherwise permitted under this section.

G. A consumer reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to temporarily suspend a security freeze on a consumer report pursuant to paragraph E shall comply with the request no later than 3 business days after receiving the request.

H. A consumer reporting agency shall remove or temporarily suspend a security freeze placed on a consumer report only:

(1) Upon consumer request pursuant to paragraph E or K; or

(2) If the security freeze was due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer. If a consumer reporting agency intends to remove a security freeze from a consumer report pursuant to this subparagraph, the consumer reporting agency shall notify the consumer in writing prior to removing the security freeze.

I. If a 3rd party requests access to a consumer report on which a security freeze is in effect and this request is in connection with an application for credit or any other use and the consumer does not allow access to the consumer report for that specific party or period of time, the 3rd party may treat the application as incomplete.

J. If a consumer requests a security freeze pursuant to this subsection, the consumer reporting agency shall disclose to the consumer the processes of placing and temporarily lifting a security freeze and the process for allowing access to information from the consumer report for a specific party or period of time while the security freeze is in place. A consumer reporting agency shall provide a sample copy of the agency's disclosure form to the administrator at the annual registration or reregistration under section 1310-A and any time there is a material change in the disclosure form required by this paragraph.

K. A security freeze must remain in place until the consumer requests that the security freeze be removed. A consumer reporting agency shall remove a security freeze within 3 business days of receiving a request for removal from a consumer who provides:

(1) Proper identification; and

(2) The personal identification number or password provided by the consumer reporting agency pursuant to paragraph D.

L. A consumer reporting agency shall require proper identification of the person making a request to place or remove a security freeze.

M. The provisions of this subsection, including the security freeze, do not apply to the use of a consumer report by:

(1) A person or person's subsidiary, affiliate, agent or assignee with which the consumer has or, prior to assignment, had an account, contract or debtor-creditor relationship for the purposes of reviewing the account or collecting the financial obligation owing for the account, contract or debt or extending credit to a consumer with a prior or existing account, contract or debtor-creditor relationship, subject to the requirements of 15 United States Code, Section 1681b. For purposes of this subparagraph, “reviewing the account” includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases and account upgrades and enhancements;

(2) A subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee or prospective assignee of a person to whom access has been granted under paragraph E for purposes of facilitating the extension of credit or another permissible use;

(3) A person acting pursuant to a court order, warrant or subpoena;

(4) Child support enforcement officials when investigating a child support case pursuant to Title 19-A or the federal Social Security Act, Title IV-D;

(5) The Department of Health and Human Services or its agents or assignees acting to investigate Medicaid fraud;

(6) The Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Maine Revenue Services; municipal taxing authorities; the Secretary of State, Bureau of Motor Vehicles; or any of their agents or assignees, acting to investigate or collect delinquent taxes or assessments, including interest and penalties and unpaid court orders, or to fulfill any of their other statutory or charter responsibilities;

(7) A person's use of credit information for prescreening as provided by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act or this chapter;

(8) A person for the sole purpose of providing a credit file monitoring subscription service to which the consumer has subscribed;

(9) A consumer reporting agency for the sole purpose of providing a consumer with a copy of that consumer's report upon the consumer's request; and

(10) The administrator pursuant to section 1310-A.

2. Duties of consumer reporting agency if security freeze is in place. If a security freeze is in place, a consumer reporting agency may not change any of the following official information in a consumer report without sending written confirmation of the change to the consumer within 30 days after the change is posted to the consumer's file: name, date of birth, social security number and address. Written confirmation is not required for technical modifications of a consumer's official information, including name and street abbreviations, complete spellings and transposition of numbers or letters. In the case of an address change, the written confirmation must be sent to the new address and the former address.

3. Persons not required to place security freeze. The following persons are not required to place on a consumer report a security freeze pursuant to subsection 1, except that any person that is not required to place a security freeze on a consumer report under the provisions of subsection 1 is subject to a security freeze placed on a consumer report by another consumer reporting agency from which it obtains information:

A. A check services or fraud prevention services company that reports on incidents of fraud or issues authorizations for the purpose of approving or processing negotiable instruments, electronic fund transfers or similar methods of payment;

B. A deposit account information services company that issues reports regarding account closures due to fraud, overdrafts, automated teller machine abuse or similar negative information regarding a consumer to inquiring financial institutions for use only in reviewing that consumer's request for a deposit account at the inquiring financial institution; and

C. A consumer reporting agency that:

(1) Acts only to resell credit information by assembling and merging information contained in a database of one or more consumer reporting agencies; and

(2) Does not maintain a permanent database of credit information from which new consumer reports are produced.

4. Reporting of child support debts. Information regarding child support debt must be provided as required under this subsection.

A. The Department of Health and Human Services, upon request of a consumer reporting agency, shall make available information regarding the amount of overdue child support owed by any parent.

B. Prior to making the information available to a requesting agency, the department shall provide the obligor parent with notice of the proposed action. The parent must be given 20 days in which to contest the accuracy of the information before the information may be made available.

C. The department may impose a fee upon the requesting agency in an amount not exceeding the actual cost of providing the information.
Nothing in this section prevents the department from voluntarily providing information to a consumer reporting agency regarding any individual who is indebted to the department for failure to pay child support.

5. Solicitation of loans using prescreened trigger lead information from consumer report. Solicitation of loans using prescreened trigger lead information from consumer reports is subject to the requirements of this subsection. For the purposes of this subsection, “prescreened trigger lead information” means information in a consumer report provided to a nonaffiliated 3rd party by a consumer reporting agency that the agency has reason to believe will be used to solicit a loan or extension of credit.

A. When using prescreened trigger lead information derived from a consumer report to solicit a consumer who has applied for a loan with another lender or loan broker, a lender or loan broker may not use unfair or deceptive practices described in paragraph B.

B. Without limitation, it is an unfair or deceptive practice to:

(1) Fail to state in the initial phase of the solicitation from a lender or loan broker that the solicitor is not affiliated with the lender or loan broker with which the consumer initially applied;

(2) Fail in the initial solicitation to conform to state and federal law relating to prescreened solicitations using consumer reports, including the requirement to make a firm offer of credit to the consumer;

(3) Knowingly or negligently use information regarding consumers who have opted out of prescreened offers of credit or who have placed their contact information on the most current federal do-not-call registry; or

(4) Solicit a consumer with offers of certain rates, terms and costs with intent to subsequently raise the rates or change the terms to the consumer's detriment.

6. Consumer mortgage reports. In any consumer credit transaction involving a consumer report relating to a loan to be secured by a first mortgage on an owner-occupied dwelling, whenever a user has requested such a report and because or partly because of information contained in the report adverse action is taken, the user shall provide a copy of the report to the consumer. This requirement does not apply if the consumer reporting agency provides a copy of the report to the consumer.

7. Dissemination of consumer report information prohibited. Every user of a consumer report or an investigative consumer report is prohibited from disseminating to any other person, other than the consumer who is the subject of the report, any such report other than information contained in its own files as a result of its direct experience with the consumer. Except for information or records obtained directly or indirectly and with the consent of the individual to whom it relates, from a licensed physician, medical practitioner, hospital, clinic or other medical or medically related facility, a consumer reporting agency may not by contract or otherwise prohibit a user of any consumer report or investigative consumer report from disclosing the contents of the report to the consumer to whom it relates. A contractual provision in violation of this section is unenforceable.

8. Medical expenses debts; court or administrative orders. A debt collector may report overdue medical expenses for a minor child to a consumer reporting agency, but only in the name of the responsible party identified in a court order or administrative order and only if the debt collector is notified orally or in writing of the existence of the order. In addition, a report may not be made until after the debt collector has notified, or made a good faith effort to notify, the responsible party of that party's obligation to pay the overdue medical expenses. Existing information regarding overdue medical expenses for a minor child in the name of a person other than the responsible party identified in a court order or administrative order is considered inaccurate information and is subject to correction. A debt collector or consumer reporting agency may request reasonable verification of the order, including a certified copy of the order.

9. Nonliability. A person may not be held liable for any violation of this section if the person shows by a preponderance of the evidence that at the time of the alleged violation the person maintained reasonable procedures to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1310-A. Administrative enforcement1. Authority. The administrator, within the limits provided by law, may:

A. Receive and act on complaints, take action designed to obtain voluntary compliance with this chapter, refer complaints to the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Financial Institutions pursuant to subsection 9 or refer cases to the Attorney General, who shall appear for and represent the administrator in court;

B. Counsel groups and persons on their rights and duties under this chapter;

C. Establish programs for the education of consumers with respect to the provisions of this chapter;

D. Make studies appropriate to effectuate the purposes and policies of this chapter and make the results available to the public;

E. Issue advisory rulings designed to clarify the applicability of any statutory provision of this chapter necessary or proper to effectuate its purposes;

F. Maintain a public file of all enforcement proceedings instituted and of their disposition, including all assurances of voluntary compliance accepted and their terms and the pleadings and briefs in all actions in which the administrator is a party; and

G. Request registration and annual reregistration of consumer reporting agencies located in this State or serving users within this State and set an annual registration fee not to exceed $100, the aggregate of which must be used by the administrator to enforce this chapter.

2. Investigatory powers. The administrator has the following investigatory powers except in cases in which the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Financial Institutions or the Attorney General has exclusive authority pursuant to subsection 9.

A. The administrator may annually investigate any person whom the administrator believes has engaged in conduct governed by this chapter, except that the administrator may, at any time, investigate any person the administrator believes to be a consumer reporting agency. If the administrator has reasonable cause to believe that any person has violated this chapter, the administrator may investigate that person at any time. During any investigation, the administrator may administer oaths or affirmations and, upon the administrator's own motion or upon request of any party, may subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, adduce evidence and require the production of any matter that is relevant to the investigation, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts, or any other matter reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. If the administrator finds a violation of this chapter, the administrator shall so notify all parties to the transactions involved.

B. If the records of a person under investigation are located outside this State, the person, at the administrator's option, may either make the original records or facsimiles of the record available to the administrator at a convenient location within this State or pay the reasonable and necessary expenses for the administrator or the administrator's representative to examine them at the place where the records are maintained. The administrator may designate representatives, including comparable officials of the state in which the records are located or federal officials, to inspect the records on the administrator's behalf.

C. The expenses of the administrator necessarily incurred in the examination of persons subject to this chapter must be chargeable to that person in the same manner and for the same expenses set forth in Title 9-A, section 6-106, subsection 6, except that users of consumer reports may not be charged examination expenses unless the administrator finds a violation of this chapter.

3. Administrative enforcement orders. After notice and hearing, the administrator may order a person to cease and desist from engaging in violations of this chapter. The administrator may also order affirmative action designed to correct past or future violations of this chapter. Any hearing held under this subsection must be conducted in accordance with the procedures of Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 4. A respondent aggrieved by an order of the administrator may obtain judicial review of the order and the administrator may, through the Attorney General, obtain an order of the court for enforcement of its order in the Superior Court. The proceedings for review or enforcement must be initiated and conducted in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 7.

4. Assurance of discontinuance. If it is claimed that a person has engaged in conduct that could be subject to any order by the administrator, the administrator shall first attempt to negotiate an assurance in writing that the person will not engage in the same or similar conduct in the future, prior to initiating an enforcement order under subsection 3. The assurance may include, but is not limited to, admissions of past specific acts by the person or that such acts violated this chapter or other statutes. A violation of an assurance of discontinuance is a violation of this chapter.

5. Civil action. The administrator, through the Attorney General, may bring a civil action against a person to recover a civil penalty for knowingly violating this chapter or violating an assurance of discontinuance, and if the court finds that the defendant has engaged in a knowing violation of this chapter or a violation of an assurance of discontinuance, it may assess a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.
If the defendant establishes by a preponderance of evidence that repeated violations were the result of a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such violation or error, a penalty may not be imposed under this subsection.

6. Remedies not affected. The grant of powers to the administrator in this section does not affect remedies available to the Attorney General or to consumers under this chapter or under other principles of law or equity.

7. Venue. The administrator, through the Attorney General, may bring actions or proceedings in a court in a county or division in which an act on which the action or proceeding is based occurred or in a county or division in which a respondent resides or transacts business.

8. Bureau of Insurance. With respect to those examinations authorized by subsection 2, paragraph A, the administrator shall, where applicable, coordinate examinations for compliance with this chapter with examinations conducted by the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Insurance for compliance with Title 24-A.

9. Bureau of Financial Institutions. When a supervised financial organization as defined in Title 9-A, section 1-301, subsection 38-A is a person subject to this chapter and the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Financial Institutions charters or regulates the supervised financial organization, the Bureau of Financial Institutions has exclusive authority pursuant to this chapter over the supervised financial organization. This authority is in addition to the authority of the Bureau of Financial Institutions in Title 9-B. The Attorney General has authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter for any other supervised financial organization that is a person subject to this chapter.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1310-B. Criminal violations1. Obtaining information under false pretenses. A person who knowingly and intentionally obtains information on a consumer from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses commits a Class D crime.

2. Unauthorized provision of information. An officer or employee of a consumer reporting agency who knowingly and intentionally provides information concerning an individual from the agency's files to a person not authorized to receive that information commits a Class D crime.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1310-C. Civil liability for willful noncomplianceA consumer reporting agency or user of information that willfully and knowingly fails to comply with a requirement imposed under this chapter with respect to a consumer is liable to that consumer for and the court may award an amount equal to the sum of:

1. Actual damages. Actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure;

2. Treble damages. An amount equal to 3 times the actual damages according to subsection 1; and

3. Costs and attorney's fees. In the case of a successful action to enforce a liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1310-D. Civil liability for negligent noncomplianceA consumer reporting agency or user of information that is negligent in failing to comply with a requirement imposed under this chapter with respect to a consumer is liable to that consumer in an amount equal to the sum of:

1. Actual damages. Actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure;

2. Additional damages. Such amount of additional damages as the court may allow, but not less than $100 for each violation of this chapter involving negligence, and for each consumer report containing any item of information that was inaccurate and that contributed in whole or in part to the decision to take adverse action against the consumer; and

3. Costs and attorney's fees. In the case of any successful action to enforce any liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1310-E. Jurisdiction of courts; limitation of actionsAn action to enforce liability created under this chapter may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction within 2 years from the date on which the liability arises, except that when a defendant has materially and willfully misrepresented any information required under this chapter to be disclosed to an individual and the information so misrepresented is material to the establishment of the defendant's liability to that individual under this chapter, the action may be brought at any time within 2 years after the discovery by the individual of the misrepresentation.

.

10 Me. Rev Stat. Ann. § 1310-F. Relation to other laws and the powers of the Superintendent of Financial InstitutionsThis chapter does not limit the obligations of a supervised financial organization to comply with other state and federal laws to which the supervised financial organization is subject, or the authority of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions conferred by Title 9-B, including the authority to examine and supervise a supervised financial organization to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations as set forth in Title 9-B, section 211, subsection 3.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1310-G. Enforcement powers in addition to those in federal lawThe enforcement powers of the administrator under this chapter are in addition to the State's enforcement powers authorized under federal law.

.

10 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1310-H. Additional state-specific provisions1. Fee for disclosure. In addition to any rights to which a consumer is entitled under federal law, a consumer reporting agency may not impose a fee for a consumer report provided to a consumer upon request once during any 12-month period. For a 2nd or subsequent report provided during a 12-month period, a consumer reporting agency may charge a consumer a fee not to exceed $5.

2. Time to reinvestigate. Notwithstanding any provision of federal law, if a consumer disputes any item of information contained in the consumer's file on the grounds that it is inaccurate and the dispute is directly conveyed to the consumer reporting agency by the consumer, the consumer reporting agency shall reinvestigate and record the current status of the information within 21 calendar days of notification of the dispute by the consumer, unless it has reasonable grounds to believe that the dispute by the consumer is frivolous.

3. Nonliability. A person may not be held liable for any violation of this section if the person shows by a preponderance of the evidence that at the time of the alleged violation the person maintained reasonable procedures to ensure compliance with the provisions of subsections 1 and 2.