1Amending the act of February 18, 1998 (P.L.146, No.22), entitled
2"An act regulating the check-cashing industry; providing for
3the licensing of check cashers, for additional duties of the
4Department of Banking and for certain terms and conditions of
5the business of check cashing; and providing penalties for
6money-laundering activities and violations of the act,"
7further providing for definitions, for authority of the
8department, for conditions for licensing and for fees and
9charges; and providing for recovery of losses due to
10fraudulent misrepresentation.

11The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
12hereby enacts as follows:

13Section 1. The definition of "department" in section 103 of
14the act of February 18, 1998 (P.L.146, No.22), known as the
15Check Casher Licensing Act, is amended to read:

16Section 103. Definitions.

17The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
18have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
19context clearly indicates otherwise:

20* * *

21"Department." The Department of Banking and Securities of
22the Commonwealth.

1* * *

2Section 2. Sections 104 and 304(a) of the act are amended
3to read:

4Section 104. Authority of department.

5(a) Authority.--The department shall have the authority to:

6(1) Issue rules, regulations and orders as may be
7necessary for the administration and enforcement of this act.

8(2) Examine any check, document, account, book, record
9or file relating to a check casher's business or operation
10during regular business hours at the check casher's principal
11office or to make such other investigation as may be
12reasonably necessary to administer and enforce this act.

13(3) Conduct administrative hearings on any matter
14pertaining to this act, issue subpoenas to compel the
15attendance of witnesses and the production of checks,
16documents, accounts, books and records at any such hearing,
17which may be retained by the department until the proceedings
18are completed, and administer oaths and affirmations to any
19person whose testimony is required. In the event a person
20fails to comply with a subpoena issued by the department or
21to testify on any matter concerning which that person may be
22lawfully interrogated, on application by the department the
23Commonwealth Court may issue an order requiring the
24attendance and testimony of such person and requiring the
25production of checks, documents, accounts, books and records
26or may institute contempt of court penalties.

27(b) Limitation.--The department may not require retail food
28stores which must register with the department to register with
29the National Mortgage Licensing System.

30Section 304. Conditions for licensing.

1(a) Conditions for license.--

2(1) Except as provided in subsection (b), if the
3department finds that the financial responsibility,
4experience, character and general fitness of the applicant
5warrants the conclusion that the business will be operated
6honestly and fairly within the purpose of the act, the
7department shall issue a check-casher license in accordance
8with this act.

9(2) A license shall be issued for the business location
10specified in the application only and for mobile units to the
11site or sites specified.

12(3) Check cashers shall post a notice of exact fees and
13charges, which shall be within the maximum prescribed in this
14act. The notice should be in plain view and in a location
15readily apparent to the consumer transacting business at each
16check-casher location.

17* * *

18Section 3. Section 503(a) and (e) of the act, amended
19December 9, 2002 (P.L.1546, No.200), are amended to read:

20Section 503. Fees and charges.

21(a) Allowable fees.--The licensee or any person subject to
22any provision of this act may collect the following fees for
23cashing a check:

24(1) A sum not exceeding [2.5%] 1.5% of the face amount
25of a government [assistance] check or 0.5% of the face amount 
26of a government assistance check, provided the payee submits
27valid identification in the form of a driver's license, an
28identification card issued by the Department of
29Transportation or the equivalent; or

30(2) A sum not exceeding 3% of the face amount of a

1payroll check.

2(3) A sum not exceeding 10% of the face amount of a
3personal check.

4* * *

5(e) Definition.--[As used in this section, the term
6"government assistance check" means a check issued  on a
7continuing periodic basis by a government agency for payment to
8the recipient payee of Federal or State assistance, Social
9Security, workers' compensation, unemployment compensation,
10railroad retirement benefits or veterans' disability.] As used 
11in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the 
12meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context 
13clearly indicates otherwise:

14"Government assistance check." A check issued by the Federal
15Government or State Government on a continuing periodic basis by
16a government agency for the payment to the recipient payee of
17Federal or State assistance, Social Security, workers'
18compensation, unemployment compensation, railroad retirement
19benefits, veterans benefits or housing assistance.

20"Government check." A check issued by the Federal
21Government, State Government or local government other than a
22government assistance check.

23Section 4. The act is amended by adding a section to read:

24Section 510. Recovery of losses due to fraudulent

26In the case where a check casher entails financial loss due
27to the theft of a government check or government assistance
28check as those terms are defined in section 503(e), payroll
29check or personal check due to fraudulent misrepresentation by a
30customer, the customer shall be liable to the check casher for

1an amount equal to three times any actual face value of the
2check or three times any actual damage sustained by the check
3casher as a result of the fraudulent misrepresentation,
4whichever is greater.

5Section 5. This act shall take effect in 60 days.