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State Resources

[ Edited ]
  

DISCLAIMER

 

This information is provided as a guide to help you. This is not provided as facts and the information below is subject to change without notice. It is your responsibility to check the information provided to make sure it is valid and applies to you and/or your situation. This information is being supplied as a courtesy to you. This is NOT legal advice.

 

While the information below mainly concentrates on state-wide issues and laws, your own local city or county may have other laws. Check those as well. In regards to licensing, the information below concentrates on professional licenses/bonds required by the state. Many states and localities also require a regular business license, check with the appropriate offices.

 

The Attorney General's office and Secretary of State is two of the best resources you can have. They are your elected officials, put them to work for you. Have a question you can't find an answer to that is specific to your state? Go to them and their websites. Their websites normally provide a wealth of information. Also, check your state case law for situations similar to yours. A previous ruling may have changed something. One thing I didn't know until recently was that in Missouri, the SOL on an automobile debt falls under the UCC SOL.

 

Before reading the following you must understand that this is not intended as "credit repair" advice or as a way to get accurate information removed from your credit report. This information is provided so that as a consumer you understand your rights under FDCPA, FCRA, and any other consumer protection laws that are relevant. Per our Credit Repair Discussion Guidelines, we do not/are not recommending you to take any credit repair-related action for the sole purposes of removing/manipulating accurate credit data from your reports in order to manipulate your report or score.

 

The work that follows was not completely done by myself. This was a joint effort between llecs and myself.

 

If you find a link is out of date and needs updating, please PM either llecs or myself. If you know particular resources for your state that you feel should be added, please send those suggestions to llecs or myself as well.
Message Edited by sidewinder on 11-10-2008 06:09 AM
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Re: State Resources

 

Alabama -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

You can search corporation records, UCC records, etc. Click on the appropriate section on the left hand side.

State Code

Title 6 deals with SOL and judgments. Title 8 deals with bad checks, and title 45 has some information that may be relevant.

Licensing Information-

Alabama requires a "privilege license"; From the Dept of Revenue -

A privilege license is a license requirement of every person, firm, company or corporation engaged in any business, vocation, occupation or profession described in Title 40, Chapter 12, Code of Alabama 1975.

The State and County license(s) is issued by the county Probate Judge or License Commissioner in the county where the business is located. Unless otherwise provided, a license is required in every county where the business is conducted.

** In addition a city or local license may be required. Contact the proper place to determine if such is required.**

 

 

Alaska-

Attorney General

State Statutes

SOL and judgment information can be found under Title 9

Collection Agency Licensing Information

Alaska licensure is not required for a foreign (out of state) collection agency that does not collect on behalf of creditors based in the State of Alaska nor is soliciting collection agency work from Alaska clients, but is only seeking to make collections from debtors within the State of Alaska. 

When searching for licenses, type "COA" in the "Board" text box.

In addition the professional license listed above, a business license is required as well. 

The Division of Occupational Licensing provides a search engine to check for business licenses.

Collections agencies are under "56- Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services"

 

Arizona-

Attorney General

State Statutes

Title 12, Chapter 5 for SOL.  Title 12, Chapter 9 for judgments.  Title 32, Chapter 9 for Collection Agencies.

Arizona Department of Financial Institutions

Check to see if a CA is licensed

 

Arkansas -      

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Title 16, Chapter 56 deals with SOL and judgments. Title 17, Subtitle 2, Chapter 24 deals with collection agencies.

Arkansas State Board of Collection Agencies

 

California

Attorney General

Secretary of State

California Code of Civil Procedure

Part 2 deals with SOL. Information regarding judgments and the different events that go along with judgments can be found in a few different places throughout the code.

California Civil Code

Contains valuable information. I recommend reading it thoroughly.

To the best of my knowledge, no license or bond required.

 

Colorado -

Attorney General

Collection agencies and debt collection from the AG's office.

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Title 5 may provide helpful information. Title 12, Article 14 covers the "Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act" and this is where you will find information regarding CA. Title 12, Article 14.3 is the "Colorado Consumer Credit Reporting Act". Title 13, deals with SOL and judgments. 

Collection Agency Board  

Office of Economic Development and International Trade(information regarding CA)

I have not found a way to check a CA's license/bond status online.

 

 

Connecticut -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Volume 13, Title 52, Chapter 926 deals with statute of limitations. You can find information regarding judgments under Title 52 as well.

Department of Banking - Regulates licensing of CA- click here to check licensing.

 

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Re: State Resources

Delaware -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Title 10, Chapter 47 for judgments. Title 10, Chapter 81 for SOL. Title 30, Chapter 23 (11) for collection agency/mercantile agency license fee.

Search for a CA's license

 

District of Columbia-

Attorney General

Secretary

State Statutes

                Division II, Title 12 for SOL. Division II, Title 15 for judgments.

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs  

District of Columbia Code - There are no laws specific to collection agencies.

However, 28-3905 (k)(1) allows you to sue a collection agency for violations of the FDCPA and if you win, damages can exceed FDCPA award limits.

 

To my knowledge, no license or bonding required for collection agencies.

 

Florida -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Title VIII, Chapter 95 deals with SOL. Title VI deals with judgments. Title XXXIII, Chapter 559, Part VI deals with CA.

The Division of Consumer Services of the Department of Financial Services

               

Georgia -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Chapter 9 deals with SOL and judgments. Title 18 may be of interest.

To the best of my knowledge, Georgia does not require licensing or bonding of collection agencies.

 

Hawaii -

Attorney General

State Statutes

Statutes that pertain to Consumer Protection

Dept of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

                Search for a licensed CA

Statutes/ Rules

 

Idaho -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Title 5, Chapter 2 deals with SOL.  Title 26, Chapter 22 deals with CA. A few different titles deal with judgments.

Statutes/Laws relating to Dept. of Finance

Includes links to the Idaho Collection Agency Act and the Idaho Credit Code and other valuable links.

Department of Finance

Check a CA's license

 

Illinois -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Chapter 225 deals with CA.  Chapter 735, Article XIII, Part 2 deals with SOL.

Check to see if a CA is licensed

 

Indiana-

Attorney General

Secretary of State

                To search for licensed CA

State Statutes

                Find SOL and judgment information in Chapter 34, Chapter 25 for Collection Agencies.

 

Iowa-

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

On the left side click the + sign to the left of "2007 Merged Iowa Code and Supplement", then the + sign next to "Statutes", then the + sign to the left of "2007 Merged Iowa Code and Supplement" to expand the list to get where you need to be.

                Title XIII, Subtitle 3, Chapter 537 is the Consumer Credit Code. Chapter 537, Sections 537.7101-537.7103 is the debt collection practices act. Title XV, Subtitle 3 is where you can find information regarding judgments and SOL.

To my knowledge, Iowa does not require CA to be either licensed or bonded.

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Re: State Resources

Kansas -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

                Chapter 50, Article 7 pertains to Fair Credit Reporting.  Chapter 60 for SOL and judgments.

Kansas, to my knowledge, does not require a CA to be licensed or bonded.

 

Kentucky -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

                See Title XXXVVI, Chapter 413 for SOL and judgment information. Title XXXIX, Chapter 426 pertains to enforcement of judgments. Title XLII, Chapter 454 has information on judgments as well.

No licensing or bonding of CA required, to my knowledge.

 

Louisiana -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Search for a business license

State Statutes

Civil Code for SOL and judgment information.

 

Maine-

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Search for a licensed CA               

State Statutes

Title 14, Part 2 for SOL.  Title 14, Part 3 for judgments.  Title 9-A is Maine Consumer Credit Code. Title 10, Chapter 210 is the Maine Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Title 32, Chapter 10 deals with collection agencies. Title 32, Chapter  109-A is the Maine Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

 

Maryland-

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Title 7 of the Business Regulation Code deals with collection agencies.  Title 5 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings deals with SOL and Title 11 with judgments.

Check the CA for a certificate of good standing

To be a licensed debt collector in Maryland, one must get the licenses listed on this page that are applicable-

 

Massachusetts -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

                Search for a CA's license

State Statutes

Part III for SOL and judgments.  Part I, Title XV, Chapter 24- Chapter 28 deals with collection agencies.

 

Michigan -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Chapter 445, Act 70 of 1981, Regulation of Collection Practices and Act 331 of 1976, Consumer Protection Act . Chapter 600, Act 236 of 1961 for SOL and judgments.

Interesting information if you are a co-signer on a debt can be found here.

Other potentially helpful information

Check for a CA's license

 

Minnesota -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Chapter 332 for collection agencies. Chapter 541 for SOL, Chapter 548, 549, 550 for judgments.

Check for a CA's license

 

Mississippi -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Title 15, Chapter 3 for SOL.  Title 9, Chapter 7 for judgments. Title 11 contains useful information.

To my knowledge, the state does not require any bonding or licensing of collection agencies, but the cities in Mississippi do.

 

Missouri -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statutes

Title XXXV for SOL and judgments. Title XXVI is Creditor-Debtor Relations and Title XXVII is Contracts and Contractual Relations. On automobile notes, the SOL falls under the UCC SOL.

No requirement for collection agencies to be licensed and/or bonded.

 

Montana -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Office of Consumer Protection

Montana Code

Title 31, Chapter 2 covers debtor and creditor relationships. Chapter 3, Part 1 deals with CRAs. Title 27, Chapter 3 deals with SOL and provides information on judgments, as does Chapter 25.

Licensing Information -

Montana does not require licensing for collection agencies. However, all businesses located within the state must register with the Secretary of State.

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Re: State Resources

Nebraska -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Main Collection Agency page

State Statutes

                Chapter 25 deals with SOL and judgment information.

Nebraska conveniently placed all statutes applicable to collection agencies and licensing in one PDF. This section is called the Collection Agency Act. Sect. 45-622 states that no collection agency may practice law.  

 

Licensing Information -

Clicking on this PDF will automatically update with the most recent information

All licenses expire on December 31 of each year and must be annually renewed by December 1.

Sect. 45-602 defines a collection agency as one who attempts to collect on behalf of Nebraska clients or who are located within Nebraska.

 

Nevada -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Division of Financial Institutions

State Statutes

Title 2 and Title 3 deals with SOL and judgments.  See Title 54, Chapter 649 for information regarding collection agencies.

State Regulations (administrative) -

Note that within the Regulations a collection agency that violates the FDCPA can be subject to licensure revocation or suspension.

Licensing Information -

Domestic (in-state) Collection Agencies

 

Foreign (out-of-state) Collection Agencies

All collection agencies must report to the state. Domestic (in-state) collection agencies must be licensed whereas foreign (out-of-state) collection agencies have to be licensed, but the laws generally apply equally.

 

New Hampshire -

Secretary of State

Department of Justice

This page allows you to search complaints on businesses in New Hampshire, collection agencies included.

New Hampshire statutes

Title LII deals with SOL. Title LIII provides information on judgments. Title XXXI, chapter 358 provides useful information regarding collection agencies practices and other information.

Licensing Information -

Found no information or requirement that collection agencies have to be licensed. However you can see corporate registrations.

 

New Jersey -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Division of Revenue

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance

New Jersey statutes

Title 45, Chapter 18 deals with collection agencies. You can also find it by using the search term "collection agency" in the included search box. It makes mention that collection agencies must be bonded if they collect within New Jersey or are based in New Jersey.

               Title 2A for SOL and judgment information.

Licensing Information -

Collection agencies must be bonded through the Division of Revenue. Unfortunately, you can't check status online but this link gives an address you can write to and the info is free. However, you can access information via State Based Systems.

The second link will allow you to check licensing on collection agencies via a different state agency. SBS is contracted via New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance. You can also lookup licensing for DC, DE, FL, IA, NC, NH, and RI.

 

New Mexico -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department

New Mexico statutes

Click on Statutes on lower left, then click on the folder that says "statutory chapters in New Mexico statutes"

See Chapter 37 for SOL, Chapter 39 for judgments, and Chapter 61, Article 18 and 18A for collection agency information.

New Mexico State Rules -  which quoted from the page are "Simply put, rules are a special category of law written by state agencies to support, clarify, or implement specific laws enacted by the legislature called statutes. State rules can include building codes, air quality standards, tax codes, public assistance regulations, and public health regulations, to name but a few. They are subordinate to statutes and must work within the framework established by statute."

                The Collection Agency Regulatory Act covers collection agency licensing in Title 12, Chapter 24.  

Licensing Information -

All collection agencies who wish to collect in New Mexico must be licensed. When searching, search by "Facility" name. For the "Profession" field, choose "Financial Institutions". For the "License type", choose "Collection Agency".

 

New York -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

New York Statutes

There is a section within the statutes subtitled "Debt Collection Procedures". Click on the "Laws of New York". Click on "GBS - General Business". Then click on "Article 29-H". Information on there mirrors the FDCPA. "Article-HH" deals with identity theft. Under "GBS-General Business", Article 25, you can find the New York FCRA.  Click on "CVP- Civil Practice Laws and Rules" to find information regarding SOL and judgments.  "DCD- Debtor & Creditor" section may be useful.  

Licensing Information -

There are no licensing requirements for New York State, but licensing is left to each locality. Here's the top three based on population.

 

New York City -

Collection Agencies must be licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs. Click "click here" within this link for licensing information.

 

Albany -

Licensing is not required for collection agencies.

 

Buffalo -

Licensing is required for collection agencies both foreign and domestic. The City Code is found here. There is no online link for a license database, but contact information to have the City of Buffalo search is found here.

 

North Carolina -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

North Carolina Department of Insurance

North Carolina's statutes

Chapter 1 deals with SOL and judgments, see Chapter 58, Article 70 for information regarding collection agencies.

Licensing Info

All collection agencies, foreign and domestic, must be licensed. The above website comes from a company called SBS or State Based Systems contracted by North Carolina to provide licensing information. This company also provides information for DC, DE, FL, IA, NH, NJ, and RI.

 

North Dakota -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Department of Financial Institutions Consumer Division

North Dakota Century Code

                Chapter 28 for SOL and judgments, Chapter 13 for collection agencies.

               

Licensing Information

You can click on the link and search by a specific collection agency or you can change the "Business Type" to "Collection Agencies" and then search and you'll find a list of all collection agencies licensed. Licensing is required for all collection agencies, foreign and domestic. Section 13-05-02 sets that requirement.
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Re: State Resources

[ Edited ]
Ohio -

Ohio Attorney General

The above link will allow you to search for complaints on problem businesses, including collection agencies.

Secretary of State

Ohio Revised Code

Title 13, Chapter 1319 governs collection agencies. Title 23 deals with SOL and judgments, Title 27 has information regarding judgments as well.

Licensing Information - Ohio does not require licensing for collection agencies.

 

Oklahoma -

Attorney General

Oklahoma Secretary of State

Oklahoma Statutes

                Title 12 for SOL and judgment information. Title 14 is the Consumer Credit Code.

Licensing Information -

Oklahoma does not require licensing for collection agencies. However all domestic businesses must file with the Secretary of State. To search for domestic businesses, look here.

 

Oregon -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Collection agency information

Oregon Statutes

Click on "Oregon Rules of Civil Procedures" for helpful information regarding judgments and various items. Also on Volume 1, Chapter 12 for information on SOL and judgments.  Volume 15, Chapter 697 for information regarding collection agencies.

Click here for info on collection agencies towards the bottom in relation to the FDCPA and collection activities.

Licensing Information -

Licensing is required for all collection agencies, foreign and domestic.

 

Pennsylvania -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Pennsylvania Department of State

Pennsylvania Code

 

Look under the section title "Law Information"

Title 42 deals with SOL and judgments. Title 73, Chapter 42 for the "Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act. It protects any Pennsylvania resident and covers both collection agencies and original creditors.

Here is the  PA's Attorney General's take on the act.

Licensing Information -

Collection agencies have no licensing requirements. However, you can search for Pennsylvania businesses to see if they are allowed to do business.

 

Rhode Island -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Department of Business Regulation

Rhode Island Statutes

Title 9 for SOL and judgment information.

The Rhode Island Fair Debt Collection Practices Act covers collection agencies and can be founds in Title 19, Chapter 19-14.9 along with registration requirements.

 

Licensing Information -

All collection agencies that are domestic and are collecting for in-state debtors are required to register. For more information, click the Department of Business Registration link above and scroll down to "Debt Collector Registration". If you click on the "DCU1" application link, you'll find info that pertains to registration.

To check up on domestic collection agencies, use this service, it is contracted by the Department of Business Regulation. This company also provides licensing information for DC, DE, FL, IA, NC, NH,  and NJ.

 

South Carolina -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Department of Consumer Affairs

Statute Information

                Title 15 for SOL and judgments. Title 37 is the consumer protection code.

Licensing Information -

Licensing is currently not required for collection agencies in South Carolina. However there is a bill stuck in the state legislature that would require licensing for collection agencies. This bill is called the Debt Collection Licensing Act. At the time of posting this, H 4612 is stuck in committee.

 

South Dakota -

Office of the Attorney General

Secretary of State

Statute Information

                Title 15 for SOL and judgment information.

Licensing Information -

There are no licensing requirements in South Dakota for collection agencies.

Although this doesn't deal with licensing, you can search via the Secretary of State to see business registrations for both foreign and domestic companies. Many companies will set up a satellite office and South Dakota requires registration if they do, so as to track revenue and taxes. Remember, if you don't see your collection agency in the above database, that doesn't mean they cannot collect in South Dakota.

Message Edited by sidewinder on 11-13-2008 07:12 PM
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Re: State Resources

[ Edited ]
Tennessee -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Department of Commerce and Insurance

Tennessee Statutes

Title 25 for judgments, Title 28 for SOL. Title 62, Chapter 20 for collection agency information.

Licensing Information or here.

      

The first link allows you to search by name. The second allows you to search my industry. That link requires you to enter a username and password. The username is "guest" and the password is "report". The second database is a collection of 3 different databases to look by collection agency name, collections manager, or branch location.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance has under its department a Collection Services Board. That Board oversees licensing. T.C.A. 62-20-105 requires licensing for any collection agency collecting within Tennessee.

 

Texas -

Office of the Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statute

                SOL and judgment information is under the "Civil Practice and Remedies Code".

Title 5 of the "Finance Code" is "Protection of Consumers of Financial Services" and relates to credit reporting and collection agencies.

Finance Code Chp. 392 above is very similar to the FDCPA and governs collection agencies.

Sect. 392.101 covers the bonding of collection agencies and defines collection agencies as any company or person collecting within Texas.

Licensing Information

Licensing is required for foreign and domestic collection agencies.

 

Utah -

Attorney General

Division of Corporations and Commercial Code

Utah Code

This link also offers a zipped version. Title 12 is completely devoted to collection agencies and their required registration.

***NOTE***

The above is not the state statutes. In the state statutes you can find information regarding SOL and judgments. See the information posted above regarding New Mexico rules for a better explanation.

Utah Rules of Civil Procedures

This will provide you with some information regarding judgments/being sued.

Here is another website, but it is not an official state website or endorsed by the state. The information may or may not be accurate, double check the information.

Title 78 for SOL and judgment information.

Licensing Information

Utah through 12-1-1 requires both foreign (out-of-state) and domestic (in-state) collection agencies be registered and bonded.

 

Vermont -

Office of the Attorney General

The AG's Office published information re-affirming the FDCPA and is found here.

Secretary of State

State Statutes

                Title 12 is where you can find information regarding SOL and judgments.

 

Licensing Information -

There are no licensing requirements for collection agencies. However, each business wanting to do business within Vermont must register with the Secretary of State. While this isn't pertaining to licensing of collection agencies, you can check to see if their registration is active or not. You can also find contact names and officer information.

 

Virginia -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs

You can search the link above for complaints on collection agencies.

Virginia Code

Title 8.01 for SOL and judgments. Title 11 covers contracts, and Chapter 6 within that title is specific to Credit Card contracts.

There are no specific statutes covering collection agencies. Virginia does require payday lenders to abide by the FDCPA, and thus are considered collection agencies under the law. - 6.1-459.

Licensing Information -

Virginia leaves licensing requirements to each locality rather than the state-level. In looking into this, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Fairfax County do not require licensing for collection agencies and there are no specific codes dealing with collection agencies.

 

Washington -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Washington State Collection Agency Board

State Statutes

Title 4 covers SOL and judgments and Title 6 is about the enforcement of judgments. Title 19 for collection agency information.

Revised Code of Washington - RCW 19.16.100 et seq. covers all aspects of collection agencies, licensing and their conduct. RCW 19.16.430(2) states:

(2) Any person who operates as a collection agency or out-of-state collection agency in the state of Washington without a valid license issued pursuant to this chapter shall not charge or receive any fee or compensation on any moneys received or collected while operating without a license or on any moneys received or collected while operating with a license but received or collected as a result of his or its acts as a collection agency or out-of-state collection agency while not licensed hereunder. All such moneys collected or received shall be forthwith returned to the owners of the accounts on which the moneys were paid.

 

Please read the RCW link posted above. Very interesting information and strict rules about what a CA can and can not do. For example, calling more than 3 times per week or your employer more than once per week is considered harrassment.

 

Licensing Information -

Licensing is required for all collection agencies collecting inside the state and applies to both foreign and domestic collectors.

 

West Virginia -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Statute

                Chapter 46A is the Consumer Credit Code.  See Chapter 55 for SOL information.

This covers collection agencies and spells out a licensing requirement for collection agencies and applies to both foreign and domestic collection agencies.

Chp. 46A Section 2-122 covers collection agency conduct.

More Information -

Collection Agency Act

Bonding for collection agencies

Licensing Information -

Licensing is required for all collection agencies. Foreign collection agencies must establish an in-state office or contact. Collection agencies must first be registered as a business franchise in WV. You can search via the SOS. They then must be bonded as provided through the link above.

After registering via the Secretary of State, collection agencies then had to get a business license through the West Virginia Tax Department. However, that law was repealed in July of 2008.

 

Wisconsin -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

State Statutes

 

                Chapter 128 is "Creditors Actions". Chapter 421-429 is the "Wisconsin Consumer Act" section. Chapters 801-847 is Civil Procedure, which includes SOL and judgment information.  Chapter 427 is "Consumer Transactions- Debt Collections"

Licensing Information

Collection agencies are not required to obtain a license to collect if the agency is outside of Wisconsin. A collection agency cannot take legal action against a debtor if not licensed.

 

Wyoming -

Attorney General

Secretary of State

Division of Banking

Wyoming Code

Title 1 is where to find information regarding SOL and judgments. Title 33 Chapter 11 covers collection agencies and licensing. The above link will take you to the home page for the Wyoming Code. Choose Title 33 then Chapter 11 for the text of the code. Chapter 11 requires licensing for any collection agency that collects on behalf of Wyoming creditors, as defined in 33-11-101.

Licensing Information

The above link lists all collection agencies collecting on behalf of Wyoming creditors.

Message Edited by sidewinder on 03-13-2009 06:41 AM
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