Maine Amends State Licensing Laws and Information Required of Debt Buyers
The updates expand licensing requirements for debt collectors and modify information required for debt buyers.
2/22/2018 12:00 PM
Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed two pieces of legislation that update the state’s Fair Debt Collections Practices Act Feb. 6.
Recently enacted L.D. 1663 broadens the scope of debt collectors that may need to obtain a debt collection license in two ways. First, the measure removes the licensing condition that a debt must be incurred by a Maine resident to a “creditor in this State.”
The new law requires a debt collector (whether located in Maine or another state) to be licensed in Maine before collecting a debt incurred by a Maine consumer to any creditor, regardless of whether the creditor is located in Maine.
Second, the enacted legislation removes the licensing condition that requires a debt collector to be “face to face” when soliciting business from Maine creditors before a license must be obtained. Under the new law, a debt collector’s solicitation of a creditor in Maine will require a license, regardless of the method of solicitation.
From a practical standpoint, more out-of-state debt collectors will likey be required to obtain a debt collection license in Maine under the new law.
The governor also signed into law L.D. 1677, which modifies the information that a debt buyer must possess for purposes of debt collection.
The amendment clarifies that the debt buyer must possess the “total” amount due to the creditor at the time of charge-off, rather than the “principal” amount due at charge-off as stated in existing law.
The updated laws will take effect May 7, 2018.
Of note, Maine’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was also amended in June 2017. Among the amendments passed last year were new definitions for debt buyers, charged-off debt and resolved debt. The amendments also added requirements for the transfer of debts from creditor to debt buyer, collection actions by debt buyers, as well as civil penalties for debt buyers who violated the act.
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