MARYLAND COLLECTION AGENCY LICENSING ACT AMENDED TO REGULATE DEBT BUYERS

The Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act recently was amended to provide that regulated “collection agencies” now include persons who engage directly or indirectly in the business of collecting a consumer claim the person owns, if the claim was in default when the person acquired it. 2007 Md. H.B. 1324, § 1 (effective Oct. 1, 2007). The amendment takes effect October 1, 2007. Thus, as of that date, debt buyers may be subject to the Act’s
licensing and bonding requirements.

In response to a recent inquiry, however, the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation issued an opinion indicating that a “passive debt buyer” who purchases debt in default, but who is not directly engaged in the collection of these purchased debts, is not required to obtain a license provided that all collection activity performed on behalf of such debt buyer is done by a properly licensed collection agency in Maryland.

  • Michael Tomkies and Charles Gall