State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title33 > Chapter11

CHAPTER 11 - COLLECTION AGENCIES

 

33-11-101. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Board" means the collection agency board createdby W.S. 33-11-103;

 

(ii) "Business debt" means the obligation arising froma credit transaction between business or commercial enterprises for goods orservices used or to be used primarily in a commercial or business enterpriseand not for personal, family or household purposes;

 

(iii) "Collection agency" means any person who:

 

(A) Engages in any business, the purpose of which is thecollection of any debts for Wyoming creditors;

 

(B) Regularly collects or attempts to collect for Wyomingcreditors, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed ordue another;

 

(C) Takes assignment of debts for the purpose of collectingsuch debts;

 

(D) Directly or indirectly, solicits for collection debts owedor due or asserted to be owed or due a Wyoming creditor;

 

(E) Uses a fictitious name or any name other than their ownname in the collection of their own accounts receivable; or

 

(F) Collects debts incurred in this state from debtors locatedin this state by means of interstate communications, including telephone, mailor facsimile or any other electronic method, from the debt collector's locationin another state.

 

(iv) "Communication" means conveying informationregarding a debt in written or oral form, directly or indirectly, to any personthrough any medium;

 

(v) "Consumer" means any natural person obligated orallegedly obligated to pay any debt;

 

(vi) "Creditor" means any person who offers or extendscredit creating a debt or to whom a debt is owed, but "creditor" doesnot include:

 

(A) Any person or collection agency, to the extent that theperson or agency receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solelyfor the purpose of facilitating collection of the debt for another; or

 

(B) Any person whose principal office is located outside thestate of Wyoming and who only maintains a branch or satellite office in thisstate.

 

(vii) "Debt" means any obligation or alleged obligationof a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money,property, insurance or services which are the subject of the transaction areprimarily for personal, family or household purposes, whether or not theobligation has been reduced to judgment;

 

(viii) "Debt collector" means any person employed orengaged by a collection agency to perform the collection of debts owed or dueor asserted to be owed or due to another, including any owner or shareholder ofthe collection agency business who engages in the collection of debts;

 

(ix) "Location information" means a consumer's placeof abode and his telephone number at that place or his place of employment;

 

(x) "Revocation" means withdrawal or termination ofthe license and authority to conduct a collection agency in this state, anddisqualification to renew the license, permanently or for an indefinite periodof time;

 

(xi) "Solicitor" means any person employed or engagedby a collection agency, including an owner or shareholder of the agency, whosolicits or attempts to solicit debts, accounts, notes or other evidence ofindebtedness for collection by the person or any other person;

 

(xii) "Suspension" means withdrawal or termination ofthe license and authority to conduct a collection agency in this state, anddisqualification to renew the license, for a period not to exceed one (1) year;

 

(xiii) "This act" means W.S. 33-11-101 through33-11-116.

 

(b) The term "collection agency" does not include:

 

(i) Any officer or employee of a creditor while collectingdebts for and in the name of the creditor;

 

(ii) Any officer or employee of the United States or of anystate, to the extent that collecting or attempting to collect a debt is in theperformance of his official duties;

 

(iii) Any person while serving or attempting to serve legalprocess on another person in connection with the judicial enforcement of anydebt;

 

(iv) Any person whose principal business is the making of loansor the servicing of debt, and who acts as a loan correspondent, seller orservicing agent for the owner or holder of a debt which is secured by amortgage on real property, whether or not the debt is also secured by aninterest in personal property;

 

(v) Any person whose collection activities are carried on inthe true name of the creditor, and are confined to the operation of a businessother than a collection agency, including but not limited to banks, trustcompanies, savings and loan associations, abstract companies doing an escrowbusiness, real estate brokers, attorneys, insurance companies, credit unions orloan or finance companies;

 

(vi) Any person whose business is the servicing of credit carddebt;

 

(vii) Any person engaged solely in the collection of one (1) ormore business debts; or

 

(viii) Any licensed attorney acting in an attorney-clientrelationship with the creditor, and who conducts the collection in the truename of the client.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1993, ch. 21, 2.

 

33-11-102. Licenses required.

 

Noperson shall conduct a collection agency or act as a debt collector orsolicitor within this state without first having obtained a license as providedin this act, except that a debt collector or solicitor acting in the course ofhis employment for a collection agency licensed in Wyoming is not required tohave an individual license.

 

33-11-103. Collection agency board created; membership; appointment;term; qualifications; chairman.

 

 

(a) The collection agency board is created. The board shallconsist of three (3) members appointed by the governor. One (1) member shall bean attorney-at-law who is actively engaged in collection work. One (1) shall bean officer, partner, owner or resident manager of a licensed collection agency,who is not an attorney-at-law. One (1) shall be a member of the public at largewho is neither an attorney-at-law nor affiliated with a collection agency, butwho is or has been a user of credit or collection services. Commencing in1993, members of the board shall be appointed for a term of four (4) years. Members of the board shall serve until their successors are duly appointed andqualified.

 

(b) No person shall be appointed as a member of the board whohas not been a bona fide resident of the state of Wyoming for at least five (5)years immediately prior to his appointment. The attorney and the officer,partner, owner or resident manager of a collection agency shall have beenengaged in the collection business within the state of Wyoming for a period offive (5) years immediately prior to appointment. The member of the public atlarge shall have at least five (5) years experience as a user of credit orcollection services.

 

(c) Upon the death, resignation or removal of any member of theboard, the governor shall appoint a member to serve the remaining unexpiredterm. Any member of the board may be removed by the governor as provided inW.S. 9-1-202.

 

(d) Members of the board shall elect one (1) of their memberschairman to serve for a term of two (2) years.

 

33-11-104. Collection agency board; compensation, per diem and travelexpense.

 

Allmembers of the collection agency board shall be paid salary, per diem and mileagein the same manner and amount as members of the Wyoming legislature whenattending any regular or called meeting of the board. Salary, per diem andtravel expense for all board members shall be paid solely from the accountcontaining the license fees established and payable under this act.

 

33-11-105. Powers and duties of collection agency board.

 

 

(a) The board shall assist and advise the chairman, who shallhave charge of the administration of this act. All applications for licensesunder this act shall be referred by the chairman to the board forconsideration. The board shall investigate the qualifications of the applicant.If the board finds the applicant fails to meet the required qualifications, theboard shall reject the application; otherwise the application shall be approvedand a license issued on payment of license fees and filing of a bond asrequired by this act.

 

(b) The board shall refuse to issue or renew a license:

 

(i) If an individual applicant or licensee is not an adult;

 

(ii) If an applicant or licensee is not authorized to dobusiness in this state;

 

(iii) If the licensee does not have an established office inWyoming with a bona fide resident of Wyoming as a resident manager, or in thecase of an applicant, the application does not disclose the proposed officelocation in Wyoming and the name of the proposed resident manager;

 

(iv) If an applicant, or an owner, officer, director, partner orresident manager of an applicant or licensee:

 

(A) Knowingly made a false statement of a material fact in anyapplication for a collection agency license or renewal thereof, or in anydocumentation provided to support the application or renewal;

 

(B) Has had a license to conduct a collection agency denied,not renewed, suspended or revoked by this state or any other state for anyreason other than the nonpayment of licensing fees or failure to meet bondingrequirements;

 

(C) Has been convicted in any court of a felony involvingforgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, larceny,extortion, fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud;

 

(D) Has had a judgment entered against him in any civil actioninvolving forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses,larceny, extortion, fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud;

 

(E) Has failed to pay or satisfy any judgment debt or penaltyimposed by any court; or

 

(F) Has knowingly failed to comply with or violated anyprovision of this act or the rules and regulations of the board adoptedpursuant to this act.

 

33-11-106. Authority to make rules and regulations; violations;penalties.

 

Theboard shall make reasonable rules and regulations for the administration ofthis act, and for prescribing acceptable professional standards of conduct oflicensees. Any violation of the rules and regulations of the board shall begrounds for the imposition of a civil penalty not to exceed one thousanddollars ($1,000.00) or suspension, revocation or refusal to renew any licenseissued under this act, or any combination thereof.

 

33-11-107. Application for license; qualifications; financialstatement.

 

 

(a) A person desiring to conduct a collection agency businessin this state shall apply in writing on forms approved by the board. Theapplication shall be signed and verified by the applicant and filed in theoffice of the board. The application shall state:

 

(i) The name and place of residence of the person making theapplication;

 

(ii) Whether the business is organized as a corporation,partnership or sole proprietorship;

 

(iii) The name or names under which the business will beconducted;

 

(iv) The street address of the office where the business will beconducted;

 

(v) The name of the person who will be the resident manager ofthe office;

 

(vi) Other information as the board may require to determine thequalifications of the applicant and the resident manager to be licensed toconduct a collection agency business.

 

(b) The application shall be accompanied by a financialstatement of the applicant, showing the applicant to be financially sound.

 

(c) All applicants shall have an established office in Wyomingwith a bona fide resident of Wyoming as a resident manager of the office. Allresident managers shall pass an examination as prescribed by the board todetermine the fitness of the resident manager to conduct a collection agencybusiness.

 

(d) The board may collect an examination fee not to exceed onehundred dollars ($100.00) for each examination given. The board shall establishby rule the amount and method of payment of the examination fee. All feescollected shall be credited to the account and used as provided by W.S.33-11-111.

 

33-11-108. Bond required for license; terms, conditions and execution;amount; notice to surety; new bond.

 

 

(a) The applicant shall be notified when the application isapproved. Within twenty (20) days after notification, the applicant shall fileand thereafter maintain a deposit with the state treasurer or a bond asrequired by this act. The license shall be issued upon approval of the bond bythe board and the attorney general. The bond shall be issued by a suretycompany licensed and authorized to do business in Wyoming, in the sum of tenthousand dollars ($10,000.00) and shall run to the state of Wyoming and to anyparty who may be a claimant. The bond shall be executed and acknowledged by theapplicant as principal. The applicant may satisfy the bond requirement of thissection by depositing with the state treasurer ten thousand dollars($10,000.00) cash.

 

(b) The bond shall be conditioned that the principal, as alicensee under this act, shall pay and turn over to or for the use of anyclaimant from whom any debt is taken or received for collection, the proceedsof such collection less the charges for collection in accordance with the termsof the agreement made between the principal and the claimant.

 

(c) The bond shall cover all debts placed with the licensee forcollection. Any claim under the bond shall be presented to the board. Theboard shall promptly notify the surety. If the surety fails to pay or settlethe claim within thirty (30) days after notice from the board, the claimant maybring suit on the bond in the claimant's own name. The aggregate liability ofthe surety for any and all claims which may arise under the bond shall in noevent exceed the amount of the penalty of the bond.

 

(d) A licensee may file a new bond with the board at any time.A surety company may file with the board notice of its withdrawal as surety ofany licensee. Upon the filing of a new bond or a notice of withdrawal, theliability of the former surety for all future acts of the licensee shallterminate except as provided in W.S. 33-11-109.

 

(e) Upon filing notice with the board by any surety company ofits withdrawal as the surety of any licensee, or upon the revocation by theinsurance commissioner of the authority of any surety company to transactbusiness in this state, the board shall immediately give notice to the licenseeof the withdrawal or revocation. Within thirty (30) days from the date ofnotification the licensee shall file a new bond with the board. If a licenseefails to file a new bond satisfactory to the board within the time allowed, theright of the licensee to conduct a collection agency shall terminate.

 

33-11-109. Bond of agency; limitation of actions.

 

Noaction shall be brought upon any bond required to be given under this act afterthe expiration of two (2) years from the revocation or expiration of thelicense issued to the licensee and principal under the bond. Except for anyaction commenced upon the bond prior to expiration of the two (2) year period,all liability of the surety upon the bond shall cease on the expiration date.

 

33-11-110. License; renewals; fee; license nontransferable; display.

 

 

(a) Fees for the licensing of collection agencies shall be setby the board. All fees shall be established in accordance with W.S. 33-1-201.Each office or place of business shall be licensed separately.

 

(b) Each collection agency license expires one (1) year fromthe date of issuance. A collection agency license is not transferable. Eachcollection agency license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place inlicensee's place of business.

 

33-11-111. Disposition of fees.

 

Allfees and money received and collected by the board shall be deposited with thestate treasurer, who shall credit the money to a separate account. All moniespaid into the state treasury and credited to the account are appropriated tothe use of the collection agency board for the payment of all necessaryexpenses incurred in administering this act, including the payment of per diem,salary and mileage to members of the board.

 

33-11-112. Action upon complaints; records of proceedings.

 

(a) Any interested person may file a verified written complaintcharging any collection agency licensee with the violation of this act or therules adopted by the board, or with conduct that shows the licensee is unworthyto continue to operate a collection agency within this state. The complaintshall be filed with the board which shall investigate the complaint ifnecessary or refer the complaint to appropriate staff for investigation andreferral back to the board for proper disposition.

 

(b) The board, on its own motion, may make, or cause to bemade, an investigation of the conduct of any licensee. As a part of aninvestigation, the board may audit the books and accounts of a licensee. Theaudit may be conducted by an auditor from the state department of audit or by acertified public accountant contracted by the board.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 25, 2.

 

(d) For the purpose of an investigation or for hearing acomplaint, the board may hold a hearing in accordance with the WyomingAdministrative Procedure Act. The hearing may be conducted by a hearingexaminer. The chairman may subpoena witnesses and books, records and documentsrelative to the inquiry. Witnesses may be required to testify under oath. Ifthe board finds the licensee has violated the provisions of this act or therules promulgated by the board, the licensee may be sanctioned by a civilpenalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or refusal to renew,suspension or revocation of his license or any combination thereof. Any civilpenalties collected pursuant to this section shall be paid to the statetreasurer and credited as provided in W.S. 8-1-109.

 

(e) A copy of the complaint and a complete record of theinvestigation and the disposition made shall be retained by the board in theoffice of the board.

 

33-11-113. Records of license and bond actions; confidentiality.

 

 

(a) The board shall keep a record of all applications forlicenses and all bonds filed. The record shall state whether or not a licensehas been issued under the application and bond. If a bond is withdrawn,replaced or revoked, or the license to operate a collection agency istemporarily terminated because of the failure of the surety on the bond, thefacts shall be reflected in the record with the date of filing any order ofsuspension, revocation or reinstatement. The application form and bond, andrecords relating thereto shall be open for inspection as a public record in theoffice of the board.

 

(b) Financial statements, credit reports and other financialinformation required by the board in support of a license application or in aninvestigation, and unresolved complaints or complaints found to be withoutmerit are confidential and are not subject to inspection as a public record.

 

33-11-114. Furnishing or advertising legal services; scope of authorityto solicit, acquire or collect claims.

 

Nolicensee, under the terms of this act, shall render legal services or advertisedirectly or indirectly, that it will render legal services, but any licenseecan solicit claims exclusively for the purpose of collection, take assignmentsthereof for the purpose of collection by suit or otherwise, and for suchpurpose, shall be deemed to be the real party in interest in any suit broughtupon such assigned claim.

 

33-11-115. Prohibited acts; penalty for violations; injunctive relief.

 

 

(a) In addition to other penalties, any person who carries onthe business of a collection agency without first having obtained a license, orwho carries on a collection agency business after the termination, suspension,revocation or expiration of a license, is guilty of a misdemeanor and uponconviction shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more thanseven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), imprisoned in the county jail not morethan six (6) months, or both.

 

(b) When it appears to the board that any person is violatingany of the provisions of this act, the board may, in its own name, bring anaction in a court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction, and courts ofthis state may enjoin any person from violating this act regardless of whetherproceedings have been or may be instituted before the board or whetherproceedings have been or may be instituted under subsection (a) of thissection. The proceedings shall be prosecuted by the attorney general, or ifapproved by the attorney general, by private counsel engaged by the board.

 

33-11-116. Prosecution of violations.

 

Thedistrict attorney shall prosecute all violations of this act occurring withinhis district.

 

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title33 > Chapter11

CHAPTER 11 - COLLECTION AGENCIES

 

33-11-101. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Board" means the collection agency board createdby W.S. 33-11-103;

 

(ii) "Business debt" means the obligation arising froma credit transaction between business or commercial enterprises for goods orservices used or to be used primarily in a commercial or business enterpriseand not for personal, family or household purposes;

 

(iii) "Collection agency" means any person who:

 

(A) Engages in any business, the purpose of which is thecollection of any debts for Wyoming creditors;

 

(B) Regularly collects or attempts to collect for Wyomingcreditors, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed ordue another;

 

(C) Takes assignment of debts for the purpose of collectingsuch debts;

 

(D) Directly or indirectly, solicits for collection debts owedor due or asserted to be owed or due a Wyoming creditor;

 

(E) Uses a fictitious name or any name other than their ownname in the collection of their own accounts receivable; or

 

(F) Collects debts incurred in this state from debtors locatedin this state by means of interstate communications, including telephone, mailor facsimile or any other electronic method, from the debt collector's locationin another state.

 

(iv) "Communication" means conveying informationregarding a debt in written or oral form, directly or indirectly, to any personthrough any medium;

 

(v) "Consumer" means any natural person obligated orallegedly obligated to pay any debt;

 

(vi) "Creditor" means any person who offers or extendscredit creating a debt or to whom a debt is owed, but "creditor" doesnot include:

 

(A) Any person or collection agency, to the extent that theperson or agency receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solelyfor the purpose of facilitating collection of the debt for another; or

 

(B) Any person whose principal office is located outside thestate of Wyoming and who only maintains a branch or satellite office in thisstate.

 

(vii) "Debt" means any obligation or alleged obligationof a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money,property, insurance or services which are the subject of the transaction areprimarily for personal, family or household purposes, whether or not theobligation has been reduced to judgment;

 

(viii) "Debt collector" means any person employed orengaged by a collection agency to perform the collection of debts owed or dueor asserted to be owed or due to another, including any owner or shareholder ofthe collection agency business who engages in the collection of debts;

 

(ix) "Location information" means a consumer's placeof abode and his telephone number at that place or his place of employment;

 

(x) "Revocation" means withdrawal or termination ofthe license and authority to conduct a collection agency in this state, anddisqualification to renew the license, permanently or for an indefinite periodof time;

 

(xi) "Solicitor" means any person employed or engagedby a collection agency, including an owner or shareholder of the agency, whosolicits or attempts to solicit debts, accounts, notes or other evidence ofindebtedness for collection by the person or any other person;

 

(xii) "Suspension" means withdrawal or termination ofthe license and authority to conduct a collection agency in this state, anddisqualification to renew the license, for a period not to exceed one (1) year;

 

(xiii) "This act" means W.S. 33-11-101 through33-11-116.

 

(b) The term "collection agency" does not include:

 

(i) Any officer or employee of a creditor while collectingdebts for and in the name of the creditor;

 

(ii) Any officer or employee of the United States or of anystate, to the extent that collecting or attempting to collect a debt is in theperformance of his official duties;

 

(iii) Any person while serving or attempting to serve legalprocess on another person in connection with the judicial enforcement of anydebt;

 

(iv) Any person whose principal business is the making of loansor the servicing of debt, and who acts as a loan correspondent, seller orservicing agent for the owner or holder of a debt which is secured by amortgage on real property, whether or not the debt is also secured by aninterest in personal property;

 

(v) Any person whose collection activities are carried on inthe true name of the creditor, and are confined to the operation of a businessother than a collection agency, including but not limited to banks, trustcompanies, savings and loan associations, abstract companies doing an escrowbusiness, real estate brokers, attorneys, insurance companies, credit unions orloan or finance companies;

 

(vi) Any person whose business is the servicing of credit carddebt;

 

(vii) Any person engaged solely in the collection of one (1) ormore business debts; or

 

(viii) Any licensed attorney acting in an attorney-clientrelationship with the creditor, and who conducts the collection in the truename of the client.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1993, ch. 21, 2.

 

33-11-102. Licenses required.

 

Noperson shall conduct a collection agency or act as a debt collector orsolicitor within this state without first having obtained a license as providedin this act, except that a debt collector or solicitor acting in the course ofhis employment for a collection agency licensed in Wyoming is not required tohave an individual license.

 

33-11-103. Collection agency board created; membership; appointment;term; qualifications; chairman.

 

 

(a) The collection agency board is created. The board shallconsist of three (3) members appointed by the governor. One (1) member shall bean attorney-at-law who is actively engaged in collection work. One (1) shall bean officer, partner, owner or resident manager of a licensed collection agency,who is not an attorney-at-law. One (1) shall be a member of the public at largewho is neither an attorney-at-law nor affiliated with a collection agency, butwho is or has been a user of credit or collection services. Commencing in1993, members of the board shall be appointed for a term of four (4) years. Members of the board shall serve until their successors are duly appointed andqualified.

 

(b) No person shall be appointed as a member of the board whohas not been a bona fide resident of the state of Wyoming for at least five (5)years immediately prior to his appointment. The attorney and the officer,partner, owner or resident manager of a collection agency shall have beenengaged in the collection business within the state of Wyoming for a period offive (5) years immediately prior to appointment. The member of the public atlarge shall have at least five (5) years experience as a user of credit orcollection services.

 

(c) Upon the death, resignation or removal of any member of theboard, the governor shall appoint a member to serve the remaining unexpiredterm. Any member of the board may be removed by the governor as provided inW.S. 9-1-202.

 

(d) Members of the board shall elect one (1) of their memberschairman to serve for a term of two (2) years.

 

33-11-104. Collection agency board; compensation, per diem and travelexpense.

 

Allmembers of the collection agency board shall be paid salary, per diem and mileagein the same manner and amount as members of the Wyoming legislature whenattending any regular or called meeting of the board. Salary, per diem andtravel expense for all board members shall be paid solely from the accountcontaining the license fees established and payable under this act.

 

33-11-105. Powers and duties of collection agency board.

 

 

(a) The board shall assist and advise the chairman, who shallhave charge of the administration of this act. All applications for licensesunder this act shall be referred by the chairman to the board forconsideration. The board shall investigate the qualifications of the applicant.If the board finds the applicant fails to meet the required qualifications, theboard shall reject the application; otherwise the application shall be approvedand a license issued on payment of license fees and filing of a bond asrequired by this act.

 

(b) The board shall refuse to issue or renew a license:

 

(i) If an individual applicant or licensee is not an adult;

 

(ii) If an applicant or licensee is not authorized to dobusiness in this state;

 

(iii) If the licensee does not have an established office inWyoming with a bona fide resident of Wyoming as a resident manager, or in thecase of an applicant, the application does not disclose the proposed officelocation in Wyoming and the name of the proposed resident manager;

 

(iv) If an applicant, or an owner, officer, director, partner orresident manager of an applicant or licensee:

 

(A) Knowingly made a false statement of a material fact in anyapplication for a collection agency license or renewal thereof, or in anydocumentation provided to support the application or renewal;

 

(B) Has had a license to conduct a collection agency denied,not renewed, suspended or revoked by this state or any other state for anyreason other than the nonpayment of licensing fees or failure to meet bondingrequirements;

 

(C) Has been convicted in any court of a felony involvingforgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, larceny,extortion, fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud;

 

(D) Has had a judgment entered against him in any civil actioninvolving forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses,larceny, extortion, fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud;

 

(E) Has failed to pay or satisfy any judgment debt or penaltyimposed by any court; or

 

(F) Has knowingly failed to comply with or violated anyprovision of this act or the rules and regulations of the board adoptedpursuant to this act.

 

33-11-106. Authority to make rules and regulations; violations;penalties.

 

Theboard shall make reasonable rules and regulations for the administration ofthis act, and for prescribing acceptable professional standards of conduct oflicensees. Any violation of the rules and regulations of the board shall begrounds for the imposition of a civil penalty not to exceed one thousanddollars ($1,000.00) or suspension, revocation or refusal to renew any licenseissued under this act, or any combination thereof.

 

33-11-107. Application for license; qualifications; financialstatement.

 

 

(a) A person desiring to conduct a collection agency businessin this state shall apply in writing on forms approved by the board. Theapplication shall be signed and verified by the applicant and filed in theoffice of the board. The application shall state:

 

(i) The name and place of residence of the person making theapplication;

 

(ii) Whether the business is organized as a corporation,partnership or sole proprietorship;

 

(iii) The name or names under which the business will beconducted;

 

(iv) The street address of the office where the business will beconducted;

 

(v) The name of the person who will be the resident manager ofthe office;

 

(vi) Other information as the board may require to determine thequalifications of the applicant and the resident manager to be licensed toconduct a collection agency business.

 

(b) The application shall be accompanied by a financialstatement of the applicant, showing the applicant to be financially sound.

 

(c) All applicants shall have an established office in Wyomingwith a bona fide resident of Wyoming as a resident manager of the office. Allresident managers shall pass an examination as prescribed by the board todetermine the fitness of the resident manager to conduct a collection agencybusiness.

 

(d) The board may collect an examination fee not to exceed onehundred dollars ($100.00) for each examination given. The board shall establishby rule the amount and method of payment of the examination fee. All feescollected shall be credited to the account and used as provided by W.S.33-11-111.

 

33-11-108. Bond required for license; terms, conditions and execution;amount; notice to surety; new bond.

 

 

(a) The applicant shall be notified when the application isapproved. Within twenty (20) days after notification, the applicant shall fileand thereafter maintain a deposit with the state treasurer or a bond asrequired by this act. The license shall be issued upon approval of the bond bythe board and the attorney general. The bond shall be issued by a suretycompany licensed and authorized to do business in Wyoming, in the sum of tenthousand dollars ($10,000.00) and shall run to the state of Wyoming and to anyparty who may be a claimant. The bond shall be executed and acknowledged by theapplicant as principal. The applicant may satisfy the bond requirement of thissection by depositing with the state treasurer ten thousand dollars($10,000.00) cash.

 

(b) The bond shall be conditioned that the principal, as alicensee under this act, shall pay and turn over to or for the use of anyclaimant from whom any debt is taken or received for collection, the proceedsof such collection less the charges for collection in accordance with the termsof the agreement made between the principal and the claimant.

 

(c) The bond shall cover all debts placed with the licensee forcollection. Any claim under the bond shall be presented to the board. Theboard shall promptly notify the surety. If the surety fails to pay or settlethe claim within thirty (30) days after notice from the board, the claimant maybring suit on the bond in the claimant's own name. The aggregate liability ofthe surety for any and all claims which may arise under the bond shall in noevent exceed the amount of the penalty of the bond.

 

(d) A licensee may file a new bond with the board at any time.A surety company may file with the board notice of its withdrawal as surety ofany licensee. Upon the filing of a new bond or a notice of withdrawal, theliability of the former surety for all future acts of the licensee shallterminate except as provided in W.S. 33-11-109.

 

(e) Upon filing notice with the board by any surety company ofits withdrawal as the surety of any licensee, or upon the revocation by theinsurance commissioner of the authority of any surety company to transactbusiness in this state, the board shall immediately give notice to the licenseeof the withdrawal or revocation. Within thirty (30) days from the date ofnotification the licensee shall file a new bond with the board. If a licenseefails to file a new bond satisfactory to the board within the time allowed, theright of the licensee to conduct a collection agency shall terminate.

 

33-11-109. Bond of agency; limitation of actions.

 

Noaction shall be brought upon any bond required to be given under this act afterthe expiration of two (2) years from the revocation or expiration of thelicense issued to the licensee and principal under the bond. Except for anyaction commenced upon the bond prior to expiration of the two (2) year period,all liability of the surety upon the bond shall cease on the expiration date.

 

33-11-110. License; renewals; fee; license nontransferable; display.

 

 

(a) Fees for the licensing of collection agencies shall be setby the board. All fees shall be established in accordance with W.S. 33-1-201.Each office or place of business shall be licensed separately.

 

(b) Each collection agency license expires one (1) year fromthe date of issuance. A collection agency license is not transferable. Eachcollection agency license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place inlicensee's place of business.

 

33-11-111. Disposition of fees.

 

Allfees and money received and collected by the board shall be deposited with thestate treasurer, who shall credit the money to a separate account. All moniespaid into the state treasury and credited to the account are appropriated tothe use of the collection agency board for the payment of all necessaryexpenses incurred in administering this act, including the payment of per diem,salary and mileage to members of the board.

 

33-11-112. Action upon complaints; records of proceedings.

 

(a) Any interested person may file a verified written complaintcharging any collection agency licensee with the violation of this act or therules adopted by the board, or with conduct that shows the licensee is unworthyto continue to operate a collection agency within this state. The complaintshall be filed with the board which shall investigate the complaint ifnecessary or refer the complaint to appropriate staff for investigation andreferral back to the board for proper disposition.

 

(b) The board, on its own motion, may make, or cause to bemade, an investigation of the conduct of any licensee. As a part of aninvestigation, the board may audit the books and accounts of a licensee. Theaudit may be conducted by an auditor from the state department of audit or by acertified public accountant contracted by the board.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 25, 2.

 

(d) For the purpose of an investigation or for hearing acomplaint, the board may hold a hearing in accordance with the WyomingAdministrative Procedure Act. The hearing may be conducted by a hearingexaminer. The chairman may subpoena witnesses and books, records and documentsrelative to the inquiry. Witnesses may be required to testify under oath. Ifthe board finds the licensee has violated the provisions of this act or therules promulgated by the board, the licensee may be sanctioned by a civilpenalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or refusal to renew,suspension or revocation of his license or any combination thereof. Any civilpenalties collected pursuant to this section shall be paid to the statetreasurer and credited as provided in W.S. 8-1-109.

 

(e) A copy of the complaint and a complete record of theinvestigation and the disposition made shall be retained by the board in theoffice of the board.

 

33-11-113. Records of license and bond actions; confidentiality.

 

 

(a) The board shall keep a record of all applications forlicenses and all bonds filed. The record shall state whether or not a licensehas been issued under the application and bond. If a bond is withdrawn,replaced or revoked, or the license to operate a collection agency istemporarily terminated because of the failure of the surety on the bond, thefacts shall be reflected in the record with the date of filing any order ofsuspension, revocation or reinstatement. The application form and bond, andrecords relating thereto shall be open for inspection as a public record in theoffice of the board.

 

(b) Financial statements, credit reports and other financialinformation required by the board in support of a license application or in aninvestigation, and unresolved complaints or complaints found to be withoutmerit are confidential and are not subject to inspection as a public record.

 

33-11-114. Furnishing or advertising legal services; scope of authorityto solicit, acquire or collect claims.

 

Nolicensee, under the terms of this act, shall render legal services or advertisedirectly or indirectly, that it will render legal services, but any licenseecan solicit claims exclusively for the purpose of collection, take assignmentsthereof for the purpose of collection by suit or otherwise, and for suchpurpose, shall be deemed to be the real party in interest in any suit broughtupon such assigned claim.

 

33-11-115. Prohibited acts; penalty for violations; injunctive relief.

 

 

(a) In addition to other penalties, any person who carries onthe business of a collection agency without first having obtained a license, orwho carries on a collection agency business after the termination, suspension,revocation or expiration of a license, is guilty of a misdemeanor and uponconviction shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more thanseven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), imprisoned in the county jail not morethan six (6) months, or both.

 

(b) When it appears to the board that any person is violatingany of the provisions of this act, the board may, in its own name, bring anaction in a court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction, and courts ofthis state may enjoin any person from violating this act regardless of whetherproceedings have been or may be instituted before the board or whetherproceedings have been or may be instituted under subsection (a) of thissection. The proceedings shall be prosecuted by the attorney general, or ifapproved by the attorney general, by private counsel engaged by the board.

 

33-11-116. Prosecution of violations.

 

Thedistrict attorney shall prosecute all violations of this act occurring withinhis district.

 


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title33 > Chapter11

CHAPTER 11 - COLLECTION AGENCIES

 

33-11-101. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Board" means the collection agency board createdby W.S. 33-11-103;

 

(ii) "Business debt" means the obligation arising froma credit transaction between business or commercial enterprises for goods orservices used or to be used primarily in a commercial or business enterpriseand not for personal, family or household purposes;

 

(iii) "Collection agency" means any person who:

 

(A) Engages in any business, the purpose of which is thecollection of any debts for Wyoming creditors;

 

(B) Regularly collects or attempts to collect for Wyomingcreditors, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed ordue another;

 

(C) Takes assignment of debts for the purpose of collectingsuch debts;

 

(D) Directly or indirectly, solicits for collection debts owedor due or asserted to be owed or due a Wyoming creditor;

 

(E) Uses a fictitious name or any name other than their ownname in the collection of their own accounts receivable; or

 

(F) Collects debts incurred in this state from debtors locatedin this state by means of interstate communications, including telephone, mailor facsimile or any other electronic method, from the debt collector's locationin another state.

 

(iv) "Communication" means conveying informationregarding a debt in written or oral form, directly or indirectly, to any personthrough any medium;

 

(v) "Consumer" means any natural person obligated orallegedly obligated to pay any debt;

 

(vi) "Creditor" means any person who offers or extendscredit creating a debt or to whom a debt is owed, but "creditor" doesnot include:

 

(A) Any person or collection agency, to the extent that theperson or agency receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solelyfor the purpose of facilitating collection of the debt for another; or

 

(B) Any person whose principal office is located outside thestate of Wyoming and who only maintains a branch or satellite office in thisstate.

 

(vii) "Debt" means any obligation or alleged obligationof a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money,property, insurance or services which are the subject of the transaction areprimarily for personal, family or household purposes, whether or not theobligation has been reduced to judgment;

 

(viii) "Debt collector" means any person employed orengaged by a collection agency to perform the collection of debts owed or dueor asserted to be owed or due to another, including any owner or shareholder ofthe collection agency business who engages in the collection of debts;

 

(ix) "Location information" means a consumer's placeof abode and his telephone number at that place or his place of employment;

 

(x) "Revocation" means withdrawal or termination ofthe license and authority to conduct a collection agency in this state, anddisqualification to renew the license, permanently or for an indefinite periodof time;

 

(xi) "Solicitor" means any person employed or engagedby a collection agency, including an owner or shareholder of the agency, whosolicits or attempts to solicit debts, accounts, notes or other evidence ofindebtedness for collection by the person or any other person;

 

(xii) "Suspension" means withdrawal or termination ofthe license and authority to conduct a collection agency in this state, anddisqualification to renew the license, for a period not to exceed one (1) year;

 

(xiii) "This act" means W.S. 33-11-101 through33-11-116.

 

(b) The term "collection agency" does not include:

 

(i) Any officer or employee of a creditor while collectingdebts for and in the name of the creditor;

 

(ii) Any officer or employee of the United States or of anystate, to the extent that collecting or attempting to collect a debt is in theperformance of his official duties;

 

(iii) Any person while serving or attempting to serve legalprocess on another person in connection with the judicial enforcement of anydebt;

 

(iv) Any person whose principal business is the making of loansor the servicing of debt, and who acts as a loan correspondent, seller orservicing agent for the owner or holder of a debt which is secured by amortgage on real property, whether or not the debt is also secured by aninterest in personal property;

 

(v) Any person whose collection activities are carried on inthe true name of the creditor, and are confined to the operation of a businessother than a collection agency, including but not limited to banks, trustcompanies, savings and loan associations, abstract companies doing an escrowbusiness, real estate brokers, attorneys, insurance companies, credit unions orloan or finance companies;

 

(vi) Any person whose business is the servicing of credit carddebt;

 

(vii) Any person engaged solely in the collection of one (1) ormore business debts; or

 

(viii) Any licensed attorney acting in an attorney-clientrelationship with the creditor, and who conducts the collection in the truename of the client.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1993, ch. 21, 2.

 

33-11-102. Licenses required.

 

Noperson shall conduct a collection agency or act as a debt collector orsolicitor within this state without first having obtained a license as providedin this act, except that a debt collector or solicitor acting in the course ofhis employment for a collection agency licensed in Wyoming is not required tohave an individual license.

 

33-11-103. Collection agency board created; membership; appointment;term; qualifications; chairman.

 

 

(a) The collection agency board is created. The board shallconsist of three (3) members appointed by the governor. One (1) member shall bean attorney-at-law who is actively engaged in collection work. One (1) shall bean officer, partner, owner or resident manager of a licensed collection agency,who is not an attorney-at-law. One (1) shall be a member of the public at largewho is neither an attorney-at-law nor affiliated with a collection agency, butwho is or has been a user of credit or collection services. Commencing in1993, members of the board shall be appointed for a term of four (4) years. Members of the board shall serve until their successors are duly appointed andqualified.

 

(b) No person shall be appointed as a member of the board whohas not been a bona fide resident of the state of Wyoming for at least five (5)years immediately prior to his appointment. The attorney and the officer,partner, owner or resident manager of a collection agency shall have beenengaged in the collection business within the state of Wyoming for a period offive (5) years immediately prior to appointment. The member of the public atlarge shall have at least five (5) years experience as a user of credit orcollection services.

 

(c) Upon the death, resignation or removal of any member of theboard, the governor shall appoint a member to serve the remaining unexpiredterm. Any member of the board may be removed by the governor as provided inW.S. 9-1-202.

 

(d) Members of the board shall elect one (1) of their memberschairman to serve for a term of two (2) years.

 

33-11-104. Collection agency board; compensation, per diem and travelexpense.

 

Allmembers of the collection agency board shall be paid salary, per diem and mileagein the same manner and amount as members of the Wyoming legislature whenattending any regular or called meeting of the board. Salary, per diem andtravel expense for all board members shall be paid solely from the accountcontaining the license fees established and payable under this act.

 

33-11-105. Powers and duties of collection agency board.

 

 

(a) The board shall assist and advise the chairman, who shallhave charge of the administration of this act. All applications for licensesunder this act shall be referred by the chairman to the board forconsideration. The board shall investigate the qualifications of the applicant.If the board finds the applicant fails to meet the required qualifications, theboard shall reject the application; otherwise the application shall be approvedand a license issued on payment of license fees and filing of a bond asrequired by this act.

 

(b) The board shall refuse to issue or renew a license:

 

(i) If an individual applicant or licensee is not an adult;

 

(ii) If an applicant or licensee is not authorized to dobusiness in this state;

 

(iii) If the licensee does not have an established office inWyoming with a bona fide resident of Wyoming as a resident manager, or in thecase of an applicant, the application does not disclose the proposed officelocation in Wyoming and the name of the proposed resident manager;

 

(iv) If an applicant, or an owner, officer, director, partner orresident manager of an applicant or licensee:

 

(A) Knowingly made a false statement of a material fact in anyapplication for a collection agency license or renewal thereof, or in anydocumentation provided to support the application or renewal;

 

(B) Has had a license to conduct a collection agency denied,not renewed, suspended or revoked by this state or any other state for anyreason other than the nonpayment of licensing fees or failure to meet bondingrequirements;

 

(C) Has been convicted in any court of a felony involvingforgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, larceny,extortion, fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud;

 

(D) Has had a judgment entered against him in any civil actioninvolving forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses,larceny, extortion, fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud;

 

(E) Has failed to pay or satisfy any judgment debt or penaltyimposed by any court; or

 

(F) Has knowingly failed to comply with or violated anyprovision of this act or the rules and regulations of the board adoptedpursuant to this act.

 

33-11-106. Authority to make rules and regulations; violations;penalties.

 

Theboard shall make reasonable rules and regulations for the administration ofthis act, and for prescribing acceptable professional standards of conduct oflicensees. Any violation of the rules and regulations of the board shall begrounds for the imposition of a civil penalty not to exceed one thousanddollars ($1,000.00) or suspension, revocation or refusal to renew any licenseissued under this act, or any combination thereof.

 

33-11-107. Application for license; qualifications; financialstatement.

 

 

(a) A person desiring to conduct a collection agency businessin this state shall apply in writing on forms approved by the board. Theapplication shall be signed and verified by the applicant and filed in theoffice of the board. The application shall state:

 

(i) The name and place of residence of the person making theapplication;

 

(ii) Whether the business is organized as a corporation,partnership or sole proprietorship;

 

(iii) The name or names under which the business will beconducted;

 

(iv) The street address of the office where the business will beconducted;

 

(v) The name of the person who will be the resident manager ofthe office;

 

(vi) Other information as the board may require to determine thequalifications of the applicant and the resident manager to be licensed toconduct a collection agency business.

 

(b) The application shall be accompanied by a financialstatement of the applicant, showing the applicant to be financially sound.

 

(c) All applicants shall have an established office in Wyomingwith a bona fide resident of Wyoming as a resident manager of the office. Allresident managers shall pass an examination as prescribed by the board todetermine the fitness of the resident manager to conduct a collection agencybusiness.

 

(d) The board may collect an examination fee not to exceed onehundred dollars ($100.00) for each examination given. The board shall establishby rule the amount and method of payment of the examination fee. All feescollected shall be credited to the account and used as provided by W.S.33-11-111.

 

33-11-108. Bond required for license; terms, conditions and execution;amount; notice to surety; new bond.

 

 

(a) The applicant shall be notified when the application isapproved. Within twenty (20) days after notification, the applicant shall fileand thereafter maintain a deposit with the state treasurer or a bond asrequired by this act. The license shall be issued upon approval of the bond bythe board and the attorney general. The bond shall be issued by a suretycompany licensed and authorized to do business in Wyoming, in the sum of tenthousand dollars ($10,000.00) and shall run to the state of Wyoming and to anyparty who may be a claimant. The bond shall be executed and acknowledged by theapplicant as principal. The applicant may satisfy the bond requirement of thissection by depositing with the state treasurer ten thousand dollars($10,000.00) cash.

 

(b) The bond shall be conditioned that the principal, as alicensee under this act, shall pay and turn over to or for the use of anyclaimant from whom any debt is taken or received for collection, the proceedsof such collection less the charges for collection in accordance with the termsof the agreement made between the principal and the claimant.

 

(c) The bond shall cover all debts placed with the licensee forcollection. Any claim under the bond shall be presented to the board. Theboard shall promptly notify the surety. If the surety fails to pay or settlethe claim within thirty (30) days after notice from the board, the claimant maybring suit on the bond in the claimant's own name. The aggregate liability ofthe surety for any and all claims which may arise under the bond shall in noevent exceed the amount of the penalty of the bond.

 

(d) A licensee may file a new bond with the board at any time.A surety company may file with the board notice of its withdrawal as surety ofany licensee. Upon the filing of a new bond or a notice of withdrawal, theliability of the former surety for all future acts of the licensee shallterminate except as provided in W.S. 33-11-109.

 

(e) Upon filing notice with the board by any surety company ofits withdrawal as the surety of any licensee, or upon the revocation by theinsurance commissioner of the authority of any surety company to transactbusiness in this state, the board shall immediately give notice to the licenseeof the withdrawal or revocation. Within thirty (30) days from the date ofnotification the licensee shall file a new bond with the board. If a licenseefails to file a new bond satisfactory to the board within the time allowed, theright of the licensee to conduct a collection agency shall terminate.

 

33-11-109. Bond of agency; limitation of actions.

 

Noaction shall be brought upon any bond required to be given under this act afterthe expiration of two (2) years from the revocation or expiration of thelicense issued to the licensee and principal under the bond. Except for anyaction commenced upon the bond prior to expiration of the two (2) year period,all liability of the surety upon the bond shall cease on the expiration date.

 

33-11-110. License; renewals; fee; license nontransferable; display.

 

 

(a) Fees for the licensing of collection agencies shall be setby the board. All fees shall be established in accordance with W.S. 33-1-201.Each office or place of business shall be licensed separately.

 

(b) Each collection agency license expires one (1) year fromthe date of issuance. A collection agency license is not transferable. Eachcollection agency license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place inlicensee's place of business.

 

33-11-111. Disposition of fees.

 

Allfees and money received and collected by the board shall be deposited with thestate treasurer, who shall credit the money to a separate account. All moniespaid into the state treasury and credited to the account are appropriated tothe use of the collection agency board for the payment of all necessaryexpenses incurred in administering this act, including the payment of per diem,salary and mileage to members of the board.

 

33-11-112. Action upon complaints; records of proceedings.

 

(a) Any interested person may file a verified written complaintcharging any collection agency licensee with the violation of this act or therules adopted by the board, or with conduct that shows the licensee is unworthyto continue to operate a collection agency within this state. The complaintshall be filed with the board which shall investigate the complaint ifnecessary or refer the complaint to appropriate staff for investigation andreferral back to the board for proper disposition.

 

(b) The board, on its own motion, may make, or cause to bemade, an investigation of the conduct of any licensee. As a part of aninvestigation, the board may audit the books and accounts of a licensee. Theaudit may be conducted by an auditor from the state department of audit or by acertified public accountant contracted by the board.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1981, ch. 25, 2.

 

(d) For the purpose of an investigation or for hearing acomplaint, the board may hold a hearing in accordance with the WyomingAdministrative Procedure Act. The hearing may be conducted by a hearingexaminer. The chairman may subpoena witnesses and books, records and documentsrelative to the inquiry. Witnesses may be required to testify under oath. Ifthe board finds the licensee has violated the provisions of this act or therules promulgated by the board, the licensee may be sanctioned by a civilpenalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or refusal to renew,suspension or revocation of his license or any combination thereof. Any civilpenalties collected pursuant to this section shall be paid to the statetreasurer and credited as provided in W.S. 8-1-109.

 

(e) A copy of the complaint and a complete record of theinvestigation and the disposition made shall be retained by the board in theoffice of the board.

 

33-11-113. Records of license and bond actions; confidentiality.

 

 

(a) The board shall keep a record of all applications forlicenses and all bonds filed. The record shall state whether or not a licensehas been issued under the application and bond. If a bond is withdrawn,replaced or revoked, or the license to operate a collection agency istemporarily terminated because of the failure of the surety on the bond, thefacts shall be reflected in the record with the date of filing any order ofsuspension, revocation or reinstatement. The application form and bond, andrecords relating thereto shall be open for inspection as a public record in theoffice of the board.

 

(b) Financial statements, credit reports and other financialinformation required by the board in support of a license application or in aninvestigation, and unresolved complaints or complaints found to be withoutmerit are confidential and are not subject to inspection as a public record.

 

33-11-114. Furnishing or advertising legal services; scope of authorityto solicit, acquire or collect claims.

 

Nolicensee, under the terms of this act, shall render legal services or advertisedirectly or indirectly, that it will render legal services, but any licenseecan solicit claims exclusively for the purpose of collection, take assignmentsthereof for the purpose of collection by suit or otherwise, and for suchpurpose, shall be deemed to be the real party in interest in any suit broughtupon such assigned claim.

 

33-11-115. Prohibited acts; penalty for violations; injunctive relief.

 

 

(a) In addition to other penalties, any person who carries onthe business of a collection agency without first having obtained a license, orwho carries on a collection agency business after the termination, suspension,revocation or expiration of a license, is guilty of a misdemeanor and uponconviction shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more thanseven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), imprisoned in the county jail not morethan six (6) months, or both.

 

(b) When it appears to the board that any person is violatingany of the provisions of this act, the board may, in its own name, bring anaction in a court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction, and courts ofthis state may enjoin any person from violating this act regardless of whetherproceedings have been or may be instituted before the board or whetherproceedings have been or may be instituted under subsection (a) of thissection. The proceedings shall be prosecuted by the attorney general, or ifapproved by the attorney general, by private counsel engaged by the board.

 

33-11-116. Prosecution of violations.

 

Thedistrict attorney shall prosecute all violations of this act occurring withinhis district.

 

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