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Collection Agency Laws & Licensing Requirements

Collection Agency Licensing Regulations for Consumer Debt Collections are a part of Colorado's Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (C.R.S. 12-14-101 et seq.) Also PDF Format See: Memorandum - Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Changes Effective July 1, 2000 see Bill 1182 - Copy Of Debt Collection Law

The Colorado Collection Agency Board Rules, which was created pursuant to C.R.S. 12-14-116, oversees and regulates all registration and licensing requirements. See PDF Format Collection Agency License Verification

It is unlawful for any collection agency, debt collector, solicitor or collection manager to conduct any collection activities in the State of Colorado without first obtaining a license from the appropriate state agency.

An initial notice from a collection agency has further form and substance requirements, collection agencies are prohibited from invoking a confession of judgment [12-14-128(2)] and many other requirements which are outlined by the Colorado Collection Agency Board.

While creditors who collect their own debts, and agencies collecting only commercial, business, investment, and agricultural debts generally may not be required to obtain a collection agency license, many others are covered under Colorado law. (C.R.S. 12-14-102, 12-14-103(6)(b).

The Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [CFDCPA] regulates debt collection, and requires covered parties to obtain a collection agency license prior to soliciting clients or collecting debts in Colorado.

According to the Colorado Collection Agency Board, certain exclusions may apply, but the consumer protection provisions of the CFDCPA generally must be followed even by those who do not need to obtain a license.

Out of State Collection Agencies must be licensed in Colorado and are subject to the CFDCPA if:

  1. They collect for clients who have a place of business in Colorado or they solicit clients in Colorado. Colorado has a limited "Open Borders Law", and it may apply to debts incurred outside of Colorado,

  2. If they are collecting using only interstate communications (telephone calls, letters, faxes) to collect these debts,

  3. If they are located in a licensing state which offers reciprocal treatment to the citizens of Colorado.

Every licensee must maintain an office in the State of Colorado which is open to the public during normal business hours where payments may be made and which has access to consumer payment records and client account records. This office may be shared with other businesses if certain requirements are met.

Each collection agency must employ a collections manager to supervise debt collectors and be responsible for compliance with Colorado's collection laws. The collections manager may be a partner , owner, corporate officer, and/or other person.

All Colorado collection agencies must compel all debt collectors and solicitors in their employ to register annually by each July 1.

A license fee of $300.00 is required as well as completed registrations for all debt collectors and solicitors, and the fee of $12.00 per registration, plus a surety bond, savings account or certificate of deposit in the amount of $12,000-$20,000.

State of Colorado Department of Law
The Collection Agency Board
1525 Sherman 5th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 866-4500
Fax (303) 866-5691

More Debt Collection Related Laws & Information:
Harassing Telephone Calls
Credit Reporting
Bad Check Law
Collection Agency Complaint Forms & Information
Other Collection Related Links

Attorney General Office Helps Consumers With Debt Collection Violations In Many Cases

Colorado Attorney Bar Locate an Attorney who practices in Colorado, State laws, and Links

Colorado's Consumer Credit Law Report

Interest Rate(s): Legal 8% Judgment 8% (or higher if specified in statute, contract or note)

Debt Collection Statute of Limitations:
Open Acct. 3 Years - Written Contract 6 Years  (promissory note signed) - Written Contract for Goods or Services 3 Years - Domestic Judgments District Court 20 Years (renewable every 20 Years) and County Court 6 Years (renewable every 6 Years) - Foreign Judgments 6 Years in CO.

Bad Check Laws & Civil Penalty: Treble Damages (3 times the amount) and Reasonable Fees).

Garnishment & General Exemptions: Exempts 75% of disposable earnings per week, from Garnishment or an amount equal to 30 times federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is greater.

Federal Laws:
Colorado Collection Agencies Must Follow the
Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Federal Debt Collection Law is enforced by
The Federal Trade Commission

Summary: Bond Required $12,000 to $20,000, License and registration required to solicit or collect (see Exemptions for out of state collectors), Must have a resident office to solicit/collect for in-state creditor, Heavy Regulation, Must Register Both name and alias's used, Must itemize debt; duns must be approved by state; cannot report credit before 30 days when collector has valid address; special text required in notices; receipt must be given for cash payment; consumers have the "right to cure" defaults. Exemptions for Out-Of-State collectors are:

  1. Collecting only by interstate means [mail, phone, fax]

  2. Have no Colorado client

  3. Are regulated and licensed in state they reside, but does not require Colorado Agencies to obtain a license when they collect debts in the same manner.

Other Credit and Collection Links

The major laws that govern financial institutions and protect individuals in their financial dealings are:

  • Consumer Credit Protection Act It is the purpose of this title to assure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available to him and avoid the uninformed use of credit, and to protect the consumer against inaccurate and unfair credit billing and credit card practices.
  • Truth in Lending Act Consumer Credit Costs Disclosures, requires a lender to tell you how much it will cost to borrow money so that you can compare the terms of credit offered by different lenders.
  • Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act requires a lender offering you a credit card to tell you the annual percentage rate (APR), the amount of any annual fee, and whether you have a grace period to pay your bill before a finance charge is added.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act controls how your credit history (how you pay your bills) is kept by credit bureaus and used by lenders.
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits lenders from discriminating against you in a credit transaction on the basis of certain personal characteristics such as race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, because you receive public assistance or because you’ve exercised your rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lays out the rules a debt collector must follow when trying to collect a debt from a consumer.
  • Home Equity Loan Consumer Protection Act requires a lender to give you complete information about the home equity loan plan it offers—first when you receive an application and again before you first use the line of credit.
  • The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act requires disclosures and imposes substantive limitations on mortgage transactions having rates or fees above a certain percentage or amount. It also requires disclosures about the potential costs for reverse mortgages.
  • Fair Housing Act prohibits lenders from discriminating against you in real estate mortgage or home improvement loans on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or handicap.
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act states that lenders must give purchasers information about the costs required to close a mortgage loan. It also protects consumers from unnecessarily high real estate settlement costs by prohibiting certain business practices. This applies when you take out or refinance a loan secured by real estate such as a mortgage loan or a home equity loan.
  • Fair Credit Billing Act requires that a lender promptly correct a mistake on your credit card bill.
  • Expedited Funds Availability Act limits how long a bank may delay your use of the funds you deposit in an account.
  • Truth in Savings Act requires lenders to disclose the terms of their deposit accounts in a uniform way.
  • Electronic Fund Transfer Act limits an individual’s liability if their ATM card is lost or stolen and calls for investigation and correction of errors made to your account.
  • Consumer Leasing Act requires the costs and the terms of a consumer lease, such as a lease for a car or for furniture, be outlined to you so that you can compare the cost of leasing.

Credit and Collection Links

Comptroller of the Currency
Office of the Ombudsman
Customer Assistance Unit
1301 McKinney Street
Suite 3710
Houston, TX 77010
1 (800) 613-6743
    (regulates banks with national in the name or N.A. after the name)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Compliance and Consumer Affairs
550 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20429
(202) 942-3100 or 1 (800) 934-3342
    (regulates state chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System)

Office of Thrift Supervision
Consumer Programs
1700 G Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20552
(202) 906-6237 or 1 (800) 842-6929
    (regulates federal savings and loans and federal savings banks)

National Credit Union Administration
Office of Public and Congressional Affairs
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428
(703) 518-6330
    (regulates federally chartered credit unions)

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
6th and Pennsylvania, N.W.
Washington, DC 20580
877-FTC-HELP – toll free (877-382-4357)
    (regulates finance companies, stores, auto dealers, mortgage companies, and credit

More Credit and Collection Links

LawDog State Credit and Collection Laws Laws about, Autos, Checks, Credit, Courts, Judgments, Secured Debts, UCC, Credit Terms and Use, Bankruptcy Courts, Collections and State Agencies/Organizations.

Open Directory Project Links

Yahoo Search Consumer Rights & Protections

THIS IS FOR MY PERSONAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. The information here may not be complete and it is not to be construed as legal advise or opinion. This Is Not A Complete List Of All The Laws Relating To These Subjects. The information provided is not to be considered legal advice, Always discuss matters relating to such and seek advise from your legal advisor or a legal professional. We do not Guarantee or Warranty any information contained in and/or linked to any of our web sites, and we assume no responsibility for the use of such. Please let us know of any incorrect information right away so we can investigate and correct any errors.

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