Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 1461 -- Uniform Debt-Management Services Act

Sponsor:  Burnett

This bill establishes the Uniform Debt-Management Services Act to
regulate debt-management services.  In its main provisions, the

(1)  Requires a debt-service company to register with the
Attorney General by submitting detailed information including its
financial condition, the identity of its principals, locations at
which the service will be offered, a copy of the form used for
agreements with debtors, and its business history in other

(2)  Requires a debt-service company to carry an insurance policy
against fraud, dishonesty, and theft in an amount of at least
$250,000 and provide a security bond of at least $50,000 which
has the Attorney General as a beneficiary;

(3)  Requires a debt-service company to renew its registration

(4)  Requires a debt-service company to disclose any fees and
services to be offered and any risks or benefits of entering into
the debt-management service agreement;

(5)  Allows for a penalty-free, three-day cancellation of the
agreement by the debtor or cancellation within 30 days, subject
to specified fees;

(6)  Allows a debt-service company to terminate the agreement if
the required payments are more than 60 days late;

(7)  Requires a debt-service company to keep any debtor payments
in a separate trust account that may not be used to hold any
other company funds;

(8)  Prohibits a debt-service company from misappropriating trust
funds, settling for more than 50% of a debt with a creditor
without a debtor's consent, or representing that a settlement has
occurred without certification from the creditor;

(9)  Authorizes the Attorney General to investigate debt-service
companies, order an individual to cease and desist debt
counseling services, bring civil actions, and assess civil
penalties up to $10,000;

(10)  Allows an individual to bring a civil action for
compensatory damages, including triple damages, if a debt-service
company obtains payments not authorized in the bill; and

(11)  Specifies that the statute of limitation will be four years
for an action brought by the Attorney General and two years for
an action brought by an individual.

The bill becomes effective August 28, 2009.

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Missouri House of Representatives
94th General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session
Last Updated October 15, 2008 at 3:10 pm