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Connecticut Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

C.G.S.A. § 36a-645 Definitions

As used in sections 36a-645 to 36a-647, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Consumer debtor” means any natural person residing in this state who owes a debt to a creditor.
(2) “Creditor” means (A) any person to whom a debt is owed by a consumer debtor and such debt results from a transaction occurring in the ordinary course of such person’s business, or (B) any person to whom such debt is assigned. “Creditor” shall not include a consumer collection agency, as defined in section 36a-800, or any department or agency of the United States, this state, any other state, or any political subdivision thereof.
(3) “Debt” means an obligation or alleged obligation arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, goods or services which are the subject of the transaction are for personal, family or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.

(1958 Rev., §§ 36-243a, 36-440; 1977, P.A. 77-418, § 1; 1977, P.A. 77-614, § 161, eff. Jan. 1, 1979; 1977, P.A. 77-614, § 587, eff. June 2, 1978; 1978, P.A. 78-303, § 85, eff. June 6, 1978; 1980, P.A. 80-482, §§ 252, 345, eff. July 1, 1980; 1987, P.A. 87-9, § 2, eff. March 9, 1987; 1991, P.A. 91-357, § 53, eff. June 25, 1991; 1992, P.A. 92-12, § 70; 1994, P.A. 94-122, § 293, eff. Jan. 1, 1995; 1997, P.A. 97-207, § 1; 2004, P.A. 04-69, § 23; 2005, P.A. 05-288, § 208, eff. July 13, 2005.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-646 Prohibited acts

No creditor shall use any abusive, harassing, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation, device or practice to collect or attempt to collect any debt.

(1958 Rev., §§ 36-243b, 36-441; 1977, P.A. 77-418, § 2.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-647 Enforcement powers of commissioner. Regulations

(a) The commissioner may adopt such regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 541 as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of sections 36a-645 to 36a-647, inclusive, including, but not limited to, specifying those acts which are deemed to be in violation of section 36a-646.

(b) The commissioner may receive and investigate complaints and may receive assurances of voluntary compliance with the provisions of sections 36a-645 to 36a-647, inclusive, or forward such complaints to the appropriate prosecuting officials at the commissioner’s discretion. No action taken by the commissioner against a creditor in accordance with section 36a-50 relieves the creditor from civil liability.

(c) Whenever the commissioner has reason to believe that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any provision of sections 36a-645 to 36a-647, inclusive, or any regulation adopted under this section, the commissioner may take action against such person in accordance with sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

(d) Nothing contained in sections 36a-645 to 36a-647, inclusive, shall be construed as a limitation upon the power or authority of the state, the Attorney General or the commissioner to seek administrative, legal or equitable relief as provided by other statutes or at common law.

(1958 Rev., §§ 36-243c, 36-442; 1977, P.A. 77-418, § 3; 1982, P.A. 82-174, § 3, eff. May 17, 1982; 1988, P.A. 88-230, § 1; 1990, P.A. 90-98, § 1; 1993, P.A. 93-142, § 4, eff. June 14, 1993; 1994, P.A. 94-122, § 294, eff. Jan. 1, 1995; 2009, P.A. 09-208, § 22.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-648 Abusive, harassing, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading debt collection practices. Liability. Exemptions. Limitations on actions

(a) A creditor, as defined in section 36a-645, who uses any abusive, harassing, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation, device or practice with respect to any person to collect or attempt to collect a debt in violation of section 36a-646, section 36a-805 or the regulations adopted pursuant to section 36a-647 or 36a-809 shall be liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of: (1) Any actual damages sustained by such person, (2) if such person is an individual, such additional damages as the court may award, not to exceed one thousand dollars, and (3) in the case of any successful action to enforce liability under the provisions of this subsection, the costs of the action and, in the discretion of the court, a reasonable attorney’s fee.

(b) In determining the amount of liability in an action brought pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the trier of fact shall consider, among other relevant factors, the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the creditor, the nature of such noncompliance and the extent to which such noncompliance was intentional.

(c) A creditor may not be held liable in an action brought under this section if the creditor shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error, notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted by the creditor to avoid any such error.

(d) An action to enforce liability under this section may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction not later than one year after the date on which the violation occurs.

(2007, P.A. 07-176, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007; 2016, P.A. 16-65, § 54.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-648a Credit card debt collection actions against parents or legal guardians of students

(a) No credit card issuer shall take any debt collection action, including, but not limited to, telephone calls or demand letters, against the parent or legal guardian of a student to whom a credit card has been issued, unless the parent or legal guardian has agreed in writing to be liable for the debts of the student pursuant to the terms of the credit card agreement.

(b) For purposes of this section, “student” means a person who is under twenty-one years of age and is enrolled in a public institution of higher education on a full or part-time basis.

(2009, P.A. 09-167, § 2, eff. July 1, 2009.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-800 Consumer collection agency. Definitions

As used in this section and sections 36a-801 to 36a-814, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Advertise” or “advertising” has the same meaning as provided in section 36a-485;

(2) “Branch office” means a location other than the main office at which a licensee or any person on behalf of a licensee acts as a consumer collection agency;

(3) “Consumer collection agency” means any person (A) engaged as a third party in the business of collecting or receiving payment for others on any account, bill or other indebtedness from a consumer debtor, (B) engaged in the business of debt buying, or (C) engaged in the business of collecting or receiving tax payments, including, but not limited to, property tax and federal income tax payments, from a property tax debtor or federal income tax debtor on behalf of a municipality or the United States Department of the Treasury, including, but not limited to, any person who, by any device, subterfuge or pretense, makes a pretended purchase or takes a pretended assignment of accounts from any other person, municipality or taxing authority of such indebtedness for the purpose of evading the provisions of this section and sections 36a-801 to 36a-814, inclusive. “Consumer collection agency” includes persons who furnish collection systems carrying a name which simulates the name of a consumer collection agency and who supply forms or form letters to be used by the creditor, even though such forms direct the consumer debtor, property tax debtor or federal income tax debtor to make payments directly to the creditor rather than to such fictitious agency. “Consumer collection agency” further includes any person who, in attempting to collect or in collecting such person’s own accounts or claims from a consumer debtor, uses a fictitious name or any name other than such person’s own name which would indicate to the consumer debtor that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such account or claim. “Consumer collection agency” does not include (i) an individual employed on the staff of a licensed consumer collection agency, or by a creditor who is exempt from licensing, when attempting to collect on behalf of such consumer collection agency, (ii) persons not primarily engaged in the collection of debts from consumer debtors who receive funds in escrow for subsequent distribution to others, including, but not limited to, real estate brokers and lenders holding funds of borrowers for payment of taxes or insurance, (iii) any public officer or a person acting under the order of any court, (iv) any member of the bar of this state, (v) a person who services loans or accounts for the owners thereof when the arrangement includes, in addition to requesting payment from delinquent consumer debtors, the providing of other services such as receipt of payment, accounting, record-keeping, data processing services and remitting, for loans or accounts which are current as well as those which are delinquent, (vi) a bank or out-of-state bank, as defined in section 36a-2, and (vii) a subsidiary or affiliate of a bank or out-of-state bank, provided such affiliate or subsidiary is not primarily engaged in the business of purchasing and collecting upon delinquent debt, other than delinquent debt secured by real property. Any person not included in the definition contained in this subdivision is, for purposes of sections 36a-645 to 36a-647, inclusive, a “creditor”, as defined in section 36a-645;

(4) “Consumer debtor” means any natural person, not an organization, who has incurred indebtedness or owes a debt for personal, family or household purposes, including current or past due child support, who has incurred indebtedness or owes a debt to a municipality due to a levy by such municipality of a personal property tax or who has incurred indebtedness or owes a debt to the United States Department of the Treasury under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as amended from time to time;

(5) “Control person” has the same meaning as provided in section 36a-485;

(6) “Creditor” means a person, including, but not limited to, a municipality or the United States Department of the Treasury, that retains, hires, or engages the services of a consumer collection agency;

(7) “Debt buying” means collecting or receiving payment on any account, bill or other indebtedness from a consumer debtor for such person’s own account if the indebtedness was acquired from another person and if the indebtedness was either delinquent or in default at the time it was acquired;

(8) “Federal income tax” means all federal taxes levied on the income of a natural person or organization by the United States Department of the Treasury under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as amended from time to time;

(9) “Federal income tax debtor” means any natural person or organization who owes a debt to the United States Department of the Treasury;

(10) “Main office” means the main address designated on the system;

(11) “Municipality” means any town, city or borough, consolidated town and city, consolidated town and borough, district as defined in section 7-324 or municipal special services district established under chapter 105a; 1

(12) “Organization” means a corporation, partnership, association, trust or any other legal entity or an individual operating under a trade name or a name having appended to it a commercial, occupational or professional designation;

(13) “Property tax” has the meaning given to the term in section 7-560;

(14) “Property tax debtor” means any natural person or organization who has incurred indebtedness or owes a debt to a municipality due to a levy by such municipality of a property tax; and

(15) “Unique identifier” has the same meaning as provided in section 36a-485.

(1953, Supp. § 2496c; 1955, Supp. § 3310d; 1958 Rev., § 42-127; 1967, P.A. 882, § 19, eff. Jan. 1, 1968; 1971, P.A. 539, § 1; 1975, P.A. 75-486, § 64, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; 1977, P.A. 77-614, §§ 161, 162, eff. Jan. 1, 1979; 1978, P.A. 78-226, § 1; 1978, P.A. 78-303, § 54, eff. Jan. 1, 1979; 1980, P.A. 80-482, § 333, eff. July 1, 1980; 1984, P.A. 84-61, § 1, eff. May 2, 1984; 1987, P.A. 87-9, § 2, eff. March 9, 1987; 1988, P.A. 88-65, § 56; 1991, P.A. 91-357, § 61, eff. June 25, 1991; 1992, P.A. 92-12, § 103; 1993, P.A. 93-127, § 1, eff. July 1, 1993; 1994, P.A. 94-122, § 328, eff. Jan. 1, 1995; 2001, P.A. 01-207, § 3, eff. July 1, 2001; 2002, P.A. 02-111, § 46, eff. July 1, 2002; 2003, P.A. 03-262, § 1, eff. July 9, 2003; 2004, P.A. 04-8, § 11, eff. April 16, 2004; 2007, P.A. 07-72, § 8; 2013, P.A. 13-253, § 22; 2014, P.A. 14-7, § 2, eff. May 8, 2014; 2015, P.A. 15-235, § 33, eff. July 7, 2015; 2016, P.A. 16-65, § 47; 2017, P.A. 17-233, § 29; 2018, P.A. 18-173, § 78.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-801 License required. Application, issuance, renewal. Authority to conduct criminal history records check. Examination of records. Abandonment of application. Automatic suspension of license. Name and place of business

(a) No person shall act within this state as a consumer collection agency, directly or indirectly, unless such person has first obtained a required consumer collection agency license for such person’s main office and for each branch office where such person’s business is conducted. A consumer collection agency is acting within this state if it (1) has its place of business located within this state; (2) has its place of business located outside this state and (A) collects from consumer debtors, property tax debtors or federal income tax debtors who reside within this state for creditors who are located within this state, or (B) collects from consumer debtors, property tax debtors or federal income tax debtors who reside within this state for such consumer collection agency’s own account; (3) has its place of business located outside this state and regularly collects from consumer debtors, property tax debtors or federal income tax debtors who reside within this state for creditors who are located outside this state; or (4) has its place of business located outside this state and is engaged in the business of collecting child support for creditors located within this state from consumer debtors who are located outside this state. Any activity subject to licensure pursuant to sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive, shall be conducted from an office located in a state, as defined in section 36a-2.

(b) An application for a license as a consumer collection agency or for renewal of such license shall be made and processed on the system pursuant to section 36a-24b, in the form prescribed by the commissioner. Each such form shall contain content as set forth by instruction or procedure of the commissioner and may be changed or updated as necessary by the commissioner in order to carry out the purposes of sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive. The applicant shall, at a minimum, furnish to the system information concerning the identity of the applicant, any control person of the applicant, the qualified individual and any branch manager responsible for the actions of the licensee, including, but not limited to, information related to such person’s personal history and experience, and any administrative, civil or criminal findings by any governmental jurisdiction. As part of the application, the commissioner may (1) in accordance with section 29-17a, conduct a state or national criminal history records check of the applicant, any control person of the applicant, the qualified individual or any branch manager, and (2) in accordance with section 36a-24b (A) require the submission of fingerprints of the applicant, any control person of the applicant, the qualified individual or any branch manager to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or other state, national or international criminal databases, and (B) investigate the financial condition of any such person and require authorization from any such person for the system and the commissioner to obtain an independent credit report from a consumer reporting agency, as described in Section 603(p) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681a, as amended from time to time. Such application shall be accompanied by a financial statement prepared by a certified public accountant and, for any applicant not solely engaged in the business of debt buying, such application shall evidence that the applicant has a minimum tangible net worth of fifty thousand dollars. The commissioner shall cause to be made such inquiry and examination as to the qualifications of each such applicant or any control person, qualified individual or branch manager of the applicant as the commissioner deems necessary. Each applicant shall furnish satisfactory evidence to the commissioner that the applicant is a person of good moral character and is financially responsible.

(c)
(1) Each applicant for a consumer collection agency license shall pay to the system any required fees or charges and a license fee of five hundred dollars. Each such license shall expire at the close of business on December thirty-first of the year in which the license was approved, unless such license is renewed, except that any such license approved on or after November first shall expire at the close of business on December thirty-first of the year following the year in which it is approved. An application for renewal of a license shall be filed between November first and December thirty-first of the year in which the license expires. Each applicant for renewal of a consumer collection agency license shall pay to the system any required fees or charges and a renewal fee of four hundred dollars.
(2) If the commissioner finds, upon the filing of an application for a consumer collection agency, that (A) the financial responsibility, character, reputation, integrity and general fitness of the applicant, the control persons of the applicant, the qualified individual and any branch manager are such to warrant belief that the business will be operated soundly and efficiently, in the public interest and consistent with the purposes of sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive, and (B) the applicant is solvent and no proceeding in bankruptcy, receivership or assignment for the benefit of creditors has been commenced against the applicant, the commissioner may, upon such finding, issue the applicant a consumer collection agency license. If the commissioner fails to make such findings, the commissioner shall not issue a license and shall notify the applicant of the reasons for such denial. The commissioner may deny an application if the commissioner finds that the applicant or any control person, qualified individual or branch manager of such applicant has been convicted of any misdemeanor involving any aspect of the consumer collection agency business, or any felony. Any denial of an application by the commissioner shall, when applicable, be subject to the provisions of section 46a-80.
(3) The minimum standards for renewal of a consumer collection agency license shall include the following:
(A) The applicant continues to meet the minimum standards under this section; (B) the applicant has paid all required fees for renewal of the license; and (C) the applicant has paid all outstanding examination fees or other moneys due to the commissioner. The license of a consumer collection agency licensee failing to satisfy the minimum standards for license renewal shall expire. The commissioner may adopt procedures for the reinstatement of expired licenses consistent with the standards established by the system. Every license shall remain in force and effect until the license has been surrendered, revoked or suspended or has expired in accordance with the provisions of sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive.

(d) To further the enforcement of this section and to determine the eligibility of any person holding a license, the commissioner may, as often as the commissioner deems necessary, examine the licensee’s books and records, and may, at any time, require the licensee to submit such a financial statement for the examination of the commissioner, so that the commissioner may determine whether the licensee is financially responsible to carry on a consumer collection agency business within the intents and purposes of sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive. Any financial statement submitted by a licensee shall be confidential and shall not be a public record unless introduced in evidence at a hearing conducted by the commissioner.

(e) The commissioner may deem an application for a license to act as a consumer collection agency abandoned if the applicant fails to respond to any request for information required under sections 36a-801 to 36a-814, inclusive, or any regulations adopted pursuant to said sections 36a-801 to 36a-814, inclusive. The commissioner shall notify the applicant on the system that if the applicant fails to submit such information not later than sixty days after the date on which such request for information was made, the application shall be deemed abandoned. An application filing fee paid prior to the date an application is deemed abandoned pursuant to this subsection shall not be refunded. Abandonment of an application pursuant to this subsection shall not preclude the applicant from submitting a new application for a license under sections 36a-801 to 36a-814, inclusive.

(f)
(1) Not later than thirty days before a licensee ceases to engage in the business of a consumer collection agency for any reason, including, but not limited to, a business decision to terminate operations in this state, bankruptcy or voluntary dissolution, such licensee shall request surrender of the license on the system in accordance with subsection (c) of section 36a-51 for each location in which such licensee has ceased to engage in such business.
(2) Except as otherwise specified in subsection (i) of this section, each consumer collection agency applicant or licensee, and each individual designated as a control person, qualified individual or branch manager of such applicant or licensee, shall file on the system any change in the information such applicant, licensee, control person, qualified individual or branch manager most recently submitted to the system in connection with the application or license, or, if the information cannot be filed on the system, notify the commissioner of such change, in writing, not later than fifteen days after the date the applicant, licensee, control person, qualified individual or branch manager had reason to know of the change.
(3) A consumer collection agency licensee shall file on the system or, if the information cannot be filed on the system, notify the commissioner, in writing, of the occurrence of any of the following developments not later than fifteen days after the date the licensee had reason to know of the occurrence of any of the following developments:
(A) Filing for bankruptcy or the consummation of a corporate restructuring of the licensee;
(B) Filing of a criminal indictment against the licensee in any way related to the consumer collection activities of the licensee, or receiving notification of the filing of any criminal felony indictment or felony conviction of any control person, branch manager or qualified individual of the licensee;
(C) Receiving notification of the institution of license denial, cease and desist, suspension or revocation procedures, or other formal or informal action by any governmental agency against the licensee or any control person, branch manager or qualified individual of the licensee and the reasons therefor;
(D) Receiving notification of the initiation of any action against the licensee or any control person, branch manager or qualified individual of the licensee by the Attorney General or the attorney general of any other state and the reasons therefor;
(E) Receiving notification of filing for bankruptcy of any control person, branch manager or qualified individual of the licensee; or
(F) Any decrease in tangible net worth from the minimum amount required pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(g) The commissioner may automatically suspend a license if the licensee receives a deficiency on the system indicating that a required payment was Returned-ACH or returned pursuant to such other term as may be utilized by the system to indicate that the payment was not accepted. After a license has been automatically suspended pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall (1) give the licensee notice of the automatic suspension, pending proceedings for revocation or refusal to renew pursuant to section 36a-804 and an opportunity for a hearing on such action in accordance with section 36a-51, and (2) require such licensee to take or refrain from taking such action as the commissioner deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.

(h) No abatement of the license fee shall be made if the application is denied or withdrawn prior to issuance of the license or if the license is surrendered, revoked or suspended prior to the expiration of the period for which it was issued. All fees required by this section shall be nonrefundable.

(i) No person licensed to act within this state as a consumer collection agency shall do so under any other name or at any other place of business than that named in the license. No licensee may use any name other than its legal name or a fictitious name approved by the commissioner, provided such licensee may not use its legal name if the commissioner disapproves use of such name. A licensee may change the name of the licensee or address of the office specified on the most recent filing with the system if, at least thirty calendar days prior to such change, (1) the licensee files such change with the system and provides a bond rider, endorsement or addendum, as applicable, to the surety bond on file with the commissioner that reflects the new name or address, and (2) the commissioner does not disapprove such change, in writing, or request further information from the licensee within such thirty-day period. Not more than one place of business shall be maintained under the same license but the commissioner may issue more than one license to the same licensee upon compliance with the provisions of sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive, as to each new licensee. A license shall not be transferable or assignable. Any change in any control person of the licensee, except a change of a director, general partner or executive officer that is not the result of an acquisition or change of control of the licensee, shall be the subject of an advance change notice filed on the system at least thirty days prior to the effective date of such change and no such change shall occur without the commissioner’s approval. Any licensee holding, applying for, or seeking renewal of more than one license may, at its option, file the bond required under section 36a-802 separately for each place of business licensed, or to be licensed, or a single bond, naming each place of business, in an amount equal to twenty-five thousand dollars for each place of business. The commissioner may automatically suspend a license for any violation of this subsection. After a license has been automatically suspended pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall (A) give the licensee notice of the automatic suspension, pending proceedings for revocation or refusal to renew pursuant to section 36a-804 and an opportunity for a hearing on such action in accordance with section 36a-51, and (B) require such licensee to take or refrain from taking such action as the commissioner deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.

(j) Any person making any filing or submission of any information on the system shall do so in accordance with the procedures and requirements of the system and pay the applicable fees or charges to the system. Each consumer collection agency licensee shall, to the extent required by the system, timely submit to the system accurate reports of condition that shall be in such form and shall contain such information as the system may require. Failure by a licensee to submit a timely and accurate report of condition shall constitute a violation of this provision.

(k) The unique identifier of any person licensed under section 36a-801 shall be clearly shown on all solicitations and advertisements, including business cards and Internet web sites, and any other documents as established by rule, regulation or order of the commissioner, and shall be clearly stated in all audio solicitations and advertisements. The solicitations and advertisements of any person licensed under section 36a-801: (1) Shall not include any statement that such person is endorsed in any way by this state, except that such solicitations and advertisements may include a statement that such person is licensed in this state; (2) shall not include any statement or claim that is deceptive, false or misleading; (3) shall otherwise conform to the requirements of sections 36a-801 to 36a-814, inclusive, any regulations issued thereunder and any other applicable law; and (4) shall be retained for two years from the date of use of such solicitation or advertisement.

(1958 Rev., § 42-127a; 1971, P.A. 539, §§ 2, 3; 1973, P.A. 73-284; 1973, P.A. 73-328; 1973, P.A. 73-341; 1981, P.A. 81-292, § 12; 1988, P.A. 88-150, § 9; 1992, P.A. 92-89, § 17, eff. May 22, 1992; 1993, P.A. 93-127, § 2, eff. July 1, 1993; 1994, P.A. 94-104, § 6; 1994, P.A. 94-122, § 329, eff. Jan. 1, 1995; 1996, P.A. 96-71, § 7, eff. July 1, 1996; 2001, P.A. 01-207, § 4, eff. July 1, 2001; 2002, P.A. 02-111, § 47; 2004, P.A. 04-69, § 30; 2005, P.A. 05-74, § 5, eff. June 2, 2005; 2005, P.A. 05-46, § 15; 2006, P.A. 06-35, § 11; 2009, P.A. 09-208, § 35, eff. July 7, 2009; 2009, Sept.Sp.Sess., P.A. 09-7, § 101, eff. Oct. 5, 2009; 2011, P.A. 11-216, § 47; 2013, P.A. 13-253, § 23; 2014, P.A. 14-89, § 39, eff. June 3, 2014; 2015, P.A. 15-235, § 34, eff. July 7, 2015; 2016, P.A. 16-65, § 48; 2017, P.A. 17-233, § 30; 2017, P.A. 17-236, § 14; 2018, P.A. 18-173, § 79.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-801a Persons engaged in business of collecting child support

For the purposes of this part, any person who is engaged in the business of collecting child support pursuant to subsection (a) of section 36a-801 shall be a consumer collection agency.

(2001, P.A. 01-207, § 5, eff. July 1, 2001.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-801b Collection of child support. Written agreement

No consumer collection agency may collect child support payments unless such consumer collection agency has entered into a written agreement with the creditor to whom the child support is owed. The agreement shall specify the charge or fee for collecting the child support and state, in bold type, that child support collection services are offered by the state of Connecticut or any other state for a nominal fee.

(2001, P.A. 01-207, § 7, eff. July 1, 2001.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-802 Surety bond required. Authority of commissioner to proceed on bond. Cancellation of bond; notice. Automatic suspension of license; notice. Opportunity for hearing

(a) No such license and no renewal thereof shall be granted to a consumer collection agency, except a consumer collection agency engaged solely in the business of debt buying, unless the applicant has filed with the commissioner a bond to the people of the state in the penal sum of twenty-five thousand dollars, approved by the Attorney General as to form and by the commissioner as to sufficiency of the security thereof. Such bond shall be conditioned that such licensee shall well, truly and faithfully account for all funds entrusted to the licensee and collected and received by the licensee in the licensee’s capacity as a consumer collection agency. Any person who may be damaged by the wrongful conversion of any creditor, consumer debtor, property tax debtor or federal income tax debtor funds received by such consumer collection agency may proceed on such bond against the principal or surety thereon, or both, to recover damages. The commissioner may proceed on such bond against the principal or surety thereon, or both, to collect any civil penalty imposed upon the licensee pursuant to subsection (a) of section 36a-50 and, effective April 1, 2019, any restitution imposed pursuant to subsection (c) of section 36a-50, and any unpaid costs of examination as determined pursuant to section 36a-65. The proceeds of the bond, even if commingled with other assets of the licensee, shall be deemed by operation of law to be held in trust for the benefit of such claimants against the licensee in the event of bankruptcy of the licensee and shall be immune from attachment by creditors and judgment creditors. The bond shall run concurrently with the period of the license granted to the applicant, and the aggregate liability under the bond shall not exceed the penal sum of the bond.

(b) The surety company shall have the right to cancel the bond at any time by a written notice to the licensee and the commissioner stating the date cancellation shall take effect. If the bond is issued electronically on the system, written notice of cancellation may be provided by the surety company to the licensee and the commissioner through the system at least thirty days prior to the date of cancellation. Any notice of cancellation not provided through the system shall be sent by certified mail to the licensee and the commissioner at least thirty days prior to the date of cancellation. A surety bond shall not be cancelled unless the surety company notifies the commissioner in writing not less than thirty days prior to the effective date of cancellation. After receipt of such notification from the surety company, the commissioner shall give written notice to the licensee of the date such bond cancellation shall take effect. The commissioner shall automatically suspend the license on such date, unless the licensee prior to such date submits a letter of reinstatement of the bond from the surety company or a new bond or the licensee has ceased business and has surrendered its license. After a license has been automatically suspended, the commissioner shall (1) give the licensee notice of the automatic suspension pending proceedings for revocation or refusal to renew and an opportunity for a hearing on such actions in accordance with section 36a-51 and (2) require the licensee to take or refrain from taking such action as the commissioner deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.

(1958 Rev., § 42-128a; 1971, P.A. 539, § 4; 2002, P.A. 02-111, § 48; 2003, P.A. 03-262, § 2, eff. July 9, 2003; 2004, P.A. 04-69, § 31; 2009, P.A. 09-208, § 36; 2013, P.A. 13-253, § 29; 2016, P.A. 16-65, § 49; 2018, P.A. 18-173, § 80.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-804 Suspension, revocation or refusal to renew license or taking of other action

(a) The commissioner may suspend, revoke or refuse to renew any license or take any other action, in accordance with the provisions of section 36a-51, for any reason which would be sufficient grounds for the commissioner to deny an application for a license under sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive, or if the commissioner finds that the licensee or any control person, qualified individual, branch manager, trustee, employee or agent of such licensee has done any of the following: (1) Made any material misstatement in the application or in any filing made in connection with the license; (2) committed any fraud or misrepresentation or misappropriated funds; or (3) violated any of the provisions of this title or of any regulation or order adopted or issued pursuant thereto pertaining to any such person, or any other law or regulation applicable to the conduct of such licensee’s consumer collection agency business.

(b) Whenever it appears to the commissioner that (1) any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any of the provisions of sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive, or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto, (2) any person is, was or would be a cause of the violation of any such provision or regulation due to an act or omission such person knew or should have known would contribute to such violation, or (3) the licensee or any control person, qualified individual, branch manager, trustee, employee or agent of such licensee has committed any fraud, made any misrepresentation or misappropriated funds, the commissioner may take action against such person or licensee in accordance with sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

(c) The commissioner may order a licensee to remove any individual conducting business under sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive, from office and from employment or retention as an independent contractor in the consumer collection agency business in this state in accordance with section 5 of public act 18-173.

(d) The commissioner may issue a temporary order to cease business under a license if the commissioner determines that such license was issued erroneously. Such temporary order shall be issued in accordance with subsection (j) of section 36a-24b.

(1958 Rev., § 42-129a; 1971, P.A. 539, § 6; 1972, P.A. 108, § 8; 1974, P.A. 74-254, § 8; 1994, P.A. 94-122, § 331, eff. Jan. 1, 1995; 2002, P.A. 02-111, § 49; 2005, P.A. 05-46, § 16; 2007, P.A. 07-91, § 24, eff. June 5, 2007; 2015, P.A. 15-235, § 35, eff. July 7, 2015; 2018, P.A. 18-173, § 81.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-805 Prohibited practices. Exception

(a) No consumer collection agency or control person shall: (1) Furnish legal advice or perform legal services or represent that it is competent to do so, or institute judicial proceedings on behalf of others; (2) communicate with consumer debtors, property tax debtors or federal income tax debtors in the name of an attorney or upon the stationery of an attorney, or prepare any forms or instruments which only attorneys are authorized to prepare; (3) receive assignments as a third party of claims for the purpose of collection or institute suit thereon in any court; (4) assume authority on behalf of a creditor to employ or terminate the services of an attorney unless such creditor has authorized such agency in writing to act as such creditor’s agent in the selection of an attorney to collect the creditor’s accounts; (5) demand or obtain in any manner a share of the proper compensation for services performed by an attorney in collecting a claim, whether or not such agency has previously attempted collection thereof; (6) solicit claims for collection under an ambiguous or deceptive contract; (7) refuse to return any claim or claims upon written request of the creditor, claimant or forwarder, which claims are not in the process of collection after the tender of such amounts, if any, as may be due and owing to the agency; (8) advertise or threaten to advertise for sale any claim as a means of forcing payment thereof, unless such agency is acting as the assignee for the benefit of creditors; (9) refuse or fail to account for and remit to its clients all money collected which is not in dispute within sixty days from the last day of the month in which said money is collected; (10) refuse or intentionally fail to return to the creditor all valuable papers deposited with a claim when such claim is returned; (11) refuse or fail to furnish at intervals of not less than ninety days, upon the written request of the creditor, claimant or forwarder, a written report upon claims received from such creditor, claimant or forwarder; (12) add any post-charge-off charge or fee for cost of collection, unless such cost is a court cost, to the amount of any claim which it receives for collection or knowingly accept for collection any claim to which any such charge or fee has already been added to the amount of the claim unless (A) the consumer debtor is legally liable for such charge or fee as determined by the contract or other evidence of an agreement between the consumer debtor and creditor, a copy of which shall be obtained by or available to the consumer collection agency from the creditor and maintained as part of the records of the consumer collection agency or the creditor, or both, and (B) the total charge or fee for cost of collection does not exceed fifteen per cent of the total amount actually collected and accepted as payment in full satisfaction of the debt; (13) use or attempt to use or make reference to the term “bonded by the state of Connecticut”, “bonded” or “bonded collection agency” or any combination of such terms or words, except the word “bonded” may be used on the stationery of any such agency in type not larger than twelve-point; (14) when the debt is beyond the statute of limitations, fail to provide the following disclosure in type not less than ten-point informing the consumer debtor in its initial communication with such consumer debtor that (A) when collecting on debt that is not past the date for obsolescence provided for in Section 605(a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681c: “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, (INSERT OWNER NAME) will not sue you for it. If you do not pay the debt, (INSERT OWNER NAME) may report or continue to report it to the credit reporting agencies as unpaid”; and (B) when collecting on debt that is past the date for obsolescence provided for in Section 605(a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681c: “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, (INSERT OWNER NAME) will not sue you for it and (INSERT OWNER NAME) will not report it to any credit reporting agencies.”; (15) engage in any activities prohibited by sections 36a-800 to 36a-814, inclusive; or (16) fail to establish, enforce and maintain policies and procedures for supervising employees, agents and office operations that are reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable consumer collection laws and regulations.

(b) No consumer collection agency shall impose a charge or fee for any child support payments collected through the efforts of a governmental agency. If the imposition of a charge or fee is permitted under section 36a-801b, no consumer collection agency shall impose a charge or fee for the collection of any child support overdue at the time of the contract in excess of twenty-five per cent of overdue support actually collected.

(c)
(1) No consumer collection agency shall receive any property tax on behalf of a creditor that is a municipality, unless the consumer collection agency has procured from an insurer authorized to transact business in this state an insurance policy providing coverage against loss of money, securities or other property, including loss arising from any fraudulent or dishonest act of any employee, officer or director of the consumer collection agency, with limits of at least two million dollars. It shall be the obligation of the municipality to ensure compliance with the requirements of this subdivision.
(2) A municipality that enters into an agreement with a consumer collection agency to collect and receive for payment property tax on behalf of the municipality may also require such consumer collection agency to file a bond with the municipality in an amount not exceeding the total amount of the property tax to be collected on behalf of the municipality. Such bond, the form of which shall be approved by the municipality, shall be written by a surety authorized to write bonds in this state and shall contain a provision requiring the surety to provide the municipality with written notice of cancellation of such bond. Such notice shall be sent by certified mail to the municipality at least thirty days prior to the date of cancellation. The bond shall be conditioned that such consumer collection agency shall well, truly and faithfully account for all funds collected and received by the consumer collection agency for the municipality pursuant to such agreement. If the municipality is damaged by the wrongful conversion of any property tax debtor funds received by the consumer collection agency, the municipality may proceed on such bond against the principal or surety on the bond, or both, to recover damages. The proceeds of the bond, even if commingled with the other assets of the consumer collection agency, shall be deemed by operation of law to be held in trust for the benefit of the municipality in the event of bankruptcy of the consumer collection agency and shall be immune from attachment by creditors and judgment creditors.

(1953, Supp. § 2500c; 1955, Supp. § 3314d; 1958 Rev., § 42-131; 1971, P.A. 539, § 8; 1981, P.A. 81-183; 1984, P.A. 84-61, § 2, eff. May 2, 1984; 1992, P.A. 92-12, § 104; 2001, P.A. 01-207, § 6, eff. July 1, 2001; 2002, P.A. 02-111, § 50, eff. July 1, 2002; 2003, P.A. 03-262, § 3, eff. July 9, 2003; 2013, P.A. 13-253, § 26; 2015, P.A. 15-235, § 36, eff. July 7, 2015; 2016, P.A. 16-65, § 50; 2017, P.A. 17-233, § 31; 2017, P.A. 17-236, § 11, eff. July 11, 2017; 2018, P.A. 18-173, § 82.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-806 Prohibited practices within and without state. Examination of affairs

(a) No consumer collection agency shall engage in this state in any practice which is prohibited in section 36a-805 or determined pursuant to section 36a-808 to be an unfair or deceptive act or practice, nor shall any consumer collection agency engage outside of this state in any act or practice prohibited in said section 36a-805. The commissioner shall have power to examine the affairs of every consumer collection agency in this state in order to determine whether it has been or is engaged in any act or practice prohibited by sections 36a-805 to 36a-808, inclusive.

(b) No creditor or consumer collection agency shall retain, hire, or engage the services or continue to retain or engage the services of any person who engages in the business of a consumer collection agency and who is not licensed to act as such by the commissioner, if such creditor has actual knowledge that such person is not licensed by the commissioner to act as a consumer collection agency.

(1958 Rev., § 42-131a; 1971, P.A. 539, § 7; 1978, P.A. 78-226, § 2; 2009, P.A. 09-208, § 37; 2017, P.A. 17-236, § 15.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-807 Liability

No order of the commissioner under sections 36a-805 to 36a-808, inclusive, shall relieve or absolve any person affected by such order from any liability under any other laws of this state.

(1958 Rev., § 42-131b; 1971, P.A. 539, § 9; 1972, P.A. 108, § 9; 1974, P.A. 74-254, §§ 9, 11; 1976, P.A. 76-436, § 638, eff. July 1, 1978; 1978, P.A. 78-226, § 3; 1978, P.A. 78-280, §§ 1, 5, eff. July 1, 1978; 1982, P.A. 82-174, §§ 9, 13, eff. May 17, 1982; 1988, P.A. 88-230, § 1; 1990, P.A. 90-98, § 1; 1992, P.A. 92-12, § 105; 1993, P.A. 93-142, § 4, eff. June 14, 1993; 1994, P.A. 94-122, § 332, eff. Jan. 1, 1995; 2009, P.A. 09-208, § 38.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-808 Unfair or deceptive practices. Enforcement action

Whenever the commissioner has reason to believe that any consumer collection agency is engaging in this state in any act or practice in the conduct of such business which is not defined in section 36a-805, and that such act or practice is unfair or deceptive, the commissioner may take action against such consumer collection agency in accordance with sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

(1958 Rev., § 42-131c; 1971, P.A. 539, § 10; 1974, P.A. 74-254, § 10; 1978, P.A. 78-226, § 4; 1978, P.A. 78-280, § 2, eff. July 1, 1978; 1982, P.A. 82-174, § 10, eff. May 17, 1982; 1994, P.A. 94-122, § 333, eff. Jan. 1, 1995; 2009, P.A. 09-208, § 39; 2013, P.A. 13-253, § 27.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-809 Commissioner’s powers. Regulations

The powers vested in the commissioner by sections 36a-805 to 36a-808, inclusive, shall be additional to any other powers to enforce any penalties, fines or forfeitures authorized by law with respect to the methods, acts and practices prohibited or declared to be unfair or deceptive, and the commissioner may adopt such regulations, in accordance with chapter 54,1 as may be necessary for the conduct of the consumer collection agency business.

(1958 Rev., § 42-131d; 1971, P.A. 539, § 11; 1973, P.A. 73-428; 1994, P.A. 94-122, § 334, eff. Jan. 1, 1995.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-810 Penalty

Any person who operates a consumer collection agency without a license as required by sections 36a-800 to 36a-812, inclusive, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Any person who violates any other provision of said sections shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. The state’s attorney or assistant state’s attorney for the superior court having jurisdiction in each town shall diligently inquire and make due complaint to the court of all violations of said sections which come to his knowledge, by investigation of report.

(1958 Rev., § 42-133a; 1971, P.A. 539, § 12; 1974, P.A. 74-183, § 270, eff. Dec. 31, 1974; 1976, P.A. 76-436, § 233, eff. July 1, 1978; 2015, P.A. 15-235, § 37, eff. July 7, 2015.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-811 Maintenance of consumer debtor and creditor records

(a) Each consumer collection agency shall maintain its consumer debtor and creditor records so as to clearly identify the amounts and dates of all payments collected or received from consumer debtors and all remittances made to creditors. Consumer debtor and creditor records shall be kept so as to be readily available to the Banking Commissioner and retained for a period of not less than two years after the date of final entry thereon. All accounting records shall be maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices. Each consumer collection agency engaged in the business of collecting child support shall maintain originals or copies of the written agreements entered into with the creditors to whom the child support is owed for a period of not less than two years after the date of the last payment made by the consumer debtor to the consumer collection agency.

(b) Each consumer collection agency, except a consumer collection agency engaged solely in the business of debt buying, shall deposit funds collected or received from consumer debtors for payment for others on an account, bill or other indebtedness in one or more trust accounts maintained at a federally insured bank, Connecticut credit union, federal credit union or an out-of-state bank that maintains in this state a branch as defined in section 36a-410, which accounts shall be reconciled monthly. Such funds shall not be commingled with funds of the consumer collection agency or used in the conduct of the consumer collection agency’s business. Such account shall not be used for any purpose other than (1) the deposit of funds received from consumer debtors, (2) the payment of such funds to creditors, (3) the refund of any overpayments to be made to consumer debtors, and (4) the payment of earned fees to the consumer collection agency, which shall be withdrawn on a monthly basis. Except for payments authorized by subdivisions (2) to (4), inclusive, of this subsection, any withdrawal from such account, including, but not limited to, any service charge or other fee imposed against such account by a depository institution, shall be reimbursed by the consumer collection agency to such account not more than thirty days after the withdrawal. Funds received from consumer debtors shall be posted to their respective accounts in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

(2013, P.A. 13-253, § 24; 2016, P.A. 16-65, § 51; 2018, P.A. 18-173, § 83.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-812 Compliance with Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Each consumer collection agency shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC Section 1692 et seq., as from time to time amended, and any regulations adopted under said act. In addition to any other remedies provided by law, a violation of such federal law or regulation shall be deemed to be a violation of this section and a basis upon which the Banking Commissioner may take enforcement action pursuant to section 36a-804.

(2013, P.A. 13-253, § 25.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-813 Evidence in cause of action for purchased debt owed by consumer debtor

(a) In any cause of action initiated by a consumer collection agency that purchased debt from a creditor for liability on the debt owed by a consumer debtor, the consumer collection agency shall file with the court evidence in accordance with the rules of the Superior Court to establish the amount and nature of the debt prior to the court’s entry of a judgment against the consumer debtor. Such evidence shall include a copy of the assignment or other documentation (1) establishing that the plaintiff is the owner of the debt, (2) containing the original or charge-off account number, if any, which can be partially redacted to protect the privacy of the consumer debtor, and the name associated with the debt, and (3) if the debt has been assigned more than once, the name, address and dates of ownership of each assignor, and a copy of each assignment or other documentation that establishes an unbroken chain of ownership of the debt by the plaintiff.

(b) In the case of a claim for default judgment the plaintiff shall file, in addition to the evidence required under the rules of the Superior Court, a sworn affidavit that lists the name, address and dates of ownership of each owner of the debt, from the charge-off creditor to the current owner. The plaintiff shall attach documentation to the affidavit that fully substantiates the amount of the debt. If the debt is a credit card debt subject to federal charge-off requirements, the following documents shall, subject to subsection (c) of this section, suffice to substantiate the debt: (1) A copy of the most recent monthly statement recording a purchase transaction, service billed, last payment or balance transfer, (2) a statement that reflects the charge-off balance, (3) with respect to consumer debt purchased on or after October 1, 2016, an additional monthly account statement sent to the consumer debtor while the account was active, which shows the consumer debtor’s name and address, (4) such other statements, if any, required by the federal consumer financial protection bureau in its regulations, and (5) post-charge-off itemization of the balance if the balance is different from the charge-off amount.

(c) Nothing in this section shall prevent the judicial authority or the rules of the Superior Court from requiring the submission of additional written documentation or the presence of the plaintiff, the authorized representative of the plaintiff or other affiants or counsel before the judicial authority prior to rendering judgment if it appears to the judicial authority that additional information or evidence is required in order to enter judgment.

(d) This section shall apply prospectively and shall not apply to any debt collection action commenced prior to October 1, 2016, or to debt purchased by a licensed mortgage lender pursuant to a recourse requirement.

(e) A consumer collection agency that purchased the debt shall indicate when any of the items produced pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section have been redacted by either blacking out the text or otherwise indicating in writing on such document that text has been redacted.

(2016, P.A. 16-65, § 52; 2017, P.A. 17-236, § 8, eff. July 11, 2017.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

C.G.S.A. § 36a-814 Initiation of cause of action for purchased debt prohibited when statute of limitations has expired. Limitations period not extended by payment or affirmation

(a) For the purposes of this section, “creditor” has the same meaning as in section 36a-645.

(b) No creditor or consumer collection agency that purchased debt shall initiate a cause of action to collect the debt owed by a consumer debtor when such creditor or consumer collection agency knows or reasonably should know that the applicable statute of limitations on such cause of action has expired.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when the applicable statute of limitations on a cause of action to collect debt owed by a consumer has expired, any subsequent payment toward or oral or written affirmation of the debt owed by the consumer shall not extend the limitations period within which the creditor or consumer collection agency that purchased the debt may bring the cause of action.

(2016, P.A. 16-65, § 53.)
The statutes and Constitution are current through the 2018 February Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

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