OCCUPATIONAL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 299 of 1980
339.915 Licensee; prohibited acts.
A licensee shall not commit 1 or more of the following acts:
(a) Communicating with a debtor in a misleading or deceptive manner, such as using the stationery of an attorney or the stationery of a credit bureau unless it is disclosed that it is the collection department of the credit bureau.
(b) Using forms or instruments which simulate the appearance of judicial process.
(c) Using seals or printed forms of a government agency or instrumentality.
(d) Using forms that may otherwise induce the belief that they have judicial or official sanction.
(e) Making an inaccurate, misleading, untrue, or deceptive statement or claim in a communication to collect a debt or concealing or not revealing the purpose of a communciation when it is made in connection with collecting a debt.
(f) Misrepresenting in a communication with a debtor any of the following:
(i) The legal status of a legal action being taken or threatened.
(ii) The legal rights of the creditor or debtor.
(iii) That the nonpayment of a debt will result in the debtor's arrest or imprisonment, or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of the debtor's property.
(iv) That accounts have been turned over to innocent purchasers for value.
(g) Communicating with a debtor without accurately disclosing the caller's identity or cause expenses to the debtor for a long distance telephone call, telegram, or other charge.
(h) Communicating with a debtor, except through billing procedure, when the debtor is actively represented by an attorney, the attorney's name and address are known, and the attorney has been contacted in writing by the credit grantor or the credit grantor's representative or agent, unless the attorney representing the debtor fails to answer written communication or fails to discuss the claim on its merits within 30 days after receipt of the written communication.
(i) Communicating information relating to a debtor's indebtedness to an employer or an employer's agent unless the communication is specifically authorized in writing by the debtor subsequent to the forwarding of the claim for collection, the communication is in response to an inquiry initiated by the debtor's employer or the employer's agent, or the communication is for the purpose of acquiring location information about the debtor.
(j) Using or employing, in connection with collection of a claim, a person acting as a peace or law enforcement officer or any other officer authorized to serve legal papers.
(k) Using or threatening to use physical violence in connection with collection of a claim.
(l) Publishing, causing to be published, or threatening to publish lists of debtors, except for credit reporting purposes when in response to a specific inquiry from a prospective credit grantor about a debtor.
(m) Using a shame card, shame automobile, or otherwise bring to public notice that the consumer is a debtor, except with respect to a legal proceeding which is instituted.
(n) Using a harassing, oppressive, or abusive method to collect a debt, including causing a telephone to ring or engaging a person in telephone conversation repeatedly, continuously, or at unusual times or places which are known to be inconvenient to the debtor. All communications shall be made from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. unless the debtor expressly agrees in writing to communications at another time. All telephone communications made from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. shall be presumed to be made at an inconvenient time in the absence of facts to the contrary.
(o) Using profane or obscene language.
(p) Using a method contrary to a postal law or regulation to collect an account.
(q) Failing to implement a procedure designed to prevent a violation by an employee.
(r) Communicating with a consumer regarding a debt by postcard.
History: 1980, Act 299, Imd. Eff. Oct. 21, 1980
Am. 1981, Act 83, Imd. Eff. July 1, 1981
Compiler's Notes: In subdivision (e), “communciation” evidently should read “communication.”
Popular Name: Act 299