SENATE BILL No. 385

 

 

May 17, 2017, Introduced by Senators STAMAS and JONES and referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform.

 

 

     A bill to amend 1980 PA 299, entitled

 

"Occupational code,"

 

by amending section 915a (MCL 339.915a), as amended by 1996 PA 151.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 915a. A licensee shall not commit any of the following

 

acts:

 

     (a) Listing the name of an attorney in a written or oral

 

communication, collection letter, or publication, unless the

 

attorney is an employee of the licensee and is engaged in

 

collecting a claim.

 

     (b) Furnishing legal advice, or otherwise engaging in the

 

practice of law, or representing that the person is competent to do

 

so, or to institute a judicial proceeding on behalf of another.

 

This subdivision does not apply to an attorney who is an employee

 

of the licensee.


     (c) Sharing quarters or office space, or having a common

 

waiting room with a practicing attorney or a lender.lender or with

 

a practicing attorney who is not an employee of the licensee.

 

     (d) Employing or retaining Retaining an attorney to collect a

 

claim. A licensee may exercise authority on behalf of a creditor to

 

employ the service of retain an attorney if the creditor has

 

specifically authorized the collection agency in writing to do so

 

and the licensee's course of conduct is at all times consistent

 

with a true relationship of attorney and client between the

 

attorney and the creditor. After referral to an attorney, the

 

creditor shall be is the client of the attorney, and the licensee

 

shall not represent the client in court. The licensee may act as an

 

agent of the creditor in dealing with the attorney only if the

 

creditor has specifically authorized the licensee to do so in

 

writing. This subdivision does not apply to a licensee that employs

 

an attorney, or to an attorney who is employed by a licensee, to

 

engage in the collection of claims.

 

     (e) Demanding or obtaining a share of the compensation for

 

service performed by an attorney in collecting a claim or demand,

 

or collecting or receiving a fee or other compensation from a

 

consumer for collecting a claim, other than a claim owing the

 

creditor pursuant to the provisions unless the claim is owed to the

 

creditor under the terms of the original agreement between the

 

creditor and debtor. This subdivision does not apply to a licensee

 

that employs an attorney, or to an attorney who is employed by a

 

licensee, to engage in the collection of claims.

 

     (f) Soliciting, purchasing, or receiving an assignment of a


claim for the sole purpose of instituting an action on the claim in

 

a court.

 

     (g) Advertising or threatening to advertise for sale a claim

 

as a means of forcing payment of the claim, unless the collection

 

agency is acting as the assignee for the benefit of creditors or

 

acting under an order of a court.

 

     (h) Failing to deposit money collected into the trust account

 

required to be maintained under this article.

 

     (i) Commingling money collected for a client with the

 

collection agency's own general or operating funds.

 

     (j) Using a part of a client's money in the conduct of a

 

collection agency's business.

 

     (k) Refusing or intentionally failing to remit to a client all

 

money collected, due, and owing the client, less any commission

 

owed to the licensee, within 45 days after the day on which the

 

money was is collected.

 

     (l) Failing to give a debtor a written receipt for cash

 

payment, or for any other payment when if a receipt is specifically

 

requested, showing the amount of money received, and the debt to

 

which it was applied the licensee is applying the money, and the

 

name of the specific account receiving the money.

 

     (m) Refusing or intentionally failing to return to a creditor

 

all original documents deposited with the claim when the claim is

 

returned, if requested. When requested by the creditor, there shall

 

be a signed agreement between the agency and the creditor if any If

 

the licensee charges a closing out fee is charged to the creditor

 

for returning unpaid claims returned or discontinuing collection


activities, discontinued.the licensee shall enter into a written

 

agreement with the creditor concerning those fees if requested by

 

the creditor.

 

     (n) Identifying the collection agency other than by the name

 

appearing that appears on the license.

 

     (o) Permitting an employee to use a name other than the

 

employee's own name or the assumed name registered by the licensee

 

with the department in the collection of a debt.

 

     (p) Operating under a name or in a manner that implies or

 

states that the collection agency is a branch of, or associated

 

with, or has been approved or licensed by, a department of federal,

 

state, or local government, or that implies that the collection

 

agency is a credit reporting agency that regularly furnishing a

 

credit report provides credit reports about consumers unless it is

 

a credit reporting agency.

 

     (q) Accepting a check or other payment instrument postdated by

 

more than 5 days unless the debtor is notified in writing of the

 

person's intent to deposit a postdated check or instrument not more

 

than 10 nor less fewer than 3 business days before the deposit.

 

     (r) Depositing or threatening to deposit a postdated check or

 

other postdated payment instrument before the date on the postdated

 

check or instrument.

 

     Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect 90 days

 

after the date it is enacted into law.