2007 ORS 697.045¹
Status of accounts and claims assigned to agency
  • rights of assignor
  • appearance in small claims or justice court
  • registration as condition of access to courts

(1) A registered collection agency has a property right in any claim or account assigned to the agency in writing for collection. Except as may be otherwise provided in writing between the assignor of the claim or account and the registered collection agency, the registered collection agency as assignee of the claim or account, in its own name, may:

(a) Collect the claim or account;

(b) Compromise or accept settlement of the claim or account;

(c) Bring and maintain an action to recover the amount owing from the claim or account; and

(d) With prior written approval of the assignor, transfer or forward the claim or account to another collection agency for collection.

(2) Except as may be otherwise provided in writing between the assignor of the claim or account and the registered collection agency, the assignor may withdraw the claim or account from the agency at any time without condition or charge.

(3) Notwithstanding ORS 9.160 (Bar membership required to practice law) and 9.320 (Necessity for employment of attorney), in any action in the small claims department of a circuit court or justice court a registered collection agency may appear as a party without appearance by attorney for the purpose of recovering the amount owing on a claim or account assigned to the agency in writing for collection. The provisions of this subsection apply to any supplementary proceeding in aid of execution after entry of a judgment in the small claims department.

(4) No collection agency is entitled to bring or maintain an action involving the collection of a claim or account on behalf of its customers in any courts of this state without alleging and proving that it is duly registered under ORS 697.015 (Registration required to operate as collection agency) and 697.031 (Registration procedure). A registration certificate or a certification of registration by the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services for any designated time period shall be received by the court as prima facie evidence of the collection agency’s registration for the time period designated. [1981 c.85 §7; 2003 c.78 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Holder of license issued pursuant to these sec­tions who voluntarily surrenders it to the issuing authority with the inten­tion of abandoning it is in the same posi­tion as a new applicant who seeks the right to engage in the ac­tivity for which the license is re­quired. State ex rel Black v. American Recovery, Ltd., 12 Or App 139, 505 P2d 1166 (1973)

Collec­tion agencies which solicit and collect claims of third parties upon contingent fee basis are not involved in unauthorized practice of law. Messmer v. Carter/Bonded Credit Company, 282 Or 323, 578 P2d 788 (1978)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Applica­tion to out-of-state businesses whose only contact with Oregon debtors is through telephonic or mail communica­tion, (1980) Vol 40, p 358

Chapter 697

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Duty of merchant using third party letterhead purchased from collec­tion letter service to obtain license, (1972) Vol 36, p 79

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 697—Collection Agencies; Check-Cashing Businesses; Debt Consolidating Agencies, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­697.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 697, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­697ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.