ORS 697.031¹
Registration procedure
  • bond or letter of credit
  • fees
  • procedures for out-of-state collection agencies
  • rules

(1)(a) The Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services shall establish by rule a program for registering persons that operate as collection agencies that must register with the Department of Consumer and Business Services under ORS 697.015 (Registration requirement). The department shall require applicants for registration to file and registrants to maintain with the department current information the department requires by rule.

(b) The director, consistent with the requirements of ORS 697.005 (Definitions for ORS 697.005 to 697.095) to 697.095 (Civil penalties), may issue and renew registrations under this section by means of an agreement with the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and may, by rule, conform the practices, procedures and information that the department uses to issue or renew a registration to the requirements of the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System.

(c) The department may require any information necessary to carry out a program under this subsection, including but not limited to:

(A) The name and address of the applicant or registrant.

(B) Any assumed names or business names the applicant or registrant uses.

(C) Names of persons who perform the solicitation or collection of claims or who perform the solicitation of the right to repossess or the repossession of collateral security for the applicant or registrant.

(D) Names of persons who are agents of the applicant or registrant for purposes of service of legal process.

(E) Fingerprints for any of the applicant’s executive officers, and officers and managers with supervisory responsibility over the applicant’s activities, with which the director may conduct a criminal records check that the director may process through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System.

(2)(a) The director shall require any person who applies for registration as a collection agency, other than an out-of-state collection agency, to file with the director a bond or an irrevocable letter of credit in the sum of $10,000 executed by the applicant as obligor, together with one or more corporate sureties or financial institutions authorized to do business in this state. The bond or an irrevocable letter of credit must be executed to the State of Oregon and for the use of the state and of any person who may have a cause of action against the obligor of the bond or an irrevocable letter of credit under ORS 697.005 (Definitions for ORS 697.005 to 697.095) to 697.095 (Civil penalties). The bond or irrevocable letter of credit must be conditioned to require the applicant to faithfully conform to and abide by the provisions of ORS 697.005 (Definitions for ORS 697.005 to 697.095) to 697.095 (Civil penalties) and all rules the director adopts under ORS 697.005 (Definitions for ORS 697.005 to 697.095) to 697.095 (Civil penalties), and will pay to the state and to any such person any and all moneys that may become due or owing to the state or to such person from the obligor under and by virtue of the provisions of ORS 697.005 (Definitions for ORS 697.005 to 697.095) to 697.095 (Civil penalties).

(b) A person that obtains a judgment against a registrant for violating ORS 697.005 (Definitions for ORS 697.005 to 697.095) to 697.095 (Civil penalties) or a rule that the director adopts under ORS 697.005 (Definitions for ORS 697.005 to 697.095) to 697.095 (Civil penalties), or for other misconduct, may bring in a circuit court of this state an action against the bond or irrevocable letter of credit described in this subsection for any amount the person does not obtain by executing the judgment against the registrant.

(c) The bond or an irrevocable letter of credit required by this subsection must be continuously maintained in the amount required by this subsection. The aggregate liability of the surety under the bond for claims against the bond may not exceed the penal sum of the bond no matter how many years the bond is in force. An extension by continuation certificate, reinstatement, reissue or renewal of the bond does not increase the liability of the surety.

(3) The director may, in the program for registration established under this section:

(a) Require any filings with the department that the director determines are necessary to maintain current the information required for registration. Filings required under this subsection may include renewal of registration at reasonable intervals, filings within a reasonable time after changes in a collection agency or other filings the director determines are necessary. In requiring filings under this subsection, the director shall attempt to minimize burdens the filings might place on persons required to file.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, establish and require persons filing with the department under this section to pay fees for any registration or filing made with the department. The director may not establish fees for more than an amount necessary to cover the administrative costs of the filing or registration.

(c) Establish the program in any division of the department the director determines is best able to administer the program.

(d) Issue, but not require, certificates of registration or other indicia of registration that the director determines will assist a registrant to establish that the registrant is registered with the department.

(4) An out-of-state collection agency is exempt from the registration fee under this section if the out-of-state collection agency is registered in another state and the other state does not require payment of an initial fee by a person who collects debts in the other state only by means of interstate communications from the person’s location in another state.

(5) The director shall charge an out-of-state collection agency a fee to register in this state that is not less than the fee the other state would charge a collection agency that collects debts solely by means of interstate communications from a location outside the other state, unless the out-of-state collection agency is exempt from paying a registration fee under this section.

(6) If another state exempts a collection agency that is located and registered in this state from a requirement to register in the other state, the director shall exempt a collection agency that is located and, if necessary, registered in the other state from the requirement to register in this state under ORS 697.005 (Definitions for ORS 697.005 to 697.095) to 697.095 (Civil penalties).

(7) The department shall maintain current records of the information required for registration under this section. [1981 c.85 §5; 1983 c.69 §1; 1991 c.627 §1; 1995 c.622 §3; 1997 c.249 §211; 2019 c.106 §2]

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—Cashing Businesses; Debt Management Service Providers, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors697.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 697, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano697.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
 
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.
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