[Rev. 11/21/2013 1:00:16 PM--2013]

CHAPTER 649 - COLLECTION AGENCIES

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 649.005           Definitions.

NRS 649.010           “Claim” defined.

NRS 649.020           “Collection agency” defined.

NRS 649.025           “Collection agent” defined.

NRS 649.026           “Commissioner” defined.

NRS 649.030           “Customer” defined.

NRS 649.035           “Manager” defined.

NRS 649.045           Legislative finding and declaration.

COLLECTION AGENCY ADVISORY BOARD

NRS 649.047           Creation; members; terms and compensation of members; Chair; quorum; meetings.

NRS 649.049           Powers of Board.

ADMINISTRATION

NRS 649.051           Administration and enforcement of chapter.

NRS 649.053           Regulations.

NRS 649.054           Regulations authorizing collection from location outside of Nevada; standards for trust accounts.

NRS 649.056           Regulations prescribing methods of conducting business; investigations and examinations.

NRS 649.057           Investigations and hearings.

NRS 649.059           Approval of printed forms.

NRS 649.061           Notification of results of examination; retention and destruction of papers.

NRS 649.065           Records: Maintenance by Commissioner; contents; general provisions governing confidentiality and public inspection.

NRS 649.067           Records: Certain records relating to investigation deemed confidential; certain records relating to disciplinary action deemed public records.

LICENSING OF COLLECTION AGENCIES AND COLLECTION AGENTS

NRS 649.075           License required; exception.

NRS 649.085           Qualifications of applicant for license.

NRS 649.095           Application for license: Contents; submission of fingerprints and financial statement; examination of applicant; withdrawal of application.

NRS 649.105           Bond or substitute security required; amount and conditions; adjustments in amount.

NRS 649.115           Form of bond; matters covered by bond; statute of limitations for bringing action on bond.

NRS 649.119           Deposit as substitute for bond.

NRS 649.125           Investigation by Commissioner.

NRS 649.135           Order approving application; findings.

NRS 649.145           Conditions for issuance of license; contents of license.

NRS 649.155           Order denying application; notice of denial.

NRS 649.165           Rights of licensee.

NRS 649.167           Permit for branch office; examination of principal office; manager required on premises.

FOREIGN COLLECTION AGENCIES

NRS 649.171           Certificate of registration; limitations on business practices; fees; disciplinary action; regulations.

MANAGERS

NRS 649.175           Manager’s certificate required.

NRS 649.185           Application to Commissioner.

NRS 649.196           Applicant for certificate: Qualifications; requirements; notice of refusal to issue certificate; request for hearing; withdrawal of application.

NRS 649.205           Examination.

NRS 649.215           Grounds for refusing examination or suspending or revoking certificate.

NRS 649.225           Issuance of certificate; notice of manager’s change of residence address.

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

NRS 649.233           Payment of child support: Submission of certain information by applicant; grounds for denial of license or manager’s certificate; duty of Commissioner. [Effective until the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings.]

NRS 649.233           Payment of child support: Submission of certain information by applicant; grounds for denial of license or manager’s certificate; duty of Commissioner. [Effective on the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings and expires by limitation 2 years after that date.]

NRS 649.235           Expiration; licenses and certificates not transferable.

NRS 649.245           Renewal.

NRS 649.250           Recording of telephone conversations.

FEES

NRS 649.295           Amounts; deposit.

NRS 649.297           Fee for failure to submit reports.

NRS 649.300           Payment of assessment; cooperation with audits and examinations.

CONDUCT OF BUSINESS; PROHIBITED PRACTICES

NRS 649.305           Collection agency not to operate without manager.

NRS 649.315           Display of license or certificate.

NRS 649.325           Change of location of business.

NRS 649.330           Notification of change in management or ownership of voting stock; application for licensure of replacement; investigation; costs; waiver.

NRS 649.332           Verification of debt.

NRS 649.334           Written agreement to be specific, intelligible and unambiguous; money collected to be credited first to principal; partial collection of claim prohibited; accounting of money collected on behalf of customer.

NRS 649.3345         Withdrawal of claim by customer.

NRS 649.335           Retention and examinations of records and accounts.

NRS 649.345           Annual reports to Commissioner.

NRS 649.355           Business ethics and practices; trust accounts.

NRS 649.365           Approval of business name required; prohibition against use of certain names, terms and forms.

NRS 649.370           Violation of federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

NRS 649.375           Prohibited practices.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

NRS 649.385           Investigation of verified complaint; verified answer; action by Commissioner after informal hearing.

NRS 649.390           Investigation of verified complaint concerning unlicensed person; order to cease and desist; administrative fines; suit to recover fine; cumulative penalties.

NRS 649.395           Authorized disciplinary action; grounds for disciplinary action; effect of revocation of license; orders imposing discipline deemed public records.

NRS 649.398           Suspension of license or manager’s certificate for failure to pay child support or comply with certain subpoenas or warrants; reinstatement of license or manager’s certificate. [Effective until 2 years after the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings.]

NRS 649.400           Injunctive relief.

PENALTIES

NRS 649.435           Criminal penalty for violations; each day of unlawful operation constitutes separate offense.

NRS 649.440           Administrative fine for violations.

_________

 

GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 649.005  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and terms defined in NRS 649.010 to 649.035, inclusive, have the meanings ascribed to them in those sections.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 829; A 1983, 1710; 1985, 536)

      NRS 649.010  “Claim” defined.  “Claim” means any obligation for the payment of money or its equivalent that is past due.

      [Part 2:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.01]—(NRS A 1969, 835; 1995, 999)

      NRS 649.020  “Collection agency” defined.

      1.  “Collection agency” means all persons engaging, directly or indirectly, and as a primary or a secondary object, business or pursuit, in the collection of or in soliciting or obtaining in any manner the payment of a claim owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another.

      2.  “Collection agency” does not include any of the following unless they are conducting collection agencies:

      (a) Individuals regularly employed on a regular wage or salary, in the capacity of credit men or in other similar capacity upon the staff of employees of any person not engaged in the business of a collection agency or making or attempting to make collections as an incident to the usual practices of their primary business or profession.

      (b) Banks.

      (c) Nonprofit cooperative associations.

      (d) Unit-owners’ associations and the board members, officers, employees and units’ owners of those associations when acting under the authority of and in accordance with chapter 116 or 116B of NRS and the governing documents of the association, except for those community managers included within the term “collection agency” pursuant to subsection 3.

      (e) Abstract companies doing an escrow business.

      (f) Duly licensed real estate brokers, except for those real estate brokers who are community managers included within the term “collection agency” pursuant to subsection 3.

      (g) Attorneys and counselors at law licensed to practice in this State, so long as they are retained by their clients to collect or to solicit or obtain payment of such clients’ claims in the usual course of the practice of their profession.

      3.  “Collection agency”:

      (a) Includes a community manager while engaged in the management of a common-interest community or the management of an association of a condominium hotel if the community manager, or any employee, agent or affiliate of the community manager, performs or offers to perform any act associated with the foreclosure of a lien pursuant to NRS 116.31162 to 116.31168, inclusive, or 116B.635 to 116B.660, inclusive; and

      (b) Does not include any other community manager while engaged in the management of a common-interest community or the management of an association of a condominium hotel.

      4.  As used in this section:

      (a) “Community manager” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 116.023 or 116B.050.

      (b) “Unit-owners’ association” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 116.011 or 116B.030.

      [Part 2:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.01] + [14:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.13]—(NRS A 1969, 835; 2005, 1716, 1867; 2007, 12, 2293)

      NRS 649.025  “Collection agent” defined.  “Collection agent” means any person, whether or not regularly employed at a regular wage or salary, who in the capacity of a credit man or in any other similar capacity makes a collection, solicitation or investigation of a claim at a place or location other than the business premises of the collection agency, but does not include:

      1.  Employees of a collection agency whose activities and duties are restricted to the business premises of the collection agency.

      2.  The individuals, corporations and associations enumerated in subsection 2 of NRS 649.020.

      (Added to NRS by 1963, 1141; A 1969, 835)

      NRS 649.026  “Commissioner” defined.  “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

      (Added to NRS by 1983, 1710; A 1987, 1887)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 649.007)

      NRS 649.030  “Customer” defined.  “Customer” means any person authorizing or employing a collection agency for any of the purposes permitted or authorized by this chapter.

      [Part 2:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.01]—(NRS A 1969, 835)

      NRS 649.035  “Manager” defined.  “Manager” means a person who:

      1.  Holds a manager’s certificate;

      2.  Is designated as the manager of a collection agency;

      3.  Shares equally with the holder of a license to conduct a collection agency the responsibility for the operation of the collection agency; and

      4.  Devotes a majority of the hours he or she works as an employee of the agency to the actual management, operation and administration of that collection agency.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 829; A 1989, 2035)

      NRS 649.045  Legislative finding and declaration.  The Legislature finds and declares that:

      1.  There exists in this State a need for more stringent regulatory control over collection agencies to ensure that they are composed only of responsible and well qualified personnel.

      2.  It is the purpose of this chapter to:

      (a) Bring licensed collection agencies and their personnel under more stringent public supervision;

      (b) Establish a system of regulation to ensure that persons using the services of a collection agency are properly represented; and

      (c) Discourage improper and abusive collection methods.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 830; A 1995, 999)

COLLECTION AGENCY ADVISORY BOARD

      NRS 649.047  Creation; members; terms and compensation of members; Chair; quorum; meetings.

      1.  The Collection Agency Advisory Board, consisting of five members appointed by the Governor, is hereby created. The members appointed must be residents of this State and represent collection agencies.

      2.  After the initial terms, each member of the Board serves a term of 4 years. No member may serve more than two consecutive terms.

      3.  The Governor shall designate the Chair of the Board from its members.

      4.  Three members of the Board constitute a quorum, and a quorum may exercise all the powers conferred on the Board.

      5.  The Board shall meet regularly at least semiannually and may meet at other times upon the call of the Chair. While engaged in the business of the Board, each member is entitled to the per diem allowance and travel expenses provided for state officers and employees generally.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 2034; A 1991, 2211)

      NRS 649.049  Powers of Board.  The Collection Agency Advisory Board may make recommendations to the Legislature concerning the enactment of any legislation it deems necessary or appropriate relating to collection agencies.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 2034; A 1997, 1622)

ADMINISTRATION

      NRS 649.051  Administration and enforcement of chapter.  The Commissioner shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter, subject to the administrative supervision of the Director of the Department of Business and Industry.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 830; A 1983, 1710; 1987, 1887; 1993, 1894)

      NRS 649.053  Regulations.  The Commissioner shall adopt such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 830; A 1983, 1710; 1987, 1887; 1995, 999)

      NRS 649.054  Regulations authorizing collection from location outside of Nevada; standards for trust accounts.  The Commissioner may adopt regulations authorizing collection agencies licensed in this State to collect from a location outside of this State debts due or asserted to be due another person in this State. The Commissioner may, by regulation, establish standards for the establishment and maintenance of trust accounts to be used by collection agencies collecting debts pursuant to this section.

      (Added to NRS by 1991, 2211; A 1993, 2415)

      NRS 649.056  Regulations prescribing methods of conducting business; investigations and examinations.  The Commissioner may:

      1.  By regulation prescribe for collection agencies the method and manner of:

      (a) Keeping records.

      (b) Preparing and filing financial and other reports.

      (c) Handling trust funds and accounts.

      (d) The transfer or assignment of accounts and other agreements.

      (e) Using fair practices for the solicitation of business and collection of accounts.

      (f) The operation of such other phases of the business as may be necessary to promote the best interests of the industry and the public.

      2.  Conduct such investigations or examinations of collection agencies, their personnel, activities, books, records and other matters as may be necessary to ensure compliance with the purposes and provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 830; A 1983, 1710; 1987, 1887)

      NRS 649.057  Investigations and hearings.  In the conduct of any investigation or hearing, the Commissioner may:

      1.  Compel the attendance of any person by subpoena.

      2.  Administer oaths.

      3.  Examine any person under oath concerning the business and conduct of affairs of any person subject to the provisions of this chapter and in connection therewith require the production of any books, records or papers relevant to the inquiry.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 1507)

      NRS 649.059  Approval of printed forms.  The Commissioner may require collection agencies to submit any printed form of agreements, listing sheets, acknowledgments, communications or other documents used in its business for the Commissioner’s approval or disapproval.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 830; A 1983, 1711; 1987, 1888)

      NRS 649.061  Notification of results of examination; retention and destruction of papers.

      1.  The Commissioner shall notify all applicants for licensure or certification of the results of any examination taken under this chapter, by certified mail, as soon as the results are available.

      2.  All examination papers must be kept on file in the Office of the Commissioner for at least 1 year, after which they may be destroyed.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 833; A 1983, 1711; 1985, 314; 1987, 1888)

      NRS 649.065  Records: Maintenance by Commissioner; contents; general provisions governing confidentiality and public inspection.

      1.  The Commissioner shall keep in the Office of the Commissioner, in a suitable record provided for the purpose, all applications for certificates, licenses and all bonds required to be filed under this chapter. The record must state the date of issuance or denial of the license or certificate and the date and nature of any action taken against any of them.

      2.  All licenses and certificates issued must be sufficiently identified in the record.

      3.  All renewals must be recorded in the same manner as originals, except that, in addition, the number of the preceding license or certificate issued must be recorded.

      4.  Except for confidential information contained therein, the record must be open for inspection as a public record in the Office of the Commissioner.

      [12:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.11]—(NRS A 1959, 828; 1969, 841; 1983, 1711; 1985, 314, 376; 1987, 1888)

      NRS 649.067  Records: Certain records relating to investigation deemed confidential; certain records relating to disciplinary action deemed public records.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in this section and NRS 239.0115, a complaint filed with the Commissioner, all documents and other information filed with the complaint and all documents and other information compiled as a result of an investigation conducted to determine whether to initiate disciplinary action are confidential.

      2.  The complaint or other document filed by the Commissioner to initiate disciplinary action and all documents and information considered by the Commissioner when determining whether to impose discipline are public records.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 3475; A 2007, 2149)

LICENSING OF COLLECTION AGENCIES AND COLLECTION AGENTS

      NRS 649.075  License required; exception.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not conduct within this State a collection agency or engage within this State in the business of collecting claims for others, or of soliciting the right to collect or receive payment for another of any claim, or advertise, or solicit, either in print, by letter, in person or otherwise, the right to collect or receive payment for another of any claim, or seek to make collection or obtain payment of any claim on behalf of another without having first applied for and obtained a license from the Commissioner.

      2.  A person is not required to obtain a license if the person holds a certificate of registration as a foreign collection agency issued by the Commissioner pursuant to NRS 649.171.

      [1:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420]—(NRS A 1969, 836; 1983, 1711; 1987, 1888; 1993, 2415; 2005, 1867; 2007, 2500)

      NRS 649.085  Qualifications of applicant for license.  Every individual applicant, every officer and director of a corporate applicant, and every member of a firm or partnership applicant for a license as a collection agency or collection agent must submit proof satisfactory to the Commissioner that he or she:

      1.  Is a citizen of the United States or lawfully entitled to remain and work in the United States.

      2.  Has a good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness and integrity and is competent to transact the business of a collection agency in a manner which protects the interests of the general public.

      3.  Has not had a collection agency license suspended or revoked within the 10 years immediately preceding the date of the application.

      4.  Has not been convicted of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to:

      (a) A felony relating to the practice of collection agencies or collection agents; or

      (b) Any crime involving fraud, misrepresentation or moral turpitude.

      5.  Has not made a false statement of material fact on the application.

      6.  Will maintain one or more offices in this State or one or more offices in another state for the transaction of the business of his or her collection agency.

      7.  Has established a plan to ensure that his or her collection agency will provide the services of a collection agency adequately and efficiently.

      (Added to NRS by 1963, 1141; A 1969, 836; 1975, 1297; 1995, 999; 2003, 2731; 2007, 2500)

      NRS 649.095  Application for license: Contents; submission of fingerprints and financial statement; examination of applicant; withdrawal of application.

      1.  An application for a license must be in writing and filed with the Commissioner on a form provided for that purpose.

      2.  The application must state:

      (a) The name of the applicant and the name under which the applicant does business or expects to do business.

      (b) The address of the applicant’s business and residence, including street and number.

      (c) The character of the business sought to be carried on.

      (d) The locations by street and number where the business will be transacted.

      (e) In the case of a firm or partnership, the full names and residential addresses of all members or partners and the name and residential address of the manager.

      (f) In the case of a corporation or voluntary association, the name and residential address of each of the directors and officers and the name and residential address of the manager.

      (g) Any other information reasonably related to the applicant’s qualifications for the license which the Commissioner determines to be necessary.

      (h) All information required to complete the application.

      3.  In addition to any other requirements, each applicant or member, partner, director, officer or manager of an applicant shall submit to the Commissioner a complete set of fingerprints and written permission authorizing the Division of Financial Institutions of the Department of Business and Industry to forward the fingerprints to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its report.

      4.  The application must be subscribed by the applicant and acknowledged.

      5.  Every applicant may be examined concerning the applicant’s competency, experience, character and qualifications by the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s authorized agent, and if the examination reveals that the applicant lacks any of the required qualifications, issuance of the license must be denied. Every application must have attached to it a financial statement showing the assets, liabilities and net worth of the applicant.

      6.  The Commissioner shall consider an application to be withdrawn if the Commissioner has not received all information and fees required to complete the application within 6 months after the date the application is first submitted to the Commissioner or within such later period as the Commissioner determines in accordance with any existing policies of joint regulatory partners. If an application is deemed to be withdrawn pursuant to this subsection or if an applicant otherwise withdraws an application, the Commissioner may not issue a license to the applicant unless the applicant submits a new application and pays any required fees.

      [3:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.02]—(NRS A 1959, 826; 1963, 1142; 1967, 955; 1969, 836; 1983, 679, 1712; 1987, 1888; 1997, 2178; 2005, 1868, 2794, 2807; 2007, 98)

      NRS 649.105  Bond or substitute security required; amount and conditions; adjustments in amount.

      1.  An applicant for a license must file with the Commissioner, concurrently with the application, a bond in the sum of $35,000, or an appropriate substitute pursuant to NRS 649.119, which must run to the State of Nevada. The bond must be made and executed by the principal and a surety company authorized to write bonds in the State of Nevada.

      2.  The bonds must be conditioned:

      (a) That the principal, who must be the applicant, must, upon demand in writing, pay any customer from whom any claim for collection is received, the proceeds of the collection, in accordance with the terms of the agreement made between the principal and the customer; and

      (b) That the principal must comply with all requirements of this or any other statute with respect to the duties, obligations and liabilities of collection agencies.

      3.  Not later than 3 months after the issuance of the license and semiannually thereafter, the Commissioner shall determine the appropriate amount of bond or appropriate substitute which must be maintained by the licensee in accordance with the licensee’s average monthly balance in the trust account maintained pursuant to NRS 649.355:

 

                                                                                                                  AMOUNT OF

AVERAGE MONTHLY BALANCE                                        BOND REQUIRED

Less than $100,000........................................................................................ $35,000

$100,000 or more but less than $150,000................................................... 40,000

$150,000 or more but less than $200,000................................................... 50,000

$200,000 or more............................................................................................. 60,000

 

      [Part 4:237:1931; A 1935, 227; 1931 NCL § 1420.03]—(NRS A 1959, 826; 1981, 1432; 1983, 679, 1712; 1987, 1889; 1989, 518; 1995, 1000; 2005, 1869)

      NRS 649.115  Form of bond; matters covered by bond; statute of limitations for bringing action on bond.

      1.  The bond must be in a form approved by the Division of Financial Institutions of the Department of Business and Industry and conditioned that the applicant conduct his or her business in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

      2.  The bond must cover all matters placed with the licensee during the term of the license so applied for, or a renewal thereof.

      3.  No action may be brought upon any bond after the expiration of 2 years from the revocation or expiration of the license.

      4.  After the expiration of the period of 2 years, all liability of the surety or sureties upon the bond ceases if no action is commenced upon the bond before the expiration of the period.

      [Part 4:237:1931; A 1935, 227; 1931 NCL § 1420.03] + [10:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.09]—(NRS A 1967, 955; 1983, 1713; 1993, 1894)

      NRS 649.119  Deposit as substitute for bond.

      1.  An applicant for a license may deposit with any bank or trust company authorized to do business in this State, with the permission of the Commissioner, as a substitute for the surety bond required by NRS 649.105:

      (a) An obligation of a bank, savings and loan association, thrift company or credit union licensed to do business in this State;

      (b) Bills, bonds, notes, debentures or other obligations of the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or guaranteed by the United States; or

      (c) Any obligation of this State or any city, county, town, school district or other instrumentality of this State or guaranteed by this State, in an aggregate amount, based upon principal amount or market value, whichever is lower.

Ê The deposit must be in a form approved by the Commissioner.

      2.  The obligations of a bank, savings and loan association, thrift company or credit union must be held to secure the same obligation as would the surety bond. With the approval of the Commissioner, the depositor may substitute other suitable obligations for those deposited which must be assigned to the State of Nevada and are negotiable only upon approval by the Commissioner.

      3.  Any interest or dividends earned on the deposit accrue to the account of the depositor.

      4.  The deposit must be an amount at least equal to the required surety bond and must state that the amount may not be withdrawn except by direct and sole order of the Commissioner.

      5.  An applicant is not relieved of the obligation to file the required surety bond until the Commissioner has had a reasonable amount of time to verify whether a deposit made pursuant to this section qualifies as a substitute for the required surety bond.

      (Added to NRS by 1981, 1431; A 1983, 1713; 1987, 1889; 2005, 1870)

      NRS 649.125  Investigation by Commissioner.  Upon receiving an application for a license and bond in proper form along with payment of the required fee, the Commissioner shall investigate all the facts stated in the application and the requirements of NRS 649.135.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 830; A 1983, 1320, 1714; 1987, 1890)

      NRS 649.135  Order approving application; findings.  The Commissioner shall enter an order approving the application for a license, keep on file his or her findings of fact pertaining thereto, and permit the applicant to take the required examination, if the Commissioner finds that the applicant has met all the other requirements of this chapter pertaining to the applicant’s qualifications and application.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 831; A 1983, 1714; 1987, 1890; 1995, 1000)

      NRS 649.145  Conditions for issuance of license; contents of license.

      1.  If the Commissioner enters an order approving the application in accordance with NRS 649.135 and the applicant passes the required examination, pays the required license fee and submits all information required to complete the application, the Commissioner shall grant and issue a license to the applicant.

      2.  The license, when issued, must state:

      (a) The name of the licensee.

      (b) The locations by street and number where the licensee is authorized to carry on business.

      (c) The number and the date of the license.

      (d) That it is issued pursuant to this chapter, and that the licensee is authorized under this chapter.

      [Part 5:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.04]—(NRS A 1959, 826; 1963, 1142; 1969, 837; 1983, 1714; 1987, 1890; 1997, 2179; 2005, 2794, 2807)

      NRS 649.155  Order denying application; notice of denial.

      1.  If the Commissioner finds that any application or applicant for a collection agency license does not meet the requirements of NRS 649.135 or the applicant fails to pass the required examination, the Commissioner shall enter an order denying the application.

      2.  Within 10 days after the entry of such an order, the Commissioner shall mail or deliver to the applicant written notice of the denial in which all the reasons for such denial are stated.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 831; A 1983, 1714; 1987, 1891)

      NRS 649.165  Rights of licensee.  Upon receipt of the license, the licensee shall have the right to conduct the business of a collection agency with all the powers and privileges contained in, but subject to, the provisions of this chapter.

      [Part 5:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.04]—(Substituted in revision for NRS 649.100)

      NRS 649.167  Permit for branch office; examination of principal office; manager required on premises.

      1.  A collection agency licensed in this State may apply to the Commissioner for a permit to operate a branch office in this State in a location not previously approved by its license.

      2.  The Commissioner shall not issue a permit for a branch office until the principal office of the collection agency has been examined by the Commissioner and found to be satisfactory.

      3.  A branch office must have a manager on the premises during regular business hours.

      4.  The Commissioner shall adopt regulations concerning an application for a permit to operate a branch office.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 1508; A 1991, 2211)

FOREIGN COLLECTION AGENCIES

      NRS 649.171  Certificate of registration; limitations on business practices; fees; disciplinary action; regulations.

      1.  A person who is not licensed in this State as a collection agency may apply to the Commissioner for a certificate of registration as a foreign collection agency.

      2.  To be issued and to hold a certificate of registration as a foreign collection agency, a person:

      (a) Must meet the qualifications to do business as a collection agency in this State;

      (b) Must not have any employees or agents present in this State who engage in the collection of claims and must not maintain any business locations in this State as a collection agency;

      (c) Must submit proof to the Commissioner, upon application and upon each annual renewal of the certificate of registration, that the person and his or her employees and agents will not, in this State:

             (1) Engage in the business of soliciting the right to collect or receive payment for another of any claim;

             (2) Respond to a bid, proposal or invitation for the right to collect or receive payment for another of any claim, unless the bid, proposal or invitation is for the collection of claims owed by residents of another state; or

             (3) Advertise or solicit, either in print, by letter, in person or otherwise, the right to collect or receive payment for another of any claim;

      (d) When collecting claims against debtors who are present in this State, must:

             (1) Limit his or her activities and those of his or her employees and agents to interstate communications by telephone, mail or facsimile;

             (2) Limit his or her activities and those of his or her employees and agents to the collection of claims from residents of this State on behalf of residents of another state; and

             (3) Comply with the requirements of NRS 649.305 to 649.375, inclusive, with regard to his or her activities and those of his or her employees and agents;

      (e) Must pay:

             (1) A fee to apply for a certificate of registration of not less than $200 prorated on the basis of the registration year as determined by the Commissioner; and

             (2) An annual renewal fee of not more than $200;

      (f) Must deposit and maintain a bond or an appropriate substitute for the bond in the same manner as an applicant or licensee pursuant to NRS 649.105, 649.115 and 649.119;

      (g) Must maintain the accounts, books and records of the collection agency in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and in accordance with the requirements of subsection 1 of NRS 649.335; and

      (h) Must pay any fees related to any examination of the accounts, books and records of the collection agency conducted by the Commissioner pursuant to subsection 3.

      3.  The Commissioner may conduct an annual examination and any additional examinations pursuant to NRS 649.335 of the accounts, books and records of each person who holds a certificate of registration as a foreign collection agency.

      4.  The Commissioner may take disciplinary action pursuant to NRS 649.385, 649.390 and 649.395 against a person who holds a certificate of registration as a foreign collection agency for any act or omission that would be grounds for taking such disciplinary action under those sections.

      5.  The Commissioner shall adopt:

      (a) Regulations establishing the amount of the fees required pursuant to this section; and

      (b) Any other regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 1865; A 2007, 2501)

MANAGERS

      NRS 649.175  Manager’s certificate required.  No person may be the manager of a collection agency unless the person holds a valid manager’s certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 831; A 1983, 1714)

      NRS 649.185  Application to Commissioner.  Each person who is, or desires to become, the manager of a collection agency shall submit an application for a manager’s certificate to the Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The application must include all information required to complete the application.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 831; A 1983, 1714; 1987, 1891; 1997, 2179; 2005, 2794, 2807)

      NRS 649.196  Applicant for certificate: Qualifications; requirements; notice of refusal to issue certificate; request for hearing; withdrawal of application.

      1.  Each applicant for a manager’s certificate must submit proof satisfactory to the Commissioner that the applicant:

      (a) Is a citizen of the United States or lawfully entitled to remain and work in the United States.

      (b) Is at least 21 years of age.

      (c) Has a good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness and integrity and is competent to transact the business of a collection agency in a manner which protects the interests of the general public.

      (d) Has not committed any of the acts specified in NRS 649.215.

      (e) Has not had a collection agency license or manager’s certificate suspended or revoked within the 10 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application.

      (f) Has not been convicted of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, a felony or any crime involving fraud, misrepresentation or moral turpitude.

      (g) Has had not less than 2 years’ full-time experience with a collection agency in the collection of accounts assigned by creditors who were not affiliated with the collection agency except as assignors of accounts. At least 1 year of the 2 years of experience must have been within the 18-month period preceding the date of filing the application.

      2.  Each applicant must:

      (a) Pass the examination or reexamination provided for in NRS 649.205.

      (b) Pay the required fees.

      (c) Submit, in such form as the Commissioner prescribes:

             (1) Three recent photographs; and

             (2) Three complete sets of fingerprints which the Commissioner may forward to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its report.

      (d) Submit such other information reasonably related to his or her qualifications for the manager’s certificate as the Commissioner determines to be necessary.

      3.  The Commissioner may refuse to issue a manager’s certificate if the applicant does not meet the requirements of subsections 1 and 2.

      4.  If the Commissioner refuses to issue a manager’s certificate pursuant to this section, the Commissioner shall notify the applicant in writing by certified mail stating the reasons for the refusal. The applicant may submit a written request for a hearing within 20 days after receiving the notice. If the applicant fails to submit a written request within the prescribed period, the Commissioner shall enter a final order.

      5.  The Commissioner shall consider an application to be withdrawn if the Commissioner has not received all information and fees required to complete the application within 6 months after the date the application is first submitted to the Commissioner or within such later period as the Commissioner determines in accordance with any existing policies of joint regulatory partners. If an application is deemed to be withdrawn pursuant to this subsection or if an applicant otherwise withdraws an application, the Commissioner may not issue a license to the applicant unless the applicant submits a new application and pays any required fees.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 831; A 1977, 1568; 1983, 680, 1715; 1987, 1891; 1995, 1000; 2003, 2865; 2005, 1870)

      NRS 649.205  Examination.

      1.  The Commissioner shall provide for managers’ examinations at such times and places as the Commissioner may direct, at least twice each year.

      2.  The examinations must be of a length, scope and character which the Commissioner deems reasonably necessary to determine the fitness of the applicants to act as managers of collection agencies.

      3.  If an applicant does not pass the examination, the applicant must reapply to take the examination and pay a reexamination fee of not more than $100 for each subsequent examination. The Commissioner shall adopt regulations establishing the amount of the reexamination fee required pursuant to this subsection.

      4.  The Commissioner may make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 831; A 1983, 1715; 1987, 1891; 2005, 1871)

      NRS 649.215  Grounds for refusing examination or suspending or revoking certificate.  The Commissioner may refuse to permit an applicant for a manager’s certificate to take the examination, or, after a hearing, may suspend or revoke a manager’s certificate if the applicant or manager has:

      1.  Committed or participated in any act which, if committed or done by a licensee, would be grounds for the suspension or revocation of a license.

      2.  Been refused a license or certificate pursuant to this chapter or had such a license or certificate suspended or revoked.

      3.  Participated in any act, which act was a basis for the refusal or revocation of a collection agency license.

      4.  Falsified any of the information submitted to the Commissioner in support of an application pursuant to this chapter.

      5.  Impersonated, or permitted or aided and abetted another to impersonate, a law enforcement officer or employee of the United States, a state or any political subdivision thereof.

      6.  Made any statement in connection with his or her employment with a collection agency with the intent to give an impression that he or she was a law enforcement officer of the United States, a state or political subdivision thereof.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 832; A 1983, 1715; 1985, 314; 1987, 1892; 1995, 1001)

      NRS 649.225  Issuance of certificate; notice of manager’s change of residence address.

      1.  The Commissioner shall issue a manager’s certificate to any applicant who meets the requirements of this chapter for the certificate.

      2.  Each manager holding a manager’s certificate issued pursuant to this chapter shall notify the Commissioner in writing of any change in his or her residence address within 10 days after the change.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 832; A 1983, 1716; 1987, 1892)

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

      NRS 649.233  Payment of child support: Submission of certain information by applicant; grounds for denial of license or manager’s certificate; duty of Commissioner. [Effective until the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings.]

      1.  In addition to any other requirements set forth in this chapter:

      (a) A natural person who applies for the issuance of a license as a collection agent or agency or a manager’s certificate shall include the social security number of the applicant in the application submitted to the Commissioner.

      (b) A natural person who applies for the issuance or renewal of a license as a collection agent or agency or a manager’s certificate shall submit to the Commissioner the statement prescribed by the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services of the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to NRS 425.520. The statement must be completed and signed by the applicant.

      2.  The Commissioner shall include the statement required pursuant to subsection 1 in:

      (a) The application or any other forms that must be submitted for the issuance or renewal of the license or certificate; or

      (b) A separate form prescribed by the Commissioner.

      3.  A license as a collection agent or agency or a manager’s certificate may not be issued or renewed by the Commissioner if the applicant is a natural person who:

      (a) Fails to submit the statement required pursuant to subsection 1; or

      (b) Indicates on the statement submitted pursuant to subsection 1 that the applicant is subject to a court order for the support of a child and is not in compliance with the order or a plan approved by the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order for the repayment of the amount owed pursuant to the order.

      4.  If an applicant indicates on the statement submitted pursuant to subsection 1 that the applicant is subject to a court order for the support of a child and is not in compliance with the order or a plan approved by the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order for the repayment of the amount owed pursuant to the order, the Commissioner shall advise the applicant to contact the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order to determine the actions that the applicant may take to satisfy the arrearage.

      (Added to NRS by 1997, 2177; A 2005, 2795, 2807)

      NRS 649.233  Payment of child support: Submission of certain information by applicant; grounds for denial of license or manager’s certificate; duty of Commissioner. [Effective on the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings and expires by limitation 2 years after that date.]

      1.  In addition to any other requirements set forth in this chapter, a natural person who applies for the issuance or renewal of a license as a collection agent or agency or a manager’s certificate shall submit to the Commissioner the statement prescribed by the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services of the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to NRS 425.520. The statement must be completed and signed by the applicant.

      2.  The Commissioner shall include the statement required pursuant to subsection 1 in:

      (a) The application or any other forms that must be submitted for the issuance or renewal of the license or certificate; or

      (b) A separate form prescribed by the Commissioner.

      3.  A license as a collection agent or agency or a manager’s certificate may not be issued or renewed by the Commissioner if the applicant is a natural person who:

      (a) Fails to submit the statement required pursuant to subsection 1; or

      (b) Indicates on the statement submitted pursuant to subsection 1 that the applicant is subject to a court order for the support of a child and is not in compliance with the order or a plan approved by the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order for the repayment of the amount owed pursuant to the order.

      4.  If an applicant indicates on the statement submitted pursuant to subsection 1 that the applicant is subject to a court order for the support of a child and is not in compliance with the order or a plan approved by the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order for the repayment of the amount owed pursuant to the order, the Commissioner shall advise the applicant to contact the district attorney or other public agency enforcing the order to determine the actions that the applicant may take to satisfy the arrearage.

      (Added to NRS by 1997, 2177; A 2005, 2795, 2807, effective on the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings)

      NRS 649.235  Expiration; licenses and certificates not transferable.  Each collection agency license and manager’s certificate issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire on June 30 of the year following its issuance and thereafter shall expire on June 30 of each year. A license or certificate shall not be transferable.

      [Part 8:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.07]—(NRS A 1969, 838)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 649.130)

      NRS 649.245  Renewal.

      1.  A collection agency or manager desiring a renewal of a license or certificate which will expire shall file in the Office of the Commissioner, on or before June 1 in each year following the year of original issuance, a renewal application, stating in addition to the matters required in the original application the date and number of the license or certificate which will expire. The renewal application must be accompanied by the renewal fee and all information required to complete the renewal application.

      2.  The Commissioner shall issue a renewal license or certificate to the applicant, which must be dated July 1 next ensuing the date of the application, in form and text like the original except that, in addition, the renewal must include the date and number of the earliest license or certificate issued.

      3.  All requirements of this chapter with respect to original certificates, licenses and bonds apply with like force to all renewal certificates, licenses and bonds except as otherwise specified in this section.

      4.  The Commissioner shall refuse to renew a certificate or license if at the time of application a proceeding to revoke or suspend the certificate or license is pending.

      [9:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.08]—(NRS A 1959, 827; 1963, 1143; 1969, 838; 1983, 1716; 1985, 376; 1987, 1892; 1997, 2179; 2005, 2796, 2807)

      NRS 649.250  Recording of telephone conversations.

      1.  After providing notice that the telephone conversation will be recorded, a person may record any telephone call that:

      (a) Concerns a claim which is owed or asserted to be owed by the person;

      (b) Is made by a collection agency or collection agent; and

      (c) Is received by the person.

      2.  A person who records a telephone call pursuant to this section is required to make a statement immediately after the recording begins that the telephone call is being recorded.

      3.  As used in this section, “record” means the acquisition of the contents of a wire communication through the use of a recording device.

      (Added to NRS by 2007, 2499)

FEES

      NRS 649.295  Amounts; deposit.

      1.  A nonrefundable fee of not more than $500 for the application and survey must accompany each new application for a license as a collection agency. Each applicant shall also pay any additional expenses incurred in the process of investigation. All money received by the Commissioner pursuant to this subsection must be placed in the Investigative Account created by NRS 232.545.

      2.  A fee of not less than $200 or more than $600, prorated on the basis of the licensing year as provided by the Commissioner, must be charged for each original license issued. A fee of not more than $500 must be charged for each annual renewal of a license.

      3.  A fee of not more than $20 must be charged for each duplicate license or license for a transfer of location issued.

      4.  A nonrefundable application fee of not more than $500 and a nonrefundable investigation fee of not more than $150 must accompany each application for a manager’s certificate.

      5.  A fee of not more than $40 must be charged for each manager’s certificate issued and for each annual renewal of such a certificate.

      6.  A fee of not more than $60 must be charged for the reinstatement of a manager’s certificate.

      7.  A fee of not more than $10 must be charged for each day an application for the renewal of a license or certificate, or a required report, is filed late, unless the fee or portion thereof is excused by the Commissioner for good cause shown.

      8.  A nonrefundable fee of not more than $250 for the application and an examination must accompany each application for a permit to operate a branch office of a licensed collection agency. A fee of not more than $500 must be charged for each annual renewal of such a permit.

      9.  For each examination the Commissioner shall charge and collect from the licensee a fee for conducting the examination and preparing and typing the report of the examination at the rate established pursuant to NRS 658.101. Failure to pay the fee within 30 days after receipt of the bill is a ground for revoking the collection agency’s license.

      10.  The Commissioner shall adopt regulations establishing the amount of the fees required pursuant to this section.

      11.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 1, all money received by the Commissioner pursuant to this chapter must be deposited in the State Treasury pursuant to the provisions of NRS 658.091.

      [6:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.05]—(NRS A 1959, 827; 1967, 956; 1969, 837; 1979, 954; 1981, 756; 1983, 1320, 1717; 1987, 1508, 1893, 2225; 1991, 1804; 2003, 3231; 2005, 1871)

      NRS 649.297  Fee for failure to submit reports.

      1.  If a holder of a license or manager’s certificate fails to submit any report required pursuant to this chapter or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto within the prescribed period, the Commissioner may impose and collect a fee of not more than $10 for each day the report is overdue.

      2.  The Commissioner shall adopt regulations establishing the amount of the fee that may be imposed pursuant to this section.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 1866)

      NRS 649.300  Payment of assessment; cooperation with audits and examinations.  Each collection agency shall pay the assessment levied pursuant to NRS 658.055 and cooperate fully with the audits and examinations performed pursuant thereto.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 827)

CONDUCT OF BUSINESS; PROHIBITED PRACTICES

      NRS 649.305  Collection agency not to operate without manager.  No collection agency may operate its business without a manager who holds a valid manager’s certificate issued under the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 830; A 1983, 1717)

      NRS 649.315  Display of license or certificate.  Each license and certificate issued under this chapter must be framed in a suitable frame under glass and hung in a conspicuous place upon the walls of the place of business designated in the license or certificate.

      [Part 8:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.07]—(NRS A 1969, 838)—(Substituted in revision for NRS 649.120)

      NRS 649.325  Change of location of business.

      1.  A collection agency shall not remove its business location from the place of business as stated in the license except upon prior approval by the Commissioner in writing.

      2.  If the removal is approved, the Commissioner shall note the change upon the face of the license and enter in his or her records a notation of that change.

      [7:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.06]—(NRS A 1959, 827; 1969, 838; 1983, 1717; 1987, 1893; 1995, 1002)

      NRS 649.330  Notification of change in management or ownership of voting stock; application for licensure of replacement; investigation; costs; waiver.

      1.  A collection agency shall immediately notify the Commissioner of any change:

      (a) Of the manager of the agency; or

      (b) If the agency is a corporation, in the ownership of 5 percent or more of its outstanding voting stock.

      2.  An application must be submitted to the Commissioner, pursuant to NRS 649.095, by:

      (a) The person who replaces the manager; and

      (b) A person who acquires:

             (1) At least 25 percent of the outstanding voting stock of an agency; or

             (2) Any outstanding voting stock of an agency if the change will result in a change in the control of the agency.

Ê Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, the Commissioner shall conduct an investigation to determine whether the applicant has the competence, experience, character and qualifications necessary for the licensing of a collection agency. If the Commissioner denies the application, the Commissioner may in his or her order forbid the applicant from participating in the business of the collection agency.

      3.  The collection agency with which the applicant is affiliated shall pay such expenses incurred in the investigation as the Commissioner deems necessary. All money received by the Commissioner pursuant to this subsection must be placed in the Investigative Account created by NRS 232.545.

      4.  A collection agency may submit a written request to the Commissioner to waive an investigation pursuant to subsection 2. The Commissioner may grant a waiver if the applicant has undergone a similar investigation by a state or federal agency in connection with the licensing of or the applicant’s employment with a financial institution.

      (Added to NRS by 1985, 1344; A 1987, 1894; 1991, 1805)

      NRS 649.332  Verification of debt.

      1.  To verify a debt, a collection agency shall:

      (a) Obtain or attempt to obtain from the creditor any document that is not in the possession of the collection agency and is reasonably responsive to the dispute of the debtor, if any; and

      (b) If such a document is obtained, mail the document to the debtor.

      2.  When collecting a debt on behalf of a hospital, within 5 days after the initial communication with the debtor in connection with the collection of the debt, a collection agency shall, unless the following information is included in the initial communication, send a written notice to the debtor that includes a statement indicating that:

      (a) If the debtor pays or agrees to pay the debt or any portion of the debt, the payment or agreement to pay may be construed as:

             (1) An acknowledgment of the debt by the debtor; and

             (2) A waiver by the debtor of any applicable statute of limitations set forth in NRS 11.190 that otherwise precludes the collection of the debt; and

      (b) If the debtor does not understand or has questions concerning his or her legal rights or obligations relating to the debt, the debtor should seek legal advice.

      3.  As used in this section, “hospital” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 449.012.

      (Added to NRS by 2007, 2500)

      NRS 649.334  Written agreement to be specific, intelligible and unambiguous; money collected to be credited first to principal; partial collection of claim prohibited; accounting of money collected on behalf of customer.

      1.  The terms and conditions of any written agreement between a collection agency and a customer must be specific, intelligible and unambiguous. In the absence of a written agreement, unless the conduct of the parties indicates a different mutual understanding, the understanding of the customer concerning the terms of the agreement must govern in any dispute between the customer and the collection agency.

      2.  Unless a written agreement between the parties otherwise provides, any money collected on a claim, after court costs have been recovered, must first be credited to the principal amount of the claim. Any interest charged and collected on the claim must be allocated pursuant to the agreement between the customer and the collection agency.

      3.  Except with the consent of its customer, a collection agency shall not accept less than the full amount of a claim in settlement of an assigned claim.

      4.  A collection agency shall, at the time it remits to the customer the money it collected on behalf of the customer, give each customer an accounting in writing of the money it collected on behalf of the customer in connection with a claim.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 2034)

      NRS 649.3345  Withdrawal of claim by customer.

      1.  Unless a written agreement between the parties otherwise provides, a customer may withdraw, without obligation, any claim assigned to a collection agency at any time 6 months after the date of the assignment if:

      (a) The customer gives written notice of the withdrawal to the collection agency not less than 60 days before the effective date of the withdrawal; and

      (b) The claim is not in the process of being collected.

      2.  As used in this section, “in the process of being collected,” means that:

      (a) A payment on the claim has been received after the date of the assignment;

      (b) An action on the claim has been filed by or on behalf of the collection agency;

      (c) The claim has been forwarded to another collection agency for collection;

      (d) A lawful and sufficient claim or notice of lien has been filed by the collection agency on behalf of the customer to ensure payment from money distributed in connection with the probate of an estate, proceeding in bankruptcy, assignment for the benefit of creditors or any similar proceeding; or

      (e) The collection agency has obtained from the debtor an enforceable written promise to make payment.

      3.  Upon the withdrawal of any claim, the collection agency shall return to the customer any documents, records or other items relating to the claim that have been supplied by the customer.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 2034)

      NRS 649.335  Retention and examinations of records and accounts.

      1.  Every collection agency shall keep all records concerning each of its accounts for at least 6 years following the completion of the last transaction concerning the account.

      2.  The Commissioner shall conduct an examination of the trust accounts and the records relating to debtors and customers of each collection agency licensed pursuant to this chapter at least once each year.

      3.  If there is evidence that a collection agency is not complying with the provisions of this chapter, the Commissioner may conduct an additional examination to determine whether a violation has occurred.

      4.  During the first year a collection agency is licensed, the Commissioner may conduct as many examinations as the Commissioner deems necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 834; A 1983, 1718; 1987, 1894; 1989, 2035)

      NRS 649.345  Annual reports to Commissioner.

      1.  Each licensed collection agency shall file with the Commissioner a written report, signed and sworn to by its manager, no later than January 31 of each year, unless the Commissioner determines that there is good cause for later filing of the report. The report must include:

      (a) The total sum of money due to all creditors as of the close of the last business day of the preceding month.

      (b) The total sum on deposit in customer trust fund accounts and available for immediate distribution as of the close of the last business day of the preceding month, the title of the trust account or accounts, and the name of the banks or credit unions where the money is deposited.

      (c) The total amount of creditors’ or forwarders’ share of money collected more than 60 days before the last business day of the preceding month and not remitted by that date.

      (d) When the total sum under paragraph (c) exceeds $10, the name of each creditor or forwarder and the respective share of each in that sum.

      (e) Such other information, audit or reports as the Commissioner may require.

      2.  The filing of any report required by this section which is known by the collection agency to contain false information or statements constitutes grounds for the suspension of the agency’s license or the manager’s certificate, or both.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 834; A 1981, 756; 1983, 1718; 1987, 1894; 1989, 921; 1999, 1540)

      NRS 649.355  Business ethics and practices; trust accounts.

      1.  Every collection agency and collection agent shall openly, fairly and honestly conduct the collection agency business and shall at all times conform to the accepted business ethics and practices of the collection agency business.

      2.  Every licensee shall at all times maintain a separate account in a bank or credit union in which must be deposited all money collected. Except as otherwise provided in regulations adopted by the Commissioner pursuant to NRS 649.054, the account must be maintained in a bank or credit union located in this State and bear some title sufficient to distinguish it from the licensee’s personal or general checking account and to designate it as a trust account, such as “customer’s trust fund account.” The trust account must at all times contain sufficient money to pay all money due or owing to all customers, and no disbursement may be made from the account except to customers or to pay costs advanced for those customers, except that a licensee may periodically withdraw from the account such money as may accrue to the licensee from collections deposited or from adjustments resulting from costs advanced and payments made directly to customers.

      3.  Every licensee maintaining a separate custodial or trust account shall keep a record of all money deposited in the account, which must indicate clearly the date and from whom the money was received, the date deposited, the dates of withdrawals and other pertinent information concerning the transaction, and must show clearly for whose account the money is deposited and to whom the money belongs. The money must be remitted to the creditors respectively entitled thereto within 30 days following the end of the month in which payment is received. The records and money are subject to inspection by the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s authorized representative. The records must be maintained at the premises in this State at which the licensee is authorized to conduct business.

      4.  If the Commissioner finds that a licensee’s records are not maintained pursuant to subsections 2 and 3, the Commissioner may require the licensee to deliver an audited financial statement prepared from his or her records by a certified public accountant who holds a certificate to engage in the practice of public accounting in this State. The statement must be submitted within 60 days after the Commissioner requests it. The Commissioner may grant a reasonable extension for the submission of the financial statement if an extension is requested before the statement is due.

      (Added to NRS by 1963, 1141; A 1967, 956; 1969, 840; 1983, 1718; 1987, 1509, 1895; 1993, 2416; 1999, 1541)

      NRS 649.365  Approval of business name required; prohibition against use of certain names, terms and forms.

      1.  A collection agency licensed under this chapter must obtain the approval of the Commissioner before using or changing a business name.

      2.  A collection agency licensed under this chapter shall not:

      (a) Use any business name which is identical or similar to a business name used by another collection agency licensed under this chapter or which may mislead or confuse the public.

      (b) Use any printed forms which may mislead or confuse the public.

      (c) Use the term “credit bureau” in its name unless it operates a bona fide credit bureau in conjunction with its collection agency business. For purposes of this paragraph, “credit bureau” means any person engaged in gathering, recording and disseminating information relative to the creditworthiness, financial responsibility, paying habits or character of persons being considered for credit extension for prospective creditors.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 833; A 2005, 1872)

      NRS 649.370  Violation of federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  A violation of any provision of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1682 et seq., or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall be deemed to be a violation of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 2007, 2500)

      NRS 649.375  Prohibited practices.  A collection agency, or its manager, agents or employees, shall not:

      1.  Use any device, subterfuge, pretense or deceptive means or representations to collect any debt, nor use any collection letter, demand or notice which simulates a legal process or purports to be from any local, city, county, state or government authority or attorney.

      2.  Collect or attempt to collect any interest, charge, fee or expense incidental to the principal obligation unless:

      (a) Any such interest, charge, fee or expense as authorized by law or as agreed to by the parties has been added to the principal of the debt by the creditor before receipt of the item of collection;

      (b) Any such interest, charge, fee or expense as authorized by law or as agreed to by the parties has been added to the principal of the debt by the collection agency and described as such in the first written communication with the debtor; or

      (c) The interest, charge, fee or expense has been judicially determined as proper and legally due from and chargeable against the debtor.

      3.  Assign or transfer any claim or account upon termination or abandonment of its collection business unless prior written consent by the customer is given for the assignment or transfer. The written consent must contain an agreement with the customer as to all terms and conditions of the assignment or transfer, including the name and address of the intended assignee. Prior written consent of the Commissioner must also be obtained for any bulk assignment or transfer of claims or accounts, and any assignment or transfer may be regulated and made subject to such limitations or conditions as the Commissioner by regulation may reasonably prescribe.

      4.  Operate its business or solicit claims for collection from any location, address or post office box other than that listed on its license or as may be prescribed by the Commissioner.

      5.  Harass a debtor’s employer in collecting or attempting to collect a claim, nor engage in any conduct that constitutes harassment as defined by regulations adopted by the Commissioner.

      6.  Advertise for sale or threaten to advertise for sale any claim as a means to enforce payment of the claim, unless acting under court order.

      7.  Publish or post, or cause to be published or posted, any list of debtors except for the benefit of its stockholders or membership in relation to its internal affairs.

      8.  Conduct or operate, in conjunction with its collection agency business, a debt counseling or prorater service for a debtor who has incurred a debt primarily for personal, family or household purposes whereby the debtor assigns or turns over to the counselor or prorater any of the debtor’s earnings or other money for apportionment and payment of the debtor’s debts or obligations. This section does not prohibit the conjunctive operation of a business of commercial debt adjustment with a collection agency if the business deals exclusively with the collection of commercial debt.

      (Added to NRS by 1969, 833; A 1983, 1719; 1987, 1896; 1989, 1448; 1993, 2417)

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

      NRS 649.385  Investigation of verified complaint; verified answer; action by Commissioner after informal hearing.

      1.  Upon the filing with the Commissioner of a verified complaint against any collection agency or manager, the Commissioner shall investigate the alleged violation of the provisions of this chapter.

      2.  If the Commissioner determines that the complaint warrants further action, the Commissioner shall send a copy of the complaint and notice of the date set for an informal hearing to the accused and the Attorney General.

      3.  The Commissioner may require the accused collection agency or manager to file a verified answer to the complaint within 10 days after service unless, for good cause shown, the Commissioner extends the time for a period not to exceed 60 days.

      4.  If at the hearing the complaint is not explained to the satisfaction of the Commissioner, the Commissioner may take such action against the accused as may be authorized by the provisions of this chapter.

      [Part 11:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.10]—(NRS A 1959, 827; 1969, 839; 1983, 1720; 1985, 315; 1987, 1897; 1993, 2418)

      NRS 649.390  Investigation of verified complaint concerning unlicensed person; order to cease and desist; administrative fines; suit to recover fine; cumulative penalties.

      1.  The Commissioner shall conduct an investigation if he or she receives a verified complaint from any person that sets forth reason to believe that an unlicensed person is engaging in an activity for which a license is required pursuant to this chapter.

      2.  If the Commissioner determines that an unlicensed person is engaging in an activity for which a license is required pursuant to this chapter, the Commissioner shall issue and serve on the person an order to cease and desist from engaging in the activity until such time as the person obtains a license from the Commissioner.

      3.  If a person upon whom an order to cease and desist is served does not comply with the order within 30 days after service, the Commissioner shall, after notice and opportunity for a hearing:

      (a) Impose upon the person an administrative fine of $10,000; or

      (b) Enter into a written consent agreement with the person pursuant to which the person agrees to cease and desist from all unlicensed activity in this State relating to the collection of debts, and impose upon the person an administrative fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000.

Ê The imposition of an administrative fine pursuant to this subsection is a final decision for the purposes of judicial review.

      4.  The Commissioner shall bring suit in the name and on behalf of the State of Nevada against a person upon whom an administrative fine is imposed pursuant to subsection 3 to recover the amount of the administrative fine:

      (a) If no petition for judicial review is filed pursuant to NRS 233B.130 and the fine remains unpaid for more than 90 days after notice of the imposition of the fine; or

      (b) If a petition for judicial review is filed pursuant to NRS 233B.130 and the fine remains unpaid for more than 90 days after exhaustion of any right of appeal in the courts of this State resulting in a final determination that upholds the imposition of the fine.

      5.  A person’s liability for an administrative fine is in addition to any other penalty provided in this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 519)

      NRS 649.395  Authorized disciplinary action; grounds for disciplinary action; effect of revocation of license; orders imposing discipline deemed public records.

      1.  The Commissioner may impose an administrative fine, not to exceed $500 for each violation, or suspend or revoke the license of a collection agency, or both impose a fine and suspend or revoke the license, by an order made in writing and filed in the Office of the Commissioner and served on the licensee by registered or certified mail at the address shown in the records of the Commissioner, if:

      (a) The licensee is adjudged liable in any court of law for breach of any bond given under the provisions of this chapter; or

      (b) After notice and hearing, the licensee is found guilty of:

             (1) Fraud or misrepresentation;

             (2) An act or omission inconsistent with the faithful discharge of the licensee’s duties and obligations; or

             (3) A violation of any provision of this chapter.

      2.  The Commissioner may suspend or revoke the license of a collection agency without notice and hearing if:

      (a) The suspension or revocation is necessary for the immediate protection of the public; and

      (b) The licensee is afforded a hearing to contest the suspension or revocation within 20 days after the written order of suspension or revocation is served upon the licensee.

      3.  Upon revocation of his or her license, all rights of the licensee under this chapter terminate, and no application may be received from any person whose license has once been revoked.

      4.  An order that imposes discipline and the findings of fact and conclusions of law supporting that order are public records.

      [Part 11:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.10]—(NRS A 1959, 828; 1969, 95, 839; 1983, 1720; 1987, 1510, 1897; 1993, 2418; 2003, 3475; 2003, 20th Special Session, 224; 2005, 1784)

      NRS 649.398  Suspension of license or manager’s certificate for failure to pay child support or comply with certain subpoenas or warrants; reinstatement of license or manager’s certificate. [Effective until 2 years after the date of the repeal of 42 U.S.C. § 666, the federal law requiring each state to establish procedures for withholding, suspending and restricting the professional, occupational and recreational licenses for child support arrearages and for noncompliance with certain processes relating to paternity or child support proceedings.]

      1.  If the Commissioner receives a copy of a court order issued pursuant to NRS 425.540 that provides for the suspension of all professional, occupational and recreational licenses, certificates and permits issued to a person who is the holder of a license as a collection agent or agency or a manager’s certificate, the Commissioner shall deem the license or certificate issued to that person to be suspended at the end of the 30th day after the date on which the court order was issued unless the Commissioner receives a letter issued to the holder of the license or certificate by the district attorney or other public agency pursuant to NRS 425.550 stating that the holder of the license or certificate has complied with the subpoena or warrant or has satisfied the arrearage pursuant to NRS 425.560.

      2.  The Commissioner shall reinstate a license as a collection agent or agency or a manager’s certificate that has been suspended by a district court pursuant to NRS 425.540 if the Commissioner receives a letter issued by the district attorney or other public agency pursuant to NRS 425.550 to the person whose license or certificate was suspended stating that the person whose license or certificate was suspended has complied with the subpoena or warrant or has satisfied the arrearage pursuant to NRS 425.560.

      (Added to NRS by 1997, 2178; A 2005, 2807)

      NRS 649.400  Injunctive relief.

      1.  If upon investigation it appears that a collection agency is conducting its business in violation of this chapter or the regulations adopted by the Commissioner, or when it appears that any person is engaging in the business of a collection agency without being licensed under the provisions of this chapter, the Commissioner may:

      (a) Advise the district attorney of the county in which the business is conducted, and the district attorney shall cause the appropriate legal action to be taken to enjoin the operation of the business or prosecute the violations of this chapter; or

      (b) Bring suit in the name and on behalf of the State of Nevada against such a person and any other person concerned in or in any way participating in or about to participate in such unsafe or injurious practices or action in violation of this chapter or the regulations adopted by the Commissioner to enjoin any such person from continuing or engaging in such practices or doing any such act.

      2.  If the Commissioner brings suit, the district court of any judicial district may grant injunctions to prevent and restrain such practices or transactions. The court may, during the pendency of the proceedings before it, issue such temporary restraining orders as may appear to be just and proper. The findings of the Commissioner shall be deemed to be prima facie evidence and sufficient grounds, in the discretion of the court, for the issue ex parte of a temporary restraining order. In any such proceedings the Commissioner may apply for and on due showing is entitled to have issued the court’s subpoena requiring forthwith the appearance of any defendant and his or her employees and the production of such documents, books and records as appear necessary for the hearing of the petition, to testify and give evidence concerning the acts or conduct or things complained of in the application for an injunction.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 1507)

PENALTIES

      NRS 649.435  Criminal penalty for violations; each day of unlawful operation constitutes separate offense.  Any person who violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. Each day a person operates a collection agency in violation of the provisions of this chapter is a separate violation under this section.

      [13:237:1931; 1931 NCL § 1420.12]—(NRS A 1959, 828; 1969, 841; 2001, 520)

      NRS 649.440  Administrative fine for violations.  In addition to any other remedy or penalty, the Commissioner may impose an administrative fine of not more than $10,000 upon a person who:

      1.  Without a license or certificate, conducts any business or activity for which a license or certificate is required pursuant to the provisions of this chapter; or

      2.  Violates any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 1867)