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Register March 2014 No. 699
Chapter DFI-Bkg 74
COLLECTION AGENCIES
DFI-Bkg 74.01   Definitions.
DFI-Bkg 74.02   Office requirements.
DFI-Bkg 74.03   Office relocations and other changes.
DFI-Bkg 74.04   Agreements and acknowledgments.
DFI-Bkg 74.05   Remittance statement.
DFI-Bkg 74.06   Trust fund account.
DFI-Bkg 74.07   Books and records.
DFI-Bkg 74.09   Licensee shall furnish report to creditor on written request.
DFI-Bkg 74.10   Procedure for return or cancellation of accounts.
DFI-Bkg 74.11   General.
DFI-Bkg 74.12   Annual report.
DFI-Bkg 74.13   Fair collection practice notice.
DFI-Bkg 74.14   Use of alias.
DFI-Bkg 74.15   Unauthorized practice of law.
DFI-Bkg 74.16   Oppressive and deceptive practices prohibited.
DFI-Bkg 74.17   Use of data processing.
Ch. DFI-Bkg 74 Note Note: Chapter Bkg 74 as it existed on December 31, 1965 was repealed and a new chapter Bkg 74 was created effective January 1, 1966. Chapter Bkg 74 was renumbered Chapter DFI-Bkg 74 under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 1., Stats., and corrections made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 6. and 7., Stats., Register, June, 1997, No. 498, eff. 7-1-97. Chapter DFI-Bkg 74 as it existed on September 30, 2006 was repealed and a new chapter DFI-Bkg 74 was created, Register September 2006 No. 609, effective 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.01 DFI-Bkg 74.01Definitions. In this chapter:
DFI-Bkg 74.01(1) (1) "Actual process of collection" means regularly receiving payments at periodic intervals, or debtor contacted within last 30 days and promise of payment received, or an account referred for legal actions where the collection agency has advanced legal costs. A collection agency and its client may by written contract agree to a different actual process of collection. This subsection first applies to contractual relationships entered into between a collection agency and its client after March 1, 1993.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(2) (2) "Active office" in s. 218.04 (4), Stats., includes meeting at least all of the following minimum conditions:
DFI-Bkg 74.01(2)(a) (a) Shared office space which is open and staffed the minimum hours required by s. DFI-Bkg 74.02 (2).
DFI-Bkg 74.01(2)(b) (b) Staff person available for service of process.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(2)(c) (c) Sufficient space to conduct examination of additional records to be produced to evidence compliance with all laws, rules and regulations.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(2)(d) (d) The collection agency license displayed at the active office.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(3) (3) "Division" means the division of banking.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(4) (4) "Health care billing companies" in s. 218.04 (1) (a), Stats., means a person under contract with a health care provider to collect or attempt to collect an account, which is not in default when forwarded from the health care provider, using only the health care provider's name, and directing all payments to the health care provider or depositing all monies received directly into the health care provider's account at a financial institution.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(5) (5) "Health care provider" means any of the following:
DFI-Bkg 74.01(5)(a) (a) An ambulatory surgery center as defined in 42 CFR 416.2.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(5)(b) (b) A health care provider as defined in s. 146.81 (1), Stats.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(5)(c) (c) An outpatient diagnostic facility as defined in 21 CFR 803.3.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(5)(d) (d) A person designated as a health care provider in writing by the division.
DFI-Bkg 74.01(6) (6) "Merger" means the business combination of 2 or more collection agencies under s. 180.1101 or 183.1201, Stats.
DFI-Bkg 74.01 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06; CR 10-097: renum. (4) to be (6), cr. (4), (5) Register December 2010 No. 660, eff. 1-1-11.
DFI-Bkg 74.02 DFI-Bkg 74.02Office requirements.
DFI-Bkg 74.02(1)(a) (a) Shared office space. Except as set forth in par. (b), the licensed office of a collection agency shall not be shared or have a common waiting room with a practicing attorney or a loan company or be located in a private residence. If other approved business is conducted in the same office as provided for in s. 218.04 (4) (b), Stats., the books and records of such other business shall be kept separate from the books and records of the collection agency.
DFI-Bkg 74.02(1)(b) (b) A collection agency may share its licensed office with a practicing attorney if the attorney is an employee of the collection agency. This chapter and s. 218.04, Stats., apply to an attorney who shares office space under this paragraph.
DFI-Bkg 74.02(2) (2)Office hours. Every licensee shall maintain regular office hours on business days from Monday through Friday and shall be open for business at least 3 hours each day between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Whenever an office is not open for business at least 6 hours a day between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., a written notice shall be filed with the division setting forth the schedule of office hours.
DFI-Bkg 74.02 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.03 DFI-Bkg 74.03Office relocations and other changes.
DFI-Bkg 74.03(1)(1) Office relocation. A licensee shall submit to the division written notice of the licensee's contemplated change of its place of business to another location inside or outside of the municipality in which it is licensed. The notice shall be submitted 30 days or more prior to the date of the contemplated change. Upon approval of the new location, the division shall issue an amended license, specifying the date thereof and the new location.
DFI-Bkg 74.03(2) (2)Other changes. A licensee shall notify the division of any change to the information provided in the licensee's renewal license application or provided in a previous notice of change filed by the licensee with the division under this section. The notice shall be in writing and, except in the case of a relocation, be received by the division within 10 days after the change. The licensee shall provide any additional information, data, and records regarding the change to the division within 20 days after the division requests the information, data or records. Any change that is subject to the notice requirement shall be subject to the approval of the division. In reviewing the change or relocation, the division shall apply the same criteria as the criteria for approval of an original license application. Except in the case of a relocation, the division shall determine the cost of investigating and processing the change. The licensee shall pay the division's cost within 30 days after the division demands payment.
DFI-Bkg 74.03 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.04 DFI-Bkg 74.04Agreements and acknowledgments.
DFI-Bkg 74.04(1)(1) Agreement with creditor. Prior to accepting accounts for collection from a creditor, the licensee shall enter into a written agreement with the creditor. The agreement shall do all of the following:
DFI-Bkg 74.04(1)(a) (a) Be executed and dated by both parties.
DFI-Bkg 74.04(1)(b) (b) Indicate whether the licensee is authorized to add interest, collection charges, or fees to the accounts listed for collection and identify the interest rate, charge, or fee amount.
DFI-Bkg 74.04(1)(c) (c) Identify the licensee's rate of commission. The licensee may not charge a higher commission rate on interest or other charges and fees collected than is charged on the principal amount unless the agreement authorizes a higher commission rate. Licensee may not retain the higher rate of charge until the principal amount listed as owing has been collected in full.
DFI-Bkg 74.04(1)(d) (d) List any other fees that the creditor may be charged.
DFI-Bkg 74.04(1)(e) (e) Not permit the collection agency to charge the creditor for returning any account to the creditor.
DFI-Bkg 74.04(2) (2)Acknowledgment. Upon receipt of any account for collection, the licensee shall furnish the creditor or forwarder with an acknowledgment, a duplicate or copy of which shall be kept in the office of the licensee. The acknowledgment shall list the accounts by name of debtor, date the account was listed, and principal amount and other charges to be collected.
DFI-Bkg 74.04(3) (3)Written statement. An acknowledgement containing the information required by sub. (2) need not be sent to the creditor or forwarder for each listing if the creditor or forwarder provides a written statement indicating their desire not to receive the acknowledgment.
DFI-Bkg 74.04 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.05 DFI-Bkg 74.05Remittance statement.
DFI-Bkg 74.05(1) (1) Remittance statement to be furnished each creditor. Licensee shall provide a remittance statement and remit any and all money due to any and all creditors or forwarders within 30 days from the close of the month during which the collection was effected as provided in s. 218.04 (5) (a) 4., Stats. The remittance statement shall set forth all of the following:
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