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DFI-Bkg 74.07(1)(h)3. 3. Number and date client or purchaser used transmittals or listing forms.
DFI-Bkg 74.07(1)(i) (i) After the bank statement has been reconciled each month, cancelled checks together with voided or unused checks, adequately explained, shall be filed in numerical order. The division may approve records and procedures which vary from these requirements if adequate information is available for examination purposes.
DFI-Bkg 74.07(2) (2)Receipt requirement.
DFI-Bkg 74.07(2)(a)(a) Whenever a payment is received from a debtor, forwardee or other person, a receipt showing the date the payment was received shall be prepared and furnished to the debtor except when other positive evidence of a receipt is available.
DFI-Bkg 74.07(2)(b) (b) All manually prepared receipts shall be prepared at least in duplicate, be prenumbered by the printer, be used in consecutive numerical order and be retained in numerical sequence in the office.
DFI-Bkg 74.07(2)(c) (c) All receipts shall show the name and address of the licensee, the amount and date paid, the name of the creditor or creditors, and the name or initials of the collector or person accepting the payment.
DFI-Bkg 74.07 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06; 2013 Wis. Act 136: am. (1) (b), (c) Register March 2014 No. 699, eff. 4-1-14.
DFI-Bkg 74.09 DFI-Bkg 74.09Licensee shall furnish report to creditor on written request. Every licensee shall furnish within 30 days after written request from the creditor or forwarder, a written report upon accounts received from such creditor or forwarder. The report shall include for each account the name of the debtor, the account number, the original amount of the account placed for collection, the uncollected balance due and the date of last payment by the debtor.
DFI-Bkg 74.09 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.10 DFI-Bkg 74.10Procedure for return or cancellation of accounts.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(1)(1) Creditor may request return of accounts.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(1)(a)(a) The written request of a creditor or forwarder for the return of any account not in the actual process of collection shall be complied with by the licensee in writing within a reasonable length of time, but not in any event to exceed 30 days; the cancellation and return shall consist of listing the account by name of debtor, the original amount of the account placed for collection, the uncollected balance due and the date of last payment by the debtor. In addition, all valuable papers furnished by the creditor or forwarder in connection with the account shall be returned.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(1)(b) (b) A creditor may waive its right to have returned to it the valuable papers that were furnished to the licensee when the account was listed. Such waiver must be in writing, be dated on or after the date the creditor requests the return of its accounts under par. (a), and must be maintained in the office of the agency.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(2) (2)Cancellation and return of accounts and valuable papers upon termination of license. Whenever the license of a collection agency is terminated, all accounts and any valuable papers which have been given to the agency in connection with any accounts placed with it for collection shall be returned to the person placing the account for collection within 5 days of the termination of the license unless upon written application an extension of time is granted by the division. All agreements between the collection agency and the creditor or forwarder are automatically cancelled as of the date on which the license is terminated. All debtor payments received after the date on which the license is terminated shall be immediately forwarded in full to the applicable creditor without the collection agency retaining any fee or commission. If any of the accounts that have been placed for collection are in the hands of attorneys at the time of the termination of the license, such attorneys shall immediately be notified by the collection agency to thereafter correspond, remit and be solely responsible to the person placing the accounts with the collection agency unless the creditor has authorized a successor or other licensee to continue to collect the accounts. In the case of death of the sole owner or a partner, all accounts shall be returned within a reasonable period of time, but in any event not to exceed 120 days.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(3) (3)Procedure for canceling and returning accounts when license is terminated. Section 218.04 (6) (c), Stats., sets forth the procedure to be followed before discontinuing business. An affidavit shall be furnished to the division that s. 218.04 (6) (c) 1., 2. and 3., Stats., have been complied with. In addition to the affidavit, it is necessary within 10 days to furnish the division with a copy of the letter to each creditor, forwarder or forwardee showing the name of the debtor, the original amount of the account placed with the agency for collection, the present uncollected balance, the date of last payment and if a remittance is due, the number and the amount of the remittance check. Approved forms and procedures to be followed are to be obtained from the division before the license is terminated.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4) (4)Waiver of cancellation and return of accounts.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4)(a)(a) Waiver. The division may waive the requirements of subs. (2) and (3) under any of the following circumstances:
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4)(a)1. 1. Two or more collection agencies licensed under s. 218.04, Stats., merge into one collection agency under the license of one of those agencies, and the licenses of the nonsurviving agencies are terminated on the effective date of the merger.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4)(a)2. 2. An agency licensed under s. 218.04, Stats., for at least the 3 years prior to the purchase purchases 100% of the listed accounts from another collection agency licensed under s. 218.04, Stats., and the agency from which the accounts are purchased terminates its license on the date of the purchase.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4)(b) (b) Procedure for waiver. Waiver under this section shall be effective only upon completion of all of the following:
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4)(b)1. 1. The request for waiver is submitted in writing to the division in a form prescribed by the division accompanied by a fee prescribed by the division.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4)(b)2. 2. The request for waiver is received by the division at least 45 days before the effective date of the merger or purchase of assets under par. (a).
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4)(b)3. 3. Written notice of approval of the request for waiver is issued by the division.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4)(c) (c) Notice. At least 30 days prior to the merger or purchase of assets under par. (a), the collection agencies whose licenses are being terminated shall notify, in a form approved by the division, all persons who have listed accounts with those agencies of the merger or purchase of assets. The division may rescind any waiver under this section for failure to give the notice. Notice is not required if the merger or purchase of assets is pursuant to an order issued by the division pursuant to s. 218.04 (8) or (9m), or s. 220.04 (9), Stats.
DFI-Bkg 74.10(4)(d) (d) Discontinuing operations. Collection agencies merging or purchasing assets and receiving the waiver under this section shall not be considered to be discontinuing operations under s. 218.04 (6) (c), Stats.
DFI-Bkg 74.10 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.11 DFI-Bkg 74.11General.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(1) (1) Computation of interest and other charges. Interest computed by the licensee on accounts where there is no definite amount contracted for should be limited to the amount permitted under ss. 138.04 and 138.05, Stats.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(2) (2)Fees.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(2)(a)(a) Except as set forth in pars. (b) to (e) and s. DFI-Bkg 74.11 (8), a licensee may not charge the debtor any fee, handling charge, mileage costs or other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the collection of an account. In no case may a licensee divide a debtor's payment to increase the fees. The fees permitted under par. (d) may only be assessed if the fee is disclosed to the debtor prior to the transaction being processed and the debtor is not required to make payment via the method described therein.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(2)(b) (b) Actual charges assessed by a financial institution on a check returned to the licensee for any reason may be added to the account of the debtor provided the charge is not the result of a licensee prematurely depositing a post-dated check.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(2)(c) (c) Actual charges assessed by a financial institution on an Automated Clearing House transaction reversed for any reason may be added to the account of the debtor provided the charge is not the result of a licensee debiting the debtor's account prematurely, for an incorrect amount, or without proper authorization.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(2)(d) (d) A fee not to exceed the lesser of $25 or 3% of the payment amount, not including the fee, may be added to the account of the debtor when the debtor makes a payment using a credit card or debit card.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(2)(e) (e) A licensee may serve process on a debtor and may assess a charge for service of process costs not exceeding those assessed by the sheriff of the county in which process is served.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(3) (3)Evidences of indebtedness signed by debtor. Any note, mortgage or other instrument which the licensee may have the debtor sign shall be payable to the order of the creditor or jointly to the order of the creditor and the collection agency. All such instruments shall be completely filled in as to terms and conditions at the time the instrument is signed. If the instrument is made payable only to the order of the licensee, the licensee shall then remit on the account to the creditor the same as if it had been paid in full.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(4) (4)Application of funds where there is a debtor-creditor relationship. If a creditor has a debtor-creditor relationship with a licensee where the person, as a creditor has listed accounts with the licensee for collection and where the person also has accounts listed with the licensee by other creditors against the person for collection, collections effected for the person as a creditor may not be applied on accounts that the person owes unless the licensee has a written authorization on file setting forth how the moneys collected are to be applied. A receipt and a remittance statement shall be issued in connection with debtor-creditor accounts so that the person as the debtor has a complete record of how moneys collected on the person's behalf as a creditor have been applied.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(5) (5)Authorization to consolidate. An authorization to consolidate under s. 218.04 (9j), Stats., shall be in writing and shall include all of the following:
DFI-Bkg 74.11(5)(a) (a) The authorization of the creditor.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(5)(b) (b) The name of the licensee.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(5)(c) (c) The name of the debtor.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(5)(d) (d) The amount of the account the licensee proposes to consolidate.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(5)(e) (e) If the creditor has listed with the licensee more than one account for the debtor, an account number, date of service or other brief description of the account.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(5)(f) (f) A statement as to how the amount of each payment received for a combined account will be apportioned to the creditors.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(5)(g) (g) If payments will be apportioned pursuant to the discretion of either the licensee or the attorney of record, a statement indicating the discretion to apportion.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(6) (6)Collection notices.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(6)(a)(a) Except as provided in pars. (b) and (c), every collection notice mailed or delivered by a licensee shall contain the collection agency's licensed name, mailing address, and telephone number, both as part of the letterhead and on the portion of the collection notice designed to be returned to the agency with the debtor's communication or payment.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(6)(b) (b) A collection notice mailed in the creditor's name does not need to disclose the collection agency's licensed name, mailing address or telephone number.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(6)(c) (c) A collection notice mailed in the collection agency's name does not need to disclose the collection agency's telephone number if the collection notice includes the creditor's telephone number and directs the debtor to contact the creditor at the creditor's telephone number.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(7) (7)Paid or settled in full receipts. After a debt has been paid or settled in full, and upon written request by the debtor, a collection agency shall provide to the debtor a written statement or receipt that the debt has been paid or settled in full. Such statement shall be provided within ten business days after request by the debtor and shall be provided free of charge.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(8) (8)Payment histories. For any account that has not been paid or settled in full and for any account that has been paid or settled in full within 24 months of the request, a collection agency shall provide the debtor with a written statement of the debtor's payments for as long as the collection agency has had the account. The statement shall be provided to the debtor within ten business days after the debtor makes a written request. The statement shall include the debtor's name, the creditor's name, the amounts paid, the dates on which payments were received, the allocation of money to principal, interest, court costs, attorney fees, and other fee or costs, if applicable, and the current balance due. Account statements shall be provided upon request without charge once during any twelve (12) month period. If additional statements are requested, they shall be provided upon payment of a fee not to exceed $5.00 per statement.
DFI-Bkg 74.11(9) (9)Overpayments by consumers. If a consumer's account is overpaid, and there are no other accounts for that consumer listed with the collection agency, the collection agency is not required to issue a refund of the overpayment to the consumer if the amount of the overpayment is $5 or less. If there is another account for that consumer listed with the collection agency, the collection agency shall, regardless of the amount, either refund the overpayment to the consumer or apply the overpayment to the other account. If a refund is required, it shall be made within 30 days from the close of the month during which the payment was received.
DFI-Bkg 74.11 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06; 2013 Wis. Act 136: am. (2) (d) Register March 2014 No. 699, eff. 4-1-14.
DFI-Bkg 74.12 DFI-Bkg 74.12Annual report. With the exception of the balance sheet and income statement, all portions of the annual report required by s. 218.04 (10) (a), Stats., shall be completed as of the close of business on December 31 in the year for which the annual report is furnished. The licensee may, if written authorization has been granted to the licensee by the division, file a balance sheet and income statement for a date prior to December 31, but not before September 30 in the year for which the report is furnished.
DFI-Bkg 74.12 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.13 DFI-Bkg 74.13Fair collection practice notice.
DFI-Bkg 74.13(1)(1) Unless the initial communication is written and contains the following notice or the debtor has paid the debt, a licensee shall send the debtor the following notice within 5 days after the initial communication with a debtor: "This collection agency is licensed by the Division of Banking in the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, www.wdfi.org." This notice shall be in at least 8 point type and shall be typed or printed on either a collection notice or on the validation of any debt directed to the debtor by the licensee pursuant to Section 809 of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
DFI-Bkg 74.13(2) (2) Where the notice required by sub. (1) is printed on the reverse side of any collection notice or validation sent by the licensee, the front of such notice shall bear the following statement in not less than 8 point type: "Notice: See Reverse Side for Important Information."
DFI-Bkg 74.13 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06; 2013 Wis. Act 136: am. (1) Register March 2014 No. 699, eff. 4-1-14.
DFI-Bkg 74.14 DFI-Bkg 74.14Use of alias. In any oral or written communication with a debtor, any collector or solicitor may use a separate alias. Such alias shall include a first and last name and shall be registered with and approved by the division prior to use. No collector or solicitor may have more than one alias. No change of alias may be authorized unless good cause is shown. Collectors or solicitors employed by a licensee may not use the same alias. A licensee may forward printed collection notices to a debtor which are unsigned.
DFI-Bkg 74.14 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.15 DFI-Bkg 74.15Unauthorized practice of law.
DFI-Bkg 74.15(1)(1) Except as set forth in sub. (2), no collector or other employee of a licensee may in attempting to collect an account, engage in the practice of law. This includes but is not limited to the preparation of a summons or complaint or the appearance on behalf of any creditor, except when called as a witness by the plaintiff's attorney in open court, before any court including the clerk of any small claims court in an action on the debt or in garnishment proceedings. It is not considered the practice of law for an employee of a licensee to prepare a summons or complaint under the direction of an attorney which will subsequently be signed and filed by the plaintiff's attorney. This section does not prohibit the appearance of an owner or officer of a licensed collection agency in court for the purpose of obtaining judgment on a debt owed to the licensee directly.
DFI-Bkg 74.15(2) (2) Sub. (1) does not apply to an attorney who is an employee of the collection agency.
DFI-Bkg 74.15 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.16 DFI-Bkg 74.16Oppressive and deceptive practices prohibited. A licensee shall not engage in any oppressive or deceptive practices. In attempting to collect an alleged account, bill or other indebtedness, a licensee shall not do any of the following:
DFI-Bkg 74.16(1) (1) Use or threaten force or violence to cause physical harm to the person, dependents or property of a debtor.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(2) (2) Threaten criminal prosecution.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(3) (3) Disclose or threaten to disclose information adversely affecting the debtor's reputation for credit worthiness with knowledge or reason to know that the information is false.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(4) (4) Initiate or threaten to initiate communication with the debtor's employer prior to obtaining final judgment against the debtor, except as permitted by statute. This subsection does not prohibit a debt collector from communicating with the debtor's employer solely to verify employment status or earnings or where an employer has an established debt counseling service or procedure.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(5) (5) Contact a debtor by telephone following a request or demand by the debtor that such collection efforts cease.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(6) (6) Disclose or threaten to disclose to a person other than the debtor or the debtor's spouse information affecting the debtor's reputation, whether or not for credit worthiness, with knowledge or reason to know that the other person does not have a legitimate business need for the information.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(7) (7) Disclose or threaten to disclose information concerning the existence of a debt known to be reasonably disputed by the debtor without disclosing the fact that the debtor disputes the debt.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(8) (8) Communicate with the debtor or a person related to the debtor with such frequency or at such unusual hours or in such a manner as can reasonably be expected to threaten or harass the debtor.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(9) (9) Engage in other conduct which can reasonably be expected to threaten or harass the debtor or a person related to the debtor including conduct which violates the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(10) (10) Use obscene, profane or threatening language in communicating with the debtor or a person related to the debtor.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(11) (11) Claim or attempt to threaten to enforce a right with knowledge or reason to know that the right does not exist.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(12) (12) Use a communication which simulates legal or judicial process or which gives the appearance of being authorized, issued or approved by a government, governmental agency or attorney-at-law when it is not or any bogus letter ostensibly addressed to any governmental authority or attorney.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(13) (13) Threaten action against the debtor unless like action is taken in regular course or is intended with respect to the particular debt.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(14) (14) Mutilate any check or other writing tendered by a debtor before forwarding it or returning it to the customer.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(15) (15) Enlist the aid of a neighbor or other third party to request that the debtor contact the licensee except a person who resides with the debtor or a third party with whom the debtor has authorized the licensee to place such requests. This subsection does not apply to a call back message left at the debtor's place of employment which is limited to the licensee's telephone number and the collector's name.
DFI-Bkg 74.16(16) (16) Make collect telephone calls to debtors.
DFI-Bkg 74.16 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
DFI-Bkg 74.17 DFI-Bkg 74.17Use of data processing.
DFI-Bkg 74.17(1) (1) Systems approval. The division may approve data processing records and procedures which vary from the requirements of this chapter if adequate information is available for examination purposes.
DFI-Bkg 74.17(2) (2)Systems back-up. Back-up of data entries is to be made on a daily basis and back-up of all records on the system is to be made once each week. All systems back-up tapes or disks are to be stored for safe keeping at a site away from the office of the licensee. The records being maintained shall be verifiable at time of examination.
DFI-Bkg 74.17 History History: CR 06-045: cr. Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 10-1-06.
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