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§ 12-1012. Debt settlement service agreements

West's Annotated Code of MarylandFinancial InstitutionsEffective: October 1, 2022

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Financial Institutions
Title 12. Miscellaneous Institutions and Activities
Subtitle 10. Maryland Debt Settlement Services Act (Refs & Annos)
Effective: October 1, 2022
MD Code, Financial Institutions, § 12-1012
§ 12-1012. Debt settlement service agreements
Contents of agreement
(a) A debt settlement services agreement shall:
(1) Be signed and dated by the registrant and the consumer; and
(2) Include, in at least 12 point type:
(i) The name, address, and telephone number of the consumer;
(ii) The name, address, and telephone number of the registrant;
(iii) A description of the debt settlement services to be provided to the consumer;
(iv) 1. Any debt settlement services fees to be charged to the consumer; and
2. A statement that the registrant may not:
A. Charge the consumer a fee for consultation or for obtaining a consumer's credit report; or
B. Require a voluntary contribution from the consumer for any service provided by the registrant;
(v) The identity of each individual creditor or debt collector whose debts are included in the debt settlement services agreement and the principal amount of the debt owed to each individual creditor or debt collector;
(vi) The principal amount of the total debt included in the debt settlement services agreement;
(vii) A good faith estimate of the amount of time necessary to achieve the represented results;
(viii) To the extent that the debt settlement services may include a debt settlement offer to any of the consumer's creditors or debt collectors, a good faith estimate of:
1. The time by which the registrant will make a bona fide debt settlement offer to each of them; and
2. The amount of money or percentage of each debt that the consumer must accumulate before the registrant will make a bona fide debt settlement offer to each of them;
(ix) A statement that:
1. The consumer may withdraw from the debt settlement services agreement at any time; and
2. If a consumer withdraws from the debt settlement services agreement, the registrant:
A. May not charge a penalty; and
B. May collect debt settlement services fees earned by the registrant;
(x) For a debt settlement services agreement for student education loan debt relief, a statement in substantially the following form:
“(Name of company) is a private company, and is not affiliated with the United States Department of Education or any other academic entity or governmental agency. (Name of company) is not a lender, guarantor, or servicer of federal student loans. You can apply for consolidation and other repayment plans without paid assistance through the United States Department of Education. More information is available on the Department's website or through your federal student loan servicer. You can find out who your servicer is through the United States Department of Education.”;
(xi) If the registrant requests or requires the consumer to deposit funds in a dedicated account, a statement that:
1. The consumer owns the funds held in the account, including any accrued interest; and
2. If the consumer requests to withdraw from the debt settlement services agreement, within 7 days after the request, all funds in the account, including accrued interest, less any debt settlement services fees earned by the registrant in compliance with § 12-1010 of this subtitle, must be paid to the consumer; and
(xii) A statement that the consumer may be required to pay taxes on the amount by which the consumer's debt is reduced.
Form of disclosures
(b) The disclosures required under subsection (a)(2)(vii) through (xii) of this section shall be provided to the consumer in a clear and conspicuous manner in the debt settlement services agreement.

Credits

Added by Acts 2011, c. 280, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2011; Acts 2011, c. 281, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2011. Amended by Acts 2022, c. 618, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2022.
MD Code, Financial Institutions, § 12-1012, MD FIN INST § 12-1012
Current through legislation effective through May 9, 2024, from the 2024 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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