Report Title:

Collection Agencies

 

Description:

Amends collection agency disclosure requirements consistent with federal standards, by allowing agencies to disclose in the initial debtor communication that the agency is collecting a debt and information obtained will be used for that purpose, and requiring disclosure in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector. (HB1134 HD1)

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1134

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to collection agencies.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Section 443B-18, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]443B-18[]] Fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading representations. No collection agency shall use any fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading representation or means to collect, or attempt to collect, claims or to obtain information concerning a debtor or alleged debtor, including any conduct which is described as follows:

(1) The use of any company name while engaged in the collection of claims other than the true name of the collection agency;

(2) The failure to disclose clearly [in all]:

(A) In the initial written and initial oral communication made to collect, or attempt to collect, a claim or to obtain, or attempt to obtain, information about a debtor or alleged debtor that the collection agency is attempting to collect a claim and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose; and

(B) In subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector;

provided that this paragraph shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action;

(3) Any false representation that the collection agency has in its possession information or something of value for the debtor or alleged debtor that is made to solicit or discover information about the debtor or alleged debtor;

(4) The failure to disclose clearly the name and full business address of the person to whom the claim has been assigned for collection or to whom the claim is owed at the time of making any demand for money;

(5) Any false representation or implication of the character, extent, or amount of a claim against a debtor or alleged debtor, or of its status in any legal proceeding;

(6) Any false representation or false impression that any collection agency is vouched for, bonded by, affiliated with, or an instrumentality, agent, or official of, this State or any agency of federal, state, or local government;

(7) The use or distribution or sale of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by a court, an official, or any other legally constituted or authorized authority, or which creates a false impression about its source, authorization, or approval;

(8) Any representation that an existing obligation of the debtor or alleged debtor may be increased by the addition of attorney's fees, investigation fees, service fees, and any other fees or charges when in fact the fees or charges may not legally be added to the existing obligations; or

(9) Any false representation or false impression about the status or true nature of, or the services rendered by, the collection agency or its business."

SECTION 2. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.