[Adopted 10-26-2004 by G.O. No. 8-2004; amended in its entirety 12-9-2014 by G.O. No. 16-2014]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any natural person obligated or allegedly obligated to pay any debt.
- Any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance, or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment, or any obligation or alleged obligation arising out of a judgment.
- DEBT COLLECTION AGENCY
- A person engaged in business, the principal purpose of which is to regularly collect or attempt to collect debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another and shall also include a buyer of delinquent debt who seeks to collect such debt, either directly or through the services of another, by, including but not limited to initiating or using legal processes or other means to collect or attempt to collect such debt. The term does not include:
- A. Any person while serving or attempting to serve legal process on any other person in connection with the judicial enforcement of any debt.
- B. Any attorney at law or law firm collecting a debt in such capacity on behalf of and in the name of a client solely through activities that may only be performed by a licensed attorney, but not any attorney at law or law firm or part thereof who regularly engages in activities traditionally performed by debt collectors, including, but not limited to, contacting a debtor through the mail or via telephone with the purpose of collecting a debt or other activities as determined by rule of the Commissioner.
- C. Any person employed by a utility regulated under the provisions of the Public Service Law, acting for such utility;
- D. Any person collecting or attempting to collect any debt owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another to the extent such activity.
- (1) Is incidental to a bona fide fiduciary obligation or a bona fide escrow agreement;
- (2) Concerns a debt which was originated by such person;
- (3) Concerns a debt which was not in default at the time it was obtained by such person as a secured party in a commercial credit transaction involving the creditor.
- E. Any officer or employee of the United States, any state thereof or any political subdivision of any state, to the extent that collecting or attempting to collect any debt owed is in the performance of his or her official duties.
- F. Any nonprofit organization which, at the request of consumers, performs bona fide consumer credit counseling and assists customers in the liquidation of their debts by receiving payments from such customers and distributing such amounts to creditors.
- The Director of the Office of Licensing, who is also referred to as the "Consumer Protection Officer" in Article VIA of the Charter, and the Director of Weights and Measures, shall include the designee of the Director, unless otherwise provided.
- The Office of Licensing of the City of Yonkers, also known as the "Consumer Protection Bureau."
- Includes one or more persons of either sex, natural persons, corporations, partnerships, associations, joint-stock companies, societies and all other entities of any kind capable of being sued.
It shall be unlawful for any person to act as a debt collection agency without first having obtained a license in accordance with the provisions of this article, and without first being in compliance with all other applicable laws, rules and regulations.
[Amended 6-1-2017 by G.O. No. 8-2017]
All licenses issued pursuant to this article shall be valid for one year unless sooner suspended or revoked. The annual fee for a license or renewal thereof shall be $300. All licenses shall expire annually on January 31 of each year.
Each person applying for a debt collection agency license or renewal thereof shall file an application in such form and detail as the Director may prescribe and shall pay the fee required by this article.
In addition to any other information required, the Director shall require the following information:
In addition to any practices required under any federal, state or local law, a debt collection agency shall:
In any permitted communication with the consumer, provide:
Confirm, in writing, to the consumer, within five business days, any debt payment schedule or settlement agreement reached regarding the debt.
In addition to any practices prohibited under any federal, state or local law, a debt collection agency shall not:
Attempt to collect or contact a consumer regarding a debt after such consumer requests verification for such debt until such agency furnishes such consumer written documentation identifying the creditor who originated the debt and itemizing the principal balance of the debt that remains or is alleged to remain due and all other charges that are due or alleged to be due;
Contact a consumer about or seek to collect a debt on which the statute of limitations for initiating legal action has expired unless such agency first provides the consumer such information about the consumer's legal rights as the Commissioner prescribes by rule.
The Director may at any time revoke or suspend any license issued pursuant to this article for violation of any of the terms or conditions of such license as herein set forth, but such license shall not be revoked without notice, and the licensee shall be entitled to a hearing.
A violation of this article shall constitute a Class II offense.