Collection Agencies - Financial Regulation
Last reviewed or updated: July 24, 2023
A Collection Agency engages directly or indirectly in the business of collecting for, or soliciting from another, a consumer claim; or collecting a consumer claim the person owns, if the claim was in default when the person acquired it. A collection agency also gives, sells, attempts to give or sell to another, or uses, for collection of a consumer claim, a series or system of forms or letters that indicates directly or indirectly that a person other than the owner is asserting the consumer claim; or employs the services of an individual or business to solicit or sell a collection system to be used for collection of a consumer claim.
This license is required for the principal executive office of any person (defined in Md. Code Ann., Bus. Reg. §1-101) doing business as a collection agency. Refer to Md. Code Ann., Bus. Reg. §7-101 et seq. for legal requirements. For more detailed information on this license type please proceed to the NMLS Resource Center.
License Requirements and Fees
Effective July 1, 2023, individual licenses for locations other than the principal executive office and for self-service financial kiosks are not required and will not be issued. Maryland business may be conducted at these locations under the license issued for the principal executive office if they are disclosed to the Commissioner. To disclose these locations, the form below, or a list in substantially similar form, should be prepared and uploaded to NMLS in accordance with the instructions on the form. A new form must be uploaded whenever an additional location is opened, closed, or moved, or if there is a change in a trade name used at an additional location.
Additional Information and Documents
October 26, 2021 Webinar - “Regulatory Updates and Industry Best Practices for the Modern Collection Agency in Maryland”
- Federal Debt Collection Rules Summary (CFPB)
- Maryland Licensing, Compliance, Consumer and Enforcement Updates (OCFR)
- Debt Purchasing Best Practices, Maryland Medical Debt Protection Act, Technology and Operations Industry Best Practices (RMAI, ACA International and Clark Hill, and The iA Institute)
Laws, Rules, and Regulations
Applicants and licensees are expected to be knowledgeable about and in compliance with the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act, and any other applicable State or Federal statutes, rules, and regulations. Maryland laws, rules, and regulations can be found by accessing the Annotated Code of Maryland and Rules and Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR). Certain relevant Maryland laws, rules, and/or regulations include (Note: this is not a comprehensive list):
- Maryland Code, Business Regulation Article, Title 7 (Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act)
- Maryland Code, Commercial Law Article, Title 12 (Credit Regulations)
- Maryland Code, Commercial Law Article, Title 14, Subtitle 2 (Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act)
- COMAR 09.03.02.08 (Remote Work for Employees of Licensees)
- COMAR 09.03.13 (State Collection Agency Licensing Board—Fees)