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Statutes Text

Article - Financial Institutions




§12–918.

    (a)    With respect to the provision of debt management services, a licensee may not impose any fees or other charges on a consumer, or receive any funds or other payments from a consumer or another person on behalf of a consumer:

        (1)    Except as provided in subsections (g)(3) and (i) of this section, until after the licensee and consumer have executed a debt management services agreement; and

        (2)    Only as allowed under this section.

    (b)    (1)    A licensee may charge a consultation fee not exceeding $50.

        (2)    The cost of a credit report on a consumer shall be paid from the consultation fee paid by the consumer.

    (c)    (1)    Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, a licensee may charge a monthly maintenance fee not exceeding $8 for each creditor of a consumer that is listed in the debt management services agreement between the licensee and the consumer.

        (2)    The total fees charged to a consumer under paragraph (1) of this subsection may not exceed $40 per month.

    (d)    A licensee may collect from or on behalf of a consumer the funds the consumer has agreed to pay to the licensee under the debt management services agreement.

    (e)    A licensee may not charge a fee to:

        (1)    Prepare a financial analysis or an initial budget plan for the consumer;

        (2)    Counsel a consumer about debt management;

        (3)    Provide a consumer with the consumer education program described in the licensee’s license application; or

        (4)    Rescind a debt management services agreement.

    (f)    (1)    A licensee may not require a voluntary contribution from a consumer for any service provided by the licensee to the consumer.

        (2)    A licensee may accept a voluntary contribution from a consumer for a debt management service provided by the licensee to the consumer if the aggregate amount of the voluntary contribution and any other fees received by the licensee from the consumer for debt management services does not exceed the total amount the licensee is authorized to charge the consumer under subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

    (g)    (1)    Before providing debt management services to a consumer, a licensee shall provide the consumer a list of services and their charges describing:

            (i)    Those services that the licensee offers:

                1.    Free of charge if the consumer enters into a debt management services agreement with the licensee; and

                2.    For a charge if the consumer does not enter into a debt management services agreement with the licensee; and

            (ii)    Those services that the licensee offers for a charge that are not offered as a part of debt management services.

        (2)    A licensee may not, as a condition of entering into a debt management services agreement, require a consumer to purchase for a fee a counseling session, an educational program, or materials and supplies.

        (3)    A licensee may charge a consumer a fee for a counseling session, an educational program, or materials and supplies if the consumer does not enter into a debt management services agreement with the licensee.

    (h)    (1)    In addition to any other right of rescission contained in the debt management services agreement, a consumer may modify or rescind a debt management services agreement if the consumer is notified of a creditor’s nonparticipation under this subsection.

        (2)    If a creditor that is listed as participating in the debt management services agreement declines to participate in debt management services under the agreement, the licensee shall notify the consumer by certified mail, or other verifiable means approved by the consumer, at least 5 business days before the consumer’s next scheduled payment under the agreement.

        (3)    The notice shall include:

            (i)    The identity of the creditor; and

            (ii)    The right of the consumer to modify or rescind the agreement.

        (4)    A consumer who rescinds a debt management services agreement under this subsection is entitled to a refund of all unexpended funds that the consumer has paid to the licensee for the reduction of the consumer’s debt.

    (i)    If a payment by a consumer under this section to a licensee is dishonored, the licensee may charge the consumer the amount allowable for dishonored checks or other instruments under § 15-802 of the Commercial Law Article, whether or not the consumer has entered into a debt management services agreement with the licensee.

    (j)    With respect to the provision of debt management services, if a licensee imposes any fee or other charge or receives any funds or other payments not authorized under this section, except as a result of an accidental and bona fide error:

        (1)    The debt management services agreement shall be void; and

        (2)    The licensee shall return the amount of the unauthorized fees, charges, funds, or payments to the consumer.