From the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation
- Evaluate My Situation
- Find Alternatives to Court
- Find Court and Legal Forms
- Research the Law
- File a Case
- Prepare for My Day in Court
- Appeal or Enforce a Decision
A law that went into effect October 2011 requires companies that offer debt settlement services to register with the Commissioner of Financial Regulation and pay a registration fee. Debt settlement services are any service that helps consumers renogotiate or settle debts between a consumer and a debt collector or creditor. The law is in subtitle 10 of title 12 of the Financial Institutions Article.
"Debt settlement services" are different from "debt management services" under Maryland law. Debt management services are covered by subtitle 9 of title 12 of the Financial Institutions article. Debt management services take payments over a long period of time and distribute the payments among the person's creditors. Debt settlement services negotiate to settle a consumer's debt. A debt settlement service can only take money from consumers to settle a debt if:
If the debt settlement service establishes a bank account for holding its customers money, it must file a $50,000 surety bond with the Commissioner of Finantial Institutions.
A violation of this law is an unfair or deceptive trade practice under Maryland law and the violator is subject to fees and penalties associated with the violation.
This site offers legal information, not legal advice. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options. However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney. The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site. In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2013.”