Debt Settlement Services Provider - Financial Regulation
A Debt Settlement Service business offers services or programs that are represented directly, or by implication, to renegotiate, settle, reduce or alter in any way the terms of payment of a debt owed by a consumer.
ALL NEW DEBT SETTLEMENT SERVICES PROVIDER REGISTRATIONS, AND RENEWALS OF EXISTING REGISTRATIONS, MUST BE SUBMITTED THROUGH THE NATIONWIDE MULTISTATE LICENSING SYSTEM AND REGISTRY (NMLS).
CURRENT REGISTRANTS ARE REQUIRED TO TRANSITION THEIR REGISTRATION INFORMATION TO NMLS BETWEEN AUGUST 1, 2019, AND SEPTEMBER 30, 2019.
- New Applicants – ALL new registrants MUST register through the NMLS. Proceed to NMLS
- Renewing Registrants – You must renew your registration on the NMLS during the renewal period (November 1st through December 31st each year). Proceed to NMLS.
- Registered Debt Settlement Services Providers
- Print a Copy of Your License
- Application and Licensing Fees
- Instructions for Debt Settlement Services Provider Annual Report
Please read all of the instructions prior to entering data into the Debt Settlement Services Provider Annual Report.
- Debt Settlement Services Provider Annual Report (Excel) - DUE ON OR BEFORE MARCH 15th (Report of Maryland Debt Settlement Services for Previous Calendar Year Required to be Filed with the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation)
TRANSITION OF DEBT SETTLEMENT SERVICES REGISTRATION TO NMLS BEGINS AUG. 1, 2019
During the 2019 legislative session, the General Assembly passed, and Governor Hogan signed into law, House Bill 59 (90 Md. Laws 2019). This law requires the Commissioner of Financial Regulation (“Commissioner”) to utilize the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry, commonly known as NMLS, for the registration of debt settlement services providers, and requires all current registrants to transfer their registration information to NMLS during a two-month period designated by the Commissioner. The Commissioner has designated the period of August 1, 2019, through September 30, 2019, as the period for this transition. Additionally, all new registrations will be submitted through NMLS beginning August 1, 2019.
In addition to requiring the use of NMLS, the new law changes the registration period from two years to one year. The law also changes the registration fee from $1,000 for two years to $400 annually. In addition, registrants will be responsible for paying a $100 NMLS processing fee annually. Based on these changes, there will be no increase in the overall cost to Maryland registrants. Those whose current registrations expire December 31, 2019, will begin paying the new fee when renewing for 2020; those whose registrations expire in 2020 or 2021 will not be charged registration fees until their current registrations expire.
All registrants, regardless of expiration date, must transfer information to NMLS during the designated transition period.
IMPORTANT UPDATE JUNE 1, 2016
Senate Bill 741/House Bill 1022, the Maryland Debt Settlement Services Act (the Act), was passed by the General Assembly of Maryland in the 2011 legislative session and signed into law as Chapter 281 by the Governor in May, 2011. The Act was set to expire or “sunset” on June 30, 2016. The General Assembly of Maryland, in the 2016 legislative session, repealed the “sunset” provision via Senate Bill 471/House Bill 1450 and it was signed into law by the Governor. As a result, all debt settlement services providers must continue to be registered. In addition, on or before March 15th of every year, each debt settlement services provider that is registered with the Commissioner shall report on the debt settlement services business that the registrant conducted in Maryland during the preceding calendar year on a form prescribed by the Commissioner.
Maryland Debt Settlement Services Providers Registration Advisory - June 9, 2016
Laws and Rules
Applicants and licensees are expected to be knowledgeable about and in compliance with the Debt Settlement Services Act, and any other applicable State or Federal statutes and regulations. Maryland rules and regulations can be found by accessing the Annotated Code of Maryland and Rules and Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR).
Note: To access the Maryland Code Annotated, from the link below, select the "Maryland Code" folder, then select the individual folders or links provided to delve into the volumes, chapters, and/or sections of the publication.
Maryland Code Annotated, Financial Institutions § 12-1001 et seq. (Maryland Debt Settlement Services Act)
Maryland Code Annotated, Commercial Law § 13-301 et seq. (Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practice)