In what can be described as an eye-opening reversal, the Massachusetts Division of Banks has reversed its position and now will not require lawyers who collect debts to obtain licenses.
The reversal was announced in a letter that the regulator sent to the law firm of Lustig, Glaser & Wilson. The regulator has previously issued a decision in November that law firms would have to register.
Since the issuance of the November 2nd letter, the Division has reconsidered its recent interpretation of the attorney-at-law exemption set forth at Mass. Gen. Law ch. 93, § 24. As a result of the Division’s further consideration of the statutory language of ch. 93, § 24, the Division has determined that it will withdraw its November 2nd opinion (and its related follow up opinion dated February 11, 2016) as of today’s date. Therefore, the Division will not require LGW, or other similarly situated law firms, to become licensed solely because LGW is primarily engaged in consumer debt collection or regularly collects consumer debt.
No reason was given as to why the state reversed and subsequently withdrew its opinion.
A message left with LGW managing attorney Kenneth Wilson was not immediately returned.