R.I. Legislature Passes Law Requiring Bond for Collectors

In an update that was first published by ACA International, the Rhode Island legislature has passed a bill that will require debt collectors to obtain a bond before they can be licensed.

The bill, S. 2794, is now heading to the desk of Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee for his signature or veto. The bill was introduced by state Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski and includes other provisions related to the financial services industry and applying for and obtaining licenses to operate in the state.

Any debt collector that applies for a license to collect in Rhode Island must now present a bond of $50,000.

The bill also codifies the ability of employees of licensed entities to work from remote locations and not be required to work in a branch or office in the state. Employees of a licensee may perform services for the licensee if the employee is subject to the supervision of the licensee, if the remote location “is the employee’s resident or other location identified in the records of the licensee and is within a reasonable distance of a place of business named in the licensee’s license or branch certificate,” and the licensee has “written policies and procedures for supervision of, and employs appropriate risk-based monitoring and oversight process of work performed” by employees working from remote locations, among other provisions.

The bill passed in the state’s Senate by a vote of 32-to-3 and in the House by a vote of 70-0 last week. If signed by the governor, the bill would go into effect immediately.

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