If you do business in the Big Apple, there’s a big deadline to know about coming up next month.
Attorneys and law firms acting as debt collection agencies in New York City have until November 30th to submit an application for a Debt Collection Agency license from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).
The new regulation comes in the wake of the Eric M. Berman P.C. v. City of New York case, which insideARM has covered previously. That case dealt with whether the city had the authority to require attorneys and law firms acting as collection agencies to obtain the Debt Collection Agency licenses.
As a result of the Berman decision, the New York City Administrative Code now reads that any person acting as a “debt collection agency” must obtain a license. That said, there are several exceptions to the rule. According to the DCA, those who meet the following criteria are not considered a “debt collection agency” and do not have to register:
- Attorneys or law firms “collecting debt in such capacity on behalf of and in the name of a client solely through activities that may only be performed by a licensed attorney”
- Attorneys who engage in debt collection activity who are members of law firm that is licensed as a debt collection agency”
If you are an attorney or law firm doing debt collection in New York City, it’s crucial to remember to register by the November 30th deadline. According to the New York City Administrative Code, anyone found guilty of unlicensed debt collection agency activity will be subject to a penalty of up to $1000 plus $100 for each day of operating without a license. Additionally, you could be subject to a penalty of $100 for each instance of contacting a consumer.