(1) Except as provided in subsection (9) of this section, every collection agency shall keep a record of all sums collected by it, and of all disbursements made by it, and shall maintain and keep all such records and all customers’ funds within this state. Collection agencies shall maintain accounting records of collections for and payments to customers for a period of six years from the date of the last entry thereon. Collection agencies shall keep other records for a period of two years from the date of the last entry thereon. Collection agencies, or any employee thereof, shall not intentionally make any false entry in any collection agency record or intentionally mutilate, destroy or otherwise dispose of any such record within the time limits provided in this section. This subsection does not apply to out-of-state collection agencies.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (9) of this section, every collection agency shall establish and maintain a regular, active business office in this state for the purpose of conducting business in this state. The office shall be open to the public during reasonable, stated business hours. This subsection does not apply to out-of-state collection agencies.
(3) A collection agency shall not commingle the money of customers with other moneys.
(4) Except as provided in subsection (9) of this section, a collection agency shall maintain a separate trust account in this state for customers’ funds and shall keep funds in such trust account until disbursed to the customer. This subsection does not apply to out-of-state collection agencies.
(5) Except as provided in subsection (9) of this section, every collection agency that requires customers to pay an amount for services prior to the time that the services are rendered shall maintain a separate trust account in this state for prepayments and shall keep prepayment funds in the trust account for 180 days or until the services for which prepayment is made are performed, whichever occurs first.
(6) Every collection agency, within 30 days after the close of each calendar or fiscal month, shall report and pay to its customers the net proceeds due and payable of all collections made during that calendar or fiscal month. When the net proceeds are less than $5 at the end of any calendar or fiscal month, payments may be deferred for a period not to exceed three months.
(7) Upon the motion of the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services or upon receipt of a complaint by a customer of the collection agency, the director may audit the collection agency’s trust accounts with respect to any violation by the collection agency of this section. If the director finds any discrepancy in the trust accounts, the director also may audit the operating account of the collection agency. The collection agency shall pay the reasonable cost of an audit under this section, as determined by the director.
(8) If a collection agency does not pay the cost of the audit determined under subsection (7) of this section, the director may assign the delinquent account to the Department of Revenue for collection in the manner that other debts are collected under ORS 293.250.
(9) The director, by rule or order, may exempt a collection agency from the requirements of subsection (1), (2), (4) or (5) of this section if the collection agency:
(a) Satisfies the director that the books, records and trust accounts of the collection agency may be examined by the director without undue delay or expense;
(b) Provides for timely and convenient remittance of debtor payments and funds owed to the customer; and
(c) Complies with all conditions the director may require relating to additional bonding requirements and to provisions for auditing financial statements of trust accounts, receiving payments from and communicating with debtors, and remitting funds to customers. [1981 c.85 §9; 1983 c.69 §2; 1995 c.622 §9; 1999 c.413 §2; 1999 c.468 §2]Section: Previous 697.040 697.041 697.045 697.050 697.051 697.053 697.055 697.058 697.060 697.061 697.063 697.070 697.075 697.080 697.085 Next
Last modified: August 7, 2008