Texas Finance Code § 394.204 Registration

Sec. 394.204. REGISTRATION. (a) A person, regardless of whether located in this state, may not provide a debt management service to a consumer in this state unless the person is registered with the commissioner.

(b) Registration expires on December 31 of the year in which the registration occurs and must be renewed annually.

(c) An application for an initial registration must be in a form prescribed by the commissioner and accompanied by:

(1) the appropriate fees set by the finance commission in an amount necessary to recover the costs of administering this subchapter;

(2) the surety bond or insurance required by Section 394.206;

(3) the applicant's name, the applicant's principal business address and telephone number, all other business addresses of the applicant in this state, and the applicant's electronic mail address and Internet website address;

(4) all names under which the applicant conducts business;

(5) the address of each location in this state at which the applicant will provide debt management services, or if the applicant will have no such location, a statement to that effect;

(6) the name and home address of each officer and director of the applicant and each person that holds at least a 10 percent ownership interest in the applicant;

(7) if the applicant is a nonprofit or tax exempt organization, a detailed description of the ownership interest of each officer, director, agent, or employee of the applicant, and any member of the immediate family of an officer, director, agent, or employee of the applicant, in a for-profit affiliate or subsidiary of the applicant or in any other for-profit business entity that provides services to the applicant or to a consumer in relation to the applicant's debt management business; and

(8) any other information that the commissioner requires.

(d) An officer or employee of a person registered under this subchapter is not required to be separately registered.

(e) Unless the commissioner notifies an applicant that a longer period is necessary, the commissioner shall approve or deny an initial registration not later than the 60th day after the date on which the completed application, including all required documents and payments, is filed. The commissioner shall inform the applicant in writing of the reason for denial.

(f) A person may renew a registration by paying the appropriate fee and completing all required documents.

(g) The finance commission by rule may establish procedures to facilitate the registration and collection of fees under this section, including rules staggering throughout the year the dates on which fees are due.

(h) The commissioner may refuse an initial application if the application contains errors or incomplete information. An application is incomplete if it does not include all of the information required by this section and Section 394.205.

(i) The commissioner may deny an initial application if:

(1) the applicant or any principal of the applicant has been convicted of a crime or found civilly liable for an offense involving moral turpitude, including forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, larceny, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, or any other similar offense or violation;

(2) the registration of the applicant or any principal of the applicant has been revoked or suspended in this state or another state, unless the applicant provides information that the commissioner finds sufficient to show that the grounds for the previous revocation or suspension no longer exist and any problem cited in the previous revocation has been corrected; or

(3) the commissioner, based on specific evidence, finds that the applicant does not warrant the belief that the business will be operated lawfully and fairly and within the provisions and purposes of this subchapter.

(j) On written request, the applicant is entitled to a hearing, pursuant to Chapter 2001, Government Code, on the question of the applicant's qualifications for initial registration if the commissioner has notified the applicant in writing that the initial application has been denied. A request for a hearing may not be made after the 30th day after the date the commissioner mails a notice to the applicant stating that the application has been denied and stating the reasons for the denial.

(k) In addition to the power to refuse an initial application as specified in this section, the commissioner may suspend or revoke a provider's registration after notice and hearing if the commissioner finds that any of the following conditions are met:

(1) a fact or condition exists that if it had existed when the provider applied for registration would have been grounds for denying registration;

(2) a fact or condition exists that the commissioner was not aware of when the provider applied for registration and would have been grounds for denying registration;

(3) the provider violates this subchapter or rule or order of the commissioner under this subchapter;

(4) the provider is insolvent;

(5) the provider refuses to permit the commissioner to make an examination authorized by this subchapter;

(6) the provider fails to respond within a reasonable time and in an appropriate manner to communications from the commissioner;

(7) the provider has received money from or on behalf of a consumer for disbursement to a creditor under a debt management plan that provides for regular periodic payments to creditors in full repayment of the principal amount of the debts and the provider has failed to disburse money to the creditor on behalf of the consumer within a reasonable time, normally 30 days;

(8) the commissioner determines that the provider's trust account is not materially in balance with and reconciled to the consumer's account; or

(9) the provider fails to warrant the belief that the business will be operated lawfully and fairly and within the provisions and purposes of this subchapter.

(l) The commissioner's order revoking a registration must include appropriate provisions to transfer existing clients of the provider to one or more registered providers to ensure the continued servicing of the clients' accounts.

(m) The commissioner shall maintain a list of registered providers and make the list available to interested persons and to the public.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 336 (S.B. 1112), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 48 (S.B. 884), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 368 (S.B. 141), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

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Last modified: September 28, 2016