[Rev. 11/21/2013 1:04:58 PM--2013]

CHAPTER 676A - UNIFORM DEBT-MANAGEMENT SERVICES ACT

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 676A.010        Short title.

NRS 676A.020        Definitions.

NRS 676A.030        “Affiliate” defined.

NRS 676A.040        “Agreement” defined.

NRS 676A.050        “Bank” defined.

NRS 676A.060        “Business address” defined.

NRS 676A.070        “Certified counselor” defined.

NRS 676A.080        “Certified debt specialist” defined.

NRS 676A.090        “Commissioner” defined.

NRS 676A.100        “Concessions” defined.

NRS 676A.110        “Credit counseling” defined.

NRS 676A.120        “Day” defined.

NRS 676A.130        “Debt-management plan” defined.

NRS 676A.140        “Debt-management services” defined.

NRS 676A.150        “Debt settlement services” defined.

NRS 676A.160        “Entity” defined.

NRS 676A.170        “Good faith” defined.

NRS 676A.180        “Person” defined.

NRS 676A.190        “Plan” defined.

NRS 676A.200        “Principal amount of the debt” defined.

NRS 676A.210        “Provider” defined.

NRS 676A.220        “Record” defined.

NRS 676A.230        “Settlement fee” defined.

NRS 676A.240        “Sign” defined.

NRS 676A.250        “State” defined.

NRS 676A.260        “Trust account” defined.

NRS 676A.270        Applicability.

NRS 676A.280        Uniformity of application and construction.

NRS 676A.290        Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

REGISTRATION

NRS 676A.300        Registration required.

NRS 676A.310        Application for registration: Form; contents; fee; bond; evidence of insurance.

NRS 676A.320        Application for registration: Additional contents.

NRS 676A.330        Duty to report changes in information.

NRS 676A.340        Commissioner to make certain information available; certain information confidential.

NRS 676A.350        Issuance of certificate of registration; temporary certificate of registration; grounds for denial of registration.

NRS 676A.360        Commissioner to approve or deny registration within certain period; extension to obtain additional information; appeal of denial; period of validity of registration.

NRS 676A.370        Renewal of registration: Application; form; contents; fees; disclosure; denial.

NRS 676A.380        Alternative application for registration for applicants licensed or certified in another state; conditions.

NRS 676A.390        Surety bond required.

NRS 676A.400        Substitute for surety bond.

CONDUCT OF BUSINESS; DUTIES OF PROVIDERS

NRS 676A.500        Provider to act in good faith; fiduciary duty.

NRS 676A.510        Provider to maintain toll-free communication system.

NRS 676A.520        Duties of provider before providing debt-management services.

NRS 676A.530        Required disclosures and materials: Use of Internet; form; written copy provided on request; disclosures on website; termination of electronic communication; termination of agreement.

NRS 676A.540        Agreement: Contents; required provisions; prohibited provisions; provisions void if contrary to certain requirements.

NRS 676A.550        Cancellation of agreement.

NRS 676A.560        Disclosures and documents to be in English; provider also must furnish translation if language other than English is used in communications.

NRS 676A.570        Money paid to provider to be held in trust; requirements concerning trust accounts and money held in trust; accounting; prompt refund on termination of agreement.

NRS 676A.580        Fees or charges: Restrictions.

NRS 676A.590        Voluntary contributions: Restrictions.

NRS 676A.600        Required disclosures by provider.

NRS 676A.610        Agreement voidable by individual in certain circumstances.

NRS 676A.620        Provider may terminate agreement for nonpayment.

NRS 676A.630        Provider to provide accounting periodically and upon request; retention of records.

PROHIBITED ACTS; CIVIL ACTIONS; LIABILITY; ENFORCEMENT; PENALTIES; REMEDIES

NRS 676A.700        Prohibited acts.

NRS 676A.710        Provider to notify Commissioner of civil actions.

NRS 676A.720        Provider liable for conduct of person to whom it delegates duties.

NRS 676A.730        Powers of Commissioner: Enforcement; investigation; regulations; fees; cooperative agreements.

NRS 676A.740        Commissioner to enforce chapter; penalties.

NRS 676A.750        Suspension, revocation or denial of renewal of registration by Commissioner.

NRS 676A.760        Civil remedies.

NRS 676A.770        Violation constitutes deceptive trade practice.

NRS 676A.780        Statute of limitations for certain actions.

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GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 676A.010  Short title.  This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Debt-Management Services Act.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1970)

      NRS 676A.020  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and terms defined in NRS 676A.030 to 676A.260, inclusive, have the meanings ascribed to them in those sections.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1970)

      NRS 676A.030  “Affiliate” defined.  “Affiliate” means:

      1.  With respect to an individual:

      (a) The spouse of the individual;

      (b) A sibling of the individual or the spouse of a sibling;

      (c) An individual or the spouse of an individual who is a lineal ancestor or lineal descendant of the individual or the individual’s spouse;

      (d) An aunt, uncle, great aunt, great uncle, first cousin, niece, nephew, grandniece or grandnephew, whether related by the whole or the half blood or adoption, or the spouse of any of them; or

      (e) Any other individual occupying the residence of the individual; and

      2.  With respect to an entity:

      (a) A person that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by or is under common control with the entity;

      (b) An officer of, or an individual performing similar functions with respect to, the entity;

      (c) A director of, or an individual performing similar functions with respect to, the entity;

      (d) Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 676A.730, a person that receives or received more than $25,000 from the entity in either the current year or the preceding year or a person that owns more than 10 percent of, or an individual who is employed by or is a director of, a person that receives or received more than $25,000 from the entity in either the current year or the preceding year;

      (e) An officer or director of, or an individual performing similar functions with respect to, a person described in paragraph (a);

      (f) The spouse of, or an individual occupying the residence of, an individual described in paragraphs (a) to (e), inclusive; or

      (g) An individual who has the relationship specified in paragraph (d) of subsection 1 to an individual or the spouse of an individual described in paragraphs (a) to (e), inclusive.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1970)

      NRS 676A.040  “Agreement” defined.  “Agreement” means an agreement between a provider and an individual for the performance of debt-management services.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.050  “Bank” defined.  “Bank” means a financial institution, including, without limitation, a commercial bank, savings bank, savings and loan association, credit union and trust company, engaged in the business of banking, chartered under federal or state law and regulated by a federal or state banking regulatory authority.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.060  “Business address” defined.  “Business address” means the physical location of a business, including, without limitation, the name and number of a street.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.070  “Certified counselor” defined.  “Certified counselor” means an individual certified by a training program or certifying organization, approved by the Commissioner, that authenticates the competence of individuals providing education and assistance to other individuals in connection with debt-management services in which an agreement contemplates that creditors will reduce finance charges or fees for late payment, default or delinquency.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.080  “Certified debt specialist” defined.  “Certified debt specialist” means an individual certified by a training program or certifying organization, approved by the Commissioner, that authenticates the competence of individuals providing education and assistance to other individuals in connection with debt settlement services.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.090  “Commissioner” defined.  “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.100  “Concessions” defined.  “Concessions” means assent to repayment of a debt on terms more favorable to an individual than the terms of the contract between the individual and a creditor.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.110  “Credit counseling” defined.  “Credit counseling” means providing education and assistance to an individual concerning debts owed by the individual which may include, without limitation, the development and implementation of a debt-management plan.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.120  “Day” defined.  “Day” means calendar day.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.130  “Debt-management plan” defined.  “Debt-management plan” means a plan which contemplates that:

      1.  Regular, periodic payments will be made to a provider by or on behalf of an individual to whom debt-management services are being provided; and

      2.  The individual’s creditors will reduce financing charges or fees for late payment, default or delinquency.

Ê The term does not include a plan which contemplates that creditors of the individual will settle debts for less than the principal amount of the debt.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.140  “Debt-management services” defined.  “Debt-management services” means services as an intermediary between an individual and one or more creditors of the individual for the purpose of obtaining concessions and includes credit counseling, the development and implementation of debt-management plans and debt settlement services. The term does not include:

      1.  Legal services provided in an attorney-client relationship by an attorney licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law in this State;

      2.  Accounting services provided in an accountant-client relationship by a certified public accountant licensed to provide accounting services in this State; or

      3.  Financial-planning services provided in a financial planner-client relationship by a member of a financial-planning profession whose members the Commissioner, by regulation, determines are:

      (a) Licensed by this State;

      (b) Subject to a disciplinary mechanism;

      (c) Subject to a code of professional responsibility; and

      (d) Subject to a continuing education requirement.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1971)

      NRS 676A.150  “Debt settlement services” defined.  “Debt settlement services” means debt-management services which contemplate that:

      1.  Regular, periodic payments will be made by or on behalf of the individual to whom the services are being provided;

      2.  The individual will accumulate such payments in a bank account which is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, owned by the individual and not controlled by the provider; and

      3.  The individual will use the accumulated amount of the payments made pursuant to subsection 1 to make payments to:

      (a) The provider for any fees charged by the provider pursuant to NRS 676A.580; and

      (b) Creditors in order to settle the debts of the individual for less than the principal amount of the debt.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.160  “Entity” defined.  “Entity” means a person other than an individual.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.170  “Good faith” defined.  “Good faith” means honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable standards of fair dealing.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.180  “Person” defined.  “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited-liability company, association, joint venture or any other legal or commercial entity. The term does not include a public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.190  “Plan” defined.  “Plan” means a program or strategy in which a provider furnishes debt-management services to an individual and which includes a schedule of payments to be made by or on behalf of the individual and used to pay debts owed by the individual.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.200  “Principal amount of the debt” defined.  “Principal amount of the debt” means the amount of a debt at the time of an agreement.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.210  “Provider” defined.  “Provider” means a person that provides, offers to provide or agrees to provide debt-management services directly or through others.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.220  “Record” defined.  “Record” means information which is inscribed on a tangible medium or which is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.230  “Settlement fee” defined.  “Settlement fee” means a charge imposed on or paid by an individual in connection with a creditor’s assent to accept in full satisfaction of a debt an amount less than the principal amount of the debt.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.240  “Sign” defined.  “Sign” means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record:

      1.  To execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or

      2.  To attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic sound, symbol or process.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.250  “State” defined.  “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1972)

      NRS 676A.260  “Trust account” defined.  “Trust account” means an account held by a provider that is:

      1.  Established in an insured bank;

      2.  Separate from other accounts of the provider or its designee;

      3.  Designated as a trust account or other account designated to indicate that the money in the account is not the money of the provider or its designee; and

      4.  Used to hold money of one or more individuals for disbursement to creditors of the individuals.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1973)

      NRS 676A.270  Applicability.

      1.  This chapter does not apply to an agreement with an individual who the provider has no reason to know resides in this State at the time of the agreement.

      2.  This chapter does not apply to a provider to the extent that the provider:

      (a) Provides or agrees to provide debt-management, educational or counseling services to an individual who the provider has no reason to know resides in this State at the time the provider agrees to provide the services; or

      (b) Receives no compensation for debt-management services from or on behalf of the individuals to whom it provides the services or from their creditors.

      3.  This chapter does not apply to the following persons or their employees when the person or the employee is engaged in the regular course of the person’s business or profession:

      (a) A judicial officer, a person acting under an order of a court or an administrative agency or an assignee for the benefit of creditors;

      (b) A bank;

      (c) An affiliate, as defined in paragraph (a) of subsection 2 of NRS 676A.030, of a bank if the affiliate is regulated by a federal or state banking regulatory authority; or

      (d) A title insurer, escrow company or other person that provides bill-paying services if the provision of debt-management services is incidental to the bill-paying services.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1973)

      NRS 676A.280  Uniformity of application and construction.  In applying and construing the Uniform Debt-Management Services Act, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1997)

      NRS 676A.290  Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.  This chapter modifies, limits and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 7001 et seq., but does not modify, limit or supersede section 101(c) of that act, 15 U.S.C. § 7001(c), or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in section 103(b) of that act, 15 U.S.C. § 7003(b).

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1998)

REGISTRATION

      NRS 676A.300  Registration required.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, a provider may not provide debt-management services to an individual who it reasonably should know resides in this State at the time it agrees to provide the services, unless the provider is registered under this chapter.

      2.  If a provider is registered under this chapter, subsection 1 does not apply to an employee or agent of the provider.

      3.  The Commissioner shall maintain and publicize a list of the names of all registered providers.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1973)

      NRS 676A.310  Application for registration: Form; contents; fee; bond; evidence of insurance.

      1.  An application for registration as a provider must be in a form prescribed by the Commissioner.

      2.  Subject to adjustment of dollar amounts pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 676A.730, an application for registration as a provider must be accompanied by:

      (a) The fee established by the Commissioner;

      (b) The bond required by NRS 676A.390;

      (c) If the debt-management services to be provided by the provider will include the development and implementation of debt-management plans, identification of all trust accounts required by NRS 676A.570 and an irrevocable consent authorizing the Commissioner to review and examine the trust accounts;

      (d) Evidence of insurance in the amount of $250,000:

             (1) Against the risks of dishonesty, fraud, theft and other misconduct on the part of the applicant or a director, employee or agent of the applicant;

             (2) Issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this State and rated at least A or equivalent by a nationally recognized rating organization approved by the Commissioner;

             (3) With a deductible not exceeding $5,000;

             (4) Payable for the benefit of the applicant, this State and individuals who are residents of this State, as their interests may appear; and

             (5) Not subject to cancellation by the applicant or the insurer until 60 days after written notice has been given to the Commissioner;

      (e) Proof of compliance with NRS 360.760 to 360.796, inclusive; and

      (f) If the applicant is exempt from taxation, evidence of nonprofit and tax-exempt status applicable to the applicant under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 501.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1973)

      NRS 676A.320  Application for registration: Additional contents.  An application for registration must be signed under oath and include:

      1.  The applicant’s name, principal business address and telephone number and all other business addresses in this State, electronic mail addresses and Internet website addresses;

      2.  All names under which the applicant conducts business;

      3.  The address of each location in this State at which the applicant will provide debt-management services or a statement that the applicant will have no such location;

      4.  The name and home address of each officer and director of the applicant and each person that owns at least 10 percent of the applicant;

      5.  Identification of every jurisdiction in which, during the 5 years immediately preceding the application:

      (a) The applicant or any of its officers or directors have been licensed or registered to provide debt-management services; or

      (b) Individuals have resided when they received debt-management services from the applicant;

      6.  A statement describing, to the extent it is known or should be known by the applicant, any material civil or criminal judgment or litigation and any material administrative or enforcement action by a governmental agency in any jurisdiction against the applicant, any of its officers, directors, owners or agents or any person who is authorized to have access to the trust account required by NRS 676A.570;

      7.  The applicant’s financial statements for each of the 2 years immediately preceding the application or, if it has not been in operation for the 2 years preceding the application, for the period of its existence, which must be audited by an accountant licensed to conduct audits if the applicant is claiming nonprofit or tax-exempt status or if the applicant’s business practices involve holding, accessing or directing the funds of an individual;

      8.  Evidence of accreditation by an independent accrediting organization approved by the Commissioner;

      9.  Evidence that, within 12 months after initial employment, each of the applicant’s counselors becomes certified as a certified counselor or certified debt specialist;

      10.  A description of the three most commonly used educational programs that the applicant provides or intends to provide to individuals who reside in this State and a copy of any materials used or to be used in those programs;

      11.  A description of the applicant’s financial analysis and initial budget plan, including, without limitation, any form or electronic model used to evaluate the financial condition of individuals;

      12.  A copy of each form of agreement that the applicant will use with individuals who reside in this State;

      13.  The schedule of fees and charges that the applicant will use with individuals who reside in this State;

      14.  A complete set of the fingerprints of every officer of the applicant and every employee or agent of the applicant who is authorized to have access to the trust account required by NRS 676A.570 and written permission from each individual submitting a complete set of fingerprints authorizing the Commissioner to forward the fingerprints to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its report;

      15.  The names and addresses of all employers of each director during the 10 years immediately preceding the application;

      16.  A description of any ownership interest of at least 10 percent by a director, owner or employee of the applicant in:

      (a) Any affiliate of the applicant; or

      (b) Any entity that provides products or services to the applicant or any individual relating to the applicant’s debt-management services;

      17.  If the applicant is exempt from taxation, a statement of the amount of compensation of the applicant’s five most highly compensated employees for each of the 3 years immediately preceding the application or, if it has not been in operation for the 3 years preceding the application, for the period of its existence;

      18.  The identity of each director who is an affiliate, as defined in subsection 1 of NRS 676A.030 or paragraph (a), (b), (d), (e), (f) or (g) of subsection 2 of NRS 676A.030, of the applicant; and

      19.  Any other information that the Commissioner reasonably requires to perform the Commissioner’s duties under NRS 676A.350.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1974)

      NRS 676A.330  Duty to report changes in information.  An applicant or registered provider shall notify the Commissioner within 10 days after a change in the information specified in paragraph (d) or (f) of subsection 2 of NRS 676A.310 or subsection 1, 3, 6, 12 or 13 of NRS 676A.320.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1975)

      NRS 676A.340  Commissioner to make certain information available; certain information confidential.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, the Commissioner shall make the information in an application for registration as a provider available to the public.

      2.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 239.0115, the information required by subsections 7, 14 and 17 of NRS 676A.320 and the addresses required by subsection 4 of NRS 676A.320 are confidential and not subject to inspection by the general public.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1975)

      NRS 676A.350  Issuance of certificate of registration; temporary certificate of registration; grounds for denial of registration.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsections 3 and 4, the Commissioner shall issue a certificate of registration as a provider to a person that complies with NRS 676A.310 and 676A.320.

      2.  If an applicant has otherwise complied with NRS 676A.310 and 676A.320, including a timely effort to obtain the information required by subsection 14 of NRS 676A.320, but the information has not been received, the Commissioner may issue a temporary certificate of registration. The temporary certificate expires not later than 180 days after issuance.

      3.  The Commissioner may deny registration if:

      (a) The application contains information that is materially erroneous or incomplete;

      (b) An officer, director or owner of the applicant has been convicted of a crime, or suffered a civil judgment, involving dishonesty or the violation of state or federal securities laws;

      (c) The applicant or any of its officers, directors or owners have defaulted in the payment of money collected for others; or

      (d) The Commissioner finds that the financial responsibility, experience, character or general fitness of the applicant or its owners, directors, employees or agents does not warrant belief that the business will be operated in compliance with this chapter.

      4.  The Commissioner shall deny registration if, with respect to an applicant that is organized as a nonprofit entity or has obtained tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 501, the applicant’s board of directors is not independent of the applicant’s employees and agents.

      5.  Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 676A.730, a board of directors is not independent for purposes of subsection 4 if more than one-fourth of its members:

      (a) Are affiliates of the applicant, as defined in subsection 1 of NRS 676A.030 or paragraph (a), (b), (d), (e), (f) or (g) of subsection 2 of NRS 676A.030; or

      (b) After the date 10 years before first becoming a director of the applicant, were employed by or directors of a person that received from the applicant more than $25,000 in either the current year or the preceding year.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1976)

      NRS 676A.360  Commissioner to approve or deny registration within certain period; extension to obtain additional information; appeal of denial; period of validity of registration.

      1.  The Commissioner shall approve or deny an initial registration as a provider within 120 days after an application is filed. In connection with a request pursuant to subsection 19 of NRS 676A.320 for additional information, the Commissioner may extend the 120-day period for not more than 60 days. Within 7 days after denying an application, the Commissioner, in a record, shall inform the applicant of the reasons for the denial.

      2.  If the Commissioner denies an application for registration as a provider or does not act on an application within the time prescribed in subsection 1, the applicant may appeal and request a hearing pursuant to NRS 233B.121 to 233B.150, inclusive.

      3.  Subject to subsection 4 of NRS 676A.370 and NRS 676A.750, a registration as a provider is valid for 1 year.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1976)

      NRS 676A.370  Renewal of registration: Application; form; contents; fees; disclosure; denial.

      1.  A provider must obtain a renewal of its registration annually.

      2.  An application for renewal of registration as a provider must be in a form prescribed by the Commissioner, signed under oath, and:

      (a) Be filed not fewer than 30 days and not more than 60 days before the registration expires;

      (b) Be accompanied by the fee established by the Commissioner and the bond required by NRS 676A.390;

      (c) Contain the matter required for initial registration as a provider by subsections 8 and 9 of NRS 676A.320 and a financial statement, audited by an accountant licensed to conduct audits, for the applicant’s fiscal year immediately preceding the application;

      (d) Disclose any changes in the information contained in the applicant’s application for registration or its immediately previous application for renewal, as applicable, and if an application is otherwise complete and the applicant has made a timely effort to obtain the information required by subsection 14 of NRS 676A.320 but the information has not been received, the Commissioner may issue a temporary renewal of registration which expires not later than 180 days after issuance;

      (e) Supply evidence of insurance in an amount equal to the larger of $250,000 or the highest daily balance in the trust account required by NRS 676A.570 during the 6-month period immediately preceding the application:

             (1) Against risks of dishonesty, fraud, theft and other misconduct on the part of the applicant or a director, employee or agent of the applicant;

             (2) Issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this State and rated at least A or equivalent by a nationally recognized rating organization approved by the Commissioner;

             (3) With a deductible not exceeding $5,000;

             (4) Payable for the benefit of the applicant, this State and the individuals who are residents of this State, as their interests may appear; and

             (5) Not subject to cancellation by the applicant or the insurer until 60 days after written notice has been given to the Commissioner;

      (f) If the applicant has developed and implemented debt-management plans, disclose:

             (1) The total amount of money received by the applicant pursuant to plans during the preceding 12 months from or on behalf of individuals who reside in this State and the total amount of money distributed to creditors of those individuals during that period; and

             (2) To the best of the applicant’s knowledge, the gross amount of money accumulated during the preceding 12 months pursuant to plans by or on behalf of individuals who reside in this State and with whom the applicant has agreements; and

      (g) Provide any other information that the Commissioner reasonably requires to perform the Commissioner’s duties under this section.

      3.  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Commissioner shall make the information in an application for renewal of registration as a provider available to the public. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 239.0115, the information required by subsections 7, 14 and 17 of NRS 676A.320 and the addresses required by subsection 4 of NRS 676A.320 are confidential and not subject to inspection by the general public.

      4.  If a registered provider files a timely and complete application for renewal of registration, the registration remains effective until the Commissioner, in a record, notifies the applicant of a denial and states the reasons for the denial.

      5.  If the Commissioner denies an application for renewal of registration as a provider, the applicant, within 30 days after receiving notice of the denial, may appeal and request a hearing pursuant to NRS 233B.121 to 233B.150, inclusive. Subject to NRS 676A.750, while the appeal is pending, the applicant must continue to provide debt-management services to individuals with whom it has agreements. If the denial is affirmed, subject to the Commissioner’s order and NRS 676A.750, the applicant must continue to provide debt-management services to individuals with whom it has agreements until, with the approval of the Commissioner, it transfers the agreements to another registered provider or returns to the individuals all unexpended money that is under the applicant’s control.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1977)

      NRS 676A.380  Alternative application for registration for applicants licensed or certified in another state; conditions.  If a provider holds a license or certificate of registration in another state authorizing it to provide debt-management services, the provider may submit a copy of that license or certificate and the application for it instead of an application in the form prescribed by subsection 1 of NRS 676A.310, NRS 676A.320 or subsection 2 of NRS 676A.370. The Commissioner shall accept the application and the license or certificate from the other state as an application for registration as a provider or for renewal of registration as a provider, as appropriate, in this State if:

      1.  The application in the other state contains information substantially similar to or more comprehensive than that required in an application submitted in this State;

      2.  The applicant provides the information required by subsections 1, 3, 10, 12 and 13 of NRS 676A.320; and

      3.  The applicant, under oath, certifies that the information contained in the application is current or, to the extent it is not current, supplements the application to make the information current.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1978)

      NRS 676A.390  Surety bond required.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 676A.400, a provider that is required to be registered under this chapter shall file a surety bond with the Commissioner, which must:

      (a) Be continuously in effect during the period of registration and for 2 years after the provider ceases providing debt-management services to individuals in this State; and

      (b) Run to this State for the benefit of this State and of individuals who reside in this State when they agree to receive debt-management services from the provider, as their interests may appear.

      2.  Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 676A.730, a surety bond filed pursuant to subsection 1 must:

      (a) Be in the amount of $50,000 or other larger amount that the Commissioner determines is warranted by the financial condition and business experience of the provider, the history of the provider in performing debt-management services, the risk to individuals and any other factor the Commissioner considers appropriate;

      (b) Be issued by a bonding, surety or insurance company authorized to do business in this State and rated at least A by a nationally recognized rating organization; and

      (c) Have payment conditioned upon noncompliance of the provider or its agent with this chapter.

      3.  If the principal amount of a surety bond is reduced by payment of a claim or a judgment, the provider shall immediately notify the Commissioner and, within 30 days after notice by the Commissioner, file a new or additional surety bond in an amount set by the Commissioner. The amount of the new or additional bond must be at least the amount of the bond immediately before payment of the claim or judgment. If for any reason a surety terminates a bond, the provider shall immediately file a new surety bond in the amount of $50,000 or other larger amount determined pursuant to subsection 2.

      4.  The Commissioner or an individual may obtain satisfaction out of the surety bond procured pursuant to this section if:

      (a) The Commissioner assesses expenses under paragraph (a) of subsection 2 of NRS 676A.730, issues a final order under paragraph (b) of subsection 1 of NRS 676A.740 or recovers a final judgment under paragraph (d) or (e) of subsection 1 of NRS 676A.740 or subsection 4 of NRS 676A.740; or

      (b) An individual recovers a final judgment pursuant to subsection 1 or 2 of NRS 676A.760 or paragraph (a), (b) or (d) of subsection 3 of NRS 676A.760.

      5.  If claims against a surety bond exceed or are reasonably expected to exceed the amount of the bond, the Commissioner, on the initiative of the Commissioner or on petition of the surety, shall, unless the proceeds are adequate to pay all costs, judgments and claims, distribute the proceeds in the following order:

      (a) To satisfaction of a final order or judgment under paragraph (b), (d) or (e) of subsection 1 of NRS 676A.740 or subsection 4 of NRS 676A.740;

      (b) To final judgments recovered by individuals pursuant to subsection 1 or 2 of NRS 676A.760 or paragraph (a), (b) or (d) of subsection 3 of NRS 676A.760, pro rata;

      (c) To claims of individuals established to the satisfaction of the Commissioner, pro rata; and

      (d) If a final order or judgment is issued under subsection 1 of NRS 676A.740, to the expenses charged pursuant to paragraph (a) of subsection 2 of NRS 676A.730.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1978)

      NRS 676A.400  Substitute for surety bond.

      1.  Instead of the surety bond required by NRS 676A.390, a provider may deliver to the Commissioner, in the amount required by subsection 2 of NRS 676A.390, and, except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (1) of paragraph (b), payable or available to this State and to individuals who reside in this State when they agree to receive debt-management services from the provider, as their interests may appear, if the provider or its agent does not comply with this chapter:

      (a) A certificate of insurance issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this State and rated at least A or equivalent by a nationally recognized rating organization, approved by the Commissioner and with no deductible, or, if the provider supplies a bond in the amount of $5,000, a deductible not exceeding $5,000; or

      (b) With the approval of the Commissioner:

             (1) An irrevocable letter of credit, issued or confirmed by a bank approved by the Commissioner, payable upon presentation of a certificate by the Commissioner stating that the provider or its agent has not complied with this chapter; or

             (2) Bonds or other obligations of the United States or guaranteed by the United States or bonds or other obligations of this State or a political subdivision of this State, to be deposited and maintained with a bank approved by the Commissioner for this purpose.

      2.  If a provider furnishes a substitute pursuant to subsection 1, the provisions of subsections 1, 3, 4 and 5 of NRS 676A.390 apply to the substitute.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1979)

CONDUCT OF BUSINESS; DUTIES OF PROVIDERS

      NRS 676A.500  Provider to act in good faith; fiduciary duty.

      1.  A provider shall act in good faith in all matters under this chapter.

      2.  A provider who holds funds on behalf of an individual to whom it provides debt-management services shall act as a fiduciary with respect to those funds.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1980)

      NRS 676A.510  Provider to maintain toll-free communication system.  A provider that is required to be registered under this chapter shall maintain a toll-free communication system, staffed at a level that reasonably permits an individual to speak to a certified counselor, certified debt specialist or customer service representative, as appropriate, during ordinary business hours.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1980)

      NRS 676A.520  Duties of provider before providing debt-management services.

      1.  Before providing debt-management services, a registered provider shall give the individual an itemized list of goods and services and the charges for each. The list must be clear and conspicuous, be in a record the individual may keep whether or not the individual assents to an agreement and describe the goods and services the provider offers:

      (a) Free of additional charge if the individual enters into an agreement;

      (b) For a charge if the individual does not enter into an agreement; and

      (c) For a charge if the individual enters into an agreement, using the following terminology, as applicable, and format:

 

Set-up fee                              ______________________________________

       dollar amount of fee

Monthly service fee             ______________________________________

       dollar amount of fee or method

       of determining amount

Settlement fee                       ______________________________________

       dollar amount of fee or method

       of determining amount

Goods and services in addition to those provided in connection with a plan:

_______                                ______________________________________

(item)                                           dollar amount or method of determining amount

_______                                ______________________________________

(item)                                           dollar amount or method of determining amount

 

      2.  A provider may not furnish debt-management services unless the provider, through the services of a certified counselor or certified debt specialist:

      (a) Provides the individual with reasonable education about the management of personal finance;

      (b) Has prepared a financial analysis; and

      (c) If the provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan and the individual is to make regular, periodic payments:

             (1) Has prepared a plan for the individual;

             (2) Has made a determination, based on the provider’s analysis of the information provided by the individual and otherwise available to the provider, that the plan is suitable for the individual and the individual will be able to meet the payment obligations under the plan; and

             (3) Believes that each creditor of the individual listed as a participating creditor in the plan will accept payment of the individual’s debts as provided in the plan.

      3.  Before an individual assents to an agreement, a provider shall:

      (a) Provide the individual with a copy of the analysis and plan required by subsection 2 in a record which identifies the provider and which the individual may keep whether or not the individual assents to the agreement;

      (b) Inform the individual of the availability, at the individual’s option, of assistance by a toll-free communication system or in person to discuss the financial analysis and plan required by subsection 2; and

      (c) If the agreement contemplates that the provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan and with respect to all creditors identified by the individual or otherwise known by the provider to be creditors of the individual, provide the individual with a list of:

             (1) Creditors that the provider expects to participate in the plan and grant concessions;

             (2) Creditors that the provider expects to participate in the plan but not grant concessions;

             (3) Creditors that the provider expects not to participate in the plan; and

             (4) All other creditors.

      4.  Before an individual assents to an agreement, the provider shall inform the individual in a separate record which the individual may keep:

      (a) Of the name and business address of the provider;

      (b) That plans are not suitable for all individuals and the individual may ask the provider about other ways, including, without limitation, bankruptcy, to deal with indebtedness;

      (c) That establishment of a plan may adversely affect the individual’s credit rating or credit scores;

      (d) That nonpayment of debt may lead creditors to increase finance and other charges or undertake collection activity, including, without limitation, litigation;

      (e) Unless it is not true, that the provider may receive compensation from the creditors of the individual; and

      (f) That, unless the individual is insolvent, if a creditor settles for less than the full amount of the debt, the plan may result in the creation of taxable income to the individual, even though the individual does not receive any money.

      5.  If a provider may receive payments from an individual’s creditors and the plan contemplates that the provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan, the provider may comply with subsection 4 by providing the following disclosure, surrounded by black lines:

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

       (1) Debt-management plans are not right for all individuals, and you may ask us to provide information about other ways, including bankruptcy, to deal with your debts.

       (2) Using a debt-management plan may make it harder for you to obtain credit.

       (3) We may receive compensation for our services from your creditors.

______________________________________

Name and business address of provider

 

      6.  If a provider will not receive payments from an individual’s creditors and the plan contemplates that the provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan, a provider may comply with subsection 4 by providing the following disclosure, surrounded by black lines:

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

       (1) Debt-management plans are not right for all individuals, and you may ask us to provide information about other ways, including bankruptcy, to deal with your debts.

       (2) Using a debt-management plan may make it harder for you to obtain credit.

______________________________________

Name and business address of provider

 

      7.  If an agreement contemplates that a provider will provide debt settlement services, the provider may comply with subsection 4 by providing the following disclosure, surrounded by black lines:

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

       (1) Our program is not right for all individuals, and you may ask us to provide information about bankruptcy and other ways to deal with your debts.

       (2) Nonpayment of your debts under our program may:

                   Hurt your credit rating or credit scores;

                   Lead your creditors to increase finance and other charges; and

                   Lead your creditors to undertake activity, including lawsuits, to collect the debts.

       (3) Reduction of debt under our program may result in taxable income to you, even though you will not actually receive any money.

______________________________________

Name and business address of provider

 

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1980)

      NRS 676A.530  Required disclosures and materials: Use of Internet; form; written copy provided on request; disclosures on website; termination of electronic communication; termination of agreement.

      1.  A provider may satisfy the requirements of NRS 676A.520, 676A.540 or 676A.630 by means of the Internet or other electronic means if the provider obtains a consumer’s consent in the manner provided by section 101(c)(1) of the federal act.

      2.  The disclosures and materials required by NRS 676A.520, 676A.540 or 676A.630 must be presented in a form that is capable of being accurately reproduced for later reference.

      3.  With respect to disclosure by means of an Internet website, the disclosure of the information required by subsection 4 of NRS 676A.520 must appear on one or more screens that:

      (a) Contain no other information; and

      (b) The individual must see before proceeding to assent to formation of an agreement.

      4.  At the time of providing the materials and agreement required by subsections 3 and 4 of NRS 676A.520 and NRS 676A.540 and 676A.630, a provider shall inform the individual that upon electronic, telephonic or written request, it will send the individual a written copy of the materials, and shall comply with a request as provided in subsection 5.

      5.  If a provider is requested, before the expiration of 90 days after an agreement is completed or terminated, to send a written copy of the materials required by subsections 3 and 4 of NRS 676A.520 or NRS 676A.540 or 676A.630, the provider shall send them at no charge within 3 business days after the request, but the provider need not comply with a request more than once per calendar month or if it reasonably believes the request is made for purposes of harassment. If a request is made more than 90 days after an agreement is completed or terminated, the provider shall send within a reasonable time a written copy of the materials requested.

      6.  A provider that maintains an Internet website shall disclose on the home page of its website or on a page that is clearly and conspicuously connected to the home page by a link that clearly reveals its contents:

      (a) Its name and all names under which it does business;

      (b) Its principal business address, telephone number and electronic mail address, if any; and

      (c) The names of its principal officers.

      7.  Subject to subsection 8, if a consumer who has consented to electronic communication in the manner provided by section 101 of the federal act withdraws consent as provided in the federal act, a provider may terminate its agreement with the consumer.

      8.  If a provider wishes to terminate an agreement with a consumer pursuant to subsection 7, it shall notify the consumer that it will terminate the agreement unless the consumer, within 30 days after receiving the notification, consents to electronic communication in the manner provided in section 101(c) of the federal act. If the consumer consents, the provider may terminate the agreement only as permitted by subparagraph (6) of paragraph (f) of subsection 1 of NRS 676A.540.

      9.  As used in this section:

      (a) “Consumer” means an individual who seeks or obtains goods or services that are used primarily for personal, family or household purposes.

      (b) “Federal act” means the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 7001 et seq.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1983)

      NRS 676A.540  Agreement: Contents; required provisions; prohibited provisions; provisions void if contrary to certain requirements.

      1.  An agreement must:

      (a) Be in a record;

      (b) Be dated and signed by the provider and the individual;

      (c) Include the name of the individual and the address where the individual resides;

      (d) Include the name, business address and telephone number of the provider;

      (e) Be provided to the individual before the individual assents to the agreement; and

      (f) Disclose:

             (1) The services to be provided, including, without limitation, whether the provider will provide credit counseling, develop and implement a debt-management plan, provide debt settlement services or provide any combination of these services;

             (2) The amount, or method of determining the amount, of all fees, individually itemized, to be paid by the individual;

             (3) If the agreement contemplates that the provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan or provide debt settlement services, the schedule of payments to be made by or on behalf of the individual, including the amount of each payment, the date on which each payment is due and an estimate of the date of the final payment;

             (4) If the agreement contemplates that the provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan and a plan provides for regular periodic payments to creditors:

                   (I) Each creditor of the individual to which payment will be made, the amount owed to each creditor and any concessions the provider reasonably believes each creditor will offer;

                   (II) The schedule of expected payments to each creditor, including the amount of each payment and the date on which it will be made; and

                   (III) Each creditor that the provider believes will not participate in the plan and to which the provider will not direct payment;

             (5) If the agreement contemplates that the provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan or provide debt settlement services, how the provider will comply with its obligations under subsection 1 of NRS 676A.630;

             (6) That the provider may terminate the agreement for good cause, upon return of unexpended money of the individual;

             (7) That the individual may cancel the agreement as provided in NRS 676A.550;

             (8) That the individual may terminate a plan at any time without incurring any liability as provided in subparagraph (4) of paragraph (a) of subsection 4;

             (9) That the individual may contact the Commissioner with any questions or complaints regarding the provider; and

             (10) The address, telephone number and Internet address of the website of the Commissioner.

      2.  For purposes of paragraph (e) of subsection 1, delivery of an electronic record occurs when it is made available in a format in which the individual may retrieve, save and print it and the individual is notified that it is available.

      3.  If the Commissioner supplies the provider with any information required under subparagraph 10 of paragraph (f) of subsection 1, the provider may comply with that requirement only by disclosing the information supplied by the Commissioner.

      4.  An agreement must provide that:

      (a) The individual has a right to terminate the agreement at any time, without penalty or obligation or the payment of any termination fee, by giving the provider written or electronic notice, in which event:

             (1) The provider will refund all unexpended money that the provider or its agent has received from or on behalf of the individual for the reduction or satisfaction of the individual’s debt;

             (2) With respect to an agreement which contemplates that creditors will settle debts for less than the principal amount of the debt, the provider will refund 65 percent of any portion of the set-up fee that has not been credited against the settlement fee;

             (3) All powers of attorney granted by the individual to the provider are revoked and ineffective; and

             (4) The provider will cease charging a monthly service fee, other than a monthly service fee which became due before the termination of the agreement;

      (b) The individual authorizes any bank in which the provider or its agent has established a trust account to disclose to the Commissioner any financial records relating to the trust account;

      (c) The provider will notify the individual within 5 days after learning of a creditor’s final decision to reject or withdraw from a plan and that this notice will include:

             (1) The identity of the creditor; and

             (2) The right of the individual to modify or terminate the agreement; and

      (d) The individual may terminate a plan at any time without incurring any liability.

      5.  If an agreement contemplates that the provider will provide debt settlement services, the agreement may confer on a provider a power of attorney to settle the individual’s debt for not more than 50 percent of the outstanding amount of the debt. The agreement may not confer a power of attorney to settle a debt for more than 50 percent of that amount, but may confer a power of attorney to negotiate with creditors of the individual on behalf of the individual. The agreement must provide that the provider will obtain the assent of the individual after a creditor has assented to a settlement for more than 50 percent of the outstanding amount of the debt.

      6.  An agreement may not:

      (a) Provide for application of the law of any jurisdiction other than the United States and this State;

      (b) Except as permitted by section 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 2, or NRS 38.206 to 38.248, inclusive, contain a provision that modifies or limits otherwise available forums or procedural rights, including, without limitation, the right to trial by jury, that are generally available to the individual under law other than this chapter;

      (c) Contain a provision that restricts the individual’s remedies under this chapter or law other than this chapter; or

      (d) Contain a provision that:

             (1) Limits or releases the liability of any person for not performing the agreement or for violating this chapter; or

             (2) Indemnifies any person for liability arising under the agreement or this chapter.

      7.  All rights and obligations specified in subsection 4 and NRS 676A.550 exist even if not provided in the agreement. A provision in an agreement which violates subsection 4, 5 or 6 is void.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1984)

      NRS 676A.550  Cancellation of agreement.

      1.  An individual may cancel an agreement before midnight of the third business day after the individual assents to it, unless the agreement does not comply with subsection 2 or NRS 676A.540 or 676A.700, in which event the individual may cancel the agreement within 30 days after the individual assents to it. To exercise the right to cancel, the individual must give notice in a record to the provider. Notice by mail is given when mailed.

      2.  An agreement must be accompanied by a form that contains in boldface type, surrounded by bold black lines:

 

NOTICE OF RIGHT TO CANCEL

       You may cancel this agreement, without any penalty or obligation, at any time before midnight of the third business day that begins the day after you agree to it by electronic communication or by signing it.

       To cancel this agreement during this period, send an e-mail to ____________________ (e-mail address of provider) or mail or deliver a signed, dated copy of this notice, or any other written notice to ____________________ (name of provider) at ____________________ (address of provider) before midnight on ____________________ (date).

If you cancel this agreement within the 3-day period, we will refund all money you already have paid us.

       You also may terminate this agreement at any later time, but we may not be required to refund fees you have paid us.

       I cancel this agreement,

______________________________________________

Print your name

______________________________________________

Signature

______________________________________________

Date

 

      3.  If a personal financial emergency necessitates the disbursement of an individual’s money to one or more of the individual’s creditors before the expiration of 3 days after an agreement is signed, an individual may waive the right to cancel. To waive the right, the individual must send or deliver a signed, dated statement in the individual’s own words describing the circumstances that necessitate a waiver. The waiver must explicitly waive the right to cancel. A waiver by means of a standard form record is void.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1986)

      NRS 676A.560  Disclosures and documents to be in English; provider also must furnish translation if language other than English is used in communications.  Unless the Commissioner, by regulation, provides otherwise, the disclosures and documents required by this chapter must be in English. If a provider communicates with an individual primarily in a language other than English, the provider must furnish a translation into the other language of the disclosures and documents required by this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1986)

      NRS 676A.570  Money paid to provider to be held in trust; requirements concerning trust accounts and money held in trust; accounting; prompt refund on termination of agreement.

      1.  All money paid to a provider by or on behalf of an individual for distribution to creditors pursuant to a plan is held in trust. Within 2 business days after receipt, the provider shall deposit the money in a trust account established for the benefit of individuals to whom the provider is furnishing debt-management services.

      2.  Money held in trust by a provider is not property of the provider or its designee. The money is not available to creditors of the provider or its designee, except an individual from whom or on whose behalf the provider received money, to the extent that the money has not been disbursed to creditors of the individual.

      3.  A provider shall:

      (a) Maintain separate records of account for each individual to whom the provider is furnishing debt-management services;

      (b) Disburse money paid by or on behalf of the individual to creditors of the individual as disclosed in the agreement, except that the provider may delay payment to the extent that a payment by the individual is not final; and

      (c) Promptly correct any payments which are not made or which are misdirected as a result of an error by the provider or other person in control of the trust account and reimburse the individual for any costs or fees imposed by a creditor as a result of the failure to pay or misdirection.

      4.  A provider may not commingle money in a trust account established for the benefit of individuals to whom the provider is furnishing debt-management services with money of other persons.

      5.  A trust account must at all times have a cash balance equal to the sum of the balances of each individual’s account.

      6.  If a provider has established a trust account pursuant to subsection 1, the provider shall reconcile the trust account at least once a month. The reconciliation must compare the cash balance in the trust account with the sum of the balances in each individual’s account. If the provider or its designee has more than one trust account, each trust account must be individually reconciled.

      7.  If a provider discovers, or has a reasonable suspicion of, embezzlement or other unlawful appropriation of money held in trust, the provider immediately shall notify the Commissioner by a method approved by the Commissioner. Unless the Commissioner, by regulation, provides otherwise, within 5 days thereafter, the provider shall give notice to the Commissioner describing the remedial action taken or to be taken.

      8.  If an individual terminates an agreement or it becomes reasonably apparent to a provider that a plan has failed, the provider shall promptly refund to the individual all money paid by or on behalf of the individual which has not been paid to creditors, less fees that are payable to the provider under NRS 676A.580.

      9.  Before relocating a trust account from one bank to another, a provider shall inform the Commissioner of the name, business address and telephone number of the new bank. As soon as practicable, the provider shall inform the Commissioner of the account number of the trust account at the new bank.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1987)

      NRS 676A.580  Fees or charges: Restrictions.

      1.  A provider may not impose directly or indirectly a fee or other charge on an individual or receive money from or on behalf of an individual for debt-management services except as permitted by this section.

      2.  A provider may not impose charges or receive payment for debt-management services until the provider and the individual have signed an agreement that complies with NRS 676A.540 and 676A.700.

      3.  If an individual assents to an agreement, a provider may not impose a fee or other charge for educational or counseling services or the like, except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subsection 5 of NRS 676A.700. The Commissioner may authorize a provider to charge a fee based on the nature and extent of the educational or counseling services furnished by the provider.

      4.  Subject to adjustment of dollar amounts pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 676A.730, the following rules apply:

      (a) If an individual assents to a plan which contemplates that creditors will reduce finance charges or fees for late payment, default or delinquency, the provider may charge, not including money provided by creditors to support educational or counseling services concerning personal finance provided by nonprofit entities:

             (1) A fee not to exceed $50 for consultation, obtaining a credit report, setting up an account and the like; and

             (2) A monthly service fee, not to exceed $10 times the number of accounts remaining in a plan at the time the fee is assessed, but not more than $50 in any month.

      (b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5 of NRS 676A.700, if an individual does not assent to an agreement, a provider may receive for educational or counseling services it provides to the individual a fee not to exceed $100 or, with the approval of the Commissioner, a larger fee. The Commissioner may approve a fee larger than $100 if the nature and extent of the educational or counseling services warrant the larger fee.

      5.  If, before the expiration of 90 days after the completion or termination of educational or counseling services, an individual assents to an agreement, the provider shall refund to the individual any fee paid pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection 4.

      6.  If an individual assents to an agreement which contemplates that creditors will settle debts for less than the principal amount of the debt, a provider may not request or receive payment of any fee or consideration until and unless:

      (a) The provider has settled the terms of at least one debt pursuant to a settlement agreement or other valid contractual agreement executed by the individual;

      (b) The individual has made at least one payment pursuant to that settlement agreement or other valid contractual agreement between the individual and the creditor or debt collector; and

      (c) The fee or consideration:

             (1) Bears the same proportional relationship to the total fee for settling the terms of the entire debt balance as the individual debt amount bears to the entire debt amount, in which case the individual debt amount and the entire debt amount are those owed at the time the debt was enrolled in the service; or

             (2) Is a percentage of the amount saved as a result of the settlement. The percentage charged cannot change from one individual debt to another. The amount saved is the difference between the amount owed at the time the debt was enrolled in the plan and the amount actually paid to satisfy the debt.

      7.  Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 676A.730, if a payment to a provider by an individual under this chapter is dishonored, a provider may impose a reasonable charge on the individual, not to exceed the lesser of $25 and the amount permitted by law other than this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1988; A 2013, 629)

      NRS 676A.590  Voluntary contributions: Restrictions.  A provider may not solicit a voluntary contribution from an individual or an affiliate of the individual for any service provided to the individual. A provider may accept voluntary contributions from an individual but, until 30 days after completion or termination of a plan, the aggregate amount of money received from or on behalf of the individual may not exceed the total amount the provider may charge the individual under NRS 676A.580.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1989)

      NRS 676A.600  Required disclosures by provider.

      1.  If the agreements of a provider contemplate that the provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan and the provider advertises debt-management services, it shall disclose, in an easily comprehensible manner, that using a debt-management plan may make it harder for the individual to obtain credit.

      2.  If the agreements of a provider contemplate that the provider will provide debt settlement services and the provider advertises debt settlement services, it shall disclose, in an easily comprehensible manner, the information specified in paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection 4 of NRS 676A.520.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1993)

      NRS 676A.610  Agreement voidable by individual in certain circumstances.

      1.  If a provider imposes a fee or other charge or receives money or other payments not authorized by NRS 676A.580 or 676A.590, the individual may void the agreement and recover as provided in NRS 676A.760.

      2.  If a provider is not registered as required by this chapter when an individual assents to an agreement, the agreement is voidable by the individual.

      3.  If an individual voids an agreement under subsection 2, the provider does not have a claim against the individual for breach of contract or for restitution.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1989)

      NRS 676A.620  Provider may terminate agreement for nonpayment.

      1.  If an individual who has entered into an agreement fails for 60 days to make payments required by the agreement, a provider may terminate the agreement.

      2.  If a provider or an individual terminates an agreement, the provider shall immediately return to the individual any money of the individual held in trust for the benefit of the individual.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1990; A 2013, 631)

      NRS 676A.630  Provider to provide accounting periodically and upon request; retention of records.

      1.  If an agreement contemplates that a provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan or provide debt settlement services, the provider shall provide the accounting required by subsection 2:

      (a) Upon cancellation or termination of the agreement; and

      (b) Before cancellation or termination of the agreement:

             (1) At least once each month; and

             (2) Within 5 business days after a request by an individual, but the provider need not comply with more than one request in any calendar month.

      2.  A provider, in a record, shall provide each individual for whom it has established a plan an accounting of the following information:

      (a) The amount of money received from the individual since the last report;

      (b) The amounts and dates of disbursement made on the individual’s behalf, or by the individual upon the direction of the provider, since the last report to each creditor listed in the plan;

      (c) The amounts deducted from the amount received from the individual;

      (d) The amount held in reserve; and

      (e) If, since the last report, a creditor has agreed to accept as payment in full an amount less than the principal amount of the debt owed by the individual:

             (1) The total amount and terms of the settlement;

             (2) The amount of the debt when the individual assented to the plan;

             (3) The amount of the debt when the creditor agreed to the settlement; and

             (4) The calculation of a settlement fee.

      3.  A provider shall maintain records for each individual for whom it provides debt-management services for 5 years after the final payment made by the individual and produce a copy of them to the individual within a reasonable time after a request for them. The provider may use electronic or other means of storage of the records.     (Added to NRS by 2009, 1990)

PROHIBITED ACTS; CIVIL ACTIONS; LIABILITY; ENFORCEMENT; PENALTIES; REMEDIES

      NRS 676A.700  Prohibited acts.

      1.  A provider may not, directly or indirectly:

      (a) Misappropriate or misapply money held in trust;

      (b) Settle a debt on behalf of an individual for more than 50 percent of the outstanding amount of the debt owed a creditor, unless the individual assents to the settlement after the creditor has assented;

      (c) Take a power of attorney that authorizes it to settle a debt, unless the power of attorney expressly limits the provider’s authority to settle debts for not more than 50 percent of the outstanding amount of the debt owed a creditor;

      (d) Exercise or attempt to exercise a power of attorney after an individual has terminated an agreement;

      (e) Initiate a transfer from an individual’s account at a bank or with another person unless the transfer is:

             (1) A return of money to the individual; or

             (2) Before termination of an agreement, properly authorized by the agreement and this chapter and for:

                   (I) Payment to one or more creditors pursuant to an agreement; or

                   (II) Payment of a fee;

      (f) Offer a gift or bonus, premium, reward or other compensation to an individual for executing an agreement;

      (g) Offer, pay or give a gift or bonus, premium, reward or other compensation to a person for referring a prospective customer, if the person making the referral has a financial interest in the outcome of debt-management services provided to the customer, unless neither the provider nor the person making the referral communicates to the prospective customer the identity of the source of the referral;

      (h) Receive a bonus, commission or other benefit for referring an individual to a person;

      (i) Structure a plan in a manner that would result in a negative amortization of any of an individual’s debts, unless a creditor that is owed a negatively amortizing debt agrees to refund or waive the finance charge upon payment of the principal amount of the debt;

      (j) Compensate its employees on the basis of a formula that incorporates the number of individuals the employee induces to enter into agreements;

      (k) Settle a debt or lead an individual to believe that a payment to a creditor is in settlement of a debt to the creditor unless, at the time of settlement, the individual receives a certification by the creditor that the payment is in full settlement of the debt or is part of a payment plan, the terms of which are included in the certification, that on completion will lead to full settlement of the debt;

      (l) Make a representation that:

             (1) The provider will furnish money to pay bills or prevent attachments;

             (2) Payment of a certain amount will permit satisfaction of a certain amount or range of indebtedness; or

             (3) Participation in a plan will or may prevent litigation, garnishment, attachment, repossession, foreclosure, eviction or loss of employment;

      (m) Misrepresent that it is authorized or competent to furnish legal advice or perform legal services;

      (n) Represent in its agreements, disclosures required by this chapter, advertisements or Internet website that it is a not-for-profit entity unless it is organized and properly operating as a not-for-profit entity under the law of the state in which it was formed or a tax-exempt entity unless it has received certification of tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service and is properly operating as a not-for-profit entity under the law of the state in which it was formed;

      (o) Take a confession of judgment or power of attorney to confess judgment against an individual;

      (p) Employ an unfair, unconscionable or deceptive act or practice, including, without limitation, the knowing omission of any material information;

      (q) Receive any compensation from the creditors of an individual, unless the compensation is a donation for the operating costs of the provider; or

      (r) If the provider furnishes debt settlement services, represent that the provider is able to prevent telephone calls from creditors.

      2.  If a provider furnishes debt-management services to an individual, the provider may not, directly or indirectly:

      (a) Purchase a debt or obligation of the individual;

      (b) Receive from or on behalf of the individual:

             (1) A promissory note or other negotiable instrument other than a check or a demand draft; or

             (2) A postdated check or demand draft;

      (c) Lend money or provide credit to the individual, except as a deferral of a settlement fee at no additional expense to the individual;

      (d) Obtain a mortgage or other security interest from any person in connection with the services provided to the individual;

      (e) Except as permitted by federal law, disclose the identity or identifying information of the individual or the identity of the individual’s creditors, except to:

             (1) The Commissioner, upon proper demand;

             (2) A creditor of the individual, to the extent necessary to secure the cooperation of the creditor in a plan; or

             (3) The extent necessary to administer the plan;

      (f) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6 of NRS 676A.580, provide the individual less than the full benefit of a compromise of a debt arranged by the provider;

      (g) Charge the individual for or provide credit or other insurance, coupons for goods or services, membership in a club, access to computers or the Internet or any other matter not directly related to debt-management services or educational or counseling services concerning personal finance, except to the extent such services are expressly authorized by the Commissioner;

      (h) Furnish legal advice or perform legal services, unless the person furnishing that advice to or performing those services for the individual is licensed to practice law; or

      (i) With respect to debt settlement services:

             (1) Have an ownership interest in, or any control of, the settlement account of an individual to whom the provider is providing debt settlement services; or

             (2) Provide debt settlement services with respect to a secured debt, a debt which was at any time a secured debt or a loan to which chapter 604A of NRS applies or include a secured debt, debt which was at any time a secured debt or a loan to which chapter 604A of NRS applies in the calculation of the provider’s fee.

      3.  A provider, or an employee, officer or agent of a provider, may not provide legal services or advice or represent that the provider, or an employee, officer or agent of the provider, is authorized or competent to provide legal services or advice, unless the person providing legal services or advice, or about whom the representations concerning the provision of legal services or advice were made, is authorized to practice law in this State. As used in this subsection, “legal services or advice” includes, without limitation, an analysis of the rights of a creditor or debtor with respect to a debt, advice concerning a response to legal filings or actions and predictions of the likely outcome of litigation or arbitration concerning a debt.

      4.  This chapter does not authorize any person to engage in the practice of law.

      5.  A provider may not receive a gift or bonus, premium, reward or other compensation, directly or indirectly, for advising, arranging or assisting an individual in connection with obtaining an extension of credit or other service from a lender or service provider, except for educational or counseling services required in connection with a government-sponsored program.

      6.  Unless a person supplies goods, services or facilities generally and supplies them to the provider at a cost no greater than the cost the person generally charges to others, a provider may not purchase goods, services or facilities from the person if an employee or a person that the provider should reasonably know is an affiliate of the provider:

      (a) Owns more than 10 percent of the person; or

      (b) Is an employee or affiliate of the person.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1990)

      NRS 676A.710  Provider to notify Commissioner of civil actions.  Not later than 30 days after a provider has been served with notice of a civil action for violation of this chapter by or on behalf of an individual who resides in this State at either the time of an agreement or the time the notice is served, the provider shall notify the Commissioner in a record that it has been sued.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1993)

      NRS 676A.720  Provider liable for conduct of person to whom it delegates duties.  If a provider delegates any of its duties or obligations under an agreement or this chapter to another person, including, without limitation, an independent contractor, the provider is liable for conduct of the person which, if done by the provider, would violate the agreement or this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1993)

      NRS 676A.730  Powers of Commissioner: Enforcement; investigation; regulations; fees; cooperative agreements.

      1.  The Commissioner may act on his or her own initiative or in response to complaints and may receive complaints, take action to obtain voluntary compliance with this chapter, refer cases to the Attorney General and seek or provide remedies as provided in this chapter.

      2.  The Commissioner may investigate and examine, in this State or elsewhere, by subpoena or otherwise, the activities, books, accounts and records of a person that provides or offers to provide debt-management services, or a person to which a provider has delegated its obligations under an agreement or this chapter, to determine compliance with this chapter. Information that identifies individuals who have agreements with the provider must not be disclosed to the public. In connection with the investigation, the Commissioner may:

      (a) Charge the person the reasonable expenses necessarily incurred to conduct the examination;

      (b) Require or permit a person to file a statement under oath as to all the facts and circumstances of a matter to be investigated; and

      (c) Seek a court order authorizing seizure from a bank at which the person maintains a trust account required by NRS 676A.570, any or all money, books, records, accounts and other property of the provider that is in the control of the bank and relates to individuals who reside in this State.

      3.  The Commissioner may adopt regulations to implement the provisions of this chapter.

      4.  The Commissioner may enter into cooperative arrangements with any other federal or state agency having authority over providers and may exchange with any of those agencies information about a provider, including, without limitation, information obtained during an examination of the provider.

      5.  The Commissioner, by regulation, shall establish reasonable fees to be paid by providers for the expense of administering this chapter. The Commissioner may, in his or her discretion, establish a reduced fee schedule for providers that are qualified nonprofit entities.

      6.  The Commissioner, by regulation, shall adopt dollar amounts instead of those specified in NRS 676A.030, 676A.310, 676A.350, 676A.390, 676A.580, 676A.740 and 676A.760 to reflect inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published by the United States Department of Labor, or, if that Index is not available, another index adopted by regulation by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall adopt a base year and adjust the dollar amounts, effective on July 1 of each year, if the change in the index from the base year, as of December 31 of the preceding year, is at least 10 percent. The dollar amount must be rounded to the nearest $100, except that the amounts in NRS 676A.580 must be rounded to the nearest dollar.

      7.  The Commissioner shall notify registered providers of any change in dollar amounts made pursuant to subsection 6 and make that information available to the public.

      8.  The Commissioner, by regulation, may:

      (a) Require a provider to make additional disclosures before an individual assents to an agreement, including, without limitation, disclosures that:

             (1) Nothing in the agreement requires the individual’s creditors to accept payments pursuant to a plan.

             (2) Nothing in the agreement prevents creditors of the individual from pursuing collection efforts, including, without limitation, telephone calls for the purpose of collecting a debt, and that creditors may sue the individual for any debt that remains unpaid.

             (3) The provider cannot provide legal services or advice and, if the individual is sued, the individual should seek legal services or advice.

            (4) The provider is not a credit repair organization and does not claim that the plan will have a positive impact on the credit score of the individual.

             (5) If an agreement contemplates that a provider will develop and implement a debt-management plan, a creditor may be included in the debt-management plan even if the creditor does not make a contribution.

      (b) Establish any requirements and prohibitions with respect to advertising by providers which do not violate the Nevada Constitution or the Constitution of the United States. Such regulations may include, without limitation, a requirement that a provider submit all advertising used by the provider to the Commissioner within 30 days after the first publication of the advertisement.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1993)

      NRS 676A.740  Commissioner to enforce chapter; penalties.

      1.  The Commissioner may enforce this chapter and regulations adopted under this chapter by taking one or more of the following actions:

      (a) Ordering a provider or a director, employee or other agent of a provider to cease and desist from any violations;

      (b) Ordering a provider or a person that has caused a violation to correct the violation, including, without limitation, making restitution of money or property to a person aggrieved by a violation;

      (c) Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 676A.730, imposing on a provider or a person that has caused a violation a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each violation;

      (d) Prosecuting a civil action to:

             (1) Enforce an order; or

             (2) Obtain restitution or an injunction or other equitable relief, or both; or

      (e) Intervening in an action brought under NRS 676A.760.

      2.  Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 676A.730, if a person violates or knowingly authorizes, directs or aids in the violation of a final order issued under paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection 1, the Commissioner may impose a civil penalty not to exceed $20,000 for each violation.

      3.  The Commissioner may maintain an action to enforce this chapter in any county.

      4.  The Commissioner may recover the reasonable costs of enforcing this chapter under subsections 1, 2 and 3, including, without limitation, attorney’s fees based on the hours reasonably expended and the hourly rates for attorneys of comparable experience in the community.

      5.  In determining the amount of a civil penalty to impose under subsection 1 or 2, the Commissioner shall consider the seriousness of the violation, the good faith of the violator, any previous violations by the violator, the deleterious effect of the violation on the public, the net worth of the violator and any other factor the Commissioner considers relevant to the determination of the civil penalty.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1995)

      NRS 676A.750  Suspension, revocation or denial of renewal of registration by Commissioner.

      1.  The Commissioner may suspend, revoke or deny renewal of a provider’s registration if:

      (a) A fact or condition exists that, if it had existed when the registrant applied for registration as a provider, would have been a reason for denying registration;

      (b) The provider has committed a material violation of this chapter or a rule or order of the Commissioner under this chapter;

      (c) The provider is insolvent;

      (d) The provider or an employee or affiliate of the provider has refused to permit the Commissioner to make an examination authorized by this chapter, failed to comply with paragraph (b) of subsection 2 of NRS 676A.730 within 15 days after request, or made a material misrepresentation or omission in complying with paragraph (b) of subsection 2 of NRS 676A.730; or

      (e) The provider has not responded within a reasonable time and in an appropriate manner to communications from the Commissioner.

      2.  If a provider does not comply with subsection 6 of NRS 676A.570 or if the Commissioner otherwise finds that the public health or safety or general welfare requires emergency action, the Commissioner may order a summary suspension of the provider’s registration, effective on the date specified in the order.

      3.  If the Commissioner suspends, revokes or denies renewal of the registration of a provider, the Commissioner may seek a court order authorizing seizure of any or all of the money in a trust account required by NRS 676A.570, books, records, accounts and other property of the provider which are located in this State.

      4.  If the Commissioner suspends or revokes a provider’s registration, the provider may appeal and request a hearing pursuant to NRS 233B.121 to 233B.150, inclusive.

      5.  As used in this section, “insolvent” means:

      (a) Having generally ceased to pay debts in the ordinary course of business other than as a result of good faith dispute;

      (b) Being unable to pay debts as they become due; or

      (c) Being insolvent within the meaning of the federal bankruptcy law, 11 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1995)

      NRS 676A.760  Civil remedies.

      1.  If an individual voids an agreement pursuant to subsection 2 of NRS 676A.610, the individual may recover in a civil action all money paid or deposited by or on behalf of the individual pursuant to the agreement, except amounts paid to creditors, in addition to the recovery under paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection 3.

      2.  If an individual voids an agreement pursuant to subsection 1 of NRS 676A.610, the individual may recover in a civil action three times the total amount of the fees, charges, money and payments made by the individual to the provider, in addition to the recovery under paragraph (d) of subsection 3.

      3.  Subject to subsection 4, an individual with respect to whom a provider violates this chapter may recover in a civil action from the provider and any person that caused the violation:

      (a) Compensatory damages for injury, including, without limitation, noneconomic injury, caused by the violation;

      (b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4 and subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to subsection 6 of NRS 676A.730, with respect to a violation of NRS 676A.520, 676A.540 to 676A.590, inclusive, or 676A.630 or subsection 1, 2 or 5 of NRS 676A.700, the greater of the amount recoverable under paragraph (a) or $5,000;

      (c) Punitive damages; and

      (d) Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

      4.  In a class action, except for a violation of paragraph (e) of subsection 1 of NRS 676A.700, the minimum damages provided in paragraph (b) of subsection 3 do not apply.

      5.  In addition to the remedy available under subsection 3, if a provider violates an individual’s rights under NRS 676A.550, the individual may recover in a civil action all money paid or deposited by or on behalf of the individual pursuant to the agreement, except for amounts paid to creditors.

      6.  A provider is not liable under this section for a violation of this chapter if the provider proves that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a good faith error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid the error. An error of legal judgment with respect to a provider’s obligations under this chapter is not a good faith error. If, in connection with a violation, the provider has received more money than authorized by an agreement or this chapter, the defense provided by this subsection is not available unless the provider refunds the excess within 2 business days after learning of the violation.

      7.  The Commissioner shall assist an individual in enforcing a judgment against the surety bond or other security provided under NRS 676A.390 or 676A.400.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1996)

      NRS 676A.770  Violation constitutes deceptive trade practice.

      1.  A violation of a provision of this chapter constitutes a deceptive trade practice for the purposes of NRS 598.0903 to 598.0999, inclusive.

      2.  If an act or practice of a provider violates both a provision of this chapter and a provision of chapter 598 of NRS, an individual may not recover under both for the same act or practice.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1997)

      NRS 676A.780  Statute of limitations for certain actions.

      1.  An action or proceeding brought pursuant to subsection 1, 2 or 3 of NRS 676A.740 must be commenced within 4 years after the conduct that is the basis of the Commissioner’s complaint.

      2.  An action brought pursuant to NRS 676A.760 must be commenced within 2 years after the latest of:

      (a) The individual’s last transmission of money to a provider;

      (b) The individual’s last transmission of money to a creditor at the direction of the provider;

      (c) The provider’s last disbursement to a creditor of the individual;

      (d) The provider’s last accounting to the individual pursuant to subsection 1 of NRS 676A.630;

      (e) The date on which the individual discovered or reasonably should have discovered the facts giving rise to the individual’s claim; or

      (f) Termination of actions or proceedings by the Commissioner with respect to a violation of the chapter.

      3.  The period prescribed in paragraph (e) of subsection 2 is tolled during any period during which the provider or, if different, the defendant has materially and willfully misrepresented information required by this chapter to be disclosed to the individual, if the information so misrepresented is material to the establishment of the liability of the defendant under this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 2009, 1997)