On February 27, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed into law House Bill 284, which requires debt buyers be licensed as “collection agencies” starting July 1, 2023.
The bill was introduced at the request of the Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) to address an emerging debate as to whether debt buyers should have been licensed in Wyoming under the existing definition of “collection agency,” despite the fact that the state licensing board has been issuing exemptions to debt buyers for over 20 years.
Under the new law, the term “debt buyer” is defined as “any person that is regularly engaged in the business of purchasing charged-off consumer debt for collection purposes, whether the person collects the debt, hires a third party for collection of the debt or hires an attorney for collection litigation.”
House Bill 284 explicitly provides that debt buyers did not have to be licensed in the state prior to July 1, 2023 and protects the validity of any civil action or arbitration filed or commenced by a debt buyer, or any judgment entered for a debt buyer before the effective date.
Troutman Pepper will continue to monitor developments to determine what the newly required license entails.