To operate as a collection agency in the state of Maine, you need to get a collection agency licensed (also known as a debt collector license). Anyone who qualifies as a debt collector under federal law also qualifies as a debt collector in Maine. This includes third-party collectors of consumer debt, companies that buy delinquent debt, collectors of student loan debt and child support debt, and others.
To get licensed, you must apply to the state Department of Professional & Financial Regulation. To apply, you need to cover a number of licensing requirements. These include having a minimum net worth of at least $10,000, submitting a financial report, as well as obtaining a Maine collection agency license bond.
For full details about getting your Maine collection agency license, keep reading!
1. Obtain Business Registration
Prior to applying for a license, you need to register your business.
Business registrations in Maine happen on the town and city level unless you are registering a corporation. In that case, you must apply with the State of Maine Bureau of Corporations. To register on the city level, contact your local business registrations office for further information about the process.
2. Apply For Your Maine Collection Agency License
With your business registration covered, you can proceed with applying for your license. To apply, begin by completing the license application form. In addition to these items, you will need to provide the following supporting documents:
- Fingerprint card for the owner, partners, or top three officers (depending on the organization of your business entity)
- Company trade name verification
- A financial statement prepared or audited by a certified public accountant (CPA), consisting of a review report
- “Authorization for Credit Bureau Report” form
- Maine collection agency bond
- Name of the financial institution holding the agency’s trust account
- A statement that explains the exact nature of the business’s debt collection activity
- Samples of documents used in the course of business:
- Listing sheets
- Client contract forms
- Debtor’s work card
- Debtor’s receipt for cash payment
- Remittance sheet
- Creditor’s attorney authorization form
- Samples of letters the agency plans to use in correspondence with Maine consumers
These are the items you need to attach to your application form before you can submit it. To learn more about each item, see the FAQ section on the debt collector license on the Department’s website.
3. Get Your Maine Collection Agency Bond
Every applicant for this license must obtain a Maine collection agency bond as a guarantee for their compliance with state and federal laws.
The bond amount you need to submit depends on the type of services you intend to offer in the state:
- $20,000 bond for applicants who will be undertaking direct collections
- $15,000 bond for applicants who will only be performing repossessions
- $5,000 bond for letter writing companies
You can get a free quote on your bond by completing the bond form below! It takes 2 minutes and there are no obligations.
4. Submit Your Application and Pay Fees
Once you’ve assembled the complete application packet, you can proceed with submitting it to the Department at the following address:
State of Maine; Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection; 35 State House Station; Augusta, ME 04333-0035
The application fee for new licensees is $600. If there are fewer than 12 months between the application date and the license renewal date, the fee is $300. To determine the fee, you need to know when your license would be due for renewal.
- Applicants with names beginning with the letter A through M must renew their licenses by July 31 of every even-numbered year.
- Applicants with names beginning with the letters N through Z must renew their licenses by July 31 of every odd-numbered year.
Licenses are effective for up to two years, depending on the time you apply. Once renewed, your license will be valid for two years.
5. Renewing Your Maine Collection Agency License and Bond
To renew your license, you will need to post a number of renewal documents and forms, as well as a new surety bond. Repossession agents and letter writing companies will still need to post a $15,000 and $5,000 bond. Licensees who undertake direct collections will need to post a bond in an amount that depends on their gross average collections for the year.
The new amount of your bond will be determined in the following way:
- $50,000 bond for licensees with collections over $40,000 per month
- $45,000 bond for licensees with collections between $30,000 and $40,000 per month
- $35,000 bond for licensees with collections between $20,000 and $30,000 per months
- $25,000 bond for licensees with collections between $10,000 and $20,000 per month
- $15,000 bond for licensees with collections under $10,000 per month
These are the bond renewal requirements you will need to comply with when your current bond and license expire.
If you have any questions about the licensing process for Maine collection agencies, make sure to contact the Department at 800-332-8529!