Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need to be Licensed in Wyoming?
I own a corporation, which is based in a state outside of Wyoming, but has stores located in Wyoming. I use the services of a collection agency in the state where my corporate office is located. Does the collection agency I have a contract with need to be licensed in Wyoming for those instances where we have turned over debts (incurred in Wyoming from persons living in Wyoming) to the collection agency located in my home state?
Yes. Effective July 1, 1999, the definition of a collection agency within Wyoming statutes was expanded to include any person who collects debts incurred in Wyoming from debtors located in Wyoming by means of interstate communications (telephone, mail, facsimile or other electronic method) from the debt collector's location in another state.
If I purchase bulk debt, do I need to be licensed?
Yes, the Wyoming Collection Agency Board has determined that if you purchase bulk debt, you will need to be licensed in the State of Wyoming.
Any person attempting to collect debts that originated with another and that are already in default at the time of purchase or assignment is to be licensed as a collection agency. If however, the debts are not in default at the time of assignment or purchase, the person could potentially be classified as a creditor collecting his own debt, and would not need a collection agency license.
The jurisdiction of the Wyoming Collection Agency Board extends to persons who are operating as a “collection agency” as defined in Wyoming Statute 33-11-101(a)(iii). That statutory section has six subsections each of which refers to the key term “debt”. Wyoming Statute 33-11-101(a)(vii) defines “debt” to mean:
Any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family or household purposes, whether or not the obligation has been reduced to judgment; (emphasis added).
The enforcement of judgments is the collection of debts if the original transaction that gave rise to the debt was primarily for a personal, family or household purposes. Small claims and civil judgments generally arise from transactions that are primarily for personal, family or household purposes. Therefore, businesses collecting the same may need to be licensed. The definition of “debt” includes judgment recoveries unless you expressly limit the type of judgments you are soliciting.
Yes, each office operating in the State of Wyoming is to be licensed separately. Chapter 2, Section 9 of the Board's Rules & Regulations states, "branch offices shall meet full licensing requirements..."
When would I not need to be licensed as a collection agency?
Do I need a license if I collect business or commercial debt?
No. If you collect only business debt, you do not need to be licensed as a collection agency.
If I collect the debts for my business and I am collecting in a name different from my regular business name, do I need a license?
Yes. One of the definitions of a collection agency is any person who uses a fictitious name or any name other than their own name in the collection of their own accounts receivable. In order to collect your business debts under a fictitious name, you do need a collection agency license.
If a debtor acquires a debt though the Internet or mail, does that debt qualify as a debt incurred in the State of Wyoming?
Can an individual be a resident manager for more than one collection agency?
Yes. A qualified resident manager can be the resident manager for up to ten (10) collection agencies in the State of Wyoming.
Questions Specific to the Licensing Process
Is the financial statement to be completed for the entire corporation or just for its Wyoming office?
Either. You should indicate if you are filing the financial statement on behalf of the entire corporation or if it reflects only the Wyoming office. The financial statement can't be over six months old.
Yes. Wyoming statutes require a $10,000 bond for licensed Wyoming collection agencies. Bond forms can be obtained by calling our office at (307) 777-3497 or from the Board's web site.
Yes. A resident manager is required for each collection agency and branch office. The resident manager is to be a bona fide resident of the State of Wyoming, have at least one year of experience in the collection business, and is required to pass an examination before the Collection Agency Board.
Yes. The Board's rules require each agency to maintain a trust account in a bank, savings and loan association, savings bank or credit union. The trust account no longer needs to reside in the State of Wyoming.
Yes. When you apply for a collection agency license, you need to submit a written statement of your proposed method of business, and your policies and procedures. You also need to submit copies of the contracts and forms you will be using.
New agency license $500.00
New branch license$500.00
Renewal license $150.00
Resident manager examination $100.00
Approximately 60 days.
How to File a Complaint
Call our office at (307) 777-3497 to obtain a complaint form. Or you can click here for a copy of the Board's complaint form. All complaints filed with the Collection Agency Board must be completed on this form, notarized and forwarded to the Board to review during their monthly meetings. The Board meets at 10:00 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. If the Board is to review the complaint at their next meeting, it must be received at least two weeks prior to that meeting date.
Completed forms are to be mailed to:
Collection Agency Board
Department of Audit
Division of Banking
Herschler Building, 3 East
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Call our office and we will check our records to see if there is licensing board or office in the state you need to contact. If there is no licensing board or office, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission. Their consumer hot line telephone number is 1-800-382-4357. Their mailing address is Federal Trade Commission, attn: Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20580. You can also obtain further information on their Internet web site: http://www.ftc.gov