A debt management services provider may not perform any debt management services or receive any money related to a debt management services plan until the provider has obtained a debt management services agreement that contains all terms of the agreement between the debt management services provider and the debtor. A debt management services agreement must be in writing, dated, and signed by the debt management services provider and the debtor. The registrant must furnish the debtor with a copy of the signed contract upon execution.
No person may provide debt management services for a debtor unless the person first has:
(1) provided the debtor individualized counseling and educational information that, at a minimum, addresses managing household finances, managing credit and debt, budgeting, and personal savings strategies;
(2) prepared in writing and provided to the debtor, in a form that the debtor may keep, an individualized financial analysis and a proposed debt management services plan listing the debtor's known debts with specific recommendations regarding actions the debtor should take to reduce or eliminate the amount of the debts, including written disclosure that debt management services are not suitable for all debtors and that there are other ways, including bankruptcy, to deal with indebtedness;
(3) made a determination supported by an individualized financial analysis that the debtor can reasonably meet the requirements of the proposed debt management services plan and that there is a net tangible benefit to the debtor of entering into the proposed debt management services plan; and
(4) prepared, in a form the debtor may keep, a written list identifying all known creditors of the debtor that the provider reasonably expects to participate in the plan and the creditors, including secured creditors, that the provider reasonably expects not to participate.
(a) Each debt management services agreement must contain the following terms, which must be disclosed prominently and clearly in bold print on the front page of the agreement, segregated by bold lines from all other information on the page:
(1) the fee amount to be paid by the debtor and whether the initial fee amount is refundable or nonrefundable;
(2) the monthly fee amount or percentage to be paid by the debtor; and
(3) the total amount of fees reasonably anticipated to be paid by the debtor over the term of the agreement.
(b) Each debt management services agreement must also contain the following:
(1) a disclosure that if the amount of debt owed is increased by interest, late fees, over the limit fees, and other amounts imposed by the creditors, the length of the debt management services agreement will be extended and remain in force and that the total dollar charges agreed upon may increase at the rate agreed upon in the original contract agreement;
(2) a prominent statement describing the terms upon which the debtor may cancel the contract as set forth in section 332A.11;
(3) a detailed description of all services to be performed by the debt management services provider for the debtor;
(4) the debt management services provider's refund policy; and
(5) the debt management services provider's principal business address and the name and address of its agent in this state authorized to receive service of process.
The following terms shall not be included in the debt management services agreement:
(1) a hold harmless clause;
(2) a confession of judgment, or a power of attorney to confess judgment against the debtor or appear as the debtor in any judicial proceeding;
(3) a waiver of the right to a jury trial, if applicable, in any action brought by or against a debtor;
(4) an assignment of or an order for payment of wages or other compensation for services;
(5) a provision in which the debtor agrees not to assert any claim or defense arising out of the debt management services agreement;
(6) a waiver of any provision of this chapter or a release of any obligation required to be performed on the part of the debt management services provider; or
(7) a mandatory arbitration clause.
(a) Separate and additional debt management services agreements that comply with this chapter may be entered into by the debt management services provider and the debtor provided that no additional initial fee may be charged by the debt management services provider.
(b) Any modification of an existing debt management services agreement, including any increase in the number or amount of debts included in the debt management service, must be in writing and signed by both parties, except that the signature of the debtor is not required if:
(1) a creditor is added to or deleted from a debt management services agreement at the request of the debtor or a debtor voluntarily increases the amount of a payment, provided the debt management services provider must provide an updated payment schedule to the debtor within seven days; or
(2) the payment amount to a creditor in the agreement increases by $10 or less and the total payment amount to all creditors increases a total of $20 or less as a result of incorrect or incomplete information provided by the debtor regarding the amount of debt owed a creditor, provided the debt management services provider must notify the debtor of the increase within seven days.
No fees, charges, or other consideration may be demanded from the debtor for the modification, other than an increase in the amount of the monthly maintenance fee established in the original debt management services agreement.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes