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Debt buyer

License requirements

ORS 646A.640 through ORS 646A.673 requires people to obtain a license from the Division of Financial Regulation if they engage in purchasing charged-off debt for the purpose of collecting it or hiring another to collect it. This license is separate from the collection agency license. A person who wants to act as both a debt buyer and a collection agency must have both a debt buyer license and a collection agency license. Click here for information on the difference between the collection agency registration and debt buyer license.

How to apply

All applications for an Oregon debt buyer license must be filed through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS). The NMLS website has instructions on how to submit an application for Oregon, or any other state. NMLS has a resources and support section that may be helpful, particularly for first-time users.

Application requirements

An application for a debt buyer license submitted through the NMLS must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be completed with any other trade names the company intends to use in buying debt, collecting debt, or both in Oregon.
  • Include a registered agent in Oregon.
  • Include an errors and omissions insurance policy in the amount of $1,000,000 or $500,000 if the company provides an attestation that they have annual receipts of less than $10 million. The attestation form is available here and must be uploaded in the document uploads in NMLS.
  • Identify all of the applicant’s directors, members, officers, managers, partners and controllers, including completing a MU2, providing fingerprints if they are not on file with NMLS, and authorizing both a criminal records check and a credit report through NMLS. Be sure that Oregon is authorized to see the criminal records check in NMLS before ordering the new criminal records check. The MU2, criminal records check and credit report will be reviewed by Division staff to determine if the individuals have demonstrated financial responsibility, character, and general fitness to command the confidence of the community and warrant that the company will operate honestly, fairly and efficiently.
  • Include answers to disclosure questions for the company and its control persons. There is more information on the questions available through the NMLS application process . If you answer yes to any disclosure question, you must provide an explanation. This chart details information that you must provide in response to an affirmative answer.
  • Upload company polices showing the training required by staff regarding fair debt collection practices, fair credit reporting, and information security.
  • Pay the nonrefundable application fee of $450.
  • A license issued prior to November 1st will be valid until December 31st. A license issued on or after December 31st will be valid until December 31st of the following year. Licenses are renewed through NMLS between November 1st and December 31st. More information can be found about renewal on the NMLS Resource Center here.
  • Oregon does not issue a printed license. A licensed debt buyer is required to post their NMLS ID in each business location at or from which they engage in debt buying in Oregon. There is a form available to comply with this posting requirement here.

Errors and omissions insurance

Every licensed debt buyer must maintain an errors and omissions insurance policy. These policies are valid for one year. As a result, each year, the licensee must upload to NMLS evidence that their policy has continued or a new policy ensuring coverage after the expiration of the previous policy. We will verify that the company has provided this prior to renewing the company’s license. Generally in September of each year, we will post a reminder deficiency in NMLS that the new policy or evidence of the continuation of an existing policy must be uploaded. If you upload a new policy, be sure to delete any old policy that is no longer valid for your company. If you upload a continuation certificate, do not delete the policy but please delete any old continuation certificates for periods that have passed. There are instructions on the NMLS explaining how to upload documents here.

If you receive this deficiency, but your policy is not yet due for renewal, please contact the Division using the contact information in the deficiency to have them review the deficiency for your company. If we find that there is a valid insurance policy uploaded in NMLS covering the company into the next year, we will remove the deficiency. You will need to remember to upload your new policy or continuation certificate when you renew or replace your policy.