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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:13 pm 
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Your Rights under the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Guide
www.ago.state.co.us/CAB/geninf/english.htm

Colorado Revised Statute Title 12, Article 14, Section 101, et seq. (12-14-101)
http://198.187.128.12/colorado/lpext.dl ... in.htm&2.0


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Colorado State Statute Regulating Debt Collection / Debt Collectors
ARTICLE 14. COLORADO FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT


12-14-101. Short title. This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act".


12-14-102. Scope of article.


(1) This article shall apply to any collection agency, solicitor, or debt collector that has a place of business located:
(a) Within this state;
(b) Outside this state and collects or attempts to collect from consumers who reside within this state for a creditor with a place of business located within this state;
(c) Outside this state and regularly collects or attempts to collect from consumers who reside within this state for a creditor with a place of business located outside this state; or
(d) Outside this state and solicits or attempts to solicit debts for collection from a creditor with a place of business located within this state.


12-14-103. Definitions.


As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Administrator" means the administrator of the "Uniform Consumer Credit Code", articles 1 to 9 of title 5, C.R.S., whose office is created in the department of law in section 5-6-103, C.R.S.
(1.5) "Board" means the collection agency board created in section 12-14-116.
(2) (a) "Collection agency" means any:
(I) Person who engages in a business the principal purpose of which is the collection of debts; or
(II) Person who:
(A) Regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another;
(B) Takes assignment of debts for collection purposes;
(C) Directly or indirectly solicits for collection debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another;
(D) Collects debt for the department of personnel, but only for the purposes specified in paragraph (d) of this subsection (2);
(b) "Collection agency" does not include:
(I) Any officer or employee of a creditor while, in the name of the creditor, collecting debts for such creditor;
(II) Any person while acting as a collection agency for another person, both of whom are related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if the person acting as a collection agency does so only for creditors to whom it is so related or affiliated and if the principal business of such person is not the collection of debts;
(III) Any officer or employee of the United States or any state to the extent that collecting or attempting to collect any debt is in the performance of such officer's or employee's official duties, except as otherwise provided in subsection (7) of this section;
(IV) Any person while serving or attempting to serve legal process on any other person in connection with the judicial enforcement of any debt;
(V) Any nonprofit organization which, at the request of consumers, performs bona fide consumer credit counseling and assists consumers in the liquidation of their debts by receiving payments from such consumers and distributing such amounts to creditors;
(VI) Repealed.
(VII) Any person collecting or attempting to collect any debt owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another to the extent that:
(A) Such activity is incidental to a bona fide fiduciary obligation or a bona fide escrow arrangement;
(B) Such activity concerns a debt which was extended by such person;
(C) Such activity concerns a debt which was not in default at the time it was obtained by such person; or
(D) Such activity concerns a debt obtained by such person as a secured party in a commercial credit transaction involving the creditor;
(VIII) Any person whose principal business is the making of loans or the servicing of debt not in default and who acts as a loan correspondent, or seller and servicer for the owner, or holder of a debt which is secured by a deed of trust on real property whether or not such debt is also secured by an interest in personal property.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (VII) of paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), "collection agency" includes any person who, in the process of collecting his or her own debts, uses another name which would indicate that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such debts.
(d) For the purposes of section 12-14-108 (1) (f), "collection agency" includes any person engaged in any business the principal purpose of which is the enforcement of security interests. For purposes of sections 12-14-104, 12-14-105, 12-14-106, 12-14-107, 12-14-108, and 12-14-109 only, "collection agency" includes a debt collector for the department of personnel.
(e) Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), "collection agency" includes any person who engages in any of the following activities; except that such person shall be exempt from provisions of this article that concern licensing and licensees:
(I) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 935, § 2, effective July 1, 2000.)
(II) Is an attorney-at-law and regularly engages in the collection or attempted collection of debts in this state;
(III) Is a person located outside this state whose collection activities are limited to collecting debts not incurred in this state from consumers located in this state and whose collection activities are conducted by means of interstate communications, including telephone, mail, or facsimile transmission, and who is located in another state that regulates and licenses collection agencies but does not require Colorado collection agencies to obtain a license to collect debts in their state if such agencies' collection activities are limited in the same manner.
(3) "Communication" means conveying information regarding a debt in written or oral form, directly or indirectly, to any person through any medium.
(4) "Consumer" means any natural person obligated or allegedly obligated to pay any debt.
(4.5) (a) "Consumer reporting agency" means any person that, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties.
(b) "Consumer reporting agency" shall not include any business entity that provides check verification or check guarantee services only.
(c) "Consumer reporting agency" shall include any persons defined in 15 U.S.C. sec. 1681a (f) or section 12-14.3-102 (4).
(5) "Creditor" means any person who offers or extends credit creating a debt or to which a debt is owed, but such term does not include any person to the extent such person receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solely for the purpose of facilitating collection of such debt for another.
(6) (a) "Debt" means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.
(b) "Debt" does not include a debt for business, investment, commercial, or agricultural purposes or a debt incurred by a business.
(7) "Debt collector" means any person employed or engaged by a collection agency to perform the collection of debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another, and includes any person employed by the department of personnel, or any division of said department, when collecting debts due to the state on behalf of another state agency.
(8) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2000, p. 935, § 2, effective July 1, 2000.)
(9) "Location information" means a consumer's place of abode and his telephone number at such place or his place of employment.
(9.3) "Person" means a natural person, firm, corporation, limited liability company, or partnership.
(9.5) "Principal" means any individual having a position of responsibility in a collection agency, including but not limited to any manager, director, officer, partner, owner, or shareholder owning ten percent or more of the stock.
(10) "Solicitor" means any person employed or engaged by a collection agency who solicits or attempts to solicit debts for collection by such person or any other person.
(11) "State" means any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any political subdivision of any of them.


12-14-104. Location information - acquisition.


(1) Any debt collector or collection agency communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall:
(a) Identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his employer;
(b) Not state that such consumer owes any debt;
(c) Not communicate with any such person more than once unless requested to do so by such person or unless the debt collector or collection agency reasonably believes that the earlier response of such person is erroneous or incomplete and that such person now has correct or complete location information;
(d) Not communicate by postcard;
(e) Not use any language or symbol on any envelope or in the contents of any communication effected by the mails or telegram that indicates that the debtor collector or collection agency is in the debt collection business or that the communication relates to the collection of a debt; and
(f) After the debt collector or collection agency knows the consumer is represented by an attorney with regard to the subject debt and has knowledge of, or can readily ascertain, such attorney's name and address, not communicate with any person other than that attorney, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time, not less than thirty days, to communication from the debt collector or collection agency.


12-14-105. Communication in connection with debt collection.


(1) Without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or collection agency or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a debt collector or collection agency shall not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt:
(a) At any unusual time, place, or manner known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt collector or collection agency shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8 a.m. and before 9 p.m. local time at the consumer's location.
(b) If the debt collector or collection agency knows the consumer is represented by an attorney with respect to such debt and has knowledge of, or can readily ascertain, such attorney's name and address, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to a communication from the debt collector or collection agency or unless the attorney consents to direct communication with the consumer; or
(c) At the consumer's place of employment if the debt collector or collection agency knows or has reason to know that the consumer's employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication.
(2) Except as provided in section 12-14-104, without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or collection agency or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy, a debt collector or collection agency shall not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than the consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the collection agency.
(3) (a) If a consumer notifies a debt collector or collection agency in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector or collection agency to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector or collection agency shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, except to:
(I) Advise the consumer that the debt collector's or collection agency's further efforts are being terminated;
(II) Notify the consumer that the collection agency or creditor may invoke specified remedies that are ordinarily invoked by such collection agency or creditor; or
(III) Notify the consumer that the collection agency or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.
(b) If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification shall be complete upon receipt.
(c) In its initial written communication to a consumer, a collection agency shall include the following statement: "FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLORADO FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT, SEE WWW.AGO.STATE.CO.US/CAB.HTM. If such notification is placed on the back of the written communication, there shall be a statement on the front notifying the consumer of such fact.
(d) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2003, p. 1865, § 2, effective May 21, 2003.)
(4) For the purpose of this section, "consumer" includes the consumer's spouse, parent (if the consumer is a minor), guardian, executor, or administrator.
(5) It shall be an affirmative defense to any action based upon failure of a debt collector or collection agency to comply with this section that the debt collector or collection agency believed, in good faith, that the debtor was other than a natural person.
12-14-106. Harassment or abuse.
(1) A debt collector or collection agency shall not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt, including, but not limited to, the following conduct:
(a) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person;
(b) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader;
(c) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of 15 U.S.C. sec. 1681b (a) (3) and section 12-14.3-103 (1) (c);
(d) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt or agreeing to do so for the purpose of solicitation of claims;
(e) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number;
(f) Except as provided in section 12-14-104, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity within the first sixty seconds after the other party to the call is identified as the debtor.


12-14-107. False or misleading representations.


(1) A debt collector or collection agency shall not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt, including, but not limited to, the following conduct:
(a) The false representation or implication that the debt collector or collection agency is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with the United States government or any state government, including the use of any misleading name, badge, uniform, or facsimile thereof;
(b) The false representation of:
(I) The character, amount, or legal status of any debt; or
(II) Any services rendered or compensation which may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt;
(c) The false representation or implication that any individual is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney;
(d) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or in the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector, collection agency, or creditor intends to take such action;
(e) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken;
(f) The false representation or implication that a sale, referral, or other transfer of any interest in a debt shall cause the consumer to:
(I) Lose any claim or defense to payment of the debt; or
(II) Become subject to any practice prohibited by this article;
(g) The false representation or implication that the consumer committed any crime;
(h) The false representation or implication that the consumer has engaged in any disgraceful conduct;
(i) Communicating or threatening to communicate to any person credit information which is known or which should be known to be false, including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed;
(j) The use or distribution of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by any court, official, or agency of the United States or any state or which creates a false or misleading impression as to its source, authorization, or approval;
(k) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer;
(l) Except as otherwise provided for communications to acquire location information under section 12-14-104, the failure to disclose clearly, in the initial written communication made to collect a debt or obtain information about a consumer and also, if the initial communication with the consumer is oral, in the initial oral communication, that the debt collector or collection agency is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and, in subsequent communications, that the communication is from a debt collector or collection agency; except that this paragraph (l) shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action;
(m) The false representation or implication that accounts have been turned over to innocent purchasers for value;
(n) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process;
(o) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the collection agency's business, company, or organization;
(p) The false representation or implication that documents are not legal process forms or do not require action by the consumer;
(q) The false representation or implication that a debt collector or collection agency operates or is employed by a consumer reporting agency.


12-14-108. Unfair practices.


(1) A debt collector or collection agency shall not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt, including, but not limited to, the following conduct:
(a) The collection of any amount, including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation, unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law;
(b) The acceptance by a debt collector or collection agency from any person of a check or other payment instrument postdated by more than five days unless such person is notified in writing of the debt collector's or collection agency's intent to deposit such check or instrument not more than ten nor less than three business days prior to such deposit;
(c) The solicitation by a debt collector or collection agency of any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument for the purpose of threatening or instituting criminal prosecution;
(d) Depositing or threatening to deposit any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument prior to the date on such check or instrument;
(e) Causing charges to be made to any person for communications by concealment of the true purpose of the communication. Such charges include, but are not limited to, collect telephone calls and telegram fees.
(f) Taking or threatening to take any nonjudicial action to effect dispossession or disablement of property if:
(I) There is no present right to possession of the property claimed as collateral through an enforceable security interest;
(II) There is no present intention to take possession of the property; or
(III) The property is exempt by law from such dispossession or disablement;
(g) Communicating with a consumer regarding a debt by postcard;
(h) Using any language or symbol, other than the debt collector's or collection agency's address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails or by telegram; except that a debt collector or collection agency may use his business name if such name does not indicate that he is in the debt collection business;
(i) Failing to comply with the provisions of section 13-21-109, C.R.S., regarding the collection of checks, drafts, or orders not paid upon presentment;
(j) Communicating credit information to a consumer reporting agency earlier than thirty days after the initial notice to the consumer has been mailed, unless the consumer's last-known address is known to be invalid. This paragraph (j) shall not apply to checks, negotiable instruments, or credit card drafts.


12-14-109. Validation of debts.


(1) Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector or collection agency shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice with the disclosures specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection (1). If such disclosures are placed on the back of the notice, the front of the notice shall contain a statement notifying consumers of that fact. Such disclosures shall state:
(a) The amount of the debt;
(b) The name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
(c) That, unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector or collection agency;
(d) That, if the consumer notifies the debt collector or collection agency in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector or collection agency will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector or collection agency;
(e) That upon the consumer's written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector or collection agency will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
(f) and (g) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2003, p. 1866, § 4, effective May 21, 2003.)
(2) If the consumer notifies the debt collector or collection agency in writing within the thirty-day period described in paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector or collection agency shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector or collection agency obtains verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment or the name and address of the original creditor and mails a copy of such verification or judgment or name and address of the original creditor to the consumer.
(3) The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt under this section shall not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the consumer.
(4) It shall be an affirmative defense to any action based upon failure of a debt collector or collection agency to comply with this section that the debt collector or collection agency believed, in good faith, that the debtor was other than a natural person.


12-14-110. Multiple debts.


If any consumer owes multiple debts and makes any single payment to any collection agency with respect to such debts, such collection agency shall not apply such payment to any debt which is disputed by the consumer and when so informed shall apply such payment in accordance with the consumer's directions.


12-14-111. Legal actions by collection agencies.


(1) Any debt collector or collection agency who brings any legal action on a debt against any consumer shall:
(a) In the case of an action to enforce an interest in real property securing the consumer's obligation, bring such action only in a judicial district or similar legal entity in which such real property is located; or
(b) In the case of an action not described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), bring such action only in the judicial district or similar legal entity in which:
(I) Such consumer signed the contract sued upon;
(II) Such consumer resides at the commencement of the action; or
(III) Such action may be brought pursuant to article 13 or 13.5 of title 26, C.R.S., section 14-14-104, C.R.S., or article 4 or 6 of title 19, C.R.S., if the action is by a private collection agency acting on behalf of a delegate child support enforcement unit.


12-14-112. Deceptive forms.


(1) It is unlawful for any person to design, compile, and furnish any form knowing that such form would be used to create the false belief in a consumer that a person other than the creditor of such consumer is participating in the collection or in the attempted collection of a debt that such consumer allegedly owes such creditor when in fact such person is not so participating.
(2) Any person who violates this section shall be liable to the same extent and in the same manner as a debt collector or collection agency under section 12-14-113 for failure to comply with this article.
(3) This section shall apply if the person supplying or using the forms or the consumer receiving the forms is located within this state.


12-14-113. Civil liability.


(1) In addition to administrative enforcement pursuant to section 12-14-114 and subject to section 12-14-134 and the limitations provided by subsection (9) of this section, and except as otherwise provided by this section, any debt collector or collection agency who fails to comply with any provision of this article with respect to a consumer is liable to such consumer in an amount equal to the sum of:
(a) Any actual damage sustained by such consumer as a result of such failure;
(b) (I) In the case of any action by an individual, such additional damages as the court may allow, but not to exceed one thousand dollars;
(II) In the case of a class action, such amount for each named plaintiff as could be recovered under subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) and such amount as the court may allow for all other class members, without regard to a minimum individual recovery, not to exceed five hundred thousand dollars or one percent of the net worth of the debt collector or collection agency, whichever is the lesser; and
(c) In the case of any successful action to enforce such liability, the costs of the action, together with such reasonable attorney fees as may be determined by the court.
(1.5) In the case of any unsuccessful action brought under this section, the plaintiff shall be liable to each defendant in an amount equal to that defendant's cost incurred in defending the action, together with such reasonable attorney fees as may be determined by the court.
(2) In determining the amount of liability in any action under subsection (1) of this section, the court shall consider, among other relevant factors:
(a) In any individual action under subparagraph (I) of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section, the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the debt collector or collection agency, the nature of such noncompliance, and the extent to which such noncompliance was intentional;
(b) In any class action under subparagraph (II) of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section, the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the debt collector or collection agency, the nature of such noncompliance, the resources of the debt collector or collection agency, the number of persons adversely affected, and the extent to which the debt collector's or collection agency's noncompliance was intentional.
(3) A debt collector or collection agency may not be held liable in any action brought pursuant to the provisions of this article if the debt collector or collection agency shows by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was not intentional or grossly negligent and which violation resulted from a bona fide error, notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error.
(4) An action to enforce any liability created by the provisions of this article may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction within one year from the date on which the violation occurs.
(5) No provision of this section imposing any liability shall apply to any act done or omitted in good faith in conformity with any advisory opinion of the board, notwithstanding that, after such act or omission has occurred, such opinion is amended, rescinded, or determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason.
(6) The policy of this state is not to award double damages under this article and the federal "Fair Debt Collection Practices Act", 15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq. No damages under this section shall be recovered if damages are recovered for a like provision of said federal act.
(7) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, harassment of the employer or the family of a consumer shall be considered an invasion of privacy and a civil action may be brought which is not subject to the damage limitations of said subsection (1).
(8) It shall be an affirmative defense to any action based upon failure of a debt collector or collection agency to comply with this section that the debt collector or collection agency believed, in good faith, that the debtor was other than a natural person.
(9) There shall be no private cause of action under this section for any alleged violation of section 12-14-128 (4) (a). Violations of section 12-14-128 (4) (a) may be prosecuted only through administrative enforcement pursuant to section 12-14-114.


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