Consumer ProtectionLicense

DEBT MANAGEMENT AND DEBT SETTLEMENT BUSINESSES

Montana law treats debt management and debt settlement companies differently. Debt management companies must be licensed by the Office of Consumer Protection. Debt settlement companies must register with the Office of Consumer Protection, but there is no licensing requirement. The information on this page explains both processes and provides the necessary forms for both.

(If you are a consumer looking for licensed debt management or registered debt settlement companies, click here Debt Relief.)

DEBT MANAGEMENT COMPANY LICENSING

Under Montana law, any credit counseling or debt management company that wants to provide debt management plans in Montana must be licensed by the Montana Department of Justice and pay the annual $1,000 licensing fee.

To become licensed to provide Debt Management Services:

  1.   Complete the Debt Management Licensing Application and enclose:
    • the annual $1,000 license fee payable to the State of Montana
    • the $50,000 Surety Bond Form, completed by a bonding company
    • a Certificate of Compliance, which is required for each individual who completes any portion of this application process. This certificate must be notarized.
  2.   Mail the completed package to:

           Office of Consumer Protection
           P.O. Box 200151
           Helena, MT 59620-0151

Licenses expire annually on February 1.  Please remit the application by January 15.

If a business operating in Montana has incurred any civil fines related to its debt management services, the business must pay those fines before it can become licensed.

Penalties – There are civil penalties for failing to get the necessary license. Contact the OCP at (406) 444-4500 with any questions.
ExemptionsSection 30-14-2002 of the Montana Code Annotated exempts certain professions from these licensing requirements:

  • banking institutions, building and loan associations, credit unions, escrow businesses or title companies
  • attorneys, if providing credit counseling services is incidental to and not their principal business
  • certified public accountants, if providing credit counseling services is incidental to and not their principal business
  • debt collectors who do not advertise or portray themselves as a credit counseling service

Contact

Office of Consumer Protection
P.O. Box 200151
Helena, MT 59620-0151
Phone:  800-481-6896 or 406-444-4500
Fax:  406-442-2174
E-mail: [email protected]

DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANY REGISTRATION

Any person or business engaging in the business of debt settlement for compensation is regulated by Montana law pursuant to MCA 30-14-2101 through 2104. Completion of the Debt Settlement Registration and payment of the $250 filing fee are required annually. Businesses currently offering debt settlement services are required to register.

To register to provide Debt Settlement Services in Montana:

  1.  Complete the Debt Settlement Registration Checklist and enclose:
    • the annual $250 filing fee payable to the State of Montana
    • a notarized Certificate of Compliance, which is required for each individual who completes this application process. The certificate must be notarized.
  2.   Mail the completed package to:
    Office of Consumer Protection
    P.O. Box 200151
    Helena, MT 59620-0151

Registration expire annually on December 31.  Please remit the application by December 15.

Contact

Office of Consumer Protection
P.O. Box 200151
Helena, MT 59620-0151
Phone:  800-481-6896 or 406-444-4500
Fax:  406-442-2174
E-mail: [email protected]