General Information

Under Indiana law, a collection agency is any individual, firm, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation which seeks to collect claims owed or asserted to be owed to another. Collection agencies are regulated by the Indiana Secretary of State, Securities Division (“Division”). If an individual or company meets the definition of a collection agency, and is not otherwise excluded from the definition, the individual or company must register with the Division. Collection agencies are also subject to federal laws, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).

All filings and fees for a collection agency registration are made through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (“NMLS”). The NMLS checklists for collection agencies provide an overview of the filing requirements. All required forms and items must be completed before submitting an application or the processing of a license application will be delayed. The company will be notified of any deficiencies on its license through NMLS. Any deficiencies must be cured prior to approval of the company’s licensure.

The Division investigates complaints regarding actions of collection agencies under the Indiana Code and takes appropriate enforcement action when a collection agency has violated Indiana law. Complaints related to the FDCPA or practices not enumerated in the Indiana Code should be referred to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) or the Indiana Attorney General. The Division cannot give legal advice or represent individual consumers in actions against collection agencies. If you believe an individual or company has violated the Indiana Code as it relates to collection agencies, proceed to File a Complaint to inform the Division of the alleged violation. Administrative actions against collection agencies are available on the Administrative Action Search. Licensure information regarding registered collection agencies is available on the NMLS Consumer Access Database.

Requirements
Initial Applications for Company License
  • The company must apply through NMLS by submitting the Company (MU1) Form.
  • The non-refundable initial filing fee is one hundred dollars ($100) and is paid through the NMLS.
  • If the company is operating under a different trade name, it should state the other trade names on the MU1.
  • Nonresidents of Indiana must appoint an agent or attorney for service of process within Indiana.
  • The NMLS Collection Agency Checklist details additional requirements for the NMLS application process.
  • An individual who is an officer or member of any business that applies for a collection agency license must meet the requirements for individuals outlined at Ind. Code § 25-11-1-4.
  • An Electronic Surety Bond must be submitted through NMLS.  The bond must be equal to five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each office operated in Indiana. The sum for all offices should be aggregated into one Electronic Surety Bond and associated with the principal office.
  • The Collection Agency Licensing Affidavit must be completed and notarized.
  • Approved licenses expire on December 31. In order to continue operating its business, a collection agency must submit a renewal registration and pay any associated fees.
Initial Applications for Branch License
  • The branch office must apply through NMLS by submitting the Branch (MU3) Form Filing.
  • The non-refundable initial filing fee is thirty dollars ($30) and is paid through NMLS.
  • Any office of a collection agency that is not designated as the main office but engages in the solicitation of claims for collection or in the collection of claims owed or asserted to be owed to another must apply for a branch license.
  • An Electronic Surety Bond in the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each office operated in Indiana.  The sum for all offices should be aggregated into one Electronic Surety Bond and associated with the principal office.
  • Approved licenses expire on December 31. In order to continue operating its business, the branch office must submit a renewal registration and pay any associated fees.
Renewal Applications for Company and Branch Licenses
  • Requirements for renewal applications for both the Company and Branch Licenses are identical to requirements for the initial Company and Branch Licenses.
  • Renewals must be timely submitted prior to January 1.
Relevant Law

Indiana Code [25-11]
Compliance Alert: Collection Agencies Converting to Electronic Surety Bonds beginning July 1, 2020 [May 1, 2020]
Compliance Alert: Remote Working for a Loan Broker/Collection Agency in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak [March 24, 2020]
Compliance Alert: Indiana Securities Division Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak [March 24, 2020]

Helpful Resources

Administrative Action Search
Branch (MU3) Form Filing
Collection Agency Bond
Collection Agency Licensing Affidavit
Company (MU1) Form Filing Instructions
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Complaint
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
FDCPA Debt Collection FAQs
File A Complaint
FTC Complaint Assistant
Indiana Attorney General Consumer Complaint
Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (“NMLS”)
NMLS Checklists
NMLS Company Renewal
NMLS Consumer Access Database
NMLS Document Uploads
NMLS Payment Options

Division Personnel

Nancy Musgrave
Senior Compliance Officer
nmusgrave@sos.in.gov
317-232-6688