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S.258

Introduced by   Senator Flanagan of Chittenden District and Senator Sears of Bennington District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Banking and insurance; debt adjusters; credit counseling

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to authorize the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration to assist the federal bankruptcy court in Vermont in establishing a valid list of credit counselors available for debtors.

AN ACT RELATING TO CREDIT COUNSELORS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  DEPARTMENT OF BANKING, INSURANCE, SECURITIES, AND

            HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION TO ASSIST BANKRUPTCY

            COURT

(a)  Findings and purpose.  The general assembly finds that the new federal law, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, requires debtors to have credit counseling before a bankruptcy can be filed and a personal financial seminar before a bankruptcy is complete.  This will put a large demand for services on a growing industry.  There have been serious questions raised about the trade practices of this industry and the industry’s relationship to the credit industry which provides a significant part of the funding behind the credit counseling businesses.  The general assembly passed Act No. 81 in 2004 that revamped the regulation of debt adjusters in Vermont to ensure the protection of consumers doing business with this industry.  The department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration is in charge of regulating this industry.  Therefore it is the purpose of this act to enable the department to aid the bankruptcy court in Vermont in maintaining a list of nonprofit budget and credit counseling agencies approved for use by Vermont debtors.

(b)  The department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall assist the federal bankruptcy court in Vermont in ensuring that all of the nonprofit budget and credit counseling agencies on the list maintained by the court are free from conflicts of interest and have been found by the department to have the qualifications set forth in section 4866 of Title 9.

(c)  The department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall report on or before January 15, 2007 to the house and senate committees on judiciary, the senate committee on finance, and the house committee on commerce on the status of the collaboration authorized by this act.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us