Mississippi Debt Settlement Laws
Debt Settlement License Registration Required:
Statute: Miss. Code Ann. §81-22-1 et seq.
Definitions: “Debt management service” means: (i) The receiving of money from a consumer for the purpose of distributing one or more payments to or among one or more creditors of the consumer in full or partial payment of the consumer’s obligation;
(ii) Arranging or assisting a consumer to arrange for the distribution of one or more payments to or among one or more creditors of the consumer in full or partial payment of the consumer’s obligation;
(iii) Exercising control, directly or indirectly, or arranging for the exercise of control over funds of the consumer for the purpose of distributing payments to or among one or more creditors of the consumer;
(iv) Acting or offering to act as an intermediary between a consumer and one or more creditors of the consumer for the purpose of adjusting, compromising, negotiating, settling, discharging or otherwise deferring, reducing or altering the terms of payment of the consumer’s obligation; or
(v) Improving or offering to improve a consumer’s credit record, history or rating.
(c) “Debt management service provider” means a person that provides or offers to provide to a consumer in this state any debt management services, in return for a fee or other consideration.
“Debt management service provider” does not include:
(i) Those situations involving debt adjusting incurred incidentally in the lawful practice of law in this state;
(ii) Those situations involving credit report error correction services and situations covered under paragraph (b)(v) of this section when performed in the lawful practice of law in this state;
(iii) Title insurers who adjust debts out of escrow funds only incidentally in the regular course of their principal business;
(iv) Judicial officers or others acting under court orders;
(v) Those situations involving debt adjusting incurred incidentally in connection with the lawful practice as a certified public accountant;
(vi) Bona fide trade or mercantile associations in the course of arranging adjustment of debts with business establishments;
(vii) Employers who adjust debts for their employees;
(viii) Any person who, at the request of a debtor, makes a loan to the debtor, and who, at the authorization of the debtor, acts as an adjuster of the debtor’s debts solely in the disbursement of the proceeds of the loan, without compensation for the services rendered in adjusting the debts;
(ix) Any institution that is regulated, supervised or licensed by the department or any out-of-state institution that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration;
(x) Licensed attorneys engaged in the lawful practice of law; or
(xi) For-profit debt management service providers who do not receive or hold consumer funds, who do not receive a fee until a settlement is approved by the consumer and who are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission.