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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Connecticut State Banking Commissioner Sets Maximum Fees for Debt Negotiators

State Issues

On September 28, the Connecticut State Banking Commissioner issued a maximum fee schedule for “debt negotiation” - including loan modification, short sales or foreclosure rescue activities - performed on behalf of Connecticut debtors (the licensure requirement for debt negotiators was reported in InfoBytes, Sept. 25, 2009). Under the schedule, a debt negotiator may charge as much as $50 for an initial or set-up fee and as much as $8 for monthly service fees for each creditor listed on a debt negotiation contract; the total service fee chargeable to a debtor cannot exceed $40. The aggregate fees, including the initial and service fees, charged by a debt negotiator cannot exceed 10 percent of the amount by which the consumer’s debt is reduced. Finally, a debt negotiator of secured debt, including Short Sales and Foreclosure Rescue Services, cannot charge more than $500 for debt negotiation services involving secured debt, and such a fee is collectable only upon the successful completion of the debt negotiation services (i.e., the fee cannot be collected up-front).