On February 27, the Wyoming governor signed HB 284, which requires debt buyers to be licensed as “collection agencies” beginning July 1. Under the act, a collection agency now includes any person who operates as a debt buyer, defined as “any person that is regularly engaged in the business of purchasing charged-off consumer debt for collection purposes, whether the person collects the debt, hires a third party for collection of the debt or hires an attorney for collection litigation[.]” As a result, debt buyers will be regulated by the Collection Agency Board. Importantly, the act protects the validity of any civil action or arbitration filed or commenced by a debt buyer, or any judgment entered for a debt buyer, prior to the effective date.
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