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December 2015

The Massachusetts Capitol Building. (redjar/Flickr via Creative Commons)

New Requirement: Massachusetts Law Firms Must Be Licensed As Debt Collectors

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Law firms that specialize in consumer debt collection must now be licensed as debt collectors under existing Massachusetts law, according to a declaration by the Massachusetts Division of Banks (DOB).

A letter sent out on November 2 clarified the applicability of the state’s licensing exclusion for “attorneys-at-law collecting a debt on behalf of a client,” addressing whether a law firm self-described as “overwhelmingly concentrated in the area of consumer debt collection on behalf of its clients,” was required to be licensed.

According to an announcement by DBA International:

The DOB clarified that the determination “turns on the extent of the debt collection activity conducted by the firm.” It concluded that licensure is required where the law firm’s “principal purpose is the collection of debts and therefore its activities are beyond the scope of the attorney-at-law exemption.”

In the letter, the DOB gives Massachusetts law firms focused on collection six months from the date of the letter to comply. It also mentioned that the new requirement “will not be imposed retroactively on affected law firms.”


For law firms interested in more information about the new requirements, as well as to start the licensing process, contact Orion State Licensing to ensure your business is not out of compliance.