Title 19
Financial Institutions

Chapter 14.9
Rhode Island Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 19-14.9-7

§ 19-14.9-7. False or misleading representations.

A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Such false or misleading means shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) The false representation or implication that the debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with the United States or any state, including the use of any badge, uniform, or facsimile thereof;

(b) The false representation of:

(1) The character, amount, or legal status of any debt;

(2) Any services rendered or compensation that may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt;

(c) The false representation or implication that any individual is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney;

(d) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action;

(e) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken;

(f) The false representation or implication that a sale, referral, or other transfer of any interest in a debt shall cause the consumer to:

(1) Lose any claim or defense to payment of the debt;

(2) Become subject to any practice prohibited by this chapter;

(g) The false representation or implication that the consumer committed any crime or other conduct in order to disgrace the consumer;

(h) The communicating, or threatening to communicate, to any person credit information that is known or that should be known to be false, including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed;

(i) The use of distribution of any written communication that simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by any court, official, or agency of the United States or any state, or that creates a false impression as to its source, authorization, or approval;

(j) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect, or attempt to collect, any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer;

(k) The failure to disclose in the initial written communication with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial communication with the consumer is oral, in that initial oral communication, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector, except that this paragraph shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action;

(l) The false representation or implication that accounts have been turned over to innocent purchasers for value;

(m) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process;

(n) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector’s business, company, or organization;

(o) The false representation or implication that documents are not legal process forms or do not require action by the consumer;

(p) Communicating by telephone without disclosure of the name of the debt collector and without disclosure of the personal name of the individual making such communication; provided, however, that any such individual utilizing an alias shall use only one such alias at all times and provided that a mechanism is established by the debt collector to identify the person using such alias; the debt collector shall submit a list of all such aliases and the persons using same to the director;

(q) The false representation or implication that a debt collector operates or is employed by a consumer reporting agency.

History of Section.
P.L. 2007, ch. 427, § 1.