Title 19
Financial Institutions

Chapter 14.9
Rhode Island Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 19-14.9-8

§ 19-14.9-8. Unfair practices.

A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Such unfair or unconscionable means shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) Collecting any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law;

(b) Publishing, or causing to be published, for general circulation, the name of a consumer or any lists of consumers, or threatening to do so;

(c) Requesting or demanding from a consumer a postdated check, draft, order for withdrawal, or other similar instrument in payment for the debt or any portion thereof, or negotiating such instrument before the due date of the instrument;

(d) Depositing, or threatening to deposit, any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument prior to the date on such check or instrument;

(e) Causing charges to be made to any person for communications by concealment of the true purpose of the communication. Such charges include, but are not limited to, collect telephone calls and fees. However, this section shall not prohibit a debt collector from communicating with a consumer by way of a consumer’s wireless telephone;

(f) Taking, or threatening to take, any nonjudicial action to effect dispossession or disablement of property if:

(1) There is no present right to possession of the property claimed as collateral through an enforceable security interest;

(2) There is no present intention to take possession of the property;

(3) The property is exempt by law from such dispossession or disablement;

(g) Communicating with a consumer regarding a debt by post card;

(h) Using any language or symbol, other than the debt collector’s address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails or by telegram, except that a debt collector may use his/her business name if such name does not indicate that he/she is in the debt collection business;

(i) Representing that an existing obligation of a consumer may be increased by the addition of attorney’s fees, investigation fees, service fees, or any other fees or charges, if in fact such fees or charges may not legally be added to the existing obligation;

(j) Soliciting or obtaining any written statement or acknowledgment in any form containing an affirmation of any obligation by a consumer who has been adjudicated bankrupt, without clearly and conspicuously disclosing the nature and consequences of such affirmation;

(k) Reporting to a consumer reporting agency on its transactions or experiences with a consumer in the debt collector’s name. However, a debt collector may, with the express written authorization of the creditor, report to a consumer reporting agency in the creditor’s name.

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