Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 6.2. Financial Institutions and Services
Chapter 20.1. Debt Settlement Services Providers

§ 6.2-2026. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Consumer" means an individual residing in the Commonwealth who owes money to one or more creditors, for personal, family, or household purposes, including an individual who owes money jointly with one or more other individuals.

"Credit counselor" means an employee or agent of a licensee who engages in debt settlement services on a consumer's behalf.

"Creditor" includes persons that extend credit to, or persons that service loans made to, consumers. "Creditor" or "credit-granting organization" does not include (i) doctors, lawyers, or other professionals who receive payment for their services in installments or (ii) persons whose only participation in a credit transaction is to honor a credit card.

"Debt collector" means a person defined as a debt collector under 15 U.S.C. § 1692a of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.

"Debt settlement services" means any action or negotiation initiated or taken on behalf of any consumer with any creditor of the consumer for the purpose of obtaining debt forgiveness of all or a portion of the credit extended by the creditor to the consumer or a reduction of payments, charges, or fees payable by the consumer. For purposes of this chapter, with respect to student loan forgiveness or student loan payment reduction programs established under federal or state law and widely available to similarly situated consumers at no cost, the facilitation of enrollment in or qualification for such programs does not constitute an action or negotiation.

"Duplicate original" means an exact copy with signatures created by the same impression as the original, an exact copy bearing an original signature, or, in the case of an electronic transaction, an electronic version with electronic signatures.

"Electronic signature" means an electronic signature as defined in § 59.1-480.

"Licensee" means a person licensed under this chapter.

"Principal" means any person that, directly or indirectly, owns or controls (i) 10 percent or more of the outstanding stock of a stock corporation or (ii) a 10 percent or greater interest in a person.

2020, c. 785.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.