WBK Industry News - State Regulatory Developments

Wisconsin to Allow Mobile Bank Branches, Updates Collection Agency Rules

The Wisconsin Division of Financial Institutions has adopted various regulatory amendments affecting collection agencies and bank branches, effective April 1, 2024. 

The amendments broadly update the rules governing collection agencies in the state, including prohibiting collection agencies from charging a creditor for returning an account “that is not in the actual process of collection, other than a fee for reasonable costs incurred by the licensee for each account placed in error by the creditor.”  As part of this change, the definition of “actual process of collection” is being revised to clarify that it means “more effort . . . than merely listing the account, inputting the account into the collection agency’s database, writing one letter or making one call, or similar levels of effort.”

In addition, the amendments make various changes to the provisions governing collection agencies’ trust accounts, and also require collection agencies to receive regulatory approval before using a trade name. 

Separate from the collection agency regulations, the amendments will permit Wisconsin-chartered banks to have intermittent or mobile branches, rather than only “permanent” facilities.