RS 51:1445     

§1445.  Duties of private child support collection agencies

A.  A private child support collection agency shall comply with all of the following:

(1)  Enter into a written contract with the obligee, as provided in R.S. 51:1444, before providing support enforcement services.

(2)  Have an affirmative duty to act as a trustee and fiduciary for the benefit of the obligee.

(3)  Advise an obligee before entering into a contract that he is not obligated to hire a collection agency to collect child support.

(4)  Provide the obligee and the department, when the department is providing support enforcement services, with an accounting of any money collected and forwarded to the obligee every thirty days until the collection agency ceases all collection activity.  The statement shall be sent by first class mail.  The statement shall contain all of the following information:

(a)  The name of the obligor and any other identifying information.

(b)  The amount of support collected.

(c)  The date each amount was received.

(d)  The date each amount received was forwarded to the obligee.

(e)  The amount of each payment forwarded to the obligee.

(f)  The source of payment and the actions taken by the collection agency which resulted in the payment.

(g)  The amount and percentage of each payment retained by the collection agency as its fee.

(h)  A copy of all correspondence, both paper and electronic, sent or received by the collection agency during the preceding thirty days, excluding correspondence required by law to be kept confidential.

(5)  Forward that portion of the collections due to the obligee within two days of receipt.

(6)  Maintain records of all child support collections made on behalf of an obligee for the duration of the contract plus a period of two years after the termination of the contract. In addition to a copy of the contract, the collection agency shall maintain all of the following:

(a)  A copy of the order establishing the child support obligation under which a collection was made by the collection agency.

(b)  Records of all correspondence between the collection agency and the obligee or obligor in a case.

(c)  Any other pertinent information relating to the child support obligation, including any case, cause, or docket number of the court having jurisdiction over the matter and official government payment records obtained by the collection agency on behalf of and at the request of the obligee.

(7)  Safeguard case records in a manner reasonably expected to prevent the disclosure of information pertaining to the obligee or obligor, including protections for records maintained in an automated system.

(8)  Ensure that every person who contracts with a collection agency has the right to obtain copies of all files and documents, both paper and electronic, in the possession of the collection agency as provided in this Paragraph.  The obligee shall be provided reasonable access during regular business hours to originals and copies of the files and records of the collection agency regarding all monies received, collection attempts made, fees retained or paid to the collection agency, and monies disbursed to the obligee.  The collection agency may not charge a fee for access to the files and records but may require the obligee to pay up to three cents per page for the copies prior to their release.  This fee shall not apply to documents sent with a statement pursuant to Paragraph (4) of this Subsection.

(9)  Convey any offer of settlement or compromise made by the obligor to the obligee in writing.

(10)  Maintain a separate bank account for child support funds collected on behalf of obligees and keep such funds in the bank account until disbursed to the appropriate obligee.

B.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, including provisions establishing a right of cancellation and requiring notice thereof, any attorney contracting with an obligee to provide child support collection services for compensation shall comply with all provisions governing attorney conduct.

Acts 2010, No. 872, §2, eff. July 2, 2010.