Alaska Debt Collection Laws
In addition to being regulated by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Alaska collection agencies are also regulated by Alaska debt collection laws. Discover: Alaska collection requirements, bad check laws (NSF), statutes of limitations for both debts and judgments, garnishments plus Alaska collection agency license and bonding information.
Summary of the Alaska fair debt collection practices laws:
ALASKA INTEREST RATE
Judgment: 10.5% or contractual
ALASKA STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS |in years|
Sale of Goods: 4
Written Contract: 6
Domestic Judgment: 10
Foreign Judgment: 10
ALASKA BAD CHECK LAWS |NSF|
Damages in amount equal to $100 or triple the amount of the check whichever is greater. But no more than $1000 over the amount of the check.
ALASKA WAGE GARNISHMENT EXEMPTIONS
75% of employee’s weekly net income or $402.50 whichever is more.
ALASKA COLLECTION AGENCY BONDING and LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
Bond: $5000 License: Yes
$100 – Application
$200 – Agency Biennially
Below is the Alaska debt collection statute:
§ 08.24.041. Duty to enforce chapter
The department shall enforce all laws and regulations relating to collection agencies.
§ 08.24.045. Duty to pass upon qualifications
The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee shall pass upon the qualifications of applicants for collection agency licenses and operators licenses.
§ 08.24.051. Power to seek injunctions
The department may apply to the superior court for an injunction to temporarily restrain a violation of this chapter or a regulation adopted under it, conduct investigations of alleged violations of this chapter and regulations adopted under this chapter, and perform other action necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.
Alaska Fair Debt Collection Practices
§ 08.24.061. Publication of applicable law
The department shall reproduce the laws relating to licensing of collection agencies and operators, the regulations adopted by the department and other pertinent matter, publish the material in pamphlet form, and make the pamphlets available to the public without expense.
Alaska Fair Debt Collection Practices
§ 08.24.090. License required
(a) A person other than a collection agency licensed and authorized under this chapter may not for compensation
(1) conduct a collection agency business in this state;
(2) collect claims for others in this state;
(3) solicit the right to collect or receive payment of a claim for another;
(4) advertise or solicit either in print, by letter, in person or otherwise, the right to collect or receive payment of a claim for another;
(5) seek to make collection or obtain payment of a claim on behalf of another.
(b) This chapter does not apply to the following when engaged in the regular course of their respective businesses:
(1) attorneys at law;
(2) persons regularly employed on a regular wage or salary in the capacity of credit men or a similar capacity, except as an independent contractor;
(3) banks, including trust departments of banks, fiduciaries and financing and lending institutions;
(4) common carriers;
(5) title insurers and abstract companies while doing an escrow business;
(6) licensed real estate brokers;
(7) employees of licensees under this chapter;
(8) substation payment offices employed by or serving as independent contractors for public utilities.
(c) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a jail for not to exceed one year, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both.
§ 08.24.100. Licensed operator required, exceptions and fee
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a licensee may not engage in the collection agency business unless and until the collection agency and each branch office of the agency is under the management and control of a licensed operator for each office. The department may waive this requirement for a period not to exceed 90 days upon the death or disability of an operator or for other good cause.
(b) The operator’s license is renewable on or before July 1 of each second year.
Alaska Fair Debt Collection Practices
§ 08.24.110. Qualification for operator’s license
(a) To qualify for an operator’s license, the applicant shall:
(1) be a high school graduate, or have the equivalent education of a high school graduate;
(2) be of good moral character;
(3) not have been convicted of violating this chapter, nor have any unsettled complaints under this chapter against the applicant;
(4) not have been convicted of a felony or a crime of larceny or embezzlement or a crime involving moral turpitude;
(5) be 19 years of age or older at the time of application;
(6) not be a disbarred attorney or have filed bankruptcy;
(7) pay the biennial license fee.
(b) The commissioner may waive or modify the requirements specified in (a)(1), (3), (4) and (6) of this section for good cause shown.
§ 08.24.120. Application for operator’s license
(a) An application for an operator’s license shall be made on forms furnished by the department and must contain the information required in AS 08.24.110 and the following:
(1) a complete set of fingerprints and the fees required by the Department of Public Safety under AS 12.62.160 for criminal justice information and a national criminal history record check;
(2) a 2″ x 3″ photograph showing a front view of head and shoulders;
(3) if it is an original application, the application fee;
(4) the biennial license fee.
(b) The department may make a complete investigation of applicants, including inquiry of police agencies as to the applicant’s record of arrest or conviction of crime. The department shall submit the fingerprints and fees received under (a)(1) of this section to the Department of Public Safety for a report of criminal justice information under AS 12.62 and a national criminal history record check under AS 12.62.400 .
§ 08.24.130. Application for agency license
(a) An application for a collection agency license or for a renewal of a license shall be made upon forms furnished by the department and must contain the following information:
(1) the full name and proposed business name of the applicant;
(2) the address of the applicant’s principal place of business and branch offices;
(3) the names and addresses of the applicant and those associated with the applicant; if the applicant is a corporation or association, the application must contain the names of the officers of the corporation or association;
(4) the names and residential addresses of the applicant’s operators;
(5) additional information that the department by regulation requires.
(b) A natural person applying for a collection agency license must be 19 years of age or older at the time of making application.
§ 08.24.135. Fees
The department shall set fees for licenses and applications under AS 08.01.065 and shall set delayed renewal penalties under AS 08.01.100.
§ 08.24.140. Fee, bond, and other material
(a) The application must be accompanied by
(1) if it is an original application, the application fee;
(2) the biennial license fee for a collection agency for the principal place of business and the same amount for each branch office;
(3) a bond running to the state with a surety or sureties to the satisfaction of the department, and conditioned that the licensee shall, within 30 days after the close of each calendar or fiscal month, report and pay to the licensee’s customers the net proceeds due and payable of all collections made during the calendar or fiscal month that exceed $20.
(b) All money collected by an agency belonging to a client shall be deposited in a trust account and cleared at the end of each month. The department may audit any agency transaction.
§ 08.24.150. Bond
(a) The bond provided for in AS 08.24.140 shall be in the sum of $5,000, executed by the applicant, as principal, and by a corporation that is licensed or authorized to transact business of fidelity and surety insurance within the state as surety. The department may at any time request verification of a bonding agent’s authority by the main office of any company acting as surety.
(b) A licensee may, at any time, file with the department a new bond. A licensee may in lieu of a bond make a $5,000 cash deposit with the department, the deposit to be held by the department under the same terms and conditions as if bond in that amount were posted.
(c) A surety may file with the department notice of the surety’s withdrawal on the bond of a licensee. Upon filing a new bond, or upon the revocation of the collection agency license, or upon expiration of 60 days after the filing of notice of withdrawal as surety by the surety, the liability of the former surety for all future acts of the licensee is terminated.
(d) The department shall immediately cancel the bond given by a surety company upon being advised its license to transact business of fidelity and surety insurance has been revoked by the state.
(e) Upon the filing with the department of notice by a surety of the surety’s withdrawal as the surety on the bond of a licensee or upon the cancellation by the department of the bond of a surety company as provided in this section, the department shall immediately give notice to the licensee of the withdrawal or cancellation. The notice shall be by registered or certified mail with request for a return receipt and addressed to the licensee at the licensee’s main office, as shown by the records of the department. At the expiration of 30 days from the date of mailing the notice, the license of the licensee is terminated unless the licensee has filed a new bond with a surety satisfactory to the department. All bonds given under this chapter shall be filed and held in the office of the department.
(f) The bond required by this section remains in effect until cancelled by action of the surety, the principal, or the department. An action may not be initiated upon the bond after two years from its cancellation.
§ 08.24.160. Form of bond
The bond required by AS 08.24.140 and 08.24.150 shall be in the form substantially as follows:
Know all Men by These Presents that we, ………., as principal, and ………. as surety, are held and firmly bound to the State of Alaska, in the penal sum of $…, lawful money of the United States, for the payment of which we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns jointly and severally.
The condition of this obligation is such that whereas, the bonded principal, named above, has applied to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development of the State of Alaska for a collection agency license under the provisions of AS 08.24 and is required by the provisions of that law to furnish a bond conditioned as herein set out.
Now, therefore, if ………., within 30 days after the close of each fiscal or calendar month, reports and pays to customers the net proceeds due and payable of all collections made during that calendar or fiscal month which exceed $20, and strictly, honestly and faithfully complies with the provisions of AS 08.24 and all amendments to it and regulations adopted under it, then this obligation is void, otherwise to remain in full force and effect.
This bond becomes effective on the … day of …, 2… The surety may be relieved of future liability under it by giving 60 days’ written notice to the principal and to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development of the State of Alaska.
This bond is one continuing obligation and the liability of the surety for the aggregate of all claims which may arise under it may in no event exceed the amount of the penalty set out in it.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF we have hereunto set our hands and seals at ……….,
Alaska, this ………. day of ………., 2…
(SEAL) ……. Principal
(SEAL) ………. Surety
§ 08.24.170. Return of fees and bond
If the department does not issue the license applied for, the license fee and bond shall be returned. The application fee may not be returned.
§ 08.24.190. License not assignable; death of licensee
(a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, a license granted under this chapter is a personal privilege and is not assignable.
(b) Upon the death of a collection agency licensee, the department has the right to transfer the license of the decedent to the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate for the period of the unexpired term of the license and the court having jurisdiction of the probate of the estate of the decedent may authorize the executor or administrator to continue the collection agency business of the decedent and upon other terms and conditions as the court may prescribe.
(c) The death of the operator of a corporate licensee shall in no way interfere with the continuation of the licensed business if another licensed operator is placed in management control of the corporate licensee.
§ 08.24.200. Expiration and renewal
(a) All licenses required by this chapter shall expire on June 30, 1970, and June 30 of each second year thereafter and shall be renewed as of July 1 following upon payment of required biennial fees.
(b) If a licensee under this chapter is delinquent for a period of 15 days in applying for the renewal of a license, the department shall suspend the license and notify the licensee by certified mail or by personal service. The notice must state that the license will be revoked if application for renewal is not made within 15 days after the date on which the notice was mailed or personally served. When a licensee has been delinquent more than 60 days in renewing a license or certificate, the department shall charge an additional penalty established under AS 08.01.100(b) before renewal of the license.
§ 08.24.210. Annual statement of collection
Each collection agency licensee shall, not later than January 31 of each calendar year, file with the department a verified annual statement for the preceding calendar year, showing the respective amounts of all customers’ money collected by the licensee during the preceding calendar year, that has not previously been remitted to the customers entitled to it or properly accounted for, and showing also the amounts of money that the licensee has on deposit in a bank or in the licensee’s possession for the purpose of liquidating any and all amounts due to customers. The statement must contain the name and address of the bank. The annual statement shall be made substantially in the following form:
ANNUAL STATEMENT TO DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, COMMUNITY, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Pursuant to AS 08.24.210 the undersigned, ………., licensed under AS 08.24 to conduct a collection agency business, hereby declares that the amount of money collected during the preceding calendar year by the undersigned, as a licensee under AS 08.24, which has not been remitted to a customer or properly accounted for is $…; and that the amount on deposit with all banks for the purpose of liquidating all amounts to customers is $…
The attached schedule contains a true statement of the name and address of each customer of the undersigned to whom there was due or owing at the end of the preceding calendar year on account of collections made during the preceding calendar year the aggregate sum of $20 or more.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned has executed this statement on this … day of …, 2 …
(name of licensee) …
STATE OF ALASKA ss
I, the undersigned, being first sworn, do on oath depose and say: That I
executed the within annual statement as the licensee named in it or on behalf
of the licensee named in it, as the operator, director, or officer of the
licensee named in it, as indicated in it; that I have read the statement and
know its contents; and that the statement is true.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this ………. day of ………., 2 …
Notary Public in and for Alaska
My commission expires:
§ 08.24.230. False declarations in statement
The wilful making of a false declaration in the annual statement or biennial statement of employees constitutes sufficient grounds for revocation of the license of the licensee.
§ 08.24.240. Failure to file statement
If the annual statement of collection is not filed as required under AS 08.24.210, the failure to file constitutes grounds for the immediate suspension of the collection agency license of the licensee failing to file the statement, and the department shall notify the licensee by registered or certified mail that the license of the licensee will be suspended upon the expiration of 15 days after the date on which the notice was mailed unless the licensee complies with the provisions of AS 08.24.210. However, for good cause shown and upon satisfactory proof furnished by the licensee that the failure to file the statement was due to a condition not within the control, or was due to excusable neglect, of the licensee, the department may permit the filing of the statement after the time limited and excuse the failure to file the statement within the time limited. If the statement required by AS 08.24.210 is not filed as required by this section, the department shall revoke the license.
§ 08.24.250. Information confidential
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, information in whatever form required to be filed by the terms of AS 08.24.210 shall be confidential and may not become a public record, but it may be introduced in evidence in a suit, action, or proceeding in a court or in a proceeding involving the granting or revocation of the license of a licensee.
§ 08.24.260. Investigations
The department may, upon its own motion, and shall, upon the sworn complaint in writing of a customer of a collection agency, investigate the actions of a licensee claimed to have violated this chapter and, for that purpose, shall have free access to the offices and place of business and, if the complaint involves customer accounts, to all pertinent books, accounts, records, papers, files, safes, and vaults of the licensee or certificate holder. If the complaint involves the owing of money, or any other thing of value, by a licensee to the complainant, when the licensee raises the issue of an offset or counterclaim, the department may require the complainant to submit all records and data in the complainant’s possession pertaining to the offset or counterclaim.
§ 08.24.270. Administrative Procedure Act
The department shall comply with AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) both as to adoption of regulations and adjudication.
§ 08.24.280. Records and funds
(a) A collection agency shall keep a record of all sums collected by it, and of all disbursements made by it, and shall maintain and keep all the records and all customers’ funds in a trust account with a recognized financial institution in this state. Collection agencies shall maintain accounting records of collections for and payments to customers for a period of six years from the date of the last entry. Collection agencies shall keep other records for a period of two years from the date of the last entry.
(b) Every collection agency shall maintain a permanent numerical receipt record that indicates as to each payment made by a debtor the following information:
(1) the name of the debtor making payment;
(2) the amount paid;
(3) the name of the creditor to whom funds are being applied;
(4) the date and form of payment;
(5) the balance remaining due on account.
(c) An agency using a computer system giving read-out debtor payment information is not required to maintain a numerical receipt record; however, if requested, a receipt shall be furnished to debtor.
(d) The receipt shall be made immediately upon the receipt of funds by the collection agency in payment of a debt; the original copy to be made immediately available to the debtor who has made payment, upon request; and a copy to be made immediately available to the creditor for whom payment was received, upon request; and a copy to be maintained in the permanent receipt record.
(e) A collection agency shall maintain daily cash ledger sheets showing all funds received from debtors and all funds received as fees for services, such as credit reports and the like.
(f) A collection agency or employee of a collection agency may not intentionally make a false entry in the collection agency record or intentionally mutilate, destroy, or otherwise dispose of a record within the time limits provided in this section. The records shall at all reasonable times be open for inspection by the department.
(g) A collection agency shall maintain a separate trust account exclusively for customers’ funds and shall keep the funds in the trust account until disbursed to the customer.
§ 08.24.290. Suspension, revocation, or refusal to renew or grant a license or certificate
The department may suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew or grant a license issued or applied for under this chapter if the licensee or applicant or a partner, associate, or major stockholder of a collection agency has since the date of the application been disbarred from the practice of law or been convicted of fraud, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, a crime involving moral turpitude, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, violation of a provision of this chapter, or violation of a regulation adopted under authority of this chapter.
§ 08.24.300. Court action by agency
A collection agency is not entitled to maintain a suit or action involving the collection of money on behalf of its customers in a court of this state without alleging and proving that it is licensed and has procured a bond, as provided in this chapter. A copy of the collection agency license, certified by the department to be a true and correct copy is prima facie evidence of the licensing and bonding of the collection agency for the term expressed in the copy of the license.
§ 08.24.310. Additional business names
A collection agency using a business name other than the one appearing on the application for its license shall secure a separate license and bond as provided in this chapter for each business name used.
§ 08.24.320. Documents which imitate judicial process
Forms of demand or notice or other documents drawn to resemble court process may not be used by collection agencies in the collection of bills, accounts, or other indebtedness.
§ 08.24.330. Duty to maintain a public office
Each collection agency shall maintain its principal office and any branch office at a street address that is stated in its original application for license or another address that the agency may designate to the department; the office shall be maintained in such a manner as to be open for contact by the public or debtors during normal working hours.
§ 08.24.340. Statement of persons employed by agency
(a) Within 15 days after licensure under this chapter, a collection agency shall submit to the department a list of all persons employed by the agency. Thereafter, upon hiring a new employee, the collection agency shall, within 15 days after the hiring, submit to the department the name of the newly hired employee and the further information required by (b) of this section.
(b) There shall be submitted with the name of the employee employed by the collection agency the following information:
(1) the employee’s residence address;
(2) the employee’s length of residence in the state;
(3) a statement of the new employee’s previous employment in the last year;
(4) further information which the department may require.
(c) The statement shall be verified by the employee before a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths.
(d) The owner or licensed operator of the collection agency shall also state upon the form submitted the date upon which the new employee was hired and that the new employee is an employee of the collection agency at the time the form is executed.
§ 08.24.350. Notice of withdrawal of employees
When an employee withdraws from employment or the employee’s employment with a collection agency is terminated for any reason, the agency shall, within 15 days of withdrawal or termination of employment, notify the department in writing of the employee’s withdrawal from employment.
§ 08.24.360. Fines and penalties
A collection agency or an operator who fails on written demand to render a true and complete account to the person from whom an indebtedness was taken for collection or who fails to turn over to that person the proceeds of the collection within 30 days after written demand, or who fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter is punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or by imprisonment for not more than three months, or by both.
§ 08.24.370. Nonresidents
A nonresident may apply for and receive a collection agency license or an operator license or both on the same basis as a resident. The application fee and the biennial license fee for a nonresident operator or nonresident agency license are double the same fees established by regulations under AS 08.01.065 for a resident operator or agency.
§ 08.24.380. Definitions
In this chapter,
(1) “collection agency” means a person licensed and authorized to engage in the collection agency business;
(2) “collection agency business” means the business of engaging directly or indirectly and having as a primary or secondary object, business or pursuit the solicitation of claims for collection or repossession of collateral security or the collection of claims owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another or the repossession of collateral security;
(A) a house, agency, firm, person, corporation or voluntary association using a name other than its own in collecting its own claims with the intention of conveying, or which tends to convey, the impression that a third party has been employed, is conducting a collection agency business within the meaning of this chapter;
(B) a person who sells, attempts to sell, gives away or attempts to give away to another person, other than a licensee under this chapter a system of collection letters, demand forms or other printed matter where the name of a person other than a creditor appears in a manner to indicate that a request or demand is being made by another person, other than the creditor, for the payment of a sum due, or asserted to be due, or who solicits or accepts accounts for collection on a contingent or percentage basis or by a fee or outright purchase for collection purposes, is considered to be in the collection agency business within the meaning of this chapter;
(3) “commissioner” means the commissioner of commerce, community, and economic development;
(4) “department” means the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development;
(5) “operator” means a person having managerial control of a collection agency.
§ 45.50.471. Unlawful acts and practices
(a) Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of trade or commerce are declared to be unlawful.
(b) The terms “unfair methods of competition” and “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” include, but are not limited to, the following acts:
(1) fraudulently conveying or transferring goods or services by representing them to be those of another;
(2) falsely representing or designating the geographic origin of goods or services;
(3) causing a likelihood of confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, or approval, or another person’s affiliation, connection, or association with or certification of goods or services;
(4) representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection that the person does not have;
(5) representing that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, secondhand, or seconds;
(6) representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;
(7) disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact;
(8) advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;
(9) advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonable expectable public demand, unless the advertisement prominently discloses a limitation of quantity;
(10) making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions;
(11) engaging in any other conduct creating a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding and which misleads, deceives or damages a buyer or a competitor in connection with the sale or advertisement of goods or services;
(12) using or employing deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or knowingly concealing, suppressing, or omitting a material fact with intent that others rely upon the concealment, suppression, or omission in connection with the sale or advertisement of goods or services whether or not a person has in fact been misled, deceived or damaged;
(13) failing to deliver to the customer at the time of an installment sale of goods or services, a written order, contract, or receipt setting out the name and address of the seller and the name and address of the organization that the seller represents, and all of the terms and conditions of the sale, including a description of the goods or services, which shall be stated in readable, clear, and unambiguous language;
(14) representing that an agreement confers or involves rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not confer or involve, or which are prohibited by law;
(15) knowingly making false or misleading statements concerning the need for parts, replacement, or repair service;
(16) misrepresenting the authority of a salesman, representative, or agent to negotiate the final terms of a consumer transaction;
(17) basing a charge for repair in whole or in part on a guaranty or warranty rather than on the actual value of the actual repairs made or work to be performed on the item without stating separately the charges for the work and the charge for the guaranty or warranty, if any;
(18) disconnecting, turning back, or resetting the odometer of a vehicle to reduce the number of miles indicated;
(19) using a chain referral sales plan by inducing or attempting to induce a consumer to enter into a contract by offering a rebate, discount, commission, or other consideration, contingent upon the happening of a future event, on the condition that the consumer either sells, or gives information or assistance for the purpose of leading to a sale by the seller of the same or related goods;
(20) selling or offering to sell a right of participation in a chain distributor scheme;
(21) selling, falsely representing, or advertising meat, fish, or poultry which has been frozen as fresh food;
(22) failing to comply with AS 45.02.350;
(23) failing to comply with AS 45.45.130 – 45.45.240;
(24) counseling, consulting, or arranging for future services relating to the disposition of a body upon death whereby certain personal property, not including cemetery lots and markers, will be furnished or the professional services of a funeral director or embalmer will be furnished, unless the person receiving money or property deposits the money or property, and money or property is received, within five days of its receipt, in a trust in a financial institution whose deposits are insured by an instrumentality of the federal government designating the institution as the trustee as a separate trust in the name only of the person on whose behalf the arrangements are made with a provision that the money or property may only be applied to the purchase of designated merchandise or services and should the money or property deposited and any accrued interest not be used for the purposes intended on the death of the person on whose behalf the arrangements are made, all money or property in the trust shall become part of that person’s estate; upon demand by the person on whose behalf the arrangements are made, all money or property in the trust including accrued interest, shall be paid to that person; this paragraph does not prohibit the charging of a separate fee for consultation, counseling, or arrangement services if the fee is disclosed to the person making the arrangement; any arrangement under this paragraph which would constitute a contract of insurance under AS 21 is subject to the provisions of AS 21;
(25) failing to comply with the terms of AS 45.50.800 – 45.50.850 (Alaska Gasoline Products Leasing Act);
(26) failing to comply with AS 45.30 relating to mobile home warranties and mobile home parks;
(27) failing to comply with AS 14.48.060(b)(13);
(28) dealing in hearing aids and failing to comply with AS 08.55;
(29) violating AS 45.45.910(a), (b), or (c);
(30) failing to comply with AS 45.50.473;
(31) violating the provisions of AS 45.45.400;
(32) knowingly selling a reproduction of a piece of art or handicraft that was made by a resident of the state unless the reproduction is clearly labeled as a reproduction; in this paragraph, “reproduction” means a copy of an original if the copy is
(A) substantially the same as the original; and
(B) not made by the person who made the original;
(33) violating AS 08.66 (motor vehicle dealers);
(34) violating AS 08.66.200 – 08.66.350 (motor vehicle buyers’ agents);
(35) violating AS 45.63 (solicitations by telephonic means);
(36) violating AS 45.68 (charitable solicitations);
(37) violating AS 45.50.474 (on board promotions);
(38) referring a person to a dentist or a dental practice that has paid or will pay a fee for the referral unless the person making the referral discloses at the time the referral is made that the dentist or dental practice has paid or will pay a fee based on the referral;
(39) advertising that a person can receive a referral to a dentist or a dental practice without disclosing in the advertising that the dentist or dental practice to which the person is referred has paid or will pay a fee based on the referral if, in fact, the dentist or dental practice to which the person is referred has paid or will pay a fee based on the referral;
(40) violating AS 45.50.477(a)-(c);
(41) failing to comply with AS 45.50.475;
(42) violating AS 45.35 (lease-purchase agreements);
(43) violating AS 45.25.400–45.25.590 (motor vehicle dealer practices);
(44) violating AS 45.66 (sale of business opportunities);
(45) violating AS 08.18.023(b) or 08.18.152;
(46) violating AS 45.50.479 (limitations on electronic mail);
(47) violating AS 17.06.010 (sale of, or offering to sell, organic food);
(48) violating a labeling or advertising provision of AS 17.20 (Alaska Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act);
(49) violating AS 45.45.920 (free trial period);
(50) violating AS 45.45.930 (opt-out marketing plans);
(51) violating AS 45.45.792 (deceptive acts or practices relating to spyware);
(52) violating AS 06.60.010–06.60.380 (mortgage lending regulation).
(c) The unlawful acts and practices listed in (b) of this section are in addition to and do not limit the types of unlawful acts and practices actionable at common law or under other state statutes.
§ 45.50.473. Disclosure of costs of certain telephone services
(a) A person may not provide an alternate operator service without disclosing to the consumer before a charge is incurred the cost of the service provided by the person and the identity of the person providing those services. This section does not affect the power of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to regulate providers of alternate operator services under AS 42.05 in a manner consistent with this section.
(b) The owner of a place where telephone business from consumers is aggregated, including a hotel, motel, hospital, and pay telephone other than a telephone utility regulated by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, shall disclose a surcharge added to the cost of local or long distance telephone service before the service is provided. Disclosure may be made by posting the amount of the surcharge on or near the telephone instruments subject to the surcharge or by other reasonable written or oral means.
(c) A violation of this section constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice under AS 45.50.471. It is presumed that actual damages to the consumer under AS 45.50.531(a) are equal to the cost of the service provided plus $200. Additional damages must be proved.
(d) In this section, “alternate operator service” has the meaning given in AS 42.05.325(c).
§ 45.50.474. Required disclosures in promotions and shoreside sales on board cruise ships
(a) A person may not conduct a promotion on board a cruise ship that mentions or features a business in a state port that has paid something of value for the purpose of having the business mentioned, featured, or otherwise promoted, unless the person conducting the promotion clearly and fully discloses in all written materials used in the promotion that the featured businesses have paid to be included in the promotion. If the value paid by the business is more than 10 percent of any single sale, the disclosure must also state that more than a 10 percent commission is being retained by the person making the promotion and that other alternatives may be available at a port of call; and the disclosure must provide the address, Internet website address, and telephone number of any existing visitors bureaus at each future port of call.
(b) A person or other entity aboard a cruise ship conducting or making a sale of tours, flightseeing operations, or other shoreside activities to be delivered by a vendor or other entity at a future port of call shall disclose, in writing at the point of sale,
(1) that the onboard sale is a retail-wholesale relationship between the cruise ship and the shoreside vendor that results in a percentage of the sale being retained by the cruise ship;
(2) that other alternatives at different prices and with different features may be available at a port of call;
(3) the address, Internet website address, and telephone number of the existing visitors bureaus at each future port of call; and
(4) if the amount of commission or percentage of the total sale retained or returned to the person or entity making or attempting to make the sale exceeds 20 percent of the total cost of the services or goods provided by a shoreside vendor, that more than 20 percent of the total sale price is being retained as a commission by the person or entity making the sale.
(c) A written notice of disclosure under (a) or (b) of this section must be in a type that is not less than 14-point typeface and in a contrasting color calculated to draw attention to the disclosure.
(d) Each violation of this section constitutes an unfair trade practice under AS 45.50.471.
(e) In this section, “cruise ship” means a ship that operates at least 48 hours in length for ticketed passengers, provides overnight accommodations and meals for at least 250 passengers, is operated by an authorized cruise ship operator, and is certified under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea or otherwise certified by the United States Coast Guard.
§ 45.50.475. Unlawful, unwanted telephone advertisements and solicitations
(a) A person is in violation of AS 45.50.471(b)(41) if the person
(1) Repealed by SLA 2004, ch. 55,
§ 35, eff. Aug. 16, 2006;
(2) engages in the telephone solicitation of a customer whose telephone number has been registered with the national do not call registry for the minimum amount of time required by the national do not call registry before the date the call is made;
(3) engages in the telephone solicitation of a customer who has previously communicated to the telephone solicitor, or to the business enterprise or charitable organization for which the person is calling, the customer’s desire not to receive telephone solicitations to that number; or
(4) originates a telephone call using an automated or recorded message as a telephonic advertisement or a telephone solicitation.
(b) A local exchange telecommunications company and a company that provides a telephone directory on behalf of a local exchange telecommunications company shall provide for the identification in the telephone directory of those residential customers who do not wish to receive telephone solicitations. The local exchange telecommunications company may impose a reasonable charge for identification in the directory. The charge shall be based on the cost of providing the identification and is subject to the approval of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.
(c) Repealed by SLA 2004, ch. 55,
§ 35, eff. Aug. 16, 2006.
(d) A person who employs individuals to engage in telephone solicitations is not liable for a violation of (a)(1)–(3) of this section if the person establishes that
(1) the person has adopted and implemented written procedures and policies to comply with (a)(1)–(3) of this section, including corrective actions if appropriate;
(2) the person has trained its personnel in the procedures and policies established under (1) of this subsection;
(3) the call that violated (a)(1)–(3) of this section was made contrary to the procedures and policies established by the person; and
(4) the call that violated (a)(1)–(3) of this section was made as a result of a good faith error.
(e) An individual who solicits a telephone customer in violation of (a)(1)–(3) of this section is not liable for the violation if the individual establishes that the individual did not intend to make the call in violation of this section and did not recklessly disregard information or policies and procedures that would have avoided the improper call.
(f) Local exchange telecommunications companies shall inform customers of the provisions of this section. Notification shall be made by
(1) quarterly inserts in the billing statements mailed to customers; and
(2) clear and conspicuous publication of the notice in the consumer information pages of local telephone directories.
(g) In this section,
(1) “charitable organization” has the meaning given in AS 45.68.900;
(2) “customer” means a telephone customer of a telecommunications company;
(3) “national do not call registry” means the data base of telephone numbers of customers who do not wish to receive telephone solicitations established and maintained by the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission;
(4) “telephone solicitation”
(A) means the solicitation by a person by telephone of a customer at the residence of the customer for the purpose of encouraging the customer to purchase property, goods, or services, or make a donation;
(B) does not include
(i) calls made in response to a request or inquiry by the called customer or communication made during a call made by the customer;
(ii) calls made by a charitable organization or volunteers on behalf of the charitable organization to a member of the organization or to a person who, within the last 18 months, has made a donation to the organization or expressed an interest in making a donation, but only if the charitable organization has not received a request from the member or person asking that the telephone solicitations cease;
(iii) calls limited to soliciting the expression of ideas, opinions, or votes;
(iv) business-to-business calls; or
(v) a person soliciting business from prospective purchasers who have, within the last 18 months, purchased from the person making the solicitation or from the business enterprise for which the person is calling but only if the person or business enterprise has not received a request from the prospective purchaser asking that telephone solicitations cease; the person or business enterprise is presumed to have received a written request no later than 10 days after the prospective purchaser mailed it, properly addressed and with the appropriate postage.
§ 45.50.477. Use of titles relating to industrial hygiene
(a) A person may not use the title “industrial hygienist,” the initials “I.H.,” another term that includes the phrase “industrial hygiene” or similar words, or represent to the public that the person is an industrial hygienist, unless the person has a baccalaureate or graduate degree in industrial hygiene, biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, or a closely related physical or biological science from a college or university accredited by a national or regional accreditation association recognized by the Council on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation, or a degree based on equivalent academic training, and has acquired competence in industrial hygiene through special studies or work experience sufficient to provide the person with the ability and competence to
(1) anticipate and recognize the environmental factors and stresses associated with work and work operations and to understand their effects on people and their well-being;
(2) evaluate, on the basis of training and demonstrated work experience and with the aid of quantitative measurement techniques, the magnitude of the factors and stresses identified under (1) of this subsection in terms of their ability to impair human health and well-being; and
(3) prescribe methods to prevent, eliminate, control, or reduce the factors and stresses identified under (a) of this subsection when necessary to alleviate their effects.
(b) A person may not use the title “industrial hygienist in training,” the initials “I.H.I.T.,” another term involving the phrase “industrial hygienist in training” or a variation of those words, or represent to the public that the person is an industrial hygienist in training, unless the person is certified as an industrial hygienist in training by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.
(c) A person may not use the title “certified industrial hygienist,” the initials “C.I.H.,” another term involving the phrase “certified industrial hygienist” or a variation of those words, or represent to the public that the person is a certified industrial hygienist unless the person is certified as a certified industrial hygienist by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.
(d) A state or local government agency may not prohibit or restrict the practice of industrial hygiene by a qualified individual who complies with this section except to the extent that a state statute allows the agency to regulate a specific activity that may be included in the practice of industrial hygiene.
(e) In this section, “industrial hygiene” means the science and practice devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of environmental factors and stresses arising in or from the workplace that may cause illness, impaired health or well-being, or significant discomfort among workers and may also affect persons outside the workplace.
§ 45.50.479. Limitation on electronic mail
(a) A person may not send unsolicited commercial electronic mail to another person from a computer located in this state or to an electronic mail address that the sender knows is held by a resident of this state if the commercial electronic mail contains information that consists of explicit sexual material that another law provides may only be viewed, purchased, rented, leased, or held by an individual who is 18 years of age or older, unless the subject line of the advertisement contains “ADV:ADLT” as the first eight characters.
(b) In (a) of this section,
(1) “commercial electronic mail” means electronic mail consisting of advertising material for the lease, sale, rental, gift, offer, or other disposition of real property, goods, or services, including an extension of credit;
(2) “explicit sexual material” means material that visually or aurally depicts conduct described in AS 11.41.455(a), but is not limited to conduct engaged in by a child under 18 years of age;
(3) “unsolicited commercial electronic mail” means commercial electronic mail sent to a person who
(A) does not have an existing personal or business relationship with the sender; and
(B) has not given permission for or requested the sending of the commercial electronic mail.
§ 45.50.481. Exemptions
(a) Nothing in AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561 applies to
(1) an act or transaction regulated under laws administered by the state, by a regulatory board or commission except as provided by AS 45.50.471(b)(27) and (30), or officer acting under statutory authority of the state or of the United States, unless the law regulating the act or transaction does not prohibit the practices declared unlawful in AS 45.50.471;
(2) an act done by the publisher, owner, agent, or employee of a newspaper, periodical, or radio or television station in the publication or dissemination of an advertisement, when the owner, agent, or employee did not have knowledge of the false, misleading, or deceptive character of the advertisement or did not have a direct financial interest in the sale or distribution of the advertised product or service;
(3) an act or transaction regulated under AS 21.36 or AS 06.05 or a regulation adopted under the authority of those chapters.
(b) The exemption in (a)(3) of this section does not apply to an act or transaction between a bank and its borrowers, depositors, or other customers or potential customers.
(c) The exemption in (a)(1) of this section does not apply to an act or transaction regulated under AS 06.60.
§ 45.50.491. Regulations
The attorney general, in accordance with AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), may adopt regulations interpreting and forms necessary for administering the provisions of AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561.
§ 45.50.495. Investigative power of attorney general
(a) If the attorney general has cause to believe that a person has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in a deceptive trade practice under AS 45.50.471, the attorney general may
(1) request the person to file a statement or report in writing, under oath, on forms prescribed by the attorney general, setting out all facts and circumstances concerning the sale or advertisement of property by the person, and other information considered necessary;
(2) examine under oath any person in connection with the sale or advertisement of property;
(3) examine property or sample of the property, record, book, document, account, or paper that the attorney general considers necessary;
(4) make true copies of records, books, documents, accounts, or papers examined under (3) of this subsection, which may be offered in evidence in place of the originals in actions brought under AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561; and
(5) under an order of the superior court, impound samples of property that are material to the investigation and retain the sample until proceedings undertaken under AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561 are completed.
(b) The attorney general, in addition to other powers conferred by this section, may issue subpoenas to require the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents or other physical evidence, administer oaths, and conduct hearings to aid an investigation or inquiry. Service of an order or subpoena shall be made in the same manner as a summons in a civil action in the superior court.
§ 45.50.501. Restraining prohibited acts
(a) When the attorney general has reason to believe that a person has used, is using, or is about to use an act or practice declared unlawful in AS 45.50.471, and that proceedings would be in the public interest, the attorney general may bring an action in the name of the state against the person to restrain by injunction the use of the act or practice. The action may be brought in the superior court in the judicial district in which the person resides or is doing business or has the person’s principal place of business in the state, or, with the consent of the parties, in any other judicial district in the state.
(b) The court may make additional orders or judgments that are necessary to restore to any person in interest any money or property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of an act or practice declared to be unlawful by AS 45.50.471.
§ 45.50.511. Assurances of voluntary compliance
In the administration of AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561, the attorney general may accept an assurance of voluntary compliance with respect to any act or practice considered to be violative of AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561 from a person who has engaged or was about to engage in such an act or practice. The assurance shall be in writing and shall be filed with and is subject to the approval of the superior court in the judicial district in which the alleged violator resides or is doing business or has the principal place of business in the state. The assurance of voluntary compliance is not considered an admission of violation for any purpose. Matters closed in this way may at any time be reopened by the attorney general for further proceedings in the public interest, under AS 45.50.501.
§ 45.50.521. When information and evidence confidential and nonadmissible
(b) Subject to the provisions of AS 45.50.501(a), the attorney general may not make public the name of a person alleged to have committed an act or practice declared unlawful in AS 45.50.471 during an investigation conducted by the attorney general under AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561, nor are the records of investigation or intelligence information of the attorney general obtained under AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561 considered public records available for inspection by the general public. However, the attorney general is not prevented from issuing public statements describing or warning of a course of conduct or a conspiracy that constitutes or will constitute an unlawful act or practice, whether on a local, state, regional, or national basis.
§ 45.50.531. Private and class actions
(a) A person who suffers an ascertainable loss of money or property as a result of another person’s act or practice declared unlawful by AS 45.50.471 may bring a civil action to recover for each unlawful act or practice three times the actual damages or $500, whichever is greater. The court may provide other relief it considers necessary and proper. Nothing in this subsection prevents a person who brings an action under this subsection from pursuing other remedies available under other law, including common law.
(c) Upon commencement of an action brought under this section the clerk of the court shall mail a copy of the complaint or other initial pleading to the attorney general and, upon entry of an order or judgment in the action, shall mail a copy of the order or judgment to the attorney general.
(e) A permanent injunction or final judgment against a person against whom an action was initiated under AS 45.50.501 is prima facie evidence in an action brought under this section that the person used or employed an act or practice declared unlawful by AS 45.50.471.
(f) A person may not commence an action under this section more than two years after the person discovers or reasonably should have discovered that the loss resulted from an act or practice declared unlawful by AS 45.50.471.
(g) Repealed by SLA 1998, ch. 96,
§ 6, eff. Sept. 10, 1998.
(h) If the basis for the action is the fault of the manufacturer or supplier of the merchandise, the manufacturer or supplier who is at fault is liable for the damages awarded against the retailer under this section.
(i) If a person receives an award of punitive damages under (a) of this section, the court shall require that 50 percent of the award be deposited into the general fund of the state under AS 09.17.020(j). This subsection does not grant the state the right to file or join a civil action to recover punitive damages.
§ 45.50.535. Private injunctive relief
(a) Subject to (b) of this section and in addition to any right to bring an action under AS 45.50.531 or other law, any person who was the victim of the unlawful act, whether or not the person suffered actual damages, may bring an action to obtain an injunction prohibiting a seller or lessor from continuing to engage in an act or practice declared unlawful under AS 45.50.471.
(b) A person may not bring an action under (a) of this section unless
(1) the person first provides written notice to the seller or lessor who engaged in the unlawful act or practice that the person will seek an injunction against the seller or lessor if the seller or lessor fails to promptly stop the unlawful act or practice; and
(2) the seller or lessor fails to promptly stop the unlawful act or practice after receiving the notice.
§ 45.50.536. Mediation
Notwithstanding the other provisions of AS 45.50.471–45.50.561, a civil action under AS 45.50.531 or 45.50.535 may be submitted to mediation under the Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure. The mediation must begin within 30 days after the court’s order for mediation. During mediation, the court may, if it is determined appropriate by the court, enjoin the defendant from engaging in the act or practice that is the subject of the civil action.
§ 45.50.537. Attorney fees, costs, and damages
(a) In an action brought by a private person under AS 45.50.471– 45.50.561, a prevailing plaintiff shall be awarded costs as provided by court rule and full reasonable attorney fees at the prevailing reasonable rate.
(b) Unless the action is found to be frivolous, in an action brought by a private person under AS 45.50.471–45.50.561, a prevailing defendant shall be awarded attorney fees and costs as provided by court rule. If the action is found to be frivolous, the attorney fees to be awarded to the defendant shall be full reasonable attorney fees at the prevailing reasonable rate.
(c) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, in an action brought by a private person under AS 45.50.471–45.50.561, if the plaintiff is not the prevailing party and if the court finds that the action was brought by the plaintiff to obtain a competitive business advantage, the court shall award a prevailing defendant costs as provided by court rule, full reasonable attorney fees at the prevailing reasonable rate, and any damages suffered by the prevailing defendant as a result of the plaintiff’s allegations.
(d) In an action brought by the attorney general under AS 45.50.471– 45.50.561, if the attorney general prevails, the state shall be awarded its actual attorney fees and costs, including costs of investigation, to the extent those fees and costs are reasonable.
(e) In this section, “frivolous” means
(1) not reasonably based on evidence or on existing law or a reasonable extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; or
(2) brought to harass the defendant or to cause unnecessary delay or needless expense.
§ 45.50.541. Non-negotiability of consumer paper
(a) If a contract for sale or lease of consumer goods or services on credit entered into between a retail seller and a retail buyer requires or involves the execution of a promissory note or instrument or other evidence of indebtedness of the buyer, the note, instrument, or evidence of indebtedness shall have printed on its face the words “consumer paper,” and the note, instrument, or evidence of indebtedness with the words “consumer paper” printed on it is not a negotiable instrument, within the meaning of AS 45.01 – AS 45.08, AS 45.12, AS 45.14, and AS 45.29 (Uniform Commercial Code).
(b) Notwithstanding the absence of such a notice on a note, instrument, or evidence of indebtedness arising out of a consumer credit sale or consumer lease as described in this section, an assignee of the rights of the seller or lessor is subject to all claims and defenses of the buyer or lessee against the seller or lessor arising out of the sale or lease. An agreement to the contrary has no effect in limiting the rights of a consumer.
(c) The assignee’s liability under this section may not exceed the amount owing to the assignee at the time the claim or defense is asserted against the assignee.
§ 45.50.542. Provisions not waivable
A waiver by a consumer of the provisions of AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561 is contrary to public policy and is unenforceable and void.
§ 45.50.545. Interpretation
In interpreting AS 45.50.471 due consideration and great weight should be given the interpretations of 15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1) (
§ 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act).
§ 45.50.551. Civil penalties
(a) A person who violates the terms of an injunction or restraining order issued under AS 45.50.501 shall forfeit and pay to the state a civil penalty of not more than $50,000 for each violation. For the purposes of this section, the superior court in a judicial district issuing an injunction retains jurisdiction, and, in these cases, the attorney general acting in the name of the state may petition for recovery of the penalties.
§ 45.50.561. Definitions; short title
(a) In AS 45.50.471 – 45.50.561
(1) “advertising” includes the attempt directly or indirectly by publication, dissemination, solicitation, endorsement, or circulation, display in any manner, including solicitation or dissemination by mail, telephone or door-to-door contacts, or in any other way, to induce directly or indirectly a person to enter or not enter into an obligation or acquire title or interest in any merchandise or to increase the consumption of it or to make a loan;
(2) “cemetery lot” means a lot, plot, space, grave, niche, mausoleum, crypt, vault, or columbarium, used or intended to be used for the interment of human remains;
(3) “chain distributor scheme” means a sales device whereby a person, upon condition that the person make an investment, is granted a license or right to solicit or recruit for profit one or more additional persons who are also granted a license or right upon condition of making an investment and may further perpetuate the chain of persons who are granted a license or right upon the condition of investment; a limitation as to the number of persons who may participate, or the presence of additional conditions affecting eligibility for the license or right to solicit or recruit or the receipt of profit from these does not change the identity of the scheme as a chain distributor scheme; as used in this paragraph, “investment” means acquisition, for a consideration other than personal services, of tangible or intangible property, and includes but is not limited to franchises, business opportunities and services; “investment” does not include sales demonstration equipment and materials furnished at cost for use in making sales and not for resale;
(4) “consumer” means a person who seeks or acquires goods or services by lease or purchase;
(5) “dealing in hearing aids” has the meaning given in AS 08.55.200;
(6) “documentary material” means the original or a copy of a book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, map, chart, photograph, mechanical transcription, or other tangible document or recording, wherever situate;
(7) “examination” of documentary material includes the inspection, study, or copying of the material, and the taking of testimony under oath or acknowledgment in respect of documentary material or copy of it;
(8) “fresh” means a condition of food that has never been frozen;
(9) “goods or services” includes goods or services provided in connection with a consumer credit transaction or with a transaction involving an indebtedness secured by the borrower’s residence;
(10) “hearing aid” has the meaning given in AS 08.55.200;
(11) “knowingly” means actual awareness of the falsity or deception, but actual awareness may be inferred where objective manifestations indicate that a person acted with actual awareness;
(12) “seconds” means manufactured items having flaws or consisting of a standard quantity or quality less than the manufacturer’s quality standard.
(b) AS 45.50.471–45.50.561 may be cited as the Alaska Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act.
Alaska Debt Collection Laws
Knowing and abiding to the proper Alaska debt collection laws is important for both creditors and collection agencies alike. There are debtor’s rights attorneys who are just waiting for creditors or collection agencies to slip up. If you mistakenly violate the Alaska debt collection laws, you could create a liability for your business and even open yourself up to a expensive lawsuit.
Please note: Alaska debt collection laws can change over time, and you need to consult with an attorney before you use this information.
Alaska Debt Collection Laws
ak collection agency license exemption