(1) Applications for registration shall be submitted on forms approved by the Director.

(2) Any application submitted without required information or failing to meet any requirement for registration will be held by the program office, and written notification of the information that is lacking or the reason(s) the application does not meet the requirements for registration will be sent to the applicant. The application will be held in "pending" status for a reasonable period of time, but such period is not to exceed one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of application. If the applicant fails to timely and completely respond to the written notification, the application will be closed.

(3) Upon determination that an application submitted directly to the Division has been abandoned, the Division shall by Order of Abandonment cancel the pending application without prejudice and, within thirty (30) days of such cancellation, mail a copy of the Order of Abandonment to the last known business address of the applicant.

(4) Any application once submitted may be withdrawn, provided, however, that the application fee shall not be refunded.

(5) Applications must be complete before they are submitted for consideration. Applications shall at a minimum include:

(a) A complete and properly executed application form signed under penalty of perjury and before a notary by the person applying;

(b) A non-refundable application fee;

(c) A surety bond as required by T.C.A. § 47-18-5513, or an acceptable surety alternative that complies with the provisions of T.C.A. § 47-18-5514;

(d) Evidence of insurance as required by T.C.A. § 47-18-5505(b)(4) in the amount of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250, 000).

1. Any insurance policy submitted by a provider as evidence of insurance required by the Act shall include the insurer's written agreement to provide the Administrator with written notice of termination or reduction of the policy, which shall be sent by certified U.S. mail to the Division.

2. For purposes of administering the Act, the insurer's termination or reduction of liability shall be effective from and after the expiration of sixty (60) days from the Division's receipt of such written notice or on such later date as is stated in the written notice. The insurer's termination or reduction of liability shall not affect, reduce, or release its liability for any acts or practices that occurred during the time the policy was in force and prior to the effective date of termination or reduction of the policy.

(e) The charter or articles of organization of the applicant;

(f) A description of any ownership interest of greater than ten percent (10%) by a director, owner, or employee of the applicant in:

1. Any affiliate of the applicant; or

2. Any entity that provides products or services to the applicant or any individual related to the applicant's debt-management services.

(g) The name and address of each entity that owns an interest in or is otherwise affiliated with or controls, directs, or influences the operations of the applicant;

(h) The name and address of each entity in which the applicant owns an interest or is otherwise affiliated with or whose operations are controlled, directed, or influenced by the applicant;

(i) The names and addresses of all employers of each of the applicant's directors during the immediately preceding ten (10) years;

(j) The names, addresses, and amounts of compensation for the five (5) most highly compensated employees of the applicant for each of the three (3) years immediately preceding the application, or the period of the applicant's existence if less than three (3) years, if the applicant meets any of the criteria outlined in T.C.A. § 47-18-5506(17);

(k) The identity of each director who is an affiliate as defined by T.C.A. § 47-18-5502(2);

(l) Evidence of tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 501, if applicant is a not-for-profit corporation and exempt from taxation;

(m) Consent to jurisdiction of the State of Tennessee and venue in Davidson County, Tennessee;

(n) Disclosure of and identification information for all trust accounts;

(o) Irrevocable consent to the authority of the Administrator to review and examine all trust accounts;

(p) Applicant's financial statements prepared in accordance with the provisions of T.C.A. § 47-18-5506(7);

(q) Evidence of the applicant's accreditation by an independent accrediting organization approved by the Director;

(r) Evidence of certification by an independent certifying program approved by the Director of all counselors and debt specialists conducting business in this state on behalf of the applicant;

(s) Detailed descriptions of the three most common education programs provided by the applicant to Tennessee consumers and copies of all materials associated with the education programs;

(t) A description of the applicant's financial analysis and initial budget plan, including any form or electronic model used by the applicant to evaluate the financial conditions of Tennessee consumers;

(u) Copies of each agreement form provided by the applicant to Tennessee consumers and any other documents or information required to be signed by or provided to a Tennessee consumer;

(v) A schedule of all fees and charges, including any recommended donations, provided by the applicant to Tennessee consumers;

(w) Sworn criminal history records checks, including fingerprints, conducted within the immediately preceding twelve (12) months for the purpose of providing debt-management services, for every officer of the applicant and every employee or agent who is authorized to have access to the applicant's trust account(s). The sworn criminal history records check must be submitted directly by the criminal history records check provider to the Division. Applicants who have had these sworn criminal history records checks performed for the purpose of providing debt-management services in another state within twelve (12) months prior to submitting the application may have the results of those records checks submitted directly by the other state to the Division as certified business records of the other state.

(x) Disclosure of any debt-management services agreements or plans entered into with Tennessee consumers since June 23, 2009; and

(y) Any other information required to determine whether the application should be approved or denied.

(6) An applicant shall notify the Division within ten (10) days after a change occurs in any information originally reported in the initial registration application.

(Original rule filed October 28, 2016; effective January 26, 2017. Rule renumbered from 0780-08-01.)

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 47-18-5504, 47-18-5505, 47-18-5506, 47-18-5507, 47-18-5508, 47-18-5509, 47-18-5510, 47-18-5513, 47-18-5514, and 47-18-5532.

The following state regulations pages link to this page.