Must A Collection Agency Be Licensed In New York?

By: Robert J. Nahoum

A man in suit and tie with his arms crossed.


You’re being pursued by a collection agency or perhaps one has already sued you.  The collection letter or the summons and complaint you received do not disclose a collection agency license number.  Does that debt collector have to be licensed?

The Rule:

There is no across the board New York state rule requiring someone acting as a debt collector to obtain a license.  However, New York City and Buffalo both require licenses and that the license number be disclosed on all communications with consumers.

In New York City, someone (not including attorneys) wishing to conduct the business of a collection agency must obtain a license from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.  This rule applies to third party collection agencies as well as debt buyers.


If you are being hounded in New York City by a collection agency or if you have already been sued by one, check to see of if the debt collector has a license.  The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs has an online resource to conduct a license search.  If the debt collector does not have a license, notify the Department of Consumer Affairs and consult with a qualified consumer attorney.

If you need help settling or defending a debt collection law suit or stopping harassing debt collectors, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C
(845) 232-0202