11 U.S.C. § 526 : US Code - Section 526: Restrictions on debt relief agencies

Search 11 U.S.C. § 526 : US Code - Section 526: Restrictions on debt relief agencies

      (a) A debt relief agency shall not - 
        (1) fail to perform any service that such agency informed an
      assisted person or prospective assisted person it would provide
      in connection with a case or proceeding under this title;
        (2) make any statement, or counsel or advise any assisted
      person or prospective assisted person to make a statement in a
      document filed in a case or proceeding under this title, that is
      untrue or misleading, or that upon the exercise of reasonable
      care, should have been known by such agency to be untrue or
      misleading;
        (3) misrepresent to any assisted person or prospective assisted
      person, directly or indirectly, affirmatively or by material
      omission, with respect to - 
          (A) the services that such agency will provide to such
        person; or
          (B) the benefits and risks that may result if such person
        becomes a debtor in a case under this title; or

        (4) advise an assisted person or prospective assisted person to
      incur more debt in contemplation of such person filing a case
      under this title or to pay an attorney or bankruptcy petition
      preparer a fee or charge for services performed as part of
      preparing for or representing a debtor in a case under this
      title.

      (b) Any waiver by any assisted person of any protection or right
    provided under this section shall not be enforceable against the
    debtor by any Federal or State court or any other person, but may
    be enforced against a debt relief agency.
      (c)(1) Any contract for bankruptcy assistance between a debt
    relief agency and an assisted person that does not comply with the
    material requirements of this section, section 527, or section 528
    shall be void and may not be enforced by any Federal or State court
    or by any other person, other than such assisted person.
      (2) Any debt relief agency shall be liable to an assisted person
    in the amount of any fees or charges in connection with providing
    bankruptcy assistance to such person that such debt relief agency
    has received, for actual damages, and for reasonable attorneys'
    fees and costs if such agency is found, after notice and a hearing,
    to have - 
        (A) intentionally or negligently failed to comply with any
      provision of this section, section 527, or section 528 with
      respect to a case or proceeding under this title for such
      assisted person;
        (B) provided bankruptcy assistance to an assisted person in a
      case or proceeding under this title that is dismissed or
      converted to a case under another chapter of this title because
      of such agency's intentional or negligent failure to file any
      required document including those specified in section 521; or
        (C) intentionally or negligently disregarded the material
      requirements of this title or the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy
      Procedure applicable to such agency.

      (3) In addition to such other remedies as are provided under
    State law, whenever the chief law enforcement officer of a State,
    or an official or agency designated by a State, has reason to
    believe that any person has violated or is violating this section,
    the State - 
        (A) may bring an action to enjoin such violation;
        (B) may bring an action on behalf of its residents to recover
      the actual damages of assisted persons arising from such
      violation, including any liability under paragraph (2); and
        (C) in the case of any successful action under subparagraph (A)
      or (B), shall be awarded the costs of the action and reasonable
      attorneys' fees as determined by the court.

      (4) The district courts of the United States for districts
    located in the State shall have concurrent jurisdiction of any
    action under subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (3).
      (5) Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law and in
    addition to any other remedy provided under Federal or State law,
    if the court, on its own motion or on the motion of the United
    States trustee or the debtor, finds that a person intentionally
    violated this section, or engaged in a clear and consistent pattern
    or practice of violating this section, the court may - 
        (A) enjoin the violation of such section; or
        (B) impose an appropriate civil penalty against such person.

      (d) No provision of this section, section 527, or section 528
    shall - 
        (1) annul, alter, affect, or exempt any person subject to such
      sections from complying with any law of any State except to the
      extent that such law is inconsistent with those sections, and
      then only to the extent of the inconsistency; or
        (2) be deemed to limit or curtail the authority or ability - 
          (A) of a State or subdivision or instrumentality thereof, to
        determine and enforce qualifications for the practice of law
        under the laws of that State; or
          (B) of a Federal court to determine and enforce the
        qualifications for the practice of law before that court.