Section: General rules of construction
1. As used in this act:
a. "Nonprofit social service agency" or "nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency" means any corporation duly organized under Title 15 of the Revised Statutes or Title 15A of the New Jersey Statutes, no part of the assets, income or profit of which is distributable to, or enures to the benefit of its members, directors or officers, except to the extent permitted under this act, and which is engaged in debt adjustment.
b. "Credit counseling" means any guidance or educational program or advice offered by a nonprofit social service agency or nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency for the purpose of fostering the responsible use of credit and debt management.
c. (1) "Debt adjuster" means a person who either (a) acts or offers to act for a consideration as an intermediary between a debtor and his creditors for the purpose of settling, compounding, or otherwise altering the terms of payment of any debts of the debtor, or (b) who, to that end, receives money or other property from the debtor, or on behalf of the debtor, for payment to, or distribution among, the creditors of the debtor.
(2) The following persons shall not be deemed debt adjusters: (a) an attorney-at-law of this State who is not principally engaged as a debt adjuster; (b) a person who is a regular, full-time employee of a debtor, and who acts as an adjuster of his employer's debts; (c) a person acting pursuant to any order or judgment of court, or pursuant to authority conferred by any law of this State or the United States; (d) a person who is a creditor of the debtor, or an agent of one or more creditors of the debtor, and whose services in adjusting the debtor's debts are rendered without cost to the debtor; (e) a person who, at the request of a debtor, arranges for or makes a loan to the debtor, and who, at the authorization of the debtor, acts as an adjuster of the debtor's debts in the disbursement of the proceeds of the loan, without compensation for the services rendered in adjusting those debts; or (f) a person who is: (i) certified by the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development as a housing counseling organization or agency pursuant to section 106 of Pub.L.90-448 (12 U.S.C. s.1701x); (ii) participating in a counseling program approved by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency; and (iii) not holding or disbursing the debtor's funds.
d. "Debtor" means an individual or two or more individuals who are jointly and severally, or jointly or severally indebted.
L.1979, c.16, s.1; amended 1986, c.184, s.1; 2009, c.173, s.1.
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