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RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Mark Warner signed a bill into law previously passed by the Virginia General Assembly which replaces the existing law regarding non-profit debt counseling agencies with comprehensive legislation. The new law imposes more strict licensing standards and a bonding requirement of up to $350,000 for licensees. It also provides for compliance examinations, filing of reports with the Commission, regulatory enforcement actions, higher fees or voluntary contributions, and for the promulgation of rules and regulations. Licensees operating under a license previously issued by the Virginia State Corporation Commission are now required to reapply to the Commission for a license by Oct. 1, 2004. The Commission will investigate the application and if it meets the statutory requirements, it will issue a license to the applicant to engage in business at the locations specified in the application. The application will be denied if the applicant doesn’t meet the requirements. The new law is effective July 1, 2004.

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