§61-10-23. Debt pooling; definition; offenses; penalty; jurisdiction; pleading and proof.
"Debt pooling" shall mean the rendering in any manner of advice or services of any and every kind in the establishment or operation of a plan pursuant to which a debtor would deposit or does deposit funds for the purpose of distributing such funds among his creditors. It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit in any manner a debt pooling. It shall further be unlawful for any person, except licensed attorneys, to make any charge for a debt pooling by way of fee, reimbursement of costs, or otherwise, in excess of an amount equal to two percent of the total amount of money actually deposited pursuant to a debt pooling: Provided, That any nonprofit firm, corporation or voluntary association may make an additional charge not exceeding five percent of the total amount of money actually deposited pursuant to a debt pooling, to defray costs of counseling services furnished for the benefit of its clientele of debtors generally with respect to personal money management. Any person, whether acting as agent or otherwise, who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than two hundred fifty dollars or confined in jail not less than thirty nor more than sixty days or both. Justices of the peace and other competent courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction of offenses under this section. It shall not be necessary in any warrant issued or indictment returned under this section to allege exceptions or provisos contained in this section but in the trial of an offense subject thereto it shall be the duty of the state to negative such exceptions and provisos.