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States Take Action to Establish Guidelines for Collectors Working from Home Temporarily

by | Mar 26, 2020 | Debt Collection | 0 comments

As concerns about the impact of the spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to grow, one of the most pressing issues in many industries is how to effectively balance the need for public and employee safety with the need for continued operations. In the collection industry, this concern is even more difficult to navigate due to existing rules and guidelines concerning the process, and the associated privacy and financial concerns that could be involved. At Southwest Recovery Services in Dallas, TX, our team of experienced debt collection specialists has spent years working with a variety of clients to recover lost revenue streams, and we know how important it is to maintain an uninterrupted collection cycle when it comes to maximizing potential returns.

As tensions continue to rise across various industries related to the potential impact of COVID-19, some states have started to take actions intended to alleviate heightened pressure on the collections industry. This week, the Minnesota Commerce Department and the Idaho Department of Finance issued official (but temporary) regulatory guidance which indicates that these states will not be taking negative action against licensed collection agencies that decide to establish work from home policies for their employees. Last week, the Connecticut Department of Banking released a similar statement on the same topic.

Putting Public Safety Ahead of Existing Regulations

In Minnesota, the temporary measures that have already taken effect are expected to be reviewed on April 30, 2020, and extend only to the regulation requiring collection agencies to obtain a separate license for every location (including employee homes) where their business will be conducted. This means that all other legal requirements are still in effect, and licensees will still be expected to follow any existing rules and regulations that are already in place. It is also important to note that this recent change is not intended to be permanent, and could be adjusted at any time as new concerns or violations are brought into focus. 

In Idaho, the Department of Finance issued its own temporary guidelines focused on allowing licensees to take precautions deemed necessary to effectively comply with voluntary or mandated quarantine measures effective through June 30, 2020, presently. The department has stated that enforcement actions will not be taken against licensees or registrants as long as certain criteria focused on data security, location privacy, and due diligence related to consumer protection concerns.

Setting an Example for Other Parts of the Nation

As states across the country struggle to form effective strategies for confronting the spread of COVID-19, a myriad of challenges have arisen. While Minnesota, Connecticut, and Idaho are some of the first to take action related to the unique challenge of working from home for collection agencies and their employees, the measures being taken can be perceived as a move in the right direction. Although it is essential to emphasize that these measures are by no means permanent changes for how collection efforts will be conducted, they are nevertheless a vital part of slowing the spread of the virus.

Stay Informed of Industry Changes with Southwest Recovery Services in Dallas, Texas

As a team that has spent years working with clients in a variety of industries in numerous states across the country, everyone here at Southwest Recovery Services in Dallas, TX understands how important it is to follow all applicable rules and regulations when it comes to collection related efforts. As more and more industries across the country feel the social and economic impact of COVID-19, we are committed to keeping a close eye on the daily adjustments and announcements related to the industry, and we will always make every effort to take actions that are in the best interests of our clients, and the public.