ACA International continues to monitor state and city updates and remains available as a resource for members during this difficult time of fast-moving and often ambiguous regulatory change. In addition, our team maintains regular direct and indirect communications with state and federal regulators to receive up-to-the-minute guidance on industry-relevant orders and emergency regulations, which we parse and report on at regular intervals.
Members are invited to join ACA’s advocacy team including Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey, Corporate Counsel Colin Winkler and Vice President of State Government and Unit Affairs Andy Madden for a Daily Huddle at 11 a.m., Central Standard Time weekdays. Click here to access the Daily Huddle for Monday, April 20, featuring an Open Forum Tech Talk with members of the ACA Tech Committee. On Tuesday, April 21, John McNamara, assistant director, consumer lending, reporting and collections markets at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will provide an update about the bureau’s work and response during the COVID-19 crisis.
Daily Huddle sponsors are Solutions by Text, BillingTree, Interprose, and TCN. Recordings of past Daily Huddle sessions are also available.
Hot Topic Webinars
April 23: The New Pot of Gold for Owners and Leaders: How to PIVOT to Capitalize on the Biggest Opportunities During COVID-19. If you lead a company, this Hot Topic is for you. Jon Goldman, CEO of Turning Point, business growth expert and master facilitator, will give you the tools you need to thrive in the wake of the coronavirus. He and his co-hosts will empower you to create a turning point in your business and life. You’ll learn the key mindsets and action sets needed to PIVOT and thrive during and after the Coronavirus “Negademic.”
Federal news updates:
ACA International CEO Mark Neeb extended the association’s advocacy efforts on behalf of members highlighting how the industry works with consumers, especially in times of hardship, in a letter to U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The letter addressed claims from consumer advocacy organizations that debt collectors would garnish stimulus fund checks issued under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“This narrative is inaccurate and shows a clear misunderstanding of the garnishment process and the work of the debt collection industry in general,” Neeb said. “Furthermore, it creates a harmful and unwarranted concern for consumers that financial institutions and the debt collection industry are specifically targeting these funds, which could reverse the positive trend of decreasing the number of unbanked consumers during this time of financial uncertainty for the country.”
Neeb said it is important that federal and state policies do not restrict communication with consumers at this time, especially due to the unwarranted concerns about stimulus check garnishment. He outlined ACA members’ commitment to assisting consumers and training and hardship programs that are in place.
Access more federal advocacy resources here.
Here are the latest updates on state guidance:
The Connecticut Department of Banking extended its no-action memorandum to address branch licensing issues considering temporary mitigation actions licensees needed to take to continue business due to COVID-19 through May 31, 2020. The department’s no-action position concerns the requirement that Connecticut’s Consumer Credit Licensees conduct licensable activity from branch office location. Licensees that meet the criteria in the memorandum may temporarily work from a home location.
The State of New York recently enacted a three year statute of limitations for medical debts. SB7506-B, which added Section 213(d) to the N.Y. Civil Practice Law and Rules to reduce the applicable statute of limitations from six years to three years for any “action on a medical debt by a hospital licensed under Article Twenty-Eight of the Public Health Law or a health care professional authorized under Title Eight of the Education Law.”
The bill is effective immediately, and though the legislation is silent on whether the measure is prospective or retroactive, a review of relevant case law indicates that the three year limitations period will likely be deemed to apply to all claims accrued (i.e., debts for medical treatment provided) on or after April 3, 2020.
Read more case analysis from ACA here.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced that the Department of Health and Senior Services will extend the state’s existing stay at home order to May 3, 2020. It applies to essential workers set forth in the guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers extended the state’s stay at home order until 8 a.m. May 26, 2020.
The new order continues to define essential businesses as financial institutions and services including banks, credit unions, and other depository or lending institutions; licensed financial service providers; insurance services; personnel necessary to perform essential functions at broker dealers and investment advisor offices.
Note that the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions issued guidance on prohibited debt collection practices under the Wisconsin Consumer Act.
More information including state compliance, federal advocacy and ACA online education is also available on the ACA News COVID-19 Updates webpage.
For more information on how the ACA Licensing staff can assist with your licensing needs, please contact us at Licensing@acainternational.org or call (952) 926-6547.