Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill Passes: ACA Continues Advocacy on Working with Consumers

ACA International continues to educate lawmakers about the industry’s role in helping consumers resolve financial issues while ensuring that stimulus funds are not identified or targeted by debt collectors.

3/10/2021 1:30 PM

COVID-19NewsAdvocacy
Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill Passes: ACA Continues Advocacy on Working with Consumers

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the “American Rescue Plan,” with a 220-211 vote Wednesday. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.

The U.S. Senate approved the bill March 6 and sent it back to the House.

With it comes $1,400 stimulus checks for millions of households, continued unemployment benefits, vaccine distribution funding and expanded support and guidelines for the Paycheck Protection Program, The Hill reports. It does not include the $15 federal minimum wage.

Passage of another COVID-19 relief bill also brings to light the ongoing discussion and misperceptions about garnishment when it comes to consumers’ stimulus checks.

According to The Hill, U.S. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced that he plans to introduce a bill that would prevent the $1,400 direct payments from “being seized by private debt collectors.”

ACA continues to work closely with Senate staff to educate them that the debt collection industry is not actively targeting stimulus checks.

“The press surrounding this issue continues to conflate legal terms such as bank levies versus wage garnishments,” said ACA CEO Mark Neeb. “ACA members are working hard to contact consumers to set up flexible payment plans that bridge that gap and fit the needs of everyone involved. Our member companies are uniquely trained to access emergency hardship programs and help during difficult times, such as what we are experiencing with COVID-19. They are not targeting stimulus payments and, in fact, would have no ability to know if a consumer had one deposited into their bank account. Banks and creditors can work with their customers to protect stimulus payments, and ACA supports their efforts to work with those directly impacted by COVID-19.”

ACA will continue its engagement with Congress about COVID-19-related legislation and other issues impacting the industry.

“ACA maintains it is important that policies provide consumers with more options that will allow them to access credit and services while placing financial decisions into the hands of consumers—which is achieved through communication,” Neeb said. “ACA members are trained to work with consumers and to access hardship programs to help consumers make arrangements that best suit their unique financial situation, including implementing temporary suspension of collections for consumers directly impacted by the coronavirus.”

For updates on ongoing advocacy efforts, join the ACA Huddle, sponsored by Connect International, Solutions by Text, Pay N Seconds and QBE, at 11 a.m. each Wednesday. Click here to complete a one-time registration for the ACA Huddle and stay tuned for more speaker announcements. Members may access recordings of the ACA Huddle presentations here.

Members interested in learning more about ACA’s advocacy strategy and opportunities to connect with state and federal legislators and regulators are invited to attend the Washington Insights Virtual Fly-In April 22.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill Passes: ACA Continues Advocacy on Working with Consumers

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the “American Rescue Plan,” with a 220-211 vote Wednesday. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.

The U.S. Senate approved the bill March 6 and sent it back to the House.

With it comes $1,400 stimulus checks for millions of households, continued unemployment benefits, vaccine distribution funding and expanded support and guidelines for the Paycheck Protection Program, The Hill reports. It does not include the $15 federal minimum wage.

Passage of another COVID-19 relief bill also brings to light the ongoing discussion and misperceptions about garnishment when it comes to consumers’ stimulus checks.

According to The Hill, U.S. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced that he plans to introduce a bill that would prevent the $1,400 direct payments from “being seized by private debt collectors.”

ACA continues to work closely with Senate staff to educate them that the debt collection industry is not actively targeting stimulus checks.

“The press surrounding this issue continues to conflate legal terms such as bank levies versus wage garnishments,” said ACA CEO Mark Neeb. “ACA members are working hard to contact consumers to set up flexible payment plans that bridge that gap and fit the needs of everyone involved. Our member companies are uniquely trained to access emergency hardship programs and help during difficult times, such as what we are experiencing with COVID-19. They are not targeting stimulus payments and, in fact, would have no ability to know if a consumer had one deposited into their bank account. Banks and creditors can work with their customers to protect stimulus payments, and ACA supports their efforts to work with those directly impacted by COVID-19.”

ACA will continue its engagement with Congress about COVID-19-related legislation and other issues impacting the industry.

“ACA maintains it is important that policies provide consumers with more options that will allow them to access credit and services while placing financial decisions into the hands of consumers—which is achieved through communication,” Neeb said. “ACA members are trained to work with consumers and to access hardship programs to help consumers make arrangements that best suit their unique financial situation, including implementing temporary suspension of collections for consumers directly impacted by the coronavirus.”

For updates on ongoing advocacy efforts, join the ACA Huddle, sponsored by Connect International, Solutions by Text, Pay N Seconds and QBE, at 11 a.m. each Wednesday. Click here to complete a one-time registration for the ACA Huddle and stay tuned for more speaker announcements. Members may access recordings of the ACA Huddle presentations here.

Members interested in learning more about ACA’s advocacy strategy and opportunities to connect with state and federal legislators and regulators are invited to attend the Washington Insights Virtual Fly-In April 22.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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