Guidance expands coverage for remote work operations by debt collection licensees.
12/10/2021 2:00 P.M.
3 minute read
Temporary guidance that paved the way for remote work options for financial services companies during the COVID-19 pandemic is now part of the Idaho Department of Finance’s long-term policies.
Starting Jan. 1, 2022, individual employees of licensed financial services companies may engage in remote work activities without the requirement to license or register the employee’s non-commercial remote location where the guidance conditions are met, according to a policy statement from the department.
The new Idaho guidance statement, 2021-01-CFB Telecommuting and Branch Licensing Requirements, will take effect Jan. 1, 2022, upon expiration of the department’s temporary regulatory guidance regarding working from home due to COVID-19 concerns or quarantine issues.
“The guidance is being issued in recognition of, and as a way to accommodate, the various business models in all of our financial services industries,” according to the department’s policy statement. “The option to telecommute has been previously available to members of the mortgage industry and this guidance expands coverage to the debt and consumer industry licensees as well under specific conditions outlined within the guidance.”
In the last year, the department has allowed individual employees of these companies, who act on behalf of the licensed entity, to perform their work virtually while representing to consumers and borrowers that their activities are conducted solely at the licensed home or branch offices of their employing company.
The following requirements must be met for employees of licensed agencies working remotely:
- Data security requirements include provisions for the employee to access the company’s secure origination system from any out-of-office device used through a Virtual Private Network or other system that requires passwords or an identification authentication. The company is responsible for maintaining any updates or other requirements to keep information and devices secure.
- Neither the employee nor the company is to do any act that would indicate or tend to indicate that the employee is conducting business from an unlicensed location. Such acts include but are not limited to:
– Advertising in any form, including business cards and social media, the unlicensed residence address or landline phone or facsimile number associated to the unlicensed residence;
– Meeting consumers at, or having consumers come, to an employee’s unlicensed residence; and
– Holding out in any manner, directly or indirectly, by the employee or company licensee, the residence address that would suggest or convey to a consumer that the residence is a licensed location for conducting licensable activities.
- Employees and companies must exercise due diligence in the safeguarding of company and customer data, information and records, whether in paper or electronic format, and to protect them against unauthorized or accidental access, use, modification, duplication, destruction or disclosure.
Company licensees in the accounts receivable management industry that utilize the telecommuting option will need to send an acknowledgement of receipt of the guidance from the department to [email protected] so the department has current and accurate information pertaining to the licensees’ remote operations.
The acknowledgment requires an authorized signer for the licensee with an established and verifiable relationship.
Questions regarding the guidance may also be directed to [email protected] or (208) 332-8000.
For more information on how the ACA licensing staff can assist with your licensing application completion needs, please contact us at [email protected] or call (952) 926-6547.
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