The legislation would enact permanent remote work options for collection agencies.
05/18/2022 12:45 P.M.
2 minute read
Permanent remote work options for debt collectors are close to taking effect in Minnesota after the state’s House of Representatives passed SF 2922 on a near unanimous vote Tuesday and the Senate accepted the amended version on Wednesday.
“This will ensure that collection agency staff will continue to have the flexibility afforded them through the current work-from-home statute,” said Michael Klutho, a shareholder at Bassford Remele and past president of the Great Lakes Credit and Collection Association, who has been part of advocacy efforts on the bill.
“Both votes in the Senate were unanimous. The vote in the House was nearly unanimous as well,” Klutho said. “Given the overwhelming bipartisan votes in both chambers, it is anticipated that Governor Tim Walz will soon sign the permanent work from home bill into law.”
The Senate is expected to act on the bill this week and send it to the governor for signature.
The GLCCA has led successful advocacy efforts on the bill in the last two years after temporary work-from-home measures were enacted for debt collectors during the pandemic.
Minnesota’s Department of Commerce (DOC) invited the GLCCA to weigh in on the DOC’s plan to bring debt buyers under its licensing statute and jurisdiction. GLCCA saw this as an opportunity to help craft some additional industry-helpful amendments related to remote work, ACA International previously reported.
Klutho also sent a letter to the Minnesota legislature advocating for the bill’s passage and outlining its impact on the industry.
“Over the past two years, countless Minnesotans have worked from home throughout the COVID pandemic, including third-party collection professionals,” Klutho said in the letter. “During this time, collection professionals have demonstrated they are able to perform their duties remotely in a safe and compliant manner under the oversight of their employers—licensed third-party collection agencies—and the Minnesota Department of Commerce.”
Currently, the temporary law from Minnesota’s 2021 session to allow licensed collectors to work from home—which started as a waiver from DOC during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency—is in effect through May 31, 2022, ACA previously reported.
The work-from-home provision in the new bill, if signed by the governor, will take effect on June 1, 2022.
The GLCCA lobbyists are working with the governor’s office so that the bill can be signed before the current statute’s sunset provision goes into effect.
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