Washington Collection Agency Board Approves Remote Work Rule; Connecticut Extends No-Action Memo on Branch Licensing Issues

Members with Washington Collectors Association advocated for the updated rule to provide clarity to branch offices and licensed agencies in the state. Washington also issued an update to its temporary limit on garnishments and guidance to mortgage servicers.

6/19/2020 10:00 AM

COVID-19NewsStateAdvocacy
Washington Collection Agency Board Approves Remote Work Rule; Connecticut Extends No-Action Memo on Branch Licensing Issues

The Washington Collection Agency Board held a meeting Thursday, June 18, to consider a rule change that would clarify the definition of branch offices and remote work duties. The board passed two motions:

  • A motion to adopt an emergency rule change allowing employees of collection agencies to work remotely for 120 days and a 120-day extension if formal rulemaking begins. 
  • A motion to start the formal rulemaking process to adopt a permanent rule allowing remote workers.

The Washington Collectors Association and Kelsi Hamilton, CCCO, director of compliance and legislative affairs at Dynamic Collectors Inc. in Chehalis, Washington, have focused their advocacy efforts on this issue.

The rule adopted by the board removes work at home agents from the definition of branch office. Updates to WAC 308-29-010 (underlined text is a change to the rule) include:

Definitions:

“Remote work” is the practice of working from home or other alternative location through the use of technology which allows the employee to access normal work material (email, telephone, electronic documents, etc.) Remote work may be scheduled or on an ad hoc basis.

“Branch office” is any location physically separated from the principal place of business of a licensee where the licensee conducts any activity meeting the criteria of a collection agency or out-of-state collection agency as defined in RCW 19.16.100.

An employee of a licensee shall not be deemed a “collection agency” or a “branch office” as defined in chapter 19.16.100(5)(a) RCW and the employee need not have a license to perform collection activities on behalf of the collection agency, whether working in the collection agency office, or working remotely.

Garnishments

In Proclamation 20-49.3, Gov. Inslee amended the prior garnishment restrictions (Proclamations 20-49, 49.1, and 49.2) that affected all garnishments “to prevent garnishments of bank accounts to collect judgments for consumer debt and therefore, only the following statutory provisions specified below are hereby waived and suspended in their entirety . . . .:

1. RCW 6.27.020(1) and (2)

2. RCW 6.27.060

3. RCW 6.27.070(1)

4. RCW 6.27.080(2) and (3)

5. RCW 6.27.110(1) and (2)

6. RCW 6.27.120(1)

7. RCW 6.27.130(1) and (3)”

Mortgage Servicers

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions issued amended guidance June 18 to Washington state regulated and exempt residential mortgage loan servicers regarding support for consumers impacted by COVID-19. This amended guidance replaces that issued March 20, 2020 and is effective until Sept. 30, 2020. This amended guidance urges all mortgage servicers to continue to do their part to alleviate the adverse impact caused by COVID-19 on consumers, including refraining from credit reporting and forbearing mortgage payments.

This amended guidance urges all mortgage servicers to continue to do their part to alleviate the adverse impact caused by COVID-19 on consumers, according to Charles Clark, director of the Washington Department of Financial Institutions, and an email received by Collectors Insurance Agency.

Servicers are urged to take reasonable and prudent actions through Sept. 30, 2020, subject to the requirements of any related guarantees or insurance policies, to support those adversely impacted mortgagors by:

  • Forbearing mortgage payments;
  • Refraining from reporting late payments to credit rating agencies;
  • Offering mortgagors additional time to complete trial loan modifications, and ensuring that late payments during the COVID-19 pandemic does not affect their ability to obtain permanent loan modifications;
  • Waiving late payment fees and any online payment fees;
  • Postponing foreclosures;
  • Ensuring that mortgagors do not experience a disruption of service if the mortgage servicer closes its office, including making available other avenues for mortgagors to continue to manage their accounts and to make inquiries; and
  • Proactively reaching out to mortgagors via app announcements, text, email or otherwise to explain the assistance being offered to mortgagors.

Consumer Credit Licensee Requirements in Connecticut

The Connecticut Department of Banking extended its no-action memo to address branch licensing issues considering temporary mitigation actions licensees needed to take to continue business due to COVID-19 through Aug. 31, 2020. The department’s no-action position concerns the requirement that any Connecticut licensable activity by a Consumer Credit Licensee be conducted from a licensed branch office location

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.


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

Washington Collection Agency Board Approves Remote Work Rule; Connecticut Extends No-Action Memo on Branch Licensing Issues

The Washington Collection Agency Board held a meeting Thursday, June 18, to consider a rule change that would clarify the definition of branch offices and remote work duties. The board passed two motions:

  • A motion to adopt an emergency rule change allowing employees of collection agencies to work remotely for 120 days and a 120-day extension if formal rulemaking begins. 
  • A motion to start the formal rulemaking process to adopt a permanent rule allowing remote workers.

The Washington Collectors Association and Kelsi Hamilton, CCCO, director of compliance and legislative affairs at Dynamic Collectors Inc. in Chehalis, Washington, have focused their advocacy efforts on this issue.

The rule adopted by the board removes work at home agents from the definition of branch office. Updates to WAC 308-29-010 (underlined text is a change to the rule) include:

Definitions:

“Remote work” is the practice of working from home or other alternative location through the use of technology which allows the employee to access normal work material (email, telephone, electronic documents, etc.) Remote work may be scheduled or on an ad hoc basis.

“Branch office” is any location physically separated from the principal place of business of a licensee where the licensee conducts any activity meeting the criteria of a collection agency or out-of-state collection agency as defined in RCW 19.16.100.

An employee of a licensee shall not be deemed a “collection agency” or a “branch office” as defined in chapter 19.16.100(5)(a) RCW and the employee need not have a license to perform collection activities on behalf of the collection agency, whether working in the collection agency office, or working remotely.

Garnishments

In Proclamation 20-49.3, Gov. Inslee amended the prior garnishment restrictions (Proclamations 20-49, 49.1, and 49.2) that affected all garnishments “to prevent garnishments of bank accounts to collect judgments for consumer debt and therefore, only the following statutory provisions specified below are hereby waived and suspended in their entirety . . . .:

1. RCW 6.27.020(1) and (2)

2. RCW 6.27.060

3. RCW 6.27.070(1)

4. RCW 6.27.080(2) and (3)

5. RCW 6.27.110(1) and (2)

6. RCW 6.27.120(1)

7. RCW 6.27.130(1) and (3)”

Mortgage Servicers

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions issued amended guidance June 18 to Washington state regulated and exempt residential mortgage loan servicers regarding support for consumers impacted by COVID-19. This amended guidance replaces that issued March 20, 2020 and is effective until Sept. 30, 2020. This amended guidance urges all mortgage servicers to continue to do their part to alleviate the adverse impact caused by COVID-19 on consumers, including refraining from credit reporting and forbearing mortgage payments.

This amended guidance urges all mortgage servicers to continue to do their part to alleviate the adverse impact caused by COVID-19 on consumers, according to Charles Clark, director of the Washington Department of Financial Institutions, and an email received by Collectors Insurance Agency.

Servicers are urged to take reasonable and prudent actions through Sept. 30, 2020, subject to the requirements of any related guarantees or insurance policies, to support those adversely impacted mortgagors by:

  • Forbearing mortgage payments;
  • Refraining from reporting late payments to credit rating agencies;
  • Offering mortgagors additional time to complete trial loan modifications, and ensuring that late payments during the COVID-19 pandemic does not affect their ability to obtain permanent loan modifications;
  • Waiving late payment fees and any online payment fees;
  • Postponing foreclosures;
  • Ensuring that mortgagors do not experience a disruption of service if the mortgage servicer closes its office, including making available other avenues for mortgagors to continue to manage their accounts and to make inquiries; and
  • Proactively reaching out to mortgagors via app announcements, text, email or otherwise to explain the assistance being offered to mortgagors.

Consumer Credit Licensee Requirements in Connecticut

The Connecticut Department of Banking extended its no-action memo to address branch licensing issues considering temporary mitigation actions licensees needed to take to continue business due to COVID-19 through Aug. 31, 2020. The department’s no-action position concerns the requirement that any Connecticut licensable activity by a Consumer Credit Licensee be conducted from a licensed branch office location

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.


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

Loading...

Loading...

Scroll to Top