Washington State Finalizes Remote Work Rule

Washington State Collection Agency Board unanimously approves rule allowing employees of licensed collection agencies to work off-site.

1/12/2021 3:00 PM

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Washington State Finalizes Remote Work Rule

Washington state’s remote work rule is official after the Collection Agency Board voted Tuesday to approve the rule before similar temporary guidance expires on Feb. 17.  

The board needed to vote this week in order to meet the deadline to have a permanent rule on the books in the next month. It will take effect 31 days after filed with the Code Reviser’s Office.

The permanent rule is expected to greatly expand options for the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry and set a precedent for other states to follow suit.

The temporary rule, created in response to COVID-19, has been in place since June 2020, ACA International previously reported.

The permanent rule will allow licensed agencies to continue to offer the public their necessary services if the required security measures and data storage requirements and detailed definitions and requirements of remote work are in place, according to the Washington State Department of Licensing.

This rule has been at the heart of advocacy efforts for ACA in Washington. ACA’s Vice President of State Unit and Government Affairs Andrew Madden and ACA member Kevin Underwood, attorney with Linebarger Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP, serve among six subject matter experts on the CAB Rule Committee. The committee also includes two CAB members, including ACA member Mark Case, general counsel for Receivables Performance Management LLC.

Before the vote Tuesday, the board considered a motion on changing the word “debt” to “claims” in the definition of collection activities in the rule, which was denied in a 3-2 vote. The board instead unanimously voted to remove the phrase from the rule altogether to keep the focus on guidelines for employees of collection agencies to work remotely. The approved version states:

“’Collection activities” as used in this section means those activities performed by collection agencies or the employees of collection agencies pursuant to chapter 19.16 RCW.”

The rule covers new remote work requirements, including maintaining a list of employees working in a “virtual office,” an equipment list and details of the necessary employee remote work agreement. The agreement must be signed by employees working offsite and outlines data security and call review requirements, specifically “that an employee must be advised that the employee’s collection agency activities are subject to review and calls to and from the virtual office will be monitored and recorded.”

Call recordings must be maintained for at least four years and the rule requires regular call monitoring, a portion of which must be in real time.

Now that the rule is finalized, will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Related Content from ACA International:

Washington Collection Agency Board Extends Remote Work Rule into February

Punching the Clock: Washington State Advances Talks on Remote Work Rule


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 State Finalizes Remote Work Rule

Washington state’s remote work rule is official after the Collection Agency Board voted Tuesday to approve the rule before similar temporary guidance expires on Feb. 17.  

The board needed to vote this week in order to meet the deadline to have a permanent rule on the books in the next month. It will take effect 31 days after filed with the Code Reviser’s Office.

The permanent rule is expected to greatly expand options for the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry and set a precedent for other states to follow suit.

The temporary rule, created in response to COVID-19, has been in place since June 2020, ACA International previously reported.

The permanent rule will allow licensed agencies to continue to offer the public their necessary services if the required security measures and data storage requirements and detailed definitions and requirements of remote work are in place, according to the Washington State Department of Licensing.

This rule has been at the heart of advocacy efforts for ACA in Washington. ACA’s Vice President of State Unit and Government Affairs Andrew Madden and ACA member Kevin Underwood, attorney with Linebarger Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP, serve among six subject matter experts on the CAB Rule Committee. The committee also includes two CAB members, including ACA member Mark Case, general counsel for Receivables Performance Management LLC.

Before the vote Tuesday, the board considered a motion on changing the word “debt” to “claims” in the definition of collection activities in the rule, which was denied in a 3-2 vote. The board instead unanimously voted to remove the phrase from the rule altogether to keep the focus on guidelines for employees of collection agencies to work remotely. The approved version states:

“’Collection activities” as used in this section means those activities performed by collection agencies or the employees of collection agencies pursuant to chapter 19.16 RCW.”

The rule covers new remote work requirements, including maintaining a list of employees working in a “virtual office,” an equipment list and details of the necessary employee remote work agreement. The agreement must be signed by employees working offsite and outlines data security and call review requirements, specifically “that an employee must be advised that the employee’s collection agency activities are subject to review and calls to and from the virtual office will be monitored and recorded.”

Call recordings must be maintained for at least four years and the rule requires regular call monitoring, a portion of which must be in real time.

Now that the rule is finalized, will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Related Content from ACA International:

Washington Collection Agency Board Extends Remote Work Rule into February

Punching the Clock: Washington State Advances Talks on Remote Work Rule


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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