Industry clarifies that it does not target stimulus payment checks to settle outstanding debts.
June 8, 2020 – Washington, D.C. – Legislation (S. 3841) passed today in the U.S. Senate places parameters around a creditor’s ability to levy a consumer’s bank account. Contrary to the narrative that the debt collection industry is eager to garnish stimulus funds, the reality is professional debt collectors would not know the character of funds contained in a consumer’s bank account or the source of these funds. ACA International members are not seeking to garnish stimulus checks.
ACA International CEO Mark Neeb released the following statement in reference to the legislation:
“The Senate’s attempt to help Americans by protecting stimulus funds is noble, however, debt collectors are not seizing these funds. If the banks feel they need legislation to work this out with their customers, we support those efforts and appreciate the Senate’s clarification that this is specific to the bank levy process.
“”Since the COVID-19 outbreak, ACA members have continued efforts to contact consumers to set up flexible payment plans, provide access to emergency hardship programs, and offer qualified discounts. These efforts are critical to help consumers and creditors bridge the gap and accelerate our nation’s economic recovery. To stop the functioning of the credit and collection system for the part of the economy that is still functioning normally only makes it worse for hospitals, utilities, and governments trying to survive and to serve the whole community.
“Everyone is struggling, including small medical practices, regional hospitals, and contractors who are having difficulty making payroll and providing for their families. We have made it our mission to find solutions that do not put more stress on consumers but also help keep small businesses afloat, none of which include targeting stimulus checks.”
The bill, S. 3841, aims to protect 2020 recovery rebates.
ACA International (ACA), the association of credit and collection professionals, is the largest membership organization in the credit and collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together third-party collection agencies, law firms, asset buying companies, creditors and vendor affiliates, representing tens of thousands of industry professionals. ACA produces a wide variety of products, services and publications, including educational and compliance-related information; and articulates the value of the credit and collection industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers. www.acainternational.org.