Debt Collectors Set the Record Straight on False Claims Regarding Stimulus Checks

04/17/2020 09:00 AM

Debt collection industry treats consumers with compassion and empathy during financial discussions.

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April 17, 2020 – Washington, DC – As the country faces difficulties resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, members of ACA International, the association of credit and collection professionals, continue to work diligently to assist consumers in managing unexpected financial challenges while helping small businesses and medical providers continue to provide products and services.

In response to claims that the debt collection industry is targeting stimulus fund payments, ACA International CEO Mark Neeb released the following statement:

"ACA members remain committed to helping consumers work through individual financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that any new policies created responding to this crisis provide consumers with more options that will allow them to continue to access credit and services, and put financial decisions into their hands, which comes through two-way communication."

ACA members are currently receiving an unprecedented number of inbound calls because consumers want and need to resolve their legally owed debt to maintain their financial health. ACA members are acting with compassion and in compliance with a myriad of consumer protection laws and regulations, and any false allegations that they are targeting consumers facing financial challenges or who are directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis could not be further from the truth.

ACA members could not and would not be specifically targeting stimulus funds for multiple reasons, including their commitment to compassion and empathy for consumers. Beyond that, collectors would not even know the character of funds contained in a consumer’s bank account or the source of these funds, which would make it impossible to target stimulus funds. In fact, only banks and credit unions would know the source and character of deposited funds.

The same advocacy organizations expressing inflated concerns about the debt collection industry allegedly targeting stimulus funds are also seeking to limit industry communication with consumers. Limiting communication with consumers will cause them to make less informed financial decisions and not have the information needed to receive support for programs like financial assistance, charity care and extended payment programs, which they can learn about through discussions about their financial obligations for legally owed debt.

ACA members remain committed to their clients across the country, including small businesses and hospitals, who are facing unprecedented challenges and disruptions to their operations.

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.