April 3, 2020: Today, the Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) received a response from Deputy Commissioner Mary Young of the Nevada Department of Business & Industry regarding RMAI’s request for guidance on the Department’s March 20, 2020, notice to the collection industry.

Specifically, RMAI inquired whether the phrase “must cease collection efforts” applies to:

1) Receiving and depositing payments from consumers who had established a payment plan prior to Governor Sisolak’s emergency directive that all non-essential businesses close.

2) Receiving and depositing voluntary payments from consumers who have not established a payment plan but have sought out the collection agency because they want to pay their debt.

In responding via email, Deputy Commissioner Young states:

“Collection agencies should be mindful of the hardship this causes for everyone adversely affected by COVID-19 and take that into consideration before letting safety measures negatively impact a consumer’s account. If a consumer initiates the communication/payment and they want to pay and have the ability to do so, you may accept the payment. A consumer should have the choice to proceed with their pre-arranged payment(s) or to pause the collections. No fees should be charged for late or missed payments.”

Please note, Governor Sisolak has extended the closure of all non-essential businesses until April 30, 2020.

This alert is intended for members of the Receivables Management Association International and is for informational purposes only and is in no way intended to provide legal advice. Members are encouraged to consult with an attorney of their choice for legal advice concerning this matter.