RMAI extends its thoughts of support to all of those affected by Hurricane Delta. RMAI recommends all members temporarily suspend collection calls and communications to consumers in the portions of the states of Louisiana and Mississippi directly affected by the hurricane. Further, the State of Louisiana issued a State of Emergency for Hurricane Delta 133 JBE 2020 which extends from October 6, 2020, through November 4, 2020, unless terminated sooner. The prohibition to telephonic solicitations in Louisiana will remain in effect until the Emergency Operations Center releases the Louisiana Public Service Commission from this mandatory reporting status.
The RMAI Receivables Management Certification Program state of emergency standard provides the following guidance:
(A18) State of Emergency. A Certified Company shall refrain from initiating phone calls or electronic communications with consumers concerning the payment of a debt: (i) if the company knows there is an ongoing emergency that is impacting the community where the consumer resides and (ii) within the first 10 days after the declaration of a state of emergency, or similar proclamation, by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Based on the circumstances, a Certified Company should also consider extending grace periods for payments, suspending interest accumulation, or offering other forms of assistance. This standard shall not apply to communications required by law.
Please note, RMAI is developing amendments to Standard A18 that we anticipate will go into effect no later than March 2021. The amendments are designed to differentiate this standard from a pandemic as well as create some additional administrative efficiencies.
To find out more about the widespread disaster declarations including emergency declarations, visit the FEMA website at https://www.fema.gov/disasters/disaster-declarations.
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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.