Collector - January 2021 - 31

The Future of Remote Work:
Changing State Requirements
By Andrew Madden

P

rior to the COVID-19 shutdown,
most state licensing requirements
did not directly address remote
collection staff or activities. Only three
states already had specific exemptions
in place regarding licensing for remotely
located collectors: North Dakota, North
Carolina and Wisconsin.
As the shutdowns began, states like
Connecticut, Idaho, Minnesota, New
Mexico, Illinois, Nevada and others began
issuing varying levels of guidance on
remote work arrangements for licensed
collection agencies. Other states, like
Tennessee and Wyoming, reviewed their
current laws and determined that nothing
prevented remote collection workers during
the pandemic. As the shutdown continued
into the summer and late fall, states were
compelled renew their remote worker
guidance and continue to do so.
In Washington state, the Collection
Agency Board (CAB) passed an emergency
temporary work-from-home rule in June. The
CAB included a provision that allowed the
emergency rule to be extended an additional
120 days (out to Feb. 17, 2021) as long as
the CAB was in the process of addressing a
permanent rule with guidance for remote
collection workers. The CAB formed a rule-

writing committee, extended the emergency
rule and is expected to issue a permanent
formal rule for remote collection workers prior
to the emergency rule expiring in February.
The actions in Washington are being
closely monitored by other states, which
are also expected to take a deeper look into
their remote work requirements and options
to address the issue in a more permanent
manner going forward. ACA's state units
across the country are working with their
respective regulatory bodies to address any
concerns with remote work regulators have
or might have come across as they reviewed
their options. Organizations like the North
American Collection Agency Regulators
Association have held discussions on remote
work and ways states could address the issue
going forward.
The U.S. workforce both inside
and outside the accounts receivable
management industry, as well as within the
government, has likely changed forever.
Consumer behavior has changed as well.
Moving toward permanently allowing
remote work will be a major issue for the
industry and regulators in 2021.
Andrew Madden is ACA International's vice
president of state and government affairs.

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Consumer
Spending Habits
Right Now
THEY DON'T LIKE CASH
More than half of U.S.
consumers (54%) say they are concerned
about touching coins or bills due to
COVID-19, and 60% plan to use touchless
payments in the future, according to
online survey conducted by Rapyd, a global
payments company.

THEY'RE PAYING
OFF DEBTS
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic
Security (CARES) Act sent households
one-time stimulus payments. According to
a Nielsen survey of 12,000 U.S. consumers,
31% of that money was used to repay debts.

THEY'RE FOCUSED
ON SAVING
Total household debt levels dropped in the
last year while the personal savings rate
jumped. As a result, in summer 2020, the
average credit score hit a record 711, five
points higher than a year ago at the same
time, according to the Fair Isaac Corp.

COLLECTOR 01.21

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Collector - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - January 2021

Collector - January 2021 - Cover1
Collector - January 2021 - Cover2
Collector - January 2021 - 1
Collector - January 2021 - 2
Collector - January 2021 - 3
Collector - January 2021 - 4
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Collector - January 2021 - 6
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