Disaster Declaration in N.C. Triggers 30-Day Deferral of ‘Debt Payment’

The approval of a Major Disaster Declaration in North Carolina last week triggered the enactment of a series of provisions that reference collection agencies and a 30-day deferral for accepting payments.

A copy of the provisions can be accessed by clicking here.

The statute applies to “all insurance companies, premium finance companies, collection agencies, and other persons subject to this Chapter.” Those entities are to give individuals living in the disaster area the option of deferring premium or debt payments that are due during the earlier of the time period covered by the disaster declaration or the time period prior to the expiration of the order from the North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance.

Under the statute:

This deferral period shall be 30 days from the last day the premium or debt payment may be made under the terms of the policy or contract. This deferral period shall also apply to any statute, rule, or other policy or contract provision that imposes a time limit on an insurer, insured, claimant, or customer to perform any act during the time period covered by the proclamation or declaration, including the transmittal of information, with respect to insurance policies or contracts, premium finance agreements, or debt instruments when the insurer, insured, claimant, or customer resides or is located in the geographic area designated in the proclamation or declaration.

While it appears unusual for collection agencies to be mentioned in a statute that appears to have more to do with insurance than anything else, it does appear to be worth noting for collection agencies that operate in North Carolina. A bulletin published by the North Carolina Department of Insurance said the provisions apply to “premium finance companies, collections agencies, and other persons subject to Chapter 58 of North Carolina General Statutes.”

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