RMAI Supports Protection of Federal Stimulus Funds from Collections

(Sacramento, CA): On Monday, April 13, 2020, the Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) delivered a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in support of recent efforts to ensure that direct funds distributed to households through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are not subject to collection as part of resolving outstanding receivables.

RMAI voiced support for formal protections for the “recovery rebates” provided by the CARES Act and for the Treasury Department issuing rules and guidance with respect to these funds. Given the acute and significant financial hardship many households are facing due to the COVID-19 crisis, RMAI asserts that recovery rebates (of up to $1,200 per qualifying individual and up to $2,400 per qualifying household, as well as an additional $500 per dependent child) should not be subject to garnishment or other compulsory methods of recouping funds for the repayment of valid debts.

The same day, RMAI also issued a Member Alert advising members to avoid seeking federal stimulus funds as a potential source of payment on outstanding consumer obligations. Specifically, to the degree the federal stimulus funds are ascertainable, RMAI advised members to avoid soliciting those funds or otherwise attaching those funds for the purposes of satisfying a debt or money judgment.

RMAI and RMAI members take hardship issues seriously and implemented guidance on hardship programs long before the COVID-19 crisis. RMAI members enhanced their existing hardship policies to provide temporary relief from collections for consumers who notify them they are impacted by COVID-19. These hardship programs allow consumers facing short-term setbacks to recover and prevent continued collections for those facing permanent setbacks.

RMAI members work in a variety of financial services fields, including debt buying companies, collection agencies, law firms, originating creditors, international members, and industry-related product and service providers, and continue to do their part to help American households affected by this crisis.

RMAI maintains a COVID-19 resource page on the RMAI website that is accessible to the public and updated daily. Included on this webpage are COVID-19-related member alerts, webinars, regulatory and legislative resources, Executive Orders, and emergency court rules.

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About Receivables Management Association International:

Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) is a nonprofit trade association that represents more than 500 companies that purchase or support the purchase of performing and nonperforming receivables on the secondary market. The Receivables Management Certification Program and Code of Ethics set the global standard within the receivables industry due to its rigorous uniform industry standards of best practice which focuses on the protection of the consumer.

More information about RMAI is available at www.rmaintl.org.

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