Collection agencies in Nevada have been allowed to re-open as long as they follow all emergency directives that have been issued by the state, according to ACA International.
The association published a letter from Sandy O’Loughlin, the Commissioner of the Financial Institutions Division of Nevada’s Department of Business and Industry, thanking companies for their patience and understanding and their “willingness to adapt to these ever-changing conditions.”
It does appear as though it took the threat of a lawsuit against the state to convince it to allow collection agencies to re-open. The ACA report included a comment from Patrick Reilly, an attorney with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP and the Nevada attorney state chair. Reilly’s comment said, “The division’s decision is welcome relief, but it should not have required a threat of lawsuit. In Nevada, you could go to a barber, get a tattoo, and buy marijuana. Yet until today, the state of Nevada barred businesses from collecting lawful debts. These debts included monies owed to doctors, nurses and hospitals for health care services. We should remember that our constitutional rights, and our common sense, are at their most vulnerable in times of crisis and fear.”
The decision by the state to allow collection agencies to resume operations was a quick reversal from an announcement earlier in the week that stated residents of The Silver State were exempt from collection activities.
Nevada had been one of the first states whose actions impacted the credit and collections industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Financial Institution Division closed all non-essential businesses, including collection agencies for 30 days on March 19. The initiative also recommended all collection agencies to close for the duration of the directive.