On the heels of codifying 940 CMR 35.00, the “Unfair and Deceptive Debt Collection Practices During the State of Emergency Caused by COVID-19” (the “Emergency Regulations”), Attorney General Maura Healey issued guidance on April 3, 2020 “to provide clarity with regard to frequently asked questions concerning the Emergency Regulations[.]” Among other things, Attorney General Healey clarified the following:
- The Emergency Regulations do not affect any attachment of wages obtained and served prior to March 26, 2020.
- All activity relative to the repossession of a vehicle must be halted.
- Any agency that collects on behalf of a first-party or original creditor, or on behalf of a debt buyer is considered a “debt collector” under the Emergency Regulations.
- Creditors and debt collectors can answer and return telephone calls initiated by a consumer.
- The Emergency Regulations do not restrict the use of text messages and email.
- The Emergency Regulations do not apply to the collection of commercial debts or to a consumer who has obtained a legal judgment against a business.
The full guidance may be found at: https://www.consumerfinancialserviceslawmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/501/2020/04/Frequently-Asked-Questions-Regarding-the-Emergency-Debt-Collection-Regulations.pdf.
Our previous post detailing the substance of the Emergency Regulations may be found here.