Lawmakers are continuing to consider legislation to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and several NLBMDA-backed priorities have been or will be enacted. Unfortunately, a legislative initiative underway in the House and Senate could severely affect the way LBM dealers extend credit and conduct collections, effectively designating them as debt collectors.
The Small Business and Consumer Debt Collection Emergency Relief Act, recently introduced in the House and Senate (H.R. 6379/S. 3565), would negatively impact collections efforts for dealers across the U.S. NLBMDA appreciates efforts to address the pandemic and alleviate hardship for business and individuals. Unfortunately, this legislation does not accomplish that. Below are several problematic issues in the bill:
- The definition of “debt collector,” as currently drafted, is defined as “a creditor, and any person or entity that engages in the collection of debt”;
- Certain collection prohibitions, including business-to-business extension of credit;
- Interest or fees cannot be added to unpaid debts after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- The legislation mandates communication in writing only and for informational purposes only.
NLBMDA is opposed to this legislation and has set up as
for members to contact their elected officials and express their opposition to this legislation.