The Next Normal: Uncertainty
“The New Normal”: A phrase regurgitated by media and corporation’s ad nauseum. While it’s
important to understand and rationalize the now, the “Next Normal” is what your debt collection
agency should be focusing on.
Let’s be frank: debt collection is a complex process. Local, State, and Federal regulation have
always been an important and challenging aspect to our industry. Then Covid-19 arrived, setting
in motion an ever-evolving patchwork of federal, state and industry regulations.
The New Normal:
2020: The year of hygiene, face masks, and pajama Zoom calls with barking dogs and
screaming children in the background. The American workforce has settled into new norms and
routines. Legislators have done the same.
Many US states have responded by temporarily amending their collection regulations.
(Guidelines are frequently updated and the details we discuss here are based on information
available as of June 24th, 2020 by the National Consumer Law Center.) These include:
- District of Columbia – creditors and debt collectors are prohibited from initiating or
threatening a collection lawsuit during the emergency and 60 days afterwards
- Illinois – debtor examinations are suspended
- New York – collection of state-owned debt is suspended
- North Carolina – debt owed to state agencies are suspended
The Next Normal:
At the time of writing this publication, the unemployment level is somewhere between 13%-16%
(40-45 million people). The longest economic expansion in US history ended in March 2020.
Economists expect 2nd quarter GDP could contract by up to 40%, hopefully rebounding in the
fall. Special unemployment payments will be ending in July. It is impossible to predict the
future, but it is very possible to envision 2020 ending with a high unemployment rate and low
consumer confidence. Looking back at previous recessions gives us insight into possible
The next normal could manifest in many ways: broad or targeted legislation for specific
industries or individuals, more fiscal stimulus policies, high unemployment, and a tightening of
“purse strings”, the possibilities are endless.
Certain patterns develop after economic downturns. A compilation of studies by the University of
Rhode Island on the 2008 “Great Recession” showed the following behaviors.
- 68% of respondents reduced their spending
- 40% withdrew from savings and retirement funds to pay bills
- 71% stated they purchased less expensive brands to help make ends meet.
- Almost half reported major difficulties paying monthly expenses and bills
- 63% of families experience wealth loss, a median loss about 18% compared with 2007 levels
- While the “Great Recession” officially ended in 2009, its effects were felt well into the 2010’s
As margins shrink, consumer spending slows, and financial future is uncertain, stability will be in
high demand. 46 years of experience, 800+ clients nationwide, and unbeatable customer
service. Having an agency with a firm understanding of compliance and regulation paired with
the technology to pivot on a dime has never been more important.
Protect Your Credit Union with CBHV
When the day comes, consider partnering with CBHV and enjoy the benefits of working with a
trained, professional collection agency. Give us a call. We bring almost five-decades of
experience to debt resolution and can effectively retrieve overdue payments without exposing
you to risk.
Additionally, we understand clients will have their own, unique requests. Our experience shows
that clients tend to want to be good neighbors. Naturally, this motivation is amplified during a
crisis. We expect clients and creditors may ask us to stop collections or adjust how we collect,
such as sending letters, but not placing outbound calls. Our over 45 years of experience has
given us insights and confidence to handle any account.
While uncertainty will be the theme of the second half of 2020, Assurance will be CBHV’s
theme. Assurance that our flexibility and innovation will thrive in this uncertain environment.
Assurance that both clients and members alike will be treated with dignity and respect.
Assurance that even in the face of adversity, we will use our old-fashioned work ethic coupled
with our forward-thinking to thrive. Assurance that our business practices and consistency
provide our clients with confidence in an uncertain time.
Stay safe and remember to wash your hands…..