Wisconsin lawmakers are reviewing a plan to allow employees of licensed debt collection companies to work from home.
Two identical bills in the Senate and State Assembly - Senate Bill 438 and Assembly Bill 592 - outline licensing and compliance rules for work-from-home collection agents while clarifying that the employee doesn’t need to obtain a separate license as a collector or solicitor.
The bills specify that debt collection agency employees who work from home must follow all of the same requirements that would apply if the employee were working within the licensed office of the collection agency, according to the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau.
State Representative Tod Ohnstad, a Democrat, on Monday introduced seven amendments to Assembly Bill 592 that would create certain security measures for collection agency employees working from home, such as requiring that “consumer information used by or accessible to the employee while working from home is encrypted when it is transmitted electronically and when it is stored on a server located away from the employee’s home.”
Both bills are working their way through the respective chambers. Eighteen representatives introduced Assembly Bill 592 in December. The Assembly held a public hearing on the bill in mid-January and the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues recently voted unanimously to recommend passage. Senate Bill 438 was read on the Senate floor for the first time Monday, before being referred to a committee on Rules.Both bills are supported by the Wisconsin Collectors Association.