Debt collectors get reprieve on filing accounts for 2020
Debt collectors will get a break on reporting their accounts for 2020 because of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the House of Assembly heard.
But the Debt Collection Amendment Act 2021, despite using the word “exempt”, will not mean that collectors licensed in 2020 will never have to file last year’s audited financial statements with the Debt Collection Authority.
Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, assured MPs that auditors will still review debt collector’s books for 2020 “in any event” when the statements are filed this year.
He was responding to concerns flagged up by Scott Pearman of the One Bermuda Alliance, who said the legislation appeared to waive the requirement for collectors to report on last year.
Mr Roban said the Act, which was approved last night in the House, took into account that the shelter-in-place restrictions imposed last year against Covid-19 meant that new licences for debt collectors were not issued until the third and fourth quarters of 2020.
The minister added that collectors licensed last year would simply “be given more time” to get their books in order.
The legislation also grants the minister discretion to extend debt collectors’ date of submission of audited annual financial statements to the Debt Collection Authority by a period not to exceed six months.