On March 23, 2020, Bay Area Legal Aid and 15 allied legal services and consumer protection organizations submitted a letter to Governor Newsom requesting immediate steps to protect consumers as part of the state’s COVID-19 emergency response. In order to mitigate irreparable harm being done to consumers and communities throughout the state, we have requested that during this public health emergency and for 30 days after, the state of California:
- issue an immediate moratorium on consumer debt collection;
- suspend the filing of new consumer debt collections lawsuits and any pending consumer debt collection lawsuits;
- suspend any judicial and non-judicial enforcement of consumer debt collections.
Our coalition supports the goals of the statewide shelter in place order and related efforts to flatten the curve and slow transmission of COVID-19. However, we recognize that for many low-income and middle-class households, this measure comes with a significant cost in lost wages, and diminished access to legal resources. Meanwhile, early signs are that collection efforts have not slowed. In order to protect Californians and help ensure the success of prevention efforts, a moratorium on consumer debt collection is a critical step—toward economic justice, and toward equitable public health and prevention efforts.
Read the Debt Collection Moratorium Letter.