Leading Print & Mail Vendors Join Forces to Support the Accounts Receivables Management Industry
Banding Together to File an Amicus Brief in the Wake of The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision

April 29, 2021 – Following the 11th Circuit’s decision in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management
Services, Inc., a group of accounts receivable management (ARM) vendors quickly convened and formed
a Print & Mail Coalition (the “Coalition”) to ensure alignment and a unified response to this significant
industry ruling. This is the first time that these individual firms have joined together, acting not as
individual firms or competitors, but as a powerful, collective force to promote a positive result for the
overall ARM industry. The Coalition is currently working together to analyze the case, digest its potential
impact, and determine effective strategies to help all clients adapt their business practices, as needed.

The Coalition supports the defendant’s request for a rehearing. To that end, the Coalition, with the
assistance of well-known industry defense and compliance attorneys, intend to offer a strong legal
response. The collective response will be documented in an amicus brief that will be presented to the
court in support of a request for a rehearing. The group meets regularly to make certain its reasoning is
accurate, effective, and aligned with the arguments of the defendant, the relevant trade associations, and
the industry at large. Importantly, the Coalition is advocating for the print and mail industry and the clients
it serves.

The Coalition is in direct communication with ACA International (ACA), the Receivables Management
Association International (RMAI), and The iA Institute’s Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC). The goal is
to ensure that Coalition efforts and positions are operationally and legally consistent with those held by
these industry associations and their collective memberships.

The individual Coalition firms have been supporting their clients’ business objectives for years. While the
firms often compete for business, they are united in supporting this critical effort as one voice. Although
this case presents challenges, the Coalition expects to meet those challenges alongside their clients and
as a partner to their success. The Coalition believes the ARM industry plays a critical role in the American
economy and will remain unified and committed to legal and operational solutions that simultaneously
promote business efficiencies and consumer protection.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #7

Monday, March 30, 2020

Dear Valued Client, As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, CompuMail remains committed to serving you reliably, safely and compliantly.  Like you, we’ve been closely monitoring the rapidly changing developments pertaining to the Accounts Receivable industry caused by this pandemic.  Please read our latest update below.

Meeting Your Business Needs

  • As of today, there are no known cases of COVID-19 among CompuMail employees, and there are no current issues to report at our Concord, CA facility. CompuMail remains open and is continuing with production operations.
  • We at CompuMail are remaining focused on the impact COVID-19 has had on our clients, staff, and the community. We share the concerns pertaining to reduction in collection activity across the nation.  We have both downward mail volumes, and increased mail volumes with certain states blocking calls. As we continue to monitor this situation, we are requesting feedback from you, our valued clients.  If you anticipate any changes in your regular volume over the next 30-90 days, please let us know here.

Industry News

During these turbulent times, there’s a lot of news being shared on multiple platforms. It’s not always easy to discern opinion from fact.  With this in mind, CompuMail will continue to send industry updates and resources weekly.  Please note, CompuMail is not a legal firm and as such cannot advise.  The below information and updates are shared daily on The ACA’s Daily Huddle. There has been a flurry of state activity over the weekend and today, Monday, March 30, 2020.

  • 15 states that have requested a major disaster declaration
  • 13 of these requests have been approved
  • 23 state legislators have adjourned due to COVID-19
    • MN: Debt collection professionals are not considered essential
    • NC: New order for collectors collecting in NC must offer deferred payment options
    • KS: Issued a new stay at home order.  Essential functions include those that provided consumer and commercial banking services, funding and liquidity services, payment services, medical and healthcare services.  Vague, so agencies should confirm with counsel.
    • MD: Issued a stay at home order, just announced this morning (3/30).  No details to report just yet.

*Source: ACA International   Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT) This act was passed this past Friday (3/27). The final agreement does not include the harmful directives to the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry that would have crushed businesses and their ability to operate. There are also several provisions aimed at helping small businesses, including $350 billion in aid and support for the community financial institutions and hospitals that ACA International members serve.

The United States Postal Service

The USPS is continuing operations and is committed to being a source of consistency and reliability for your business throughout this national emergency.  Please read the latest full letter from USPS Postmaster General here. The letter covers measures taken to:

  • Keep USPS employees safe
  • Keep customers safe
  • Ensure network integrity and continuity of operations
  • Minimize business impacts
  • Maintaining an open channel for communications

Resources

It’s easy to experience information overload with each breaking headline. We recommend the following reliable sources of information that are advocating for the Accounts Receivable industry in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

  • ACA International – ACA News Covid-19 Updates: Here you will find information including state compliance, federal advocacy and ACA online education relating to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Daily Huddle Webinar:  Join ACA’s advocacy team for a short webinar series focused on daily updates regarding COVID-19 at 11 AM CST on weekdays.
  • You can email the Small Business Administration (SBA) with questions unique to your business at DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.
  • IRS Guidance on payroll tax credits can be found in the IRS’s Bulletin 2020-57, which is downloadable here.

CompuMail remains fully committed to delivering the services you depend on us for, especially in these challenging times.  We stand in solidarity with everyone affected by this pandemic and will continue to keep you updated on all fronts.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Kaster

EVP, Chief Sales Officer

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #6 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Dear, Valued CompuMail Client:

Please review the below statement from the USPS on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), or download the official copy here.  As we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to provide industry-related status updates to you.  

March 22, 2020

To Whom It May Concern,

This letter is to provide information regarding the functions being performed by the mailing and printing industry in support of the essential government services being provided by the United States Postal Service to the American people. The Postal Service’s provision of postal services throughout the United States is not affected by State and local government actions that are restricting commercial and personal activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Postal Service is an entity of the Federal Government, and the provision of postal services to the American people is designated as an essential function under federal law during times of emergency. The postal system is used to deliver, among other things, important governmental information and benefits, mail that is essential to the functioning of our economy, elections materials, and packages containing vital necessities, including medicines and other goods, and is a part of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Postal and shipping workers, including those in the private sector, are also considered essential critical infrastructure workers under recent guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security.  White House and CDC guidance has also stated that such industries have a special responsibility to  maintain normal work schedules.

The functioning of the postal system depends critically on the mailing and printing industry. Members of the mailing and printing industry work with the public and private sector to create, print, and enter essential mail into the postal system. The industry also serves a vital role in ensuring that packages are able to be efficiently shipped from sender to recipient.

Therefore, the Postal Service considers that the continued operations of the mailing and printing industry in enabling the delivery of critical mail and packages is vital to the Postal Service’s continued performance of its essential functions. –USPS

We encourage you to continue checking our company website for the most recent communications as well (http://www.compumailinc.com/covid-19-update/). We hope this email finds you doing well.  Our commitment to you during this time remains as strong as ever. 

Warmest Regards,

Andrew Morrell

President & Chief Operating Officer

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #5 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Dear, Valued CompuMail Client:

As of Thursday, March 19, 2020, an Order has come down from the Govenor of California directing all individuals living in the state to shelter at their place of residence.  Within this Order are clearly outlined exemptions based on the definition of a company’s “essential business.” 

 While CompuMail’s facility is located in the state of California, under Paragraph 10.f(x), it’s noted that businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes, are exempt from this mandated Order.

 At this time, CompuMail plans to remain open and continue with production operations at our Concord, CA Headquarters.

 The safety, health, and well-being of our employees is paramount, but CompuMail is prepared to do all that we can to service our Clients in a reliable, compliant, and prudent manner.

CompuMail would also like to share the most recent communication from the USPS regarding an update on their Continuity of Operations: The Postal Service has developed localized continuity of operations plans that are employed in the case of emergencies to help ensure that the nation’s postal system continues to function for the American people.  With a longstanding history of quickly adapting its operational plans to changing conditions, the Postal Service maintains steady communications with mailers during natural disasters or other events that require emergency responses and advises residential customers, business mailers, and international mailers with regard to postal facility disruptions that may impact delivery in an affected area via its USPS Service Alerts webpage at: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/   In the event they are required, the activation of localized continuity of operations plans depends on the specific effects of an emergency in an impacted area. Due to the variance in possibilities and factors, it would be impossible to predict what the effect of such emergencies would be on a specific customers’ mailing prior to the event, but the planning enables us to continue or quickly reestablish mail operations in regions facing the impact of strong hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, etc., and they have been prepared to respond to pandemic-related circumstances as well.  As a result, we recommend that customers refer to USPS Service Alerts for service-disruption updates. Another key component of our communications portion of USPS contingency plans remains the Industry Alert.   For those business mailers who utilize the Business Service Network (BSN), we encourage them to continue to maintain the line of communication with their representative on changes to the postal system.  If a customer or mailing partner needs to shut down its operations due to the current situation, they should contact their BSN contact, Sales contact, or their local Business Mail Entry contact to discuss their plans.  These local contacts will notify the Districts, Area, and Headquarters of any needed assistance or broader impacts.   The Postal Service continues to use its existing processes for many of the more common impacts customers are concerned about.  Some questions that have been raised are:

  • How is USPS handling mail for closed businesses? Mail on the delivery route is returned to the Delivery unit and will be held for 10 days under current policies.  Customers can request a temporary hold for their mail up to 30 days.  Caller Box customers should contact their local office to discuss how they will be handling the pickup of this volume.  Any high volume customer will be contacted to discuss pickup options as well. 
  • How is USPS delivering mail under shelter in place declarations? The Postal Service is classified as an essential government service operation, which allows us to continue operations.
  • How safe is the mail and mail transport equipment? Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance continues to indicate there is no evidence the virus is spreading through the mail. According to WHO, the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, and the risk of catching the virus from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low.  This guidance remains true for mail transport equipment.
  • Is the USPS experiencing capacity issues due to reduced airline routes? There are no domestic air capacity issues at this time.  The Postal Service continues to work with International air carriers and contract air carriers to keep mail moving. 

Industry and commercial customers can email questions or concerns about COVID-19 and the mail to industryfeedback@usps.gov with COVID-19 in the subject line.  Mailers can also sign up for Industry Alerts at industryalert@usps.gov. For more information, see the USPS Coronavirus Statement at about.usps.com/newsroom. We’ll continue to send updates as circumstances unfold, and we encourage you to continue checking our company website for the most recent communications as well (http://www.compumailinc.com/covid-19-update/).

 Sincerely,

Stephanie Kaster

EVP, Chief Sales Officer

Sincerely,

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #4 – USPS Statement on Coronavirus

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Please find below and the attached link regarding today’s USPS statement regarding the COVID-19 virus.

The United States Postal Service is closely monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation and continues to follow strategies and measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health departments. The CDC has information available on its website at https://www.coronavirus.gov that provides the latest information about COVID-19. We are sharing the CDC’s guidance to our employees via stand-up talks, employee news articles, messages on bulletin boards, videos and an intranet site within USPS workplaces.

The CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html), the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses), and the Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.

The Postal Service has so far experienced only minor operational impacts in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We do continue to have a temporary suspension of the guarantee on Priority Mail Express International destined for China and Hong Kong, which has been effective since Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, due to widespread airline cancellations and restrictions into this area. In addition, customers may see delays in mail and packages destined to China as well as from China, as well as to and from European countries subject to restricted passenger airline travel. The Postal Service is undertaking all reasonable measures to minimize the impact to our customers.

In addition, the Postal Service is an essential service for purposes of its compliance with state or municipality shelter-in-place orders or other social distancing restrictions. The Postal Service delivers medications, social security checks, and is the leading delivery service for on-line purchases. The statute that created the Postal Service begins with the following sentence. “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by an Act of Congress, and supported by the people.” 39 U.S.C. §101(a).

Background info: According to The World Health Organization, “the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.” And according to the CDC, “in general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.”

https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/usps-statement-on-coronavirus.htm

Thank you,

Andrew Morrell

President/COO

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #3

Monday, March 16, 2020

Dear, Valued CompuMail Client:

As of March 16, 2020, an Order has come down from the Health Officer of Contra Costa County in California directing all individuals living in the county to shelter at their place of residence.  Within this Order are clearly outlined exemptions based on the definition of a company’s “essential business.”

While CompuMail’s facility is located in Contra Costa County, under Paragraph 10.f(x), it’s noted that businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes, are exempt from this mandated Order.

At this time, CompuMail plans to remain open and continue with production operations at our Concord, CA Headquarters.

The safety, health, and well-being of our employees is paramount, but CompuMail is prepared to do all that we can to service our Clients in a reliable, compliant, and prudent manner.

We’ll continue to send updates as circumstances unfold, and we encourage you to check our company website for the most recent communications as well (http://www.compumailinc.com/covid-19-update/).

Thank you all for your trust and partnership during this time.  We are in this together.

Warmest regards,

Andrew Morrell

President & Chief Operating Officer

 

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #2

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear, Valued CompuMail Client:

We wanted to share a second update as events continue to unfold nationally and globally.  At this time, CompuMail’s staff and business operations remain unaffected and uninterrupted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We recognize the importance of continuing to serve you reliably, safely, and compliantly during this Coronavirus pandemic.  We are closely monitoring the circumstances through the CDC, other health outlets, and federal and local municipalities.

Since our last communication to you on 3/5/2020, we have held several Executive and Management meetings to review our awareness and preparedness.  We have also sent multiple emails to all CompuMail employees, keeping them abreast of the situation, CompuMail’s status, and sharing preventative tips.

In addition to our formal all-staff memos and department meetings, CompuMail is taking the following steps:

  • Production shift awareness meetings are being held.  Discussion points include current crisis updates, reassurance that CompuMail’s primary focus is on the wellbeing of our associates, preventive hygiene expectation, and a reminder to refrain from coming to work if anyone is exhibiting symptoms.
  • We have instated accelerated janitorial practices including but not limited to: mandating latex gloves for janitorial personal, preventive counter surface cleaning, wiping down door handles, and placement of Clorox disinfectant wipes in restrooms and communal coffee service areas
  • Ongoing status meetings are being held with our service providers.
  • We have suspended all non-essential business travel.
  • We are encouraging voluntary quarantine for employees who believe they are at risk and/or report or show signs of symptoms related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • We continue to provide guidance and ongoing communication within our organization on precautionary measures to minimize disease spread both at home and at work.

We would also like to share a few relevant links from the USPS and Fox News regarding the safety of receiving mail and packages.

https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/

https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/usps-statement-on-coronavirus.htm

https://www.fox29.com/news/can-coronavirus-spread-from-mail-or-packages-no-health-experts-say

CompuMail will continue to update you on our status and will alert you right away should our business operations and functionality change.

Sincerely,

Alissa Banks

Compliance Officer, CCCO

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #1 

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Dear CompuMail Employees and Clients,

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) has been challenging for us all. There is an understandable level of concern in our country and indeed across the world. I want to assure you that anxiety and feelings of unease are normal when inundated with stories of new infections and death tolls.

CompuMail continues to take appropriate actions related to the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus, which was first detected in China and is now present in a number of countries, including the United States, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This communication is intended to provide information about COVID-19, precautions that are being taken and prevention measures you can take, as well as information on the effects of measures various governments are taking to stem the outbreak.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the risk to the American public of becoming infected with this novel coronavirus is currently low. Because this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, including any changes in the risk assessment.

Staying healthy

The best strategies for prevention are some commonsense measures from the CDC and Department of Health, including:

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, eating healthy foods and managing your stress can help you prevent getting COVID-19 and recover from it if you do.

If you are sick

First, it’s important to emphasize that so far the vast majority of people who have become ill with COVID-19 have experienced relatively mild symptoms, such as fever and cough. If you are sick, you should take steps you normally would when sick, including focusing on caring for your health, not coming into work and contacting a health-care provider, if you feel you need to. CompuMail’s Executive team is working together to ensure that if you miss work due to illness or choosing to self-isolate, accommodations will be made just as they would if you were experiencing any other health issue. No doctor’s note is needed.

Operations and contingency planning

As we continue to monitor the events associated with COVID-19, we are developing a broader plan to account for a variety of scenarios. For example, in the event business operations are suspended, CompuMail will activate the Emergency Management Team (EMT), and ensure that appropriate measures are in place to operate at full capacity.

Continued monitoring

CompuMail is monitoring the outbreak in coordination with state and local health departments. As of the date of this notice, no members of the CompuMail community have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. This is an evolving situation, and updates are available from  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including updated Travel Notices for countries with community transmission. This message is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.

Please know that all of us at CompuMail share in your concerns about the health and well-being of all of our community. We will continue doing everything we can to share these messages with you, and encourage parents and families to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) often.

Working together — with empathy, humanity and support for one another — will help our entire team stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Kaster

EVP, Chief Sales Officer