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Louisiana Issues Another State of Emergency
Louisiana has issued a state of emergency due to yet another hurricane, Hurricane Delta ("We Love to Fly & It Shows").
The question comes again: Can 1st- and 3rd-party collection agencies make calls to Louisiana consumers?
Both 1st- and 3rd-party calls are permitted, per Louisiana law: In Louisiana, there is a statutory prohibition that prevents telephonic solicitors from engaging in telephonic solicitation “during a state of emergency as declared by the governor,” with some exceptions. La. R.S. § 45:844.31. These exceptions include, but are not limited to, calls made (1) in connection with an outstanding debt or contract, (2) in response to an express request of the person called, and (3) to any person with whom the telephonic solicitor has an existing business relationship. Unlike New York’s provision, Louisiana’s act is not limited to telephone calls but includes “any voice or data communication made by a telephonic solicitor.” Further, Louisiana’s prohibition is limited to calls made to a “residential telephonic subscriber.” However, the restrictions on telephonic solicitation have not yet been put into effect in response to the Coronavirus public health emergency.
I wrote at length about the confusion here: https://www.insidearm.com/newsletters/compliance-weekly-9-9-2020/
Our advice is: even though it's allowed, it's not a best practice to contact people in the middle of an emergency.
We Have Hospital Clients in Louisiana. What Do We Do?
I would absolutely recommend conferring with your hospital clients. Again, even if calling is allowed for debt collectors, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a great idea -- and hospitals often want to manage their image, especially during times like this.