I used to teach in the city and middle school students have different circumstances worth listen to. Parents have 2-3 jobs and my students were responsible for chores once they get home, and/or may be in charge of siblings. I am very structured and disciplined when it comes to my work in the classroom but also willing to listen to what students have to say about homework. I would give them plenty of time to return it to me, whether in the classroom or through our online platform. I know also there were many irresponsible students that were unwilling to return homework; I set the rules, and would not call it it penalize students. If they choose to not return homework, then they face the consequences of their grade in my class, no judgement from me. If they come to me, or parents would come to ask the reasons for failing grade, well, the evidence is in their performance and lack of responsibility. But again for others, that come worried about doing homework and not being able to turn it in on time, I would listen and negotiate with them giving them full credit for it.