Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions2021-01-23T15:22:54-08:00
Are there examples of how to respond to a debt collector in writing?2021-01-12T09:24:51-08:00

The CFPB has prepared sample letters you can use to respond to a debt collector who is trying to collect a debt from the wrong person, as well as tips on how to use them. The sample letters may help you to get information, set ground rules about any further communication, or protect some of your rights. Once a debt collector receives your letter, he or she may not contact you again except to:

  • Tell you there will be no further contact
  • Advise you that it or the creditor may take other specific actions it is legally allowed to take, such as a lawsuit against you

You can also tell the debt collector that you do not believe the debt is yours. If you have evidence that the debt isn’t yours, you might choose to send copies of relevant information with the letter.

Keep a copy of your letter

Send the letter by certified mail and purchase a return receipt so you have proof it was received (keep this in your records, too). You may also send the letter by fax, just be sure to keep a copy of the fax receipt.

When can a debt collector contact me?2021-01-11T12:52:49-08:00

Debt collectors cannot call you at times they know are inconvenient, such as before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you specifically agree to it. If a debt collector knows you are not allowed to receive the calls at work, then the debt collector is not allowed to call you there. Debt collectors may not harass you or anyone else over the phone or through any other form of contact.

What constitutes harassment by a debt collector?2020-10-26T04:54:18-07:00

The FDCPA says debt collectors can’t harass, oppress, or abuse you or anyone else they contact. Some examples of harassment are:

  • Repetitious phone calls intended to annoy, abuse, or harass any person answering the phone
  • Obscene or profane language
  • Threats of violence or harm
  • Publishing lists of people who refuse to pay their debts (this does not include reporting information to a credit reporting company)
  • Calling you without telling you who they are
How do you know if your debt collector is legitimate?2022-08-24T08:23:50-07:00

If you think that a caller may be a fake debt collector, follow these steps:

  • Ask the caller for his or her name, company, street address, telephone number, and professional license number (or as much information as possible). Many states, but not all states, require debt collectors to be licensed. Check the information the caller provides you with state officials, or the state in which the debt collector holds a license. If the caller refuses or is unable to provide you with information about his company, or if you can’t verify the information he provides, do not give money to the caller or company.
  • Check if the company is RMAI Certified. If a company is listed as RMAI Certified, the debt collector is legitimate. However, there are legitimate debt collectors who have yet to become RMAI Certified.
  • Tell the caller that you will not discuss any debt until you get a written “validation notice.” This notice must include:
    • The amount of the debt
    • The name of the creditor you owe
    • A description of certain rights under the federal FDCPA

If a caller refuses to give you a validation notice, consider requesting this information in writing or seeking assistance before paying the debt to make sure the debt and the company are valid.

If you’re having trouble with debt collection, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-2372.

How Do I Submit News to RMAI?2020-10-25T20:14:24-07:00

Email news and press releases to our Communications Manager at

Why Become a Member of RMAI?2022-03-02T11:43:03-08:00

Why join? Here’s what current members have to say:

“The fact that RMAI comprises debt buyers, brokers, sellers, vendors, agencies, law firms, and service providers really makes for a comprehensive, productive marketplace.”

Todd Lansky, CRCP, Resurgence Capital, LLC

“Networking opportunities have allowed me to expand my business and, more importantly, develop bonds that transcend a mere business relationship.”

– Steven Cohen, CRCP, Law Offices of Steven Cohen

“Membership in RMAI allows us to actively participate with lawmakers around the country to get our points of view heard.”

– Marian Sangalang, CRCP, The Bureaus, Inc.

“It is imperative that we join an organization that advocates for the companies in this industry to do business in a compliant manner. I want to be a part of an organization that keeps a pulse on all regulatory matters, holds us to the highest compliance standards, and puts our donations to work in a legislative advocacy fund. You should want to be part of that organization too.”

– Jeremiah Wheeler, Digital Recognition Network

What is the RMAI Certification Program?2022-08-24T08:25:42-07:00

RMAI’s Receivables Management Certification Program offers professional designations to businesses and individuals operating and employed within the accounts receivables industry. RMAI launched the Certification Program in 2013 with a stated mission to “provide enhanced consumer protections through rigorous and uniform industry standards of best practice.” Often cited as the “gold standard” due to requirements that go above and beyond what is required by law, the program certifies collection agencies, debt buying companies, collection law firms, brokers, and vendors. Click here.

What is RMAI’s commitment to advocacy?2022-08-23T12:36:56-07:00

RMAI serves as the voice of the accounts receivables managementindustry, representing members before federal and state policymakers and in the courts. Despite a clearly challenging landscape, RMAI has maintained an unparalleled level of success for:

  • Negotiating a positive outcome on bills that we negotiated at the state level
  • Engaging lobbyists in numerous states, including California, Connecticut, Oregon, Massachusetts, Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, amd Washington, to name a few
  • Maintaining a strong presence in Washington, D.C. and continuing to developing influential relationships with the CFPB, FTC and OCC
  • Consistently educating local, state and federal policymakers on the important and critical role the industry plays in the credit ecocycle

Click here.

What is Receivables Management Association International (RMAI)?2022-09-16T15:32:21-07:00

Receivables Management Association International is the nonprofit trade association that represents more than 590 companies that support the purchase, sale, and collection of performing and nonperforming receivables on the secondary market. RMAI member companies include debt buyers, collection agencies, law firms, originating creditors and industry-related product and service providers. RMAI provides its members with extensive networking, educational, and business development opportunities in asset classes that span numerous industries. The association publishes spring and fall publications, a monthly newsletter and member alerts and conducts robust state and federal advocacy efforts in support of RMAI members and their businesses.

Help for Consumers

It’s difficult to manage your money. Regardless of what you already know about money, there’s always more to learn, and there’s no time like the present.

Learn more about Managing Money & Debt

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Learn about what to do when contacted by a collector.

Learn how the various government laws and regulations protect you.

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