The Certification Council is proposing edits to the Receivables Management Certification Program (RMCP). The Council is required to perform a review of certification program standards at least annually to ensure the program reflects “evolving industry best practices, input from key stakeholders and communities of interest, areas of Council concern, and recent regulatory and statutory changes.”

The proposed changes to the Certification Governance Document have been posted on the RMA website.  RMA members are encouraged to review the changes and email any comments they have to cert@rmaintl.org no later than February 27, 2018.

Here is a summary of the major substantive changes contained in version 6.0:

  • Article 7.5 – Certification Period – Changes the certification period from 2 to 3 years so as to align with the existing 3 year audit period.
  • Article 7.11 – Probationary Conditions – Expands the potential period where probationary conditions can be applied to new certified companies from 2 to 3 years so as to align with the new certification period.
  • Article 8.4 – Full Compliance Audit of Certified Companies – Amends the audit timeline to require audits be performed midway through the 3 year certification period. It also increases the window of time that the audit may be performed from 4 to 5 months for greater company flexibility.
  • Appendix A – Standard # 2 (Errors & Omissions Insurance) – Adopts a new small business tier for E&O Insurance of $500,000 for those businesses that have less than $2 million in annual receipts resulting from consumer debt collection.
  • Appendix A – Standard # 18 (Natural Disasters) – Adopts a new Series A standard which indicates a certified company should refrain from initiating communications with consumers concerning the payment of a debt during, and in the days immediately following, a natural disaster in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated area or in an area that is subject to a state declared emergency.
  • Appendix A – Standard # 19(c) (Required Data & Documents) – Changes to a chart format for ease in readability. It also adopts data and documentation requirements when purchasing auto deficiencies and secured auto (takes effect August 1, 2018 and only applies prospectively).
  • Appendix A – Standard # 30 (Bonding) – Amends the bonding requirement for certified third party agencies to clarify that they are only required to meet the bonding requirements for the states where they perform collections.
  • Appendix B – Standard # 7 (Broker Agreements) – Amends the standard to permit receivables brokers to represent both the buyer and seller if they receive signed acknowledgement of the dual representation from both parties.
  • Appendix B – Standard # 10 (Misrepresentation of Accounts) – Revises the standard to state that a receivables broker shall not knowingly allow a seller to: (1) misrepresent accounts or (2) sell accounts where the broker knew or reasonably should have known the accounts had issues concerning title, accuracy or integrity of account information, fraud, or identity theft.
  • Appendix C – CERTIFICATION STANDARDS & TESTING MANUAL FOR CANADIAN CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL RECEIVABLES COMPANIES (CPRC) – The adoption of this new appendix allows RMA to begin certifying Canadian debt buying companies, collection agencies, and law firms based on the U.S. Standards that have been adjusted to conform to Canadian laws and regulations. All of the standards are substantively similar except for Standard # 1 which needed to be added due to the lack of a federal law in Canada similar to the FDCPA. Also removed from the Canadian standards was the U.S. standard that requires certified companies to be registered on the CFPB consumer portal.

When responding via email, please: (1) indicate “30-Day Comment” in the email subject line, (2) provide your name and company name in the body of the message, and (3) indicate the page and section number from the Certification Governance Document that your comment is referencing.

Based on comments received from this 30-day comment period, additional edits may be incorporated prior to final adoption.  If you have any questions, please contact RMA at (916) 482-2462.