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ICFE Provides Financial Education, Continuing Education Credits, CEUs, CEs, Free Credit Repair, Bankruptcy Education and Financial Planning for All Age Groups.

Certified Consumer "Debt Collection Compliance Specialist"
Accepted for 10 CEUs by the AFCPE

CCDCCS™ and DCCS™ are trademarks of the Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), San Diego, CA.


The ICFE's DCCS® comprehensive training and certification program is specifically developed for credit and debt counselors and credit industry professionals, who are dedicated to educating and assisting consumers, debtor clients, businesses.  The focus is on the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and how to help protect the general public with consumer debt collection compliance.

 Consumer Debt Collection by the Numbers

• 30 Million: approximate amount of American consumers currently subject to debt collection

• $1,500: average amount of debt subject to collection

• 4,500: approximate number of debt collection firms in the United States

• $12.2 billion: approximate amount of industry's annual receipts

• 63 percent: % of industry's annual receipts by firms that will be subject to CFPB supervision

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) assumes the oversight of the consumer debt collection industry on January 1, 2013.. The Federal Trade Commission will work under the CFPB to help with compliance and consumer education.  Abuses in the consumer debt collection industry are rampant. 

There are two issues that deal directly accounts receivable management (ARM) a/k/a debt collection, "Collection Practices” and "Collection debt dispute.” When combined, these two issues were the third most commonly cited by consumers in complaints.

The CPFB will be taking over the work of compiling and handling consumer complaints about debt collectors beginning in January 2013. Unlike the practice of the FTC, who has previously handled the complaints, ARM companies will be able to respond to the complaints and offer resolution.

® is trained to be an advocate for the consumer, both to help with complaints and also to resolve others issues connected to collections, i.e. negative credit reports and low credit scores.  Among the qualified professionals who benefit from the DCCS training are employed by a wide range of organizations including consumer credit and debt counseling organizations, credit unions and other financial institutions, student loan lenders, cooperative extension system, all branches of the military,  mortgage, real estate, and financial services firms; law enforcement, and other government agencies. Many others are private practitioners including notary public, attorneys, security consultants, CPAs, CFPs, and consumer educators.


                                                   What are the DCCS® course learning goals and objectives?

1. Identify key components of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act - FDCP.

2. List common collection terms and define key differences.

3. Identify collection information in credit reports.

4. Locate and verify collection information in credit reports. and identify methods for credit file correction of mistakes.

5. Identify methods of access to credit reports, free and otherwise.

6. Review a credit report for mistakes and missing information.

7. How to report inaccurate information on a report to CRAs.

8. List the CFPB rules for debt collection Practices.

9. Recognize the impact of consumer behavior on collections.

10. Identify methods consumers can use to combat abusive collection agents and firms.

11. Recognize privacy laws and their impact on credit lenders and borrowers.

12. Identify potential identity theft using a credit report and information provided in a credit application.

13. Review the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission Resources for consumers.

14. Communicate key components of credit reports to consumers.

15. How to use the legal system to effect changes on a debt collection firm.


The growth of the consumer credit has been explosive.  Americans are still getting all charged-up with their plastic and far too many of them have fallen behind and now find themselves the target of aggressive debt collections.  ICFE Certified Consumer Debt Collection Compliance Specialists (DCCSs®) have learned the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the FTC staff commentary and applications of the statute, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA).  They have learned what a debt collector is, what collectors are and are not covered by the FDCPA.  Also included are the most common debt collector violations of the FDCPA. How to advocate for the consumer debtor.  Being in a consumer debtor in collections has consequences like negative credit reports and low credit scores.  The DCCS® program also includes how to read and understand credit reports.  They have also learned about the steps to take to guard against credit and identity theft, an important new aspect of disputed debt among a growing number of consumers.  Another important aspect in the training is about credit scoring; how to both maintain and increasing them, which often results in lower credit costs.

More people are now becoming aware of the importance of looking at their credit files, especially because of recent headline news stories about the rapid increase of crime in these areas. 

Studies have also shown that credit history is a powerful predictor of future auto insurance losses. Many insurance companies consider certain credit characteristics in addition to many other factors when determining an individual's rate.

ICFE CCRRs® provide a valuable service by helping to educate their individual clients and small business owners on the importance of maintaining a good rating, high credit scores and protect their personal information from criminals.

The DCCS® program is accepted for 5 CEUs by the AFCPE.

Third party debt collectors are professionally trained.  The DCCS® course reviews some of the collector training courses and points out their focus = collect more money.  Consumer advocates, properly trained are much needed and desperately lacking. Those who take this training course who become a consumer debt collection compliance specialist will enhance their value to their employer or clients..  Every counseling agency and counselor will want to have consumer debt collection compliance specialists on staff and on their personal resumes.

Here is what's included in the ICFE DCCS® enrollment package: 
(1ea) ICFE Certified Consumer DCCS® Independent Study Guide  - FDCPA-FCRA-FACTA

ICFE DCCS®  Independent Study Guide Table of Contents
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to oversee debt collectors                        
Collection agencies and junk debt buyers - Mini-Miranda                        
What to do if a debtor is contacted about past debts                                      
Sample cease and desist letter                                                                     
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Summary from the CFPB                        
Debt that is covered                                                                                
Debt Collectors that are covered                                                              
Debt Collectors that are NOT covered                                                     
Debt Collection for Active and Veteran Military Personnel                                 
Communications connected with debt collection                                             
When, where and with who communications is permitted                               
Ceasing Communication with the consumer                                               
Communicating with third parties                                                                    
Validation of debts                                                                                            
Prohibited Practices:  Harassing or abusive Practices                                                      
False or misleading representations                                                                 
Unfair Practices                                                                                            
Multiple debts                                                                                    
Legal Actions by debt collectors                                                                     
Furnishing certain deceptive forms                                                                  
Civil liability                                                                                                   
CFPB/FTC staff's commentary on the FDCPA                                                      
Common debt collector violations                                                                       
How to document a collector's abusive behavior                                                 
What to do if a collector breaks the law                                                             
How collectors are trained - examples of collector training courses                      
FDCPA Sample Exam from ACA for Collectors                                                
How collectors are using Social Medias in collections                                         
Dealing with creditors and third party collectors                                                                    
Other factors for a debtor in collection:  Credit reports and scores                                   
Reviewing credit reports with debtors- Permissible uses                                      
Rules about credit decisions and notices                                                             
Debtor education about credit reports and FICO scores                                     
Specialty Report Providers                                                                                
Rules to protect consumers in credit card debt                                                    
How to read and understand credit reports                                                         
How to make changes or dispute accuracy                                                                    
Freezing Credit Files                                                                                         
FCRA/FACTA Provisions of ID Theft victims                                                   
How credit scoring works                                                                                 
The Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act Credit Rules                         
CFPB rules establish strong protections for homeowners facing foreclosure                                      
Other Resources   


Other course components:

DCCS® 100 Question Examination/Answer Sheet - FDCPA-FCRA-FACTA
100 question exam - 80 correct answers required 


IC Personalized ICFE Certificate with ICFE Seal: Certified Consumer "Debt Collection Compliance Specialist" - DCCS®


Added Benefit: Be listed in the ICFE's online Directory of DCCS® and other certificants.

ICFE eNEWS and regular email updates

                 Special Pricing!  
Multiple Enrollment Savings of $25 each. (2 or more enrollments at same time)

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ICFE Provides Financial Education, Continuing Education Credits, CEUs, CEs, Free Credit Repair, Bankruptcy Education and Financial Planning for All Age Groups.

Why Become a Certified Consumer DCCS®?

Here's some of the reasons why people are becoming an ICFE Certified
Debt Collection Compliance Specialists

· Becoming Certified by the ICFE makes a difference to your clients, your company and yourself
and is a manifestation of your commitment to high standards of professionalism aimed at
your employer, your colleagues, your clients and the general public.

· Demonstrate your professional qualifications.
· Enhance your experience in the field and promote your professional value.
Learn critical elements of the FDCPA, FCRA and FACTA Laws.
Stay current with the FDCPA, FCRA and FACTA laws along with other financial education trends.·

Fulfill continuing education (CEU) requirements.

Association For Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE.org)  10 CEUs.

· NEW:  Extra Benefit: Earn a listing in the ICFE's online International  Directory of  Certificants

ICFE Provides Financial Education, Continuing Education Credits, CEUs, CEs, Free Credit Repair, Bankruptcy Education and Financial Planning for All Age Groups.


Course Collateral:


Independent Study Guide


Independent Study Exam


Certificate of Achievement



Code of Ethics for ICFE Certificants Code of Ethics for ICFE Certificants

ICFE Provides Financial Education, Continuing Education Credits, CEUs, CEs, Free Credit Repair, Bankruptcy Education and Financial Planning for All Age Groups.

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Immediately order your own credit reports.
In about a week, you will receive your ICFE Independent Study Guide
for your
DCCS® Certification, the Examination
Complete at your own pace, using your credit reports as you progress.
To Order Financial Education Books, DVDs, and Software:
Click Here for Order Options (Online, Fax, Phone)
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call (619) 239-1401 Mon - Fri 9am to 6pm fax 619-923-3284 OR send check or money order to:
Institute of Consumer Financial Education
P.O. Box WWW-34070
San Diego, CA 92163-4070
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Note: The Institute of Consumer Financial Education does not make names available to third parties
                Some facts and statistics about third party debt collections from the American Collectors Association:


  • In 2010, agencies recovered nearly $54.9 billion in total debt, on which they earned $10.3 billion in commissions. Removing commission amounts from the total debt recovered leaves more than $44.6 billion in debt that agencies returned on a commission basis to creditors and the U.S. economy. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)

  • The collection industry saved the average American household $396 in 2010. This amount represents dollars households would have spent if businesses were forced to raise prices to cover bad debt. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)

  • U.S. collection agencies directly employ approximately 148,300 people in debt collection agencies and support the indirect and induced employment of more than 153,300 individuals in industries that sell goods and services to debt collection agencies and their employees. Considering both the direct and indirect economic impacts of the debt collection industry, the total employment impact on the U.S. is nearly 302,000 jobs with a total payroll impact of $10.1 billion. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)

  • Counting third-party collectors and creditors' in-house collectors together, the accounts receivable management industry is expected to add 19 percent to staffing rolls between 2006 and 2018. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 edition.)

  • In 2010, collection agencies had a payroll that included nearly $5.0 billion of direct wage and salary payments to employees of collection agencies as well as $5.1 billion of indirect income paid to employees of businesses in other industries. Combined, these income impacts total $10.1 billion. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)

  • Third-party debt collection agencies made a total of $85 million in charitable contributions in 2011, and industry employees spent approximately 652,000 hours at company-sponsored volunteer activities. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)

  • U.S. debt collection agencies were estimated to directly create $495 million of federal tax, $289 million of state tax and $221 million of local tax, for a combined tax impact of more than $1 billion. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)

  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the primary federal law regulating third-party collection agencies, was enacted in 1977 with the support of ACA to protect consumers from unfair and abusive collection Practices. (Source: A Guide to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.)

  • Female collectors outnumber males nearly two-to-one. (Source: 2008 Benchmarking & Agency Operations Survey, ACA International, January 2008.)

  • Annual compensation (including base salary and commissions) for an entry-level, full-time collector on average ranges between $19,000 and $29,100.


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Phone (619) 239-1401 Mon - Fri 9am to 6pm

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