Institute of Consumer
Financial Education
Institute of Consumer
Financial Education

Certified Consumer Debt Collections Compliance Specialist™

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Accepted for 10 CEs by the AFCPE
CCDCCS™ and DCCS™ are trademarks of the Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), San Diego, CA


ICFE 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

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.

The DCCS® 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.

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 10 CE's 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.

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.

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Here is what's included in the ICFE DCCS® enrollment package

DCCS Study Guide
(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

ICFE 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

Enrollment in ICFE CDCC® Program - $375.00

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

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Why Become a Certified Consumer DCCS®?

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

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, Videos & Tapes: Click Here for Order Options (Online, Fax, Phone)
California residents add 8.75% sales tax Visa, MasterCard or American Express Accepted
Call 619-239-1401 fax 619-923-3284 OR or send check or money order to:
Institute of Consumer Financial Education
P.O. Box WWW-34070
San Diego, CA 92163-4070
Printable Order Form
Note: The Institute of Consumer Financial Education does not make names available to third parties

Independent Study GuideIndependent Study GuideIndependent Study Guide

Some facts and statistics about third party debt collections from the American Collectors Association

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