NORTHBROOK, IL – The accounts receivable management (ARM) industry is surrounded by incredible trade organizations. The Receivables Management Association International (RMAI), ACA International, and hundreds of industry collaborations make up a social network that ties together one of the most heavily litigated, regulated, and discussed industries of the financial system.
RMAI, one of the most recognizable names in the ARM industry, began their certification program in 2013 as an effort to not only curb the negative impact that collections have in the public but also provide an avenue for organizations to willingly enhance their internal security and protocols. The value comes from RMAI’s ability to rigorously test an organization’s ability to provide industry-best consumer-centric business practices. As an RMAI member since 1998, The Bureaus has championed the organization and their certification program from the beginning.
Founded in 1997, RMAI is a nonprofit trade association that represents the interests of more than 590 businesses that support the purchase, sale, and collection of performing and non-performing receivables on the secondary market. After the turn of the Great Recession, with consumer debt at an all-time high, collections, even done by reputable and respected organizations, became a media and public target.
RMAI’s Receivables Management Certification Program (RMCP) “sets the global standard” within the receivables industry by providing enhanced operational controls and consumer protections through rigorous and uniform industry standards of best practice. 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.”
RMAI’s certification program has requirements that go above and beyond those required by law, as the program certifies collection agencies, debt buying companies, collection law firms, vendors, and brokers. As of 2022, over 450 certifications have been authorized.
RMAI has three separate certification programs, all with their own benefits for the collection agency. For individuals, RMAI has a pathway for the Certified Receivables Compliance Professional (CRCP) Certification. For businesses, there are the Certified Receivables Business (CRB) and Certified Receivables Vendor (CRV) certifications. For both pathways, RMAI certifies the party through four distinct compliance audits to ensure multiple and varied opportunities exist to verify above-and-beyond compliance.
RMAI’s complex audit system for business certification ensures that each consumer-facing process in the organization is meeting, exceeding, and sometimes setting-the-bar-for industry standards. The audit system has led to a demonstrably lower level of complaints and litigation efforts against the collection agencies.
The Four Audits
- Full Compliance Audit – Performed by an independent third-party auditor at the mid-point of each three-year certification cycle.
- Limited Compliance Audit – Performed by an independent third-party auditor in response to specific and credible third-party allegations of non-conformity. A Limited Compliance Audit can be performed at any time at the direction of the Certification Audit Committee.
- Pre-Certification Audit – Performed by an independent third-party auditor on vendors prior to the initial application. The audit is required to be submitted with their application for certification.
- Self-Compliance Audit – Performed prior to the initial application and every three (3) years thereafter when reapplying for certification. The self-compliance audit must be attested to in the application and will be subject to independent third-party audit verification.
Because of this system, RMAI has found that RMAI certification has led to 20.8% decreased consumer litigation within a seven year span after becoming certified, and only 1 out of every 5,000 accounts in collections by an RMAI certified business have received a CFPB complaint, dispute, or inquiry.
These results, coupled with the many measures RMAI has studied as a result of the certification program, have led to the increased volume of organizations seeking to become RMAI certified as a way to demonstrate the desire to help consumers. The Bureaus became RMAI certified the year it was offered and has continuously strived to provide feedback and accurate statistics that champion the certification efforts. The Bureaus mission is to be the leader in the recovery of accounts receivable while providing unparalleled service to our clients and a rewarding environment for our staff. RMAI helps us accomplish this achievable mission through its certification program.
Learn More Online
Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) is a nonprofit trade association representing more than 590 businesses that support the purchase, sale, and collection of performing and nonperforming receivables on the secondary market. The RMAI Receivables Management Certification Program and Code of Ethics set the global standard within the receivables industry due to the rigorous uniform standards of best practice which focus on protecting consumers. More information about RMAI is available at www.rmaintl.org.
About The Bureaus, Inc.
The Bureaus, Inc. is a master servicer for accounts receivable portfolios and a Certified Receivables Business (CRB) by the Receivables Management Association International. Using cutting-edge technology, internally developed proprietary tools, and the vast expertise of its management team, we combine technological strategies with data mining capabilities to identify opportunities not usually found by other asset management firms. The Bureaus was founded in 1928 and is located in Northbrook, Illinois.