The Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) today announced the addition of a new member company, FMA Alliance, Ltd.

The CRC is a membership group for larger market participants in the debt collection industry (defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as those firms with $10M or more in annual revenue from collection activity). The fundamental mission of the CRC is to approach industry and regulatory change by building relationships and engaging in meaningful dialogue with consumer advocacy groups and regulators.

Over the past 16+ months, CRC members have been meeting repeatedly with consumer groups and discussing the details of the thorniest issues raised in the CFPB’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – and offering regulators the benefit of hearing the back and forth dialogue in real time.

The CRC has also begun to engage with consumer groups to support their mission of financial education. In October 2014, the CRC was a significant sponsor of Consumer Action’s annual awards event, and the two organizations are currently exploring additional ways to collaborate.

Rob Meck, CRC Steering Committee member, and CEO of Premiere Credit, offered “Our participation in the CRC has been valuable on many levels but most importantly in ensuring regulators and consumer groups understand there is a group of collection agencies that embrace compliant and consumer-focused policies and philosophies.”

In recent months, the group has also begun to expand its brand of open, in-depth dialogue to creditors. Stephanie Eidelman, CEO of The iA Institute, which manages the CRC, said “The CFPB has signaled in a variety of ways that they want to see creditors and 3rd party collectors following the same rules. We don’t yet know exactly what that will look like, but the benefits of creditors and collectors working together to create a less frustrating experience for consumers are crystal clear.”

Mike Janakes, President of new member FMA Alliance, commented “The CRC quickly gained influence by seeking middle ground, and promoting cooperation with consumer groups and regulators alike. This unique yet common sense approach is representative of FMA’s core values, and we are excited to join a group that can affect such significant progress.”

Next Article: CFPB Takes Action to Shut Down Sham ...