[Image by creator  from ]

Return Policy

insideARM.com strives to provide compelling, informative, and useful products to the ARM industry. If you are unsatisfied with any product for any reason, you can return it for a full refund. Please contact orders@insideARM.com or call 240.499.3834.

About the insideARM.com Store

insideARM.com’s Store is one of the most trusted online bookstores for the ARM industry. From reports to tutorials to webinars, our products are designed specifically to put you ahead of the game and the regulators.

What to Expect

Once you've completed your purchase for a downloadable product, you can download it by:

  • Logging in to your account. From "My Account," go to the "My Downloadable Products" page to download your products.
  • In the order confirmation email you are sent the product listing will include a download link which you can also use to directly download your purchases.

Download a Complementary Sample of this Product

There is not a single method of communication between a debt collector and a consumer that isn't, in some way, regulated. 

Collection letters alone may or may not be a safe-harbor solution. It’s the method of communication most consumer advocates approve of. It’s also a method of communication that is less likely to lead to charges of abusive language. But there are still pitfalls that agencies need to be aware of, and this Operations Guide, developed from an insideOperations webinar produced by insideARM.com, will put you on solid ground.

This Operations Guide comes complete with a link to the full video recording of the webinar -- great for use for all-staff trainings and quarterly in-services -- as well as a Certificate of Completion. This is a great resource for tracking training, allowing regulators and clients to see your agency's commitment to continuing compliance and education!

Product: PDF Download, including link to webinar video and Certificate of Completion

Pages: 42 pp

Published: 18 November 2014

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The CFPB, the FDCPA, and Collection Letters
  3. § 803. Definitions [15 USC 1692a]
  4. § 804. Acquisition of location information [15 USC 1692b]
  5. § 807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1692e]
  6. § 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]
  7. Collection Letters: Best Business Practices
  8. Collection Letter Example 1
  9. Collection Letter Example 2
  10. Is there a recommended size for the font?
  11. Collection Letters: Ensuring Correct Delivery
  12. QR Codes?
  13. Secure Emails
  14. The Legal Landscape
  15. Douglass v. Convergent
  16. Other Cases to Consider
  17. Logos and Letterheads: Too Close to Call
  18. Interest and the Miller-McCalla Language
  19. Superfluous Disclosures: The Gonzales Case
  20. States that Require Disclosures
  21. Including License Numbers?
  22. Out of Stat Disclosures?
  23. Settlement Offers: The McMahon Case

This guide also contains the Q&A from the webinar:

  • Are there requirements in any jurisdiction, whether statutory or coming by way of judicial decision, requiring a third-party debt collector to inform the consumer that he/she will be required by the IRS to report the forgiven amount by virtue of filling out a 1099(c)?
  • Is it recommended to not use the business name in the return address field on the outside of the envelope?
  • Could you please address the current jurisdictional factions that have developed over the, quote, “in writing” requirement present in the validation notice requirement?
  • Can you cover if the rate of interest must be disclosed, and does it differ from state to state? Do you need to disclose and display any other added fees, and if the consumer has multiple accounts, must the letter break out the fees for each account?
  • What differences should be allowed between regular debt collection letters versus tort collection letters, such as in the case of subrogation? Specifically, should tort collection letters use the FDCPA Rosenthal Act debt verbiage on the back of them, or would it be misleading, as the tort is not a debt?
  • If an envelope can be manipulated by another to show an account number through a window or otherwise, is that a risk to the agency?
  • New York City requires that in any permitted communication with a consumer, that an agency provide a callback number to a phone that is answered by a natural person—we all remember that Carol King song—and the name of the person to call back. Does this mean that the phone number provided on a collection letter be answered by the name of the person provided?
  • Are you aware of any case law in regards to an attorney debt collector being sued for just sending out an initial demand letter?
  • Do any states restrict the use of a PO box address for a collection agency on a letter rather than an actual office/branch address?
  • A discussion regarding the initial requisite FDCPA notice using language advising the debtor that notwithstanding the 30-day period, suit may be filed within that period, especially from an attorney firm who only accepts cases for litigation


John Rossman is a shareholder and Chair of the Creditors' Remedies Practice Group at Moss & Barnett.  Mr. Rossman is authorized to practice in fourteen different courts and jurisdictions across the country and he defends FDCPA and related cases nationwide.  He is the co-host of the collection industry podcast The Debt Collection Drill  featured on InsideARM and is also a frequent writer and lecturer on debt collection issues.

Mike McDonnell has more than 15 years of business process outsourcing expertise, managing strategic relationships and applications in the Financial Services and ARM industries.  Through these applications, hundreds of millions of correspondences have been generated, collecting billions of dollars in receivables. McDonnell’s experience covers both third-party collection and first-party billing applications including traditional letters and statements as well as secure Internet-based presentment and payment applications. He has been an ACA Affiliate member since 1995 and currently serves on the ACA Council of Delegates.