ACA International, the association of credit and collection professionals, is a trade association representing the credit and collection industry. Association members include third-party debt collection agencies, attorneys, creditors, asset buyers and vendors. ACA itself does not collect debt and does not send out collection letters.
ACA International members have agreed to abide by the ACA Code of Conduct and have agreed that reports of noncompliance will be handled in accordance with the Ethics Committee Rules. The ACA International Ethics Committee was established by the ACA International Board of Directors to maintain responsibility for enforcing the Code and investigating reported noncompliance by ACA International Members.
Report a Member’s Code of Conduct Violation
The ACA Ethics Committee receives and reviews reports of Code of Conduct violations by Members. Please review this information carefully, as the process has changed as of March 18, 2014.
Please use the forms provided for submitting your Report: Word; Fillable PDF.
To best assist you, ACA requires the following information on your Report:
a. The name of the Member company which is the subject of your Report;
b. The street address, city, and state of the company;
c. The name of any individuals with whom you have interacted;
d. Any account identifier which will help the company research the Report;
e. Your street address, email address and a telephone number at which you may be reached;
f. A detailed factual description of the situation which is the subject of the Report;
g. A statement explaining which portion(s) of the Code of Conduct you believe have been violated by the company’s actions. A copy of the Code of Conduct is available here for conduct occurring on March 18, 2014 or later. For conduct occurring prior to March 18, 2014, please review the Code here.
h. Whether the conduct reported is currently the subject of a law enforcement, judicial or other civil proceeding;
i. A copy of any documents you wish to submit which you believe support a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred;
j. If your Report concerns a past, current or potential business relationship with an ACA Member please indicate in your Report if and how the company’s conduct has resulted in harm and a description of any steps you have or the company has taken to resolve the harm, if known. (Explanatory note: a reporter may (1) have knowledge of some wrongdoing in violation of the Code even though the wrongdoing has not resulted in an actual harm, or the reporter may describe that the wrongdoing has resulted in a (2) harm to itself or (3) harm to another. ACA will review each type of report).
Partial or Missing Information
Please note this information will be provided to the Member. While you may choose to omit certain information, do keep in mind such omissions may limit ACA’s ability to act on the Report and/or may limit the Member’s ability to research the Report.
ACA does not accept Reports regarding companies who are not Members; please first check the online Member directory to confirm membership before completing a Report.
What to Expect After Your Submission
If you are a Consumer: Your Report will be forwarded to the Member for review and direct resolution; ACA does not engage in intermediated resolutions of private consumer concerns. At your option, you may request the Member’s contact information to send the Report directly. ACA may make an independent determination to investigate the Report; while this determination and investigation remain confidential to ACA, you may be contacted for additional information.
If your Report concerns a past, current or potential business relationship with an ACA Member: your Report will be reviewed and may be accepted for investigation at the discretion of the Committee. If you have identified in your Report a harm resulting from the conduct, you will be notified if the Committee determines the Code has been violated and the Member will be issued an Order to Redress in furtherance of a resolving your concern. It is not within the Committee’s authority to control this private resolution or the specific nature or form of the redress; however, a Member’s failure to attempt to resolve your concern will be considered by the Committee when making any applicable Member sanction determination.
Sanctions against Members resulting from Reports of Code Violations are generally considered confidential, with a few exceptions including membership suspension and expulsion. Please refer to the ACA Ethics Committee Review Rules for further information.
Committee Review Rules
Reports will be handled in accordance with the ACA Ethics Committee Review Rules.
Please be aware that certain Reports, or portions of Reports will not prompt Committee action. These are described in Rule 2.6 of the Ethics Committee Review Rules:
a. Reports concerning Non-Members;
b. Inability to ascertain the portion of the Code allegedly violated;
c. The Report contains insufficient information to identify the Member;
d. The Report was received from an individual or organization who requests to restrict disclosure of their identity or the Report appears to be based solely on second-hand information, and the reporting party is unable to provide or identify sources of reliable supporting information;
e. The Report involves matters deemed personal in nature (i.e., not arising out of, or directly related to, credit and collection industry activity);
f. The Report involves a subject for which specialized or technical expertise is required in order to determine whether conduct was wrongful;
g. A determination as to whether the conduct was in violation of the Code cannot be made without a legal interpretation of state law;
h. The Report involves a general business matter not specific to the credit and collections industry (ex: licensing agreements, intellectual property infringement, real estate matters);
i. The Report seeks Association involvement with respect to an individual’s terms and conditions of employment;
j. The Report contains insufficient information to support investigation;
k. The lapse in time intervening between the conduct and the Report thereof substantially hinders investigation efforts and prejudices the information thereby obtained;
l. The Report merely re-states allegations previously deemed non-actionable or were otherwise disposed of;
m. The Report involves allegations or factual matters which are currently the subject of a judicial, formal dispute resolution, regulatory, enforcement or other similar proceeding. In these cases the Committee may consider information arising from such a proceeding only after a final disposition in the underlying proceeding.
Attn: Ethics Staff
P.O. Box 390106
Minneapolis, MN 55439-0106
By FAX: (952) 915-3922
By EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethics staff strive to respond to all inquiries within 3 business days. Response times may be longer dependent upon available staff resources. ACA staff appreciates your understanding and patience.
Canon 5 of the Ethics Committee Review Rules provides that The Association condemns coercive or retaliatory action on the part of Members against any individual or organization seeking to assert their rights under these Rules.
Ethics Committee Review Rule 1.8 provides “Committee Members, members of the Board of Review or Board of Directors, Association employees, and Legal Counsel shall be indemnified and held harmless by all Participants for any act or omission performed in the course of or arising out of performance of their official; duties pursuant to these Rules or any Guidelines promulgated in accordance therewith.” By submitting a Report, you accept this limitation.
These instructions may change from time to time.
This page was last updated April 1, 2014.