ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Last week the iA institute (parent of insideARM) hosted a roundtable discussion among consumer advocates, regulators, and members of the collection industry. The dialogue was in-depth, candid and engaging. In total, 20 organizations participated, including six consumer groups, two regulators, two creditor trade groups, and ten members of the the Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC).

This session was the seventh of such meetings hosted by the iA institute on behalf of the CRC over the last several years. The goals -- to increase understanding of the complexity of the collection process, to identify common ground, to explore creative solutions to challenges facing consumers and industry, and to build trusted relationships -- have been the hallmark of the CRC since its inception in 2013.

“This is a unique forum in the debt collection space,” said Stephanie Eidelman, Executive Director of the CRC. “We bring stakeholders together and facilitate a high quality dialogue that goes deeper than the standard public talking points. The facts are always more nuanced than they appear on the surface, and these can only be truly explored in a small, off-the-record setting.”  

Spanning five hours, the sessions always cover a fair amount of ground. At a high level, last week’s topics included the concept of a consumer’s right to request a suspension of collections, the idea of delivering disclosures in a way that consumers can digest and understand, the challenge collectors face in today’s world which demands that transparency be reconciled with the FDCPA’s third party disclosure prohibition, and the uncomfortable authentication dance faced by consumers and collectors in order to begin a conversation.

The CRC will continue to host these dialogues; they are consistently well-received and well-attended, and have contributed to insight into where there are common interests and where there is misunderstanding.

About the Consumer Relations Consortium and the iA institute

The Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) is a membership group for forward-thinking creditors, technology providers, and larger collection agencies. The CRC has two primary areas of focus: Regulation and Innovation. We engage within the group and externally -- with regulators, consumer groups and other stakeholders -- to produce common sense legal, process and technology solutions that benefit consumers, creditors and servicers. An important hallmark of the CRC is that the group is small enough to remain nimble and creative, yet large enough to be impactful and representative of the industry. Read more at

The CRC is managed by the iA institute, a media company that influences the professional debt collection community, including those responsible for managing, recovering, and regulating consumer debt. Thousands know us for our flagship publication, insideARM. Beyond the news, iA institute initiatives bring a range of stakeholders to the table in candid and intimate environments to inform, to build a culture of compliance, to actively address industry challenges, and to make profitable connections. The iA institute (under the name insideARM, LLC) is a certified woman-owned and woman-controlled business (WBE) by NWBOC. Read more at

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