Columbia Financial International Inc. (CFI) announced Wednesday it is awarding $50,000 in grants to the collection industry to be used for education in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulations. The grants are available as part of an affiliation with FCDPA Certifications LLC.  

The grant program has been established to help collectors to become certified in FDCPA compliance.

Robert Pinchuck, president and owner of CFI reports "the retail collection industry has long been a target of complaints and lawsuits for failing to comply with FDCPA. There are over 1,000 law firms who practice FDCPA litigation on behalf of plaintiffs. The grant program is being established to assist in providing the necessary compliance education that will lead this industry towards better economic growth." 

Collectors who have successfully taken the four-hour online course gain greater confidence when speaking with debtors, added Pinchuck, thereby reducing legal actions and increasing the ability to collect more money either in full or by settlement.

"CFI’s grant will cover 50% of the cost of certification through its affiliation with FDCPA Certifications LLC," he said. "The online course is accessible at the convenience of the student and has been recognized by the Debt Buyers Association as an Authorized Education Provider for the DBA Certification Program."

DBA is the largest association representing debt buyers. The association's certification program represents a comprehensive national standard of industry best practices, according to officials. It stresses responsible consumer protection, increased transparency and improved educational and operational standards within the industry.

Collectors interested in the CFI grant program can email Pinchuck at: robert@columbialist.com or call 800-648-1914, ext. 201.

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