Debt buyer Encore Capital Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ECPG), earned DBA International's designation of Certified Professional Receivables Company after completing requirements of the association's Debt Buyer Certification Program.

The program includes a company-based designation and an individual-based designation for those meeting continuing education and background criteria.

Company certifications are granted to organizations that comply with 20 industry best practices standards that address topics such as account documentation, chain of title, consumer complaint and dispute resolution, statute of limitation compliance, vendor management, credit bureau reporting, resale and other operational procedures. Compliance is monitored through third-party audits and a self-compliance audit process.

DBA International is the largest association representing debt buyers. The association amended its bylaws in February 2013 making certification a requirement for membership by 2016. A month later, it began accepting applications for company and individual based certifications. Existing DBA International members have until March 2016 to become certified and new members must become certified within two years of joining the association.

DBA International also elected Amy Anuk, senior vice president of Business Development for San Diego-based Encore, as chair of its Certification Council.

As chair of the 11-member Certification Council, Anuk will be responsible for the administration of the certification program. At Encore, Anuk oversees the acquisition of consumer debt portfolios and manages the company's partnerships with major financial institutions. Under her direction, Encore has invested more than $2.6 billion in portfolio purchases.

"DBA certification is the gold standard for our industry," said Anuk. "It not only strengthens Encore's global leadership position, but it also recognizes our long-standing commitment to operating ethically and treating consumers with respect."

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