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FAQ for Debt Collectors and Creditors/Assignees

1.   Why does Iowa law require notification fees?

The purpose of assessing these fees is to ensure that all debt collectors and creditors/assignees contribute to the cost of enforcing the Iowa Consumer Credit Code (ICCC), and the law stipulates that all fee money collected be put to that use.

2.  How much is the notification fee?

The notification fee is $50 for debt collectors and creditor/assignees.  Creditor/Assignee volume fee calculation on the notification form remains the same - see below for more information on volume fee calculation.  (The 2017 Iowa Legislature increased the notification fee for ICCC debt collectors and creditor/assignee from $10 to $50 effective July 1, 2017.)

3.   When is my notification filing due?

Debt Collectors and Creditor/Assignees required to file notification with the Iowa Attorney General must do so within 30 days of commencing collection activities in Iowa, and then by January 31 of every subsequent year.

Annual notification must be filed every year by January 31.   Notifications received more than 30 days after the due date may be assessed a $75.00 late fee.  Reminders will be sent in December via email.  

*Notification filing for registered companies begins November 1 for the next year.    

4.   How do I update my contact information (address, contact person, branch location) after filing?

If your company changes their main address or if the contact person changes, please send written notification (email is fine) to our office. The notification should include the name of the company, the previous contact information, and the updated, current information. We do not need to know about any corporate structure changes or changes with officers unless the physical address or contact person changes.

If a branch location changes or closes, please notify us in writing as well. Separate branches or divisions can simply be listed on your company's notification form if the branches have the same name as the primary business and are owned by the same person.  If you add a branch or division to your company before the next registration date, please forward the update to our office.

*There is no fee associated with any of these changes.

Please send the notice of changes to:

Iowa Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
Attn: Notification & Fees Administrator
1305 E. Walnut St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

Email: registration@ag.iowa.gov

5.   What is an Iowa Registered Agent? Do I need one?

An Iowa Registered Agent is someone on whom the Iowa Attorney General or a private party could serve papers in the event of a lawsuit.

Your company needs an Iowa Registered Agent if the principal office is located outside that state of Iowa. The registered agent must be located in Iowa and not the Iowa Secretary of State.  See Iowa Code section 537.6202(1)(f).

6.   Where do I send my paper registration notification?

Your completed paper notification filing form and payment should be sent to:

Iowa Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
Attn: Notification & Fees Administrator
1305 E. Walnut St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

There is an online filing  option available for Debt Collectors and Creditor/Assignees. 

7.   Who do I make my check payable to?

Checks should be made payable to “Iowa Consumer Credit Administration Fund” and should be mailed with your completed annual notification form.   Checks mailed separately should indicate the company's name - include a copy of your registration form if possible.

8.   How do I know if my notification has been approved?

Approved notifications will be processed and can be viewed online approximately 20 business days after their receipt. If your notification is rejected, you will be contacted by our staff to remedy any errors. (NOTE: Some users may need to refresh their browser for the most updated version of the document.)

9.   Will I be mailed a license after filing?

No. Filers will not receive a confirmation, notice or hard copy license. You will be contacted by our office if your filing is rejected. Approved notifications will be processed and available for viewing online approximately 20 business days after their receipt in our office. 

10.   How do I surrender my notification?

All intents to surrender notification must be in writing and mailed into our office (email is allowed) . The letter must include the name of the company and the date the company will cease to participate in consumer credit transactions with Iowa consumers.

Please send cancellation notice to:

Iowa Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
Attn: Notification & Fees Administrator
1305 E. Walnut St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

Email: registration@ag.iowa.gov

11.   Are skip tracers required to file notification?

Generally, no, as long as the skip tracer is not attempting to collect the debt.

However, Iowa requires private investigators to obtain a license and bond (Iowa Code chapter 80A). This chapter covers a broad range of activities, including obtaining information on the "habits, Conduct, movements, whereabouts, associations, transactions, reputations, or character of a person." (Iowa Code section 80A.1(6)). Therefore, certain traditional debt collection activities, such as skip-tracing, might require licensing under this statute. If you have any questions about chapter 80A, please consult legal counsel or the Iowa Department of Public Safety (515-725-6196).

The following relate specifically to the Creditor/Assignee Form only:

1.   What are volume fees?

A creditor/assignee is subject to volume fees if they hold the paper on the consumer credit transaction. Volume fees are based on the average unpaid balance owed. 

2.   How do I calculate volume fees?

Volume fees are calculated based on the average monthly balance owed for the previous 12 months of transactions. To determine your average monthly balance, calculate the dollar amount owed to your company by Iowa consumers at the end of each of the previous 12 months. Total the average balance for each month and divide by twelve to get the average for the year. Compare the average monthly balance to the volume fee table below or on the notification form to determine the correct volume fee.

For example, a creditor whose average monthly unpaid balance over the preceding year was $105,000 would owe a volume fee of $10, while a creditor whose average monthly unpaid balance was $130,000 would owe $20. Please see Table 1 below for more examples. The administrative rule provides additional information on how to calculate these fees. 

Table 1: Examples of Volume Fee Rates

Average Monthly Unpaid Balance Volume Fee Owed
$1 - $109,999 $10
$110,000 - $209,999 $20
$210,000 - $309,999 $30
$310,000 - $409,999 $40
$410,000 + $10 per $100,000 owed
 

3.   Is the volume fee the same as my notification fee?

No. They are two separate fees. The notification fee is always $50.00 and is required from every creditor/assignee filing notification with our office. Creditors/Assignees who own the paper for consumer credit transactions must pay a volume fee based on the average unpaid balance of all consumer credit transactions. The volume fee could change over the years due to fluctuation in the amount of unpaid balances owed.

4.   My used car dealership is not a "Buy Here, Pay Here".  Do I need to register?

Yes.  Used car dealers must file notification and pay the annual notification fee even if they assign all of their retail installment contracts to a third party financer.  You may not need to pay a volume fee - review the information above.  

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