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Overview

Iowa does not license debt collectors. However, debt collectors who collect over $25,000 a year (all
accounts, not just Iowa accounts) are required to file notification with the Iowa Attorney General and pay
a $10.00 annual fee.

The Iowa Attorney General's office vigorously enforces the Iowa Debt Collection Practices Act and we
strongly urge all debt collectors to become familiar with this law and to consult with private legal counsel,
as necessary, before beginning collection activities in Iowa.

Debt collectors who fail to file notification with the Iowa Attorney General and pay the appropriate fee may
be subject to late fees of $25.00, as well as a possible civil action in which the administrator may recoup
interest, the costs of the action, and a penalty not exceeding the greater of $1,000 or three times the
fee owed.

Who is a debt collector?

  • Creditors collecting their own debts

While most creditors collecting their own debts are not required to file notification as a debt collector,
they must comply with the substantive requirements of the Iowa Debt Collection Practices Act.

  • Attorneys who act as debt collectors

Law firms whose attorneys act as debt collectors and collect over $25,000 a year must file notification
with the Iowa Attorney General.

  • Companies who solely collect commercial debt are exempt from filing notification with the
    Iowa Attorney General.

Who needs to file notification?
Debt collectors who meet both of the following criteria must file notification with the
Iowa Attorney General and pay the annual fee:

  • Collect consumer debts from Iowans

The definition of consumer debt under Iowa law is quite broad and includes a variety of debts other than
consumer credit transactions.

Debts that often fall under this definition include, but are not limited to:

  • Dishonored checks
  • Medical bills
  • Accounts based on "90 days same-as-cash"
  • Typical accounts receivable billings (for consumer purposes)
  • Debts incurred:
  • for personal, family or household purposes, where credit was extended,
  • that did not exceed $25,000, and
  • where the debtor was an individual,

would be considered a consumer loan and is covered under Iowa law.

AND

  • Collect over $25,000 in total debts in the previous or current calendar year
           (Based on the aggregate amount of debt collected from all sources,
           not just Iowa accounts)

Example: Debt collector collected $50,000 in debts last year, but only $5,000 was from Iowa debtors. 
This debt collector would still be required to file notification with the Iowa Attorney General and pay the
annual fee.

Please note that the Iowa Debt Collection Practices Act does not apply solely to third party collectors;
it also applies to creditors collecting their own debts. While most creditors collecting their own debts
are not required to file notification as a debt collector, they must comply with the substantive
requirements of the Iowa Debt Collection Practices Act.

Attorneys who act as debt collectors are required to file notification.  Law firms whose attorneys act
as debt collectors and collect over $25,000 a year must file notification with the Iowa Attorney General.


How to File Notification

Debt collectors required to file notification with the Iowa Attorney General must submit the
Debt Collection Notification Form
and pay the $10.00 notification fee within 30 days of commencing
collection activities in Iowa. Collectors must file annually by January 31.  Notifications filed after
January 31 will be assessed a $25.00 late fee.

Checks should be made payable to"Iowa Consumer Credit Administration Fund" and sent,
along with a completed Debt Collection Notification Form* to:
Iowa Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
Attn: Notification & Fees Administrator
1305 E. Walnut St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
*Additional documents are not required.


After You File
Collectors who have filed notification with the Iowa Attorney General will not receive a confirmation,
notice or hard copy license.  Collectors with rejected notifications will be notified by our staff. 

Approved notifications will be processed and can be viewed online at http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/images/pdfs/Contacts_ICCC_Notification_Fe_2014.pdf approximately
15 business days after their receipt.

It is important that collectors notify the Iowa Attorney General in writing of any changes in their
company’s contact information to ensure all communications from the Iowa Attorney General,
including notification filing reminders, are received in a timely manner. 

Changes should be submitted in writing and include the name of the company, the previous,
incorrect information and the updated, current information.

Reminders will be sent in early December.  Failure to receive reminders will not exempt a late
filing from the $25.00 late fee.

References
Iowa Consumer Credit Code - Iowa Code, Chapter 537

            Definition of debt, debt collector, and debt collection – section 537.7102

Iowa Code 537.7102 (3) “Debt” means an actual or alleged obligation arising out of a consumer credit
transaction, consumer rental purchase agreement, or a transaction which would have been a consumer
credit transaction either if a finance charge was made, if the obligation was not payable installments, if a lease
was for a term of four months or less, or if a lease was of an interest in land. A debt includes a check as defined
in section 554.3104 given in a transaction in connection with a consumer rental purchase agreement, in a
transaction which was a consumer credit sale or in a transaction which would have been a consumer credit
sale if credit was granted and if a finance charge was made, or in a transaction regulated under chapter 533D.

Iowa Administrative Code, Administrative rule 61, Chapter 22