In 1883 a small group of Southern California merchants organized the Los Angeles Board of Trade. The purposes of the organization were to handle the problems of distressed business debtors, and to help the business community grow and expand.
These early members also learned that an exchange of factual data concerning their dealings with customers would increase the safety of their extensions of credit.
The original group later developed the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, which took over the civic expansion functions. The name of the original organization became the Los Angeles Wholesalers’ Board of Trade, which better described its services to the wholesalers and other industry groups. The “Board of Trade” originally had about 60 member firms.
For more than 50 years the Board of Trade administered debtor-creditor cases through creditor-controlled extension agreements, compromise settlements and general assignments for the benefit of creditors. It also assisted members and other creditors in bankruptcies, probate proceedings and fire insurance matters.
The Los Angeles Credit Men’s Association was organized in about 1900, affiliated with the National Association of Credit [Men] Management (NACM). The Los Angeles Credit Men’s Association provided credit-related services in areas other than business adjustments, such as legislation on both the national and state levels, credit education, credit reporting and industry credit groups, and through its Collection Division, a licensed agency operating for its members.
As the years went by, it became evident that the members of the two organizations were largely the same. Accordingly, in 1944 they merged and became one organization, the Los Angeles Credit Managers’ Association. The Los Angeles Wholesalers’ Board of Trade became the Adjustment Bureau of the merged organization.
Continued growth widened the area served by the Association, and in 1952 the name was changed to Credit Managers Association of Southern California. In 1961 the Association was incorporated under the California Nonprofit Corporations law.
In 1998, CMA changed its fictitious business name to CMA Business Credit Services, and in 2009, changed its fictitious business name to Credit Management Association.
In 2011, CMA changed its legal name to Credit Management Association® and also adopted Credit Managers Association of California™ as a fictitious business name.