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What types of debt collectors are subject to the FDCPA?

Virtually all third-party collection agencies and collection attorneys are considered debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

This federal law defines “debt collector” as “any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mail in any business in which the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another.”

A debt collector is any individual, firm or company whose primary business is to collect debts owed to another entity and whose communication methods include calling the consumer on the phone or sending the consumer collection letters through the mail.

Conversely, any company attempting to collect its own debts are not subject to FDCPA under Section 803(6)(B) of the FDCPA.

Government officers or employees are also excluded. The FDCPA exempts any federal, state or local government official or employee collecting or attempting to collect a debt in the performance of her official duties as a government employee.

 

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