DefinitionsAs used in this subchapter—
The term “Bureau” means the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
The term “communication” means the conveying of information regarding a debt directly or indirectly to any person through any medium.
The term “consumer” means any natural person obligated or allegedly obligated to pay any debt.
The term “creditor” means any person who offers or extends credit creating a debt or to whom a debt is owed, but such term does not include any person to the extent that he receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solely for the purpose of facilitating collection of such debt for another.
The term “debt” means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance, or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.
(6) The term “debt collector” means any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business 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 another. Notwithstanding the exclusion provided by clause (F) of the last sentence of this paragraph, the term includes any creditor who, in the process of collecting his own debts, uses any name other than his own which would indicate that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such debts. For the purpose of section 1692f(6) of this title, such term also includes any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the enforcement of security interests. The term does not include—
any officer or employee of a creditor while, in the name of the creditor, collecting debts for such creditor;
any person while acting as a debt collector for another person, both of whom are related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if the person acting as a debt collector does so only for persons to whom it is so related or affiliated and if the principal business of such person is not the collection of debts;
any officer or employee of the United States or any State to the extent that collecting or attempting to collect any debt is in the performance of his official duties;
any person while serving or attempting to serve legal process on any other person in connection with the judicial enforcement of any debt;
any nonprofit organization which, at the request of consumers, performs bona fide consumer credit counseling and assists consumers in the liquidation of their debts by receiving payments from such consumers and distributing such amounts to creditors; and
any person collecting or attempting to collect any debt owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another to the extent such activity (i) is incidental to a bona fide fiduciary obligation or a bona fide escrow arrangement; (ii) concerns a debt which was originated by such person; (iii) concerns a debt which was not in default at the time it was obtained by such person; or (iv) concerns a debt obtained by such person as a secured party in a commercial credit transaction involving the creditor.
The term “location information” means a consumer’s place of abode and his telephone number at such place, or his place of employment.
The term “State” means any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any political subdivision of any of the foregoing.
(Pub. L. 90–321, title VIII
, § 803, as added Pub. L. 95–109
, Sept. 20, 1977
, 91 Stat. 875
; amended Pub. L. 99–361
, July 9, 1986
, 100 Stat. 768
; Pub. L. 111–203, title X
, § 1089(2), July 21, 2010
, 124 Stat. 2092
2010—Par. (1). Pub. L. 111–203 added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: “The term ‘Commission’ means the Federal Trade Commission.”
1986—Par. (6). Pub. L. 99–361 in provision preceding cl. (A) substituted “clause (F)” for “clause (G)”, struck out cl. (F) which excluded any attorney-at-law collecting a debt as an attorney on behalf of and in the name of a client from term “debt collector”, and redesignated cl. (G) as (F).
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