commercial activities

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

A federal government agency established to regulate business practices and enforce antitrust laws. The FTC often shows up in the news when big businesses attempt to merge, but it also plays a role in protecting consumers from unfair business practices, including actions by collection agencies and credit bureaus. While the FTC generally does not have authority to intervene in specific consumer disputes, it can take action against a company about which it has received numerous consumer complaints.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

A federal law that prohibits certain debt collection practices, including harassing, abusing, or lying to debtors, contacting third parties about a debt (except in limited circumstances), and contacting debtors at work or at inconvenient hours. The FDCPA applies only to debt collectors who work for collection agencies, not those who work for the original creditor.

Face Amount

The value on the face of an instrument.


On a check: the amount the bearer may withdraw.

On a loan or mortgage: the amount of money the borrower receives (does not include interest to be repaid).

On a life insurance policy:  the amount of money to be paid out at death



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