A collection agency is any person or company hired to collect or attempt to collect debts due or asserted to be due to another person. Some states, like Illinois, define a collection agency as a person who engages in the collection of a debt in the ordinary course of business on behalf of himself or herself or on behalf of others. Other states, like North Carolina, do not explicitly provide that a person collecting debt on behalf of himself or herself is a collection agency. However, many states explicitly exclude certain persons from the definition of a “collection agency.” Such common exclusions are, banks, trust companies, licensed attorneys, insurance companies, etc.
[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]