Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692(a), a debt collector is defined as any business with the principal purpose of collecting debts for third parties via an instrumentality of interstate commerce or the U.S. mails. It additionally encompasses creditors who use a separate name during the debt collection process, thus creating the impression that a third party is attempting collection. Under the FDCPA, the term “debt collector” does not include an officer or employee of a creditor or someone who is affiliated with the creditor by common ownership or corporate control.
[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]