Knowing the Difference Between a Creditor and Debt Collector

If you are one of millions of consumers and have at least one or
more debts in default, you have probably been contacted by a debt
collector demanding payment.  In an effort to protect your
rights, the Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”) was enacted to shield
you from abusive collection tactics, however the law only applies
to debt
collectors
and not to original creditors.  More often than
not, consumers are unsure of the difference between the two and
learning the difference will help you understand your rights to
better protect yourself.

The FDCPA protects consumers from abusive
collectors
.  Congress adopted this statute to protect
consumers like yourself, from scrupulous collectors who will stop
at nothing to collect a payment.  The FDCPA restricts
collectors’ conduct, including what they can and cannot say, whom
they can speak to and even how often they can call.  However,
all too often consumers are confused by the difference between a
debt collector and original creditor.


Under the FDCPA
, a creditor is defined as a person or entity
that originally extends you credit.  For example a credit card
company, a bank or any other original lender from whom you borrowed
money is a creditor. The FDCPA was designed only to protect your
from conduct committed by debt collectors and does not apply to
creditors.  All too often, consumers complain about the
conduct of creditors and while there are other areas of law to
protect you in regard to creditor misconduct, it does not fall
under the umbrella of the FDCPA.  Under the FDCPA, a debt
collector is often a third party engaged in the business of
collecting or attempting to collect a debt owed to the original
creditor.  Examples of collectors include collection agencies,
attorneys or debt buyers. 

While
the FDCPA
only protects you from the abusive tactics of
collectors, there are exceptions to the rule.  The FDCPA only
applies to consumer debts and not to business debts.  A
consumer debt is defined under the FDCPA as a debt that is incurred
for personal or household use.   The FDCPA does not
protect you from government employees collecting debts, both
federal and state employees are exempt from the rules and
regulations of the Act.  Legal process servers are also exempt
from the rules of the FDCPA when serving you with a lawsuit related
to the collection of a debt.  

If you are in need of more information regarding your
involvement with a debt collector, contact
SmithMarco
, P.C. for a completely free case review.