Debt That Is Covered
The FDCPA applies only to the collection of debt incurred by a consumer primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. It does not apply to the collection of corporate debt or debt owed for business or agricultural purposes.
Debt Collectors That Are Covered
The FDCPA defines a debt collector as any person who regularly collects, or attempts to collect, consumer debts for another person or institution or uses some name other than its own when collecting its own consumer debts. The definition includes, for example, an institution that regularly collects debts for an unrelated institution, such as an institution that, under a reciprocal service arrangement, solicits the help of another in collecting a defaulted debt from a customer who has moved.
Debt Collectors That Are Not Covered
An institution is not considered a debt collector under the FDCPA when it collects
- Another institution's debts in isolated instances
- Its own debts under its own name
- Debts it originated and then sold but continues to service (for example, mortgage and student loans)
- Debts that were not in default when they were obtained
- Debts that were obtained as security for a commercial credit transaction (for example, accounts receivable financing)
- Debts incidental to a bona fide fiduciary relationship or escrow arrangement (for example, a debt held in the institution's trust department or mortgage loan escrow for taxes and insurance)
- Debts, regularly, for other institutions to which it is related by common ownership or corporate control
- Other debt collectors that are not covered by the FDCPA include
- Officers or employees of an institution who collect debts owed to the institution in the institution's name
- Legal-process servers