Debt collection is the process by which a person or entity who is owed money or property seeks payment for the debt. Debt collection may be performed by the person or entity who is owed the debt (the creditor), or may be performed by a third-party debt collector hired by the creditor to collect the debt on behalf of the creditor. Sometimes creditors sell the debt to another entity at a discounted value, and the entity that purchases the debt becomes the creditor.
Debts that are often the subject of debt collection efforts include (1) credit card debt; (2) car or auto loan debt; (3) medical debt; (4) student loan debt; (5) unpaid utility and telephone bills; and (6) personal loan debt.
If you owe money, you have a legal obligation to repay it. But state and federal laws—such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act—prohibit debt collectors from using deceptive or abusive behavior to collect the debt.