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What is the difference between a Creditor and a Third Party Collector?


The creditor is the company that has provided goods, services, or a monetary loan to a consumer. For example, credit card companies, medical providers, utility companies, and banks are creditors. When a consumer falls behind on payments, the creditor may begin procedures to collect the past due balance. The consumer may receive phone calls or letters from the creditor's collection department. 

Third Party Debt Collector

If the creditor's collection department is unsuccessful in collecting the debt, the creditor may decide to hire a third party to collect the debt.  This may be a collection agency,  law firm collector or a debt buyer .  These third party collectors will begin collection procedures, such as placing phone calls or sending letters.

Once a debt has been assigned or sold by the creditor to a collector, the consumer has rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

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