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

Creditor

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 for a period of time, after which the creditor will assign to a debt collector. 

Third Party Debt Collector

When 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, to collect the debt.

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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