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Bill and account collectors, called simply collectors, keep track of accounts that are overdue and attempt to collect payment on them. Some are employed by third-party collection agencies, while others—known as “in-house collectors”—work directly for the original creditors, such as department stores, hospitals, or banks.
The Consumer Protection Act is a primary federal law that regulates the consumer credit industry. Among others, it regulates certain debt collectors. Another federal statute, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, was enacted in 1970 to protect the rights of consumers, and regulate the practices of those who provide information to the credit reporting agencies, the agencies themselves and credit report users.