Collector – August 2019 - 48

Definitions Matter
State definitions of terms like "debt"
and "debt collector" are crucial when
determining whether state laws and
regulations apply to your business.

W

hile the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act defines "debt" and
"debt collector" for the purposes
of federal law, states are free to enact their
own definitions of these terms, which
may expand or narrow the scope of who
is covered under state licensing and other
collection requirements.
In many instances, a collector will
be subject to both federal and state
requirements. However, in some cases a
debt collector may only be subject to one
or the other. The variation among state
definitions of these terms can add a layer of
complexity when considering whether or
not a particular business requires a license to
collect debt in a particular state or whether
the business is subject to state laws and
regulations. That's why it's imperative that
companies closely review the laws of the
state(s) in which they intend to collect.
Some state definitions of these terms are
broader in scope than the FDCPA and may
not be limited to transactions incurred for
personal, family or household purposes. As
a result, some obligations that may not be
considered debts under the FDCPA may be
regulated by state law. For instance, Arizona's
and Indiana's definition of a "claim" fails to
restrict the term to only "personal, family
or household use." Such definitions may be
broad enough to include commercial debts,
which are not regulated by the FDCPA.
As laws evolve, some state definitions
specifically address whether a debt purchaser
falls under the definition of a debt collector
or similar terms. For example, Illinois
expressly includes debt purchasers in its
definition of collection agency.
Differences also exist under state
exemptions from regulation. Some states
provide exemptions to their licensing
requirement for attorneys that are authorized

48

to practice law in the state; it's possible that
a collector may be subject to the FDCPA but
exempt from state requirements.
Some states may also have more than one
set of regulations that govern debt collection
practices, such as separate licensing and
collection statutes, and terms may be defined
differently under each. For instance, West
Virginia provides differing definitions under
its licensing and collection laws. There may
be instances when a collector is subject to
state licensing requirements, but not state
collection laws-or vice versa. Debt collectors
collecting in such states must make sure they
understand how both laws apply to the types
of debt they are collecting to avoid liability.
Due to the variation in state laws,
collectors must carefully review

applicable state definitions. For a detailed
look at the issues surrounding state
definitions of "debt" and "debt collector,"
ACA members can review the recently
updated ACA SearchPoint™ document
#2030, State Operational Definitions for
Debt Collector and Debt. Members can
also review ACA SearchPoint™ document
#3005, Interstate Chart, to learn more
about state licensing laws.
Have you checked out ACA's member-only
SearchPoint library? ACA SearchPoint is filled
with documents that put important compliance
information related to the FDCPA, FCRA,
TCPA, state laws and many other topics at
your fingertips. To access ACA SearchPoint,
visit acainternational.org/searchpoint.

Built for start-ups. Scalable for growth.
Demo.Collect-Cloud.com | Collect.org

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.acainternational.org/searchpoint http://Demo.Collect-Cloud.com http://www.Collect.org http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector – August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – August 2019

President’s Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
How a background in making people laugh has helped Roger Weiss, ACA’s new president, educate and engage an industry.
No Good Option
“You’ve got to be a compliance cheerleader for the organization, and that takes a lot of energy.”
Protecting Health Care Data
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – August 2019 - Cover1
Collector – August 2019 - Cover2
Collector – August 2019 - 1
Collector – August 2019 - 2
Collector – August 2019 - 3
Collector – August 2019 - 4
Collector – August 2019 - President’s Page
Collector – August 2019 - Industry News
Collector – August 2019 - 7
Collector – August 2019 - 8
Collector – August 2019 - 9
Collector – August 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – August 2019 - 11
Collector – August 2019 - FYI
Collector – August 2019 - 13
Collector – August 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – August 2019 - 15
Collector – August 2019 - How a background in making people laugh has helped Roger Weiss, ACA’s new president, educate and engage an industry.
Collector – August 2019 - 17
Collector – August 2019 - 18
Collector – August 2019 - 19
Collector – August 2019 - 20
Collector – August 2019 - 21
Collector – August 2019 - 22
Collector – August 2019 - 23
Collector – August 2019 - No Good Option
Collector – August 2019 - 25
Collector – August 2019 - 26
Collector – August 2019 - “You’ve got to be a compliance cheerleader for the organization, and that takes a lot of energy.”
Collector – August 2019 - 28
Collector – August 2019 - 29
Collector – August 2019 - Protecting Health Care Data
Collector – August 2019 - 31
Collector – August 2019 - 32
Collector – August 2019 - 33
Collector – August 2019 - Calendar
Collector – August 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – August 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – August 2019 - 37
Collector – August 2019 - 38
Collector – August 2019 - 39
Collector – August 2019 - 40
Collector – August 2019 - 41
Collector – August 2019 - 42
Collector – August 2019 - 43
Collector – August 2019 - 44
Collector – August 2019 - 45
Collector – August 2019 - 46
Collector – August 2019 - 47
Collector – August 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – August 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – August 2019 - Membership
Collector – August 2019 - 51
Collector – August 2019 - Last Word
Collector – August 2019 - Cover3
Collector – August 2019 - Cover4
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