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Debt Buying

A debt buyer is a firm that purchases debt from another company, usually a creditor or bank, at a deeply discounted rate. The debt purchaser then attempts to collect the debt through its own operations or through the use of a third-party debt collection agency. Some debt buyers may sell all or part of the debt to another party at a profit. Most debt buyers are small and privately held, though there is a handful of publicly traded debt buying companies.

Recent changes in law and legal rulings have seen the debt buying industry regulated like collection agencies, or servicers of debt, rather than creditors, or owners of the debt. Debt buyers must adhere to the FDCPA.

Study Guide

New Academic Paper Urges CFPB to Carefully Consider Impact of Potential New Debt Collection Regulations

George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law and Senior Scholar of the Mercatus Center Todd J. Zywicki has published a Working Paper entitled “The Law and Economics of Consumer Debt Collection and Its Regulation.” The 69-page paper concludes that new government restrictions on debt collection may very well burden consumers. Zywicki starts with the premise […]


DBA International Commends George Mason University for Report on the Law and Economics of Consumer Debt Collection and its Regulation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A new study conducted by Professor Todd Zywicki of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University indicated that careful evaluation of the current regulatory environment was necessary to ensure that the debt collection and debt buying industries continued to fulfill their critical role in the economy. The study also found as the […]


Encore Enters Settlement Agreement with CFPB – Company Position

SAN DIEGO — Encore Capital Group, Inc. (Encore), an international specialty finance company (NASDAQ: ECPG), today announced it has entered into a settlement agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The settlement includes a civil payment and consumer refunds connected to two isolated issues, which are not current practice and were changed some time ago. […]

signed agreement settlement

Encore, PRA Reach Settlement with the CFPB, Agree to Hefty Fines

The CFPB announced today that it has taken action against two of the biggest debt buyers in the U.S., Encore Capital Group and Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA). The Bureau cited both buyers for what it termed illegal debt collection activities, including purchasing debts they should have known were inaccurate and/or not legally enforceable and attempting to collect on that debt through unlawful means. Both firms say they disagreed with how the CFPB characterized their practices, but agreed to settlements in order to put the matter behind them.

ability to pay

As Economy Improves, Collectors Need Fresher, Expanded Data Sets, TransUnion Says

How do you identify which accounts have a higher likelihood to pay? Every collections firm wants to get better at answering this question. TransUnion claims that firms can – with better, fresher account data. Scoring accounts with a broader data set and more historical data can help firms better separate the uncollectable accounts from those […]


Helen Mac Murray, Attorney General Consultant to DBA International, Selected for Inclusion in Best Lawyers in America® 2016

Attorney Helen Mac Murray of Mac Murray, Petersen & Shuster LLP (MPS) and Attorney General Consultant to DBA International, has once again been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Government Relations Practice. This is Mac Murray’s second year in a row receiving this distinctive recognition. Since it was […]

Opinion on Red Keyboard Button.

FTC’s Reilly Dolan Lists Those Banned From Debt Collection, and Discusses Industry Self-Regulation

Earlier this week, Reilly Dolan, Associate Director, Division of Financial Practices at the Federal Trade Commission posted a blog about the debt buying industry and its efforts to self-regulate. Click here to read the full text of the piece, which offers insight into the regulator’s expectations. Also of interest is the link to the 75 bad apples recently banned from the debt collection business.