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.

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