Debt Collection in the United States is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Major statutes are defined in The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), respectively Public Law 90-321, originally enacted on May 29, 1968, and Public Law 91-508, enacted on April 25, 1971. The CCPA was subsequently amended with The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), or Public Law 95-109, which was passed on September 20, 1977 and has itself been subsequently updated. You can order a free hard copy of the FDCPA at the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection or download a free PDF. Debt collection is also regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is an independent agency of the United States government designed to protect consumers in the area of finance.
Specific regulations apply to debt collection practices depending on the type of debt under consideration. For example, medical collections must adhere to the applicable statutes within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or Public Law 104-191, enacted on August 21, 1996 and its stated privacy requirements. HIPAA’s “Privacy Rule” and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) identifies Protected Health Information (PHI) as “‘individually identifiable health information’ held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral.” You can download a free PDF of The HIPAA here.