Under Arkansas law, collection agencies are individuals or businesses that collect debts on behalf of a third party. For example, if a hospital gives its delinquent accounts to a company to contact patients for payment then that company is considered a collection agency. Arkansas law exempts certain people and businesses from the definition of a collection agency. Those exemptions are found at Arkansas Code Annotated §17-24-102. A creditor who collects its own accounts in its own name is not considered to be a collection agency.
If a collection agency is located in Arkansas or contacts debtors in Arkansas, it must be licensed by the State Board of Collection Agencies. Collection agencies are also required to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act governs when, where and how consumers may be contacted. It prohibits collection agencies from harassing or abusing consumers.