The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulates debt collection in the U.S. The act is intended to protect consumers and applies to the conduct of debt collectors. It does not apply to a company collecting its own debt unless the company uses a different name for collection purposes. Collectors, as defined by the act, may call consumers only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. and may not call a consumer’s place of employment, threaten legal action or use abusive language. Violators may be fined up to $1,000 plus reasonable attorney fees.