The FDCPA defines tactics that are illegal for collection agencies to use. This federal law defines how collection agencies will inform you that you will be sued if a debt is not repaid. Collection agencies are not allowed to use methods that harass or deceive you. This act applies to debts owed for personal, family or household expenses and includes car loans, mortgages, credit card accounts and medical bills. If you are being contacted by a debt collector, set up an appointment with Student Legal Services to protect your rights and create a plan to respond to the collector.