It recently came to my attention that many collection agencies have not registered as collection agencies to do business in Washington or in other states in which they operate. In order to avoid having to do this some say that they have purchased the debt so they are not collecting it for someone else. This is a fairly transparent means of trying to avoid collection agency law in the states as well as application of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In many states, including Washington, this tactic does not work. The law covers debts purchased by businesses in the debt collection business. Failure to register exposes these businesses to significant damages and is an enormous advantage to any consumer.