Have you fallen behind in your credit card or other debt payments? If so, you are not alone; millions of people carry too much debt and either fall behind a little from time to time, have some personal situation arise – such as involuntary unemployment, skyrocketing medical bills, disability, or divorce – that makes them unable to pay at all, or simply made some poor decisions and got in over their heads. If you are in one of the above categories, you may now or may soon be receiving notices from credit card debt collection agencies.Getting such notices may be very scary to some folks, as there may be a sort of mystery about them, so let’s take a look at exactly what credit card debt collection agencies are and how they work.First of all, collection companies are not like the police. They cannot arrest you or take away your house or any such thing. They are simply companies who make a profit by trying to recover bad debt on behalf of creditors. Most creditors have a point at which they decide that they are not likely to recoup a debt, but they don’t want to “just forget it,” so they make the decision to use a credit card debt collection agency.There are two basic types of credit card debt collection options available to creditors. The first type is based on a commission. They enter into an agreement with creditors whereby they receive a commission for what they are able to recoup on behalf of the lender. In essence, the lender hires the collection agency to do the legwork, and in exchange pays the collection agent a percentage of what he/she is able to get you to pay. The percentages are open to negotiation and have nothing to do with you. It is an agreement between the creditor and the collection agent. One-third, or thirty-three percent, of the amount recovered is not unheard of.The second type of credit card debt collection agency is one that purchases the outstanding debt for a reduced rate. They then become the “owner” of the debt and all legal rights to any amount of recovered money become theirs. As the new owner of the debt, they also obtain all legal rights to sue or otherwise recover the debt. Why does anyone ever do this – buy someone else’s debt? Because they can get it for a greatly reduced amount of money and then have the legal right to do everything possible to get the full amount owed.