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Texas Debt Collection Laws Protect You

Dena Standley | December 19, 2023

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Texas debt collection laws ensure consumers receive fair and just treatment. If debt collectors violate their rights, consumers can take legal action against them to stop their calls or win their debt collection case. Learn more in this article.

Texas debt collection laws have been implemented to control the debt collection process and ensure creditors do not abuse consumers or use deceptive practices. When consumers ignore a creditor's attempt to collect their money, they resort to unlawful ways to increase their chances of making payments.

Therefore, Texans can use their state and federal laws to fight back and ensure fair and just treatment. These rules and regulations explain how debt collectors should communicate with consumers, disclose any debt-related information, and respond to various legal documents.

Below, we will break down these laws to help you know your rights and beat debt collectors in Texas.

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These debt collection laws in Texas protect consumers

Texas uses the Texas Debt Collection Practices Act to protect consumers from debt collectors using bad business practices. The most important regulations for debtors are contained in Title 5 Chapter 392 subchapter D, which bears the title Prohibited Debt Collection Methods. Below are the specific debt collection laws outlined in this subchapter.

Threats and Coercion

In their attempt to collect a debt, section TX Fin Code § 392.301 cautions debt collectors against using threats and coercion carried out in the following ways:

  • Falsely accusing you of a crime, such as fraud
  • Threatening to arrest you for non-payment without a court order
  • Telling you they will file a charge or complaint without giving you a valid reason
  • Using criminal means such as violence to cause harm to you or your property
  • Threatening to take or repossess your property without a following court proceeding
  • Accusing you of wilfully failing to pay a debt when it is in dispute

Abuse and Harassment

According to TX Fin Code § 392.302, a debt collector should not harass, abuse, or oppress a consumer. Examples of this behavior are:

  • Phoning you repeatedly without disclosing their name and agenda in a bid to threaten, annoy or harass you
  • Using obscene or profane language
  • Causing you to incur telegram fees or long-distance telephone toll charges and still fail to identify themselves
  • Leaving the phone to ring countless times with the intent to harass you

Unfair or unethical means

In Texas, consumers are protected from unfair debt collectors and those who use questionable ways to force them to make payments. Section TX Fin Code § 392.303 outlines that creditors should not use the following unethical and unfair practices:

  • Collect or attempt to collect a debt using a dishonored check, credit or debit card payment unless they meet certain conditions
  • Collecting unauthorized charges, interests, fees, or expenses as part of the debt
  • Asking consumers to pay a debt because it is for their basic needs, and yet it is not

Here is an example to illustrate our point.

Example: Stacy owes $700 to Gradit Credits, who pressured her to make payments. She wrote a check to pay off the debt, but it bounced. Gradit Credits then sold the debt to Discovery Collections. DC contacted Stacy to demand the $700 and added $50 for the dishonored check charges. Stacy took legal action against DC because they had violated the law by using unfair and unethical means to collect.

Misleading, Fraudulent, or Deceptive representation

TX Fin Code § 392.304 states that debt collectors cannot use the following bad business practices when attempting to collect a debt from you:

  • Fail to disclose the original creditor’s name or mention that the reason for the communication is due to a pending debt
  • Fail to indicate the debt collector’s name, address, and phone number in a written request for payment
  • Misrepresent your debt amount and extent of the nonpayment in a legal proceeding
  • Falsely say they are supported or affiliated with a government agency
  • Impose additional fees or charges not included in the contract or under law

Debt collectors got you down? Stand up for your consumer rights.

How does the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act protect consumers in Texas?

In addition to Texas state laws, consumers can use federal laws under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act to protect themselves or take action against debt collectors. Texas borrows heavily from these laws, and the FDCPA emphasizes using state laws.

Steps to take after a debt collector violates your rights

After knowing your consumer rights, you can confidently take action against a debt collector when they violate your rights. Follow these steps to improve your chances of achieving your goal:

  1. Document every interaction you have with the debt collector, including emails, calls, letters, and voicemails. Note down what was said and done and how they violated your rights.
  2. Inform them of the violation and ask them to correct or stop, or you will take further action. If they cease, you can stop at this step. If not, go to step three.
  3. File a complaint with the Texas attorney general's office, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Better Business Bureau, and Fair Trade Commission. These institutions often ask the creditor to respond or correct their mistakes.
  4. If they entered an incorrect debt amount on your credit report, dispute the debt with the three credit bureaus, and they will investigate the matter within 30 days.
  5. Contact a lawyer and file a lawsuit if you have a strong case. The attorney will handle the legal process and ensure you get a reasonable damages award.

SoloSuit can help you deal with debt collectors at any stage of the collection process, whether it’s requesting a debt validation, responding to a debt lawsuit, or settling a debt before your court date.

Make Texas debt collectors validate your debt.

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