You deserve to be treated in a reasonable and civil manner. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Texas Debt Collection Act outline what debt collectors can and cannot do while collecting a debt. If debt collectors commit Texas FDCPA violations, then they can be sued and be forced to pay money to you money. Debt collectors CANNOT:
1. Ask you to pay more than you owe: The collector cannot misrepresent the amount you owe.
2. Ask you to pay interest, fees, or expenses that are not allowed by law – Your original credit or loan agreement states what extra fees or interest may be added. Collectors can’t add more fees.
3. Call repeatedly or continuously – The FDCPA considers repeat calls as harassment.
4. Use obscene, profane, or abusive language – Screaming, cursing, or using any language that is likely to shame or embarrass you is considered harassment.
5. Call before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm – Calls during these times are considered harassment.
6. Call you at times or places the collector knows or should know are inconvenient for you – Calling during a time after you told the collector you’ll be entertaining friends, eating a meal, or attending to an illness in the family. Calling you at work.
7. Use or threaten to use violence if you don’t pay the debt – Collectors can’t threaten violence against you.
8. Threaten action they cannot or will not take – Collectors can’t threaten to sue or file criminal charges against you, garnish wages, take your property, cause you to lose your job, or ruin your credit when the collector legally cannot or does not intend to take the action.
9. Illegally inform a third party about your alleged debt – Unless you have expressly given permision, collectors are not allowed to inform anyone about your debt except:
- your attorney
- the creditor
- the creditor’s attorney
- a credit reporting agency
- your spouse
- your parent (if you are a minor)
10. Repeatedly call a third party to get your location information – The collector can only contact a third party once STRICTLY to get your contact information, unless it has reason to believe the information previously provided is false.
11. Contact you at work knowing your employer doesn’t approve – A collector is not allowed to contact you at work if you’ve let them know your employer doesn’t approve of these calls.
12. Fail to send a written debt validation notice – Within five days of the collector’s initial communication, they must send you written notice of your right to dispute the debt within 30 days.
13. Ignore your request to verify the debt and continue to collect – A collector can’t continue efforts to collect on a debt after you’ve made a request to verify the debt unless they have provided the requested verification, as long as your request was made within 30 days of the collector’s initial written notice.
14. Continue to contact you after they have been informed you are represented by an attorney– Once collector knows you are represented by an attorney on the debt, they ABSOLUTELY cannot contact you at all and can only communicate with you through your attorney.
15. Continue collection attempts after receiving a cease communication notice – If you make a written request for the collector to cease communication, they can only contact you one more time, via mail to let you know one of the following:
- further efforts to collect the debt are terminated
- they may take certain actions legally allowed to be taken by the collector
- or that the collector is definitely going to take those legal actions.
These are not all of the violations! There are at least two dozen more ways the debt collector can violate the law.
If you are being contacted by a debt collector in any way–mail, email, fax, or phone call 210-735-9911 TODAY to review your case for a potential lawsuit against Texas FDCPA violations. Stop debt collectors and MAKE THEM PAY YOU!
The Meyrat Law Firm defends clients’ consumer rights in the metro areas of San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Austin, Waco, Temple, Del Rio, El Paso, Dallas, Fort Worth, Tyler, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, Wichita Falls, and Beaumont.