Texas has enacted a state debt collection law, known as the Texas Debt Collection Act, which closely tracks and parallels the federal FDCPA. Like the federal law, the Texas law prohibits harassing communications, disclosure of the alleged debt to third parties, threats of violence or harm, obscene or profane language, and misleading or deceptive tactics. Texas residents are also protected under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices/ Consumer Protection Act, which is enforced by the Texas Attorney General.
It is also important to know that under Texas law, if your house has been declared a homestead, collectors cannot take your home except in connection with debts related to the house, such as a mortgage or home equity loan, or in connection with some tax collections. Additionally, Texas does not permit the garnishment of wages in connection with debt collections, except as to child-support payments and student loans.
In addition to the damages and other relief available under the FDCPA, a Texas resident subjected to improper debt collection practices can also obtain relief under the Texas law. Texas victims can bring a lawsuit under state law and obtain their actual damages, $100 in statutory damages per violation, and attorneys’ fees and costs.
If you believe that a collector has behaved inappropriately while attempting to collect a debt from you in Texas, our attorneys can help you to determine whether the FDCPA or Texas law provides you with a legal remedy.
To learn more about the FDPCA, go to Federal Debt Collection Practices Act.
Texas Statute, Finance Code, Title 5, Chapter 392.