Credit Repair Texas – What You Need to Know
Texas consumer rights laws provide special protection against harassment from collection companies. Read more to learn about your rights People throughout the country are covered by federal consumer debt laws that protect them from predatory creditors. Credit Repair Texas. But, if you live in Texas, you have an additional layer of protection. Texas has tough laws known as the Texas Finance Code and the Texas Business & Commerce Code that hold creditors to strict standards. Some of the specific protections you have in the Longhorn State:
- Debt collection companies in the state of Texas are required to be licensed and bonded. The license must be renewed regularly; any company that fails to maintain a surety bond must stop work immediately.
- Collection agencies must have paperwork to prove that they are legally allowed to collect a debt. This includes proof of the debt from the original creditor. What this means for you is fewer calls from Texas collection agencies about debts that you do not legitimately owe.
- Texas law enumerates 40 separate abusive debt collection practices that are specifically forbidden by Texas law, including fraud, deception, threats, verbal abuse and misleading representations.
- A debt collector cannot try to collect more than the amount originally agreed on unless there is a written agreement that allows collection charges or late fees.
- If you request verification of a debt from a collection agency, they must provide it within 30 calendar days.
- A collection agency must have a contract from the original creditor that proves that they have been engaged to collect a debt.
And, Texas law is strict and specific when it comes to penalties for violating any of the above:
- A collection company that cannot comply with requests within 30 days must permanently stop attempts to collect the debt. Additionally, they must inform national credit reporting agencies that the debt should be removed.
- If they violate any of Texas’s finance laws, they can be subject to civil and criminal penalties.
If you encounter an abusive debt collector in the state of Texas:
- Keep written records of everything. For instance, if a creditor is abusive over the phone, write down the date and time of the call and all details that you remember.
- Request that all communication be made in writing. This is a guarantee under federal law. Written communication gives you a record of every interaction and gives you time to respond calmly and reasonably.
- Contact the state attorney’s office. They can make sure that creditors stay within the limits of the law.
- Consult with an attorney. Under both Texas law and federal law you may be entitled to sue for damages within one year of the abusive behavior. Federal law says that a judge can order the collection company to pay you up to $1000 without proof of losses. If you lose wages or have medical bills that can be attributed to a creditor’s harassment, you can recover those, as well.