Under Texas law, namely the Texas Finance Code and the Texas Business & Commerce Code, debt collectors and credit reporting agencies are held to much stricter standards.
What types of protections do I have from debt collectors as a Texas resident?
There are a variety of guidelines that debt collectors must meet in order to collect an outstanding debt in Texas. These include, but are not limited to:
- A debt collection company attempting to collect debt in Texas must be bonded and licensed to do so. Failure to maintain an active surety bond is grounds for an immediate cessation of collections and reporting to major credit bureaus.
- A debt collector must validate a debt within 30 calendar days when requested to do so.
- The debt collection agency must provide, among other things, specific information about the debt including proof that the debt has been legally transferred to them by the original creditor, the original balance, the date of original default, and the date of debt transfer.
- Additionally, the debt collection agency must provide proof that you are, in fact, the debtor in question.
- A collection company must prove, with a contract signed by the debtor, that they have the authority to collect fees, interest or expenses above the original balance
- A debt collection company cannot, under any circumstances, engage in threats, coercion, harassment, abuse, unfair, unconscionable means, fraud, deception or misleading representations to collect debt. Texas law outlines over forty (40) credit collection agency actions that are against the law.
- A debt collection company that is unable to meet any provisions of the debt validation process within 30 days is legally obligated to permanently cease collections and remove the derogatory listing from your personal credit profile with national credit reporting bureaus.
- A third party collection agency that violates any provision of Texas Finance Code is subject to criminal penalties through the Texas Attorney General, as well as civil penalties that include monetary awards to the victim.
What can I do to start taking advantage of my rights as a Texas resident?
Option 1: Learn Texas laws, namely the relevant provisions of Texas Finance Code and Texas Business & Commerce Code, and begin contacting your original creditors, third-party debt collectors or credit reporting agencies about problems you may be experiencing.
Option 2: Contact an attorney. If you have been sued or are feel your rights are being violated we can help you locate an attorney in Texas that may be able to help.
Option 3: Take charge of your personal credit with the Paragon Credit Repair Let us guide you to the specific Texas laws applicable to your personal situation, show you how to implement a credit repair strategy, and walk you through the process, step-by-step.