No one likes to be reminded of a debt they owe. We’d rather forget about it, or at least put it off until we have the money to pay it without ignoring our other monthly expenses.
It can feel like we are being harassed and abused, even if we aren’t.
But some creditors and debt collectors cross the line. They do harass people, and that’s not legal.
So, what do those laws say and how can they protect you?
The TDCA says debt collectors and creditors cannot be abusive by:
- threatening violence or other criminal acts to you or your property
- using profane or obscene language
- falsely accusing you of fraud or other crimes (or threatening to do so)
- telling others you are refusing to pay a debt if it is legally being disputed
- threatening to arrest you, or repossess or seize your property without proper court proceedings
- using the telephone to harass debtors by calling anonymously or making repeated or continuous calls
- making collect telephone calls without disclosing the true name of the caller before the charges are accepted
- threatening to do anything against the law
- threatening to charge you with a criminal act if you haven’t done anything criminal
The FDCPA only applies to collectors who are working for professional debt collection agencies and to attorneys who are hired to collect a debt.
For those specific debt collectors, it adds a few additional restrictions to the Texas laws:
- they can’t call you at work if they have reason to believe your employer doesn’t allow those types of calls
- they can’t call you earlier than 8 am or later than 9 pm unless they know other times are more convenient for you
- they can’t use any “unfair or unconscionable means” to collect the debt
If you are being abused or harassed by a debt collector in any way you think violates these laws, we can help.
Many times when an individual is being harassed by creditors, chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy is an option. When we file a bankruptcy for someone, it is illegal for a creditor to contact a debtor and try to collect a debt.
Call us at 361-578-7200 or use the contact form here on our website to reach out to us. We’ll do everything we can to defend your rights.