What Constitutes Creditor Harassment in Texas?
You Have Rights and Debt Collectors Must Obey the Law
One of the most stressful things about being in debt is the constant pressure and calls from bill collectors and creditors. It’s common for debt collectors to make harassing phone calls all hours of the day. They may threaten you with a legal action or make embarrassing calls to your family and friends. All these tactics can make you feel helpless, hopeless and humiliated. But are all of these tactics legal? No.
Federal and Texas Laws Protect You From Harassment by Creditors
Debt collectors must comply with the Texas debt collection and federal Fair Debt Collection Practice laws. Debts covered under these regulations include automobile loans, medical care bills, and credit card debt. Debt collectors must provide information about the debt within five days after contacting you and send a notice about the amount you owe, who you owe it to and what actions you should take if you do not think you owe the money.
Here are some facts about what debt collectors may and may not do:
- Debt collectors may contact you in person, by mail, telephone, email or fax. They may not contact you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm or contact you at work without your permission.
- Debt collectors may not contact you if you write them a certified letter to tell them to stop. They may continue to attempt to collect the debt you owe by suing you.
- Debt collectors may not contact you if you are represented by an attorney. They may contact other people to find out where you live, your phone number and/or your employer, but they may not contact those third parties more than once and they may not tell anyone else that you have a debt.
- Debt collectors may not harass, oppress or abuse you. They may not use threats of violence, obscene language or repeatedly use telephone calls to annoy you.
- Debt collectors may not use false or misleading statements, imply that they are attorneys or government representatives or work for a credit bureau, imply that you committed a crime or lie about how much you owe, etc.
- Debt collectors may not threaten to seize, garnish or repossess your property, wages or assets unless they contact you by postcard to say that it can be done legally.
- Debt collectors may not use a false name or identification.
The Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner website provides additional information about what debt collectors are allowed to do by law and how to file a complaint about a debt collector. When a debt collector crosses the legal line, an experienced attorney can help you make them stop. You may even be able to receive monetary compensation.
A Texas Bankruptcy Attorney at Oliva Law can Help You Stop Creditor Harassment
When you are bothered by creditors, Oliva Law can make them stop harassing you. Every week, we help our clients in Brownsville, McAllen, Harlingen, Corpus Christi and throughout the Rio Grande Valley sue harassing creditors. Get peace of mind and freedom from harassment. Call Oliva Law or contact us online and let us fight for you today.
About the Author: Marcos Oliva Marcos Oliva is the principal attorney at Oliva Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Texas, the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts in the Southern District of Texas, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Jan 25th, 2019