Debt Collector Harassment in Texas
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Texas there are two things to consider when thinking about debt collection: harassment and misrepresentation. The presence of either of these things constitutes debt collector harassment and may require you to take legal action against the collector.
Debt Collector Harassment in Texas
The Texas Office of Consumer Credit Protections states that any action by a collection agency such as the use of profane language, threatening violence or harm, or falsifying information in order to collect a debt is viewed by the state as harassment. Any such behavior means you have legal standing to sue the debt collector.
If you are a victim of any of these examples of harassment, you may have a right to sue the debt collector for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). An experienced Texas attorney can help you identify your options and build a strong case.
Misrepresentations by a debt collector refer to someone making false claims or accusations or using false, deceptive, or misleading practices. This also includes misrepresenting any debt you may have. See some examples of this and other Illegal Debt Collection Practices below:
- The amount of money you owe
- False threats saying they will have you arrested
- Saying they are an attorney if they aren’t one
- Threats to do something that the debt collector has no intention of doing
- Threats to take actions that are not within the confines of the law
If you think any Texas debt collectors may have misrepresented themselves to you, it’s important to remember that you have options. Get in contact with an attorney that understands debt collector law.
Who Are Debt Collectors?
Most people don’t know what a debt collector is until they have one incessantly calling them about paying off debt. So, who are debt collectors? Who do they work for?
Collectors come from a debt collection agency that works with creditors who are owed debts. If you have outstanding debt in Texas , such as credit debt, unpaid loans, and personal loans, your creditor may contact a debt collection agency. This agency then assigns a debt collector to your case.
If you have fallen behind in payments, you may have to deal with a debt collection agency such as Burt and Associates, FMA Alliance, or Southwest Credit systems. NexaCollections provides an online guide listing most accredited collection agencies in Texas.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Texas ?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Texas debt collectors are harassing you, then it’s important to become familiar with the Basics of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from collection agencies. If a debt collector violates any of the harassment or misrepresentation rules, the victim has a right to sue the collector for violation of the FDCPA.
Step 2: Collect Records
If you’ve been harassed in Texas by a debt collector, it’s important to gather evidence.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office states that no collector can claim to be able to take your house as payment if it is declared a homestead. If a collector tries this you should mail a Stop Contact letter as soon as possible. This should be in writing, and sent certified mail if possible so you’ll have a receipt. Make sure to keep detailed records of your payments, as well as everything that the debt collector sends to you via mail. You might also consider recording the calls from a collector if they are harassing you, as Texas is a 1 party consent state when it comes to recording.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Texas debt collector, it’s easy to get angry and act impulsively. Unfortunately, this can cause you to say or do something detrimental to your case. Instead, try to remain calm and make all your actions deliberate and well-thought-out. Not only will this be better for keeping your stress levels low, but it will prove helpful if you go to court. You can show that you were respectful and calm while the debt collector was the one using abusive language.
Step 4: Ask for Debt Verification
If you’re constantly getting phone calls from Texas debt collectors harassing you about what you owe, you need to ask for debt verification. Not only will this show whether or not they are misrepresenting your debt, but the debt collector must also stop contacting you until they provide the information you requested. Debt verification should show the amount of debt you owe and the name of the creditor. You have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. If you don’t dispute the debt, the creditor will assume the debt is valid.
Step 5: Contact an Attorney
If you’re the victim of debt collector harassment, it’s time to stand up and fight back. You deserve to live a life free from abusive and repetitive phone calls. Texas attorneys that understand What to Expect When Suing for Debt Collection Harassment, and local debt collection laws, can help you make this possible. If the debt collector threatens to or does take legal action regarding your outstanding debts, working with an attorney becomes even more important.
Step 6: Present Your Case
By hiring an experienced Texas debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
The Texas State Law Library affirms that once the statute of limitations has passed on your debt, no suit can be brought against you. However, you also have a statute of limitations to sue a collector over harassment. You must file within 1 year of the harassment.
You’ll also have to decide whether to file suit in a state court, such as the Dallas County District Court, or a federal court, like the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. An experienced attorney in Texas can help you decide which filing will best help your case.
Work With an Experienced Texas Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Texas , it’s time to put an end to it so you can move forward with life. There are laws in place to protect consumers from debt collectors. Legal assistance can help you to navigate these complex laws and defend yourself in court, if necessary.
Are you ready to find a debt collector attorney near you so you can finally fight back against the harassment? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Texas state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!