A creditor cannot threaten to do something for which either federal law or state law allows them to get relief from a court or a jury. Many times the creditors will threaten or harass in one of the following manners:
- They will pretend to be what they are not (saying they are a lawyer or a member of a law enforcement agency)
- They will call you at home after 9:00 PM
- They will contact a neighbor, friend, family member, or boss to discuss your debt
- They will threaten to call the police or stating that you will go to jail unless you pay (there are no debtors’ prisons in America anymore)
- They will threaten to sell or repossess your property without proper court proceedings that is exempt from execution in Texas
The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Texas Debt Collection Act, govern the activities of debt collectors in Texas. The act prohibits the use of fraudulent and abusive collection tactics by individuals or corporations to obtain payment on outstanding debts against you.
It is unlawful for a debt collector to attempt to collect more than the amount originally agreed upon – whether the agreement was in writing or not. But, the debt may be increased by attorney fees, investigation fees, service fees, collection fees, or other charges if the written contract authorizes the charges.
If you dispute an item in the file that a debt collector has on you, then you must give the debt collector written notice. Written dispute of the debt is best accomplished by sending your complaint to the debt collector by certified mail with return receipt requested. Keep a copy of all the correspondence you have sent to the debt collector. The debt collector has 30 days after receiving your written request to determine whether or not the disputed item is correct.
If it is incorrect, it must be corrected. The debt collector must notify anyone who has already received a report containing the incorrect item. If, at the end of 30 days, the debt collector has not been able to determine whether the item is correct or not, he or she must make the change you requested and notify anyone who received a report containing the incorrect item.
If it is later determined that the item was correct after all, you must be notified and collection efforts may be continued.
Harassment and Fraud are Prohibited, and your home and wages are protected under the Texas State Law.
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