If you are struggling with debt or have been turned over to a collection agency, you may be frightened and unsure of what to do next. Contacting a consumer debt defense lawyer is your best option for protecting your rights and finding reasonable debt solutions. If you aren’t ready to contact a lawyer, or just want more information beforehand, consider these 10 things you should know about debt collection practices in Texas.
Things to Know about Debt Collection Practices in Texas
If you are dealing with a debt collector, remember that you are not alone. Start your debt resolution journey with these tips from Daic Law.
1. Debt Collection is Not Illegal
If you owe someone a debt, they can legally contact you to collect. Debt collectors do provide a valuable service to help ensure that creditors get paid the money they are owed. This is important to the flow of the economy.
2. You Have Rights
Just because you owe a debt does not mean that you deserve less respect and fairness than anyone else. Debt collectors must treat you with respect and dignity.
3. Debt Collectors Cannot Harass You
While debt collectors can certainly contact you, it is illegal for them to harass you or make false statements. The law prohibits debt collectors from abusing you or any third party. They cannot call you at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. unless you authorize them to contact you then.
4. Debt Collectors Cannot Threaten You
Debt collectors also cannot threaten you with violence or harm. They may not speak to you using profane or obscene language, and they cannot call repeatedly simply to annoy you.
5. Debt Collectors Can Contact Your Workplace
Debt collectors can legally contact your workplace unless the employer prohibits such contact. If you don’t want them contacting you at work, have your employer tell them not to call, or send a letter to the collection agency.
6. Debt Collectors Cannot Collect from a Third Party
Have you ever had a debt collector contact a friend or family member looking for you? Have they ever asked a family member to pay the debt or “help you out”? Debt collectors are not legally allowed to do these things. They can only contact a third party in order to obtain a phone number or address for you. Once they have spoken to that third party and received information, they are prohibited from contacting them again.
7. Debt Collectors Cannot Collect from Family Members or Co-Workers
As mentioned previously, debt collectors cannot attempt to collect a debt from friends, family members, or co-workers. They can contact them to get your address or telephone number, but they should only contact them once. The law prohibits debt collectors from continuing contact once they have your information.
8. You Can Get Debt Collectors to Stop Calling
You can send a letter to a debt collector telling them to stop calling you. Once they receive this letter, they should only contact you to confirm there will be no further contact, or to identify further action they may take. Just because they stop calling you does not mean that they have stopped collection efforts, however. You could still be sued for the debt you owe.
9. You Cannot be Arrested for Not Paying a Debt
Some unsavory debt collectors will try to scare consumers into paying their debts. One of the worst practices is telling the consumer that they will be arrested if they don’t pay. First, debt collectors cannot legally threaten you. Second, debt collectors cannot suggest that you have committed a crime or threaten to have you arrested. This is simply not the case. They can threaten to sue you if they intend to do so, but they cannot threaten to sue you if they are legally not allowed to do so.
10. A Debt Collector Cannot Take Your Wages or Home
In Texas, debt collectors cannot threaten to take your home or garnish your wages. They can only threaten you with actions that they can legally take. In Texas, the law prohibits wage garnishment and does not allow creditors to put liens on your property or force you to sell it.
Learn More about Texas Debt Defense
If you are being harassed by a debt collector or believe that you do not owe the debt they claim you do, it’s time to speak with a debt defense lawyer in Texas. At Daic Law, we help consumers overcome the struggles of debt. Our debt defense lawyer understands what debt collection agencies can legally do and how to fight them when they violate your legal rights. Learn more about debt defense by contacting us at 877-893-6040, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Daic Law offers a free consultation to every potential client. Don’t let illegal debt collection practices scare you from getting help.
From our office in Houston, we help clients in the areas surrounding Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and more!