The J. Gannon Helstowski Firm aggressively goes debt collectors that violate consumer’s rights found under Federal and Texas Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Our experienced attorneys and staff guide consumers through the process. While our first goal is to avoid unnecessary litigation our attorneys are ready to file suit against debt collectors that violate FDCPA. Depending on the facts of the case we may take a case with little or no money out of the Texas consumer’s pocket. Schedule at appointment or call us at (877) 71TEXAS to learn how we can better assist you.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted to protect consumers from abuses in debt collection. The act protects consumers concerning personal, family, and household debts, including money owed on a personal credit card, an auto loan, a medical bill, and your mortgage. Under the Federal FDCPA, the original creditor is excluded from liability of their own collection efforts. Federal FDCPA only applies to third party debt collectors and debt buyers. Under Texas FDCPA both the original creditor AND the debt collector are covered under the Act. For example, under Federal FDCPA Capital One is not covered where in the state of Texas, Capital One AND their debt collector Scott, Parnell & Associates are covered.
Debt Collectors can not Harass
- use threats of violence or harm to any consumer
- publish a list of consumer’s names who refuse to pay their debts (they can report to the credit bureaus)
- use obscene or profane language
- repeatedly use the phone to annoy consumers
Debt Collectors can not Make False Statements
- Claim that they are attorneys or government representatives when they are not
- Claim that you have committed a crime when you have not
- Represent that they are or work for a credit bureau
- Misrepresent the amount you owe
- Claim that papers they send are legal forms from a court or other law enforcement agency if they aren’t
- Claim that papers they send aren’t legal forms if they from the court or law enforcement agency
Debt Collectors can not Threaten
- Consumers will be arrested if they do not pay the debt
- They can seize, garnish, attach, or sell property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so
- Legal action will be taken against the consumer, if doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action.
Debt Collectors can not Use Unfair Practices
- Try to collect interest, fees, or other charges on top of the amount owed unless the contract that created the debt – or Texas state law – allows the charge
- Deposit a post-dated check early
- Take or threaten to take property unless it can be done legally
Debt Collectors Can Not
- give false credit information about a consumer to anyone, including a credit bureau;
- contact about a debt by postcard
- send anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t
- use a false company name.