Passed to complement the restrictions mandated by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Texas Debt Collection Act (TDCA) prohibits the use abusive and fraudulent debt collection practices performed by both individuals and corporations.
Under state law, third party debt collectors such as Scott & Associates must closely follow state regulations pertaining to the collection of debts. If someone from Scott & Associates violates one or more provisions of the TDCA, consumers have the legal right to consult with a consumer protection law attorney to determine the best course of action.
Overview of the TDCA
You have the right to dispute any item found in a file a debt collector has collected about you. The TDCA requires you to send a written notice via certified mail to request a debt collector cease and desist from making contact with you and anyone in your immediate family.
Under the TDCA, a debt collector has 30 days to respond to your certified written letter. If one or more items in your credit file are found to be incorrect, the TDCA requires debt collectors to contact anyone or any organization that has received the same incorrect information.
Statute of Limitations
Only six states have lower statute of limitations requirements than what the State of Texas mandates for debt collection time limits. In accordance to the legal provisions authorized by the TDCA, the Texas legislature has placed a four-year statute of limitations on all types of consumer debts.
This means a debt collector must initiate legal action against you to collect a delinquent debt within four years of the original past due date. The statute of limitations provision covers student loans, personal loans, and credit card debt.
Interest Charges and Other Fees
If you stop paying off a debt, the original creditor can tack on fees and interest charges as permitted in the agreement you signed to assume the debt. However, under Texas law, the issue becomes legally murky when the original debt transfers to a third party debt collector.
Texas law clearly mandates debt collectors to clearly explain the addition of charges to original debts. Section 393.303 of the Texas Finance Code requires third party debt collectors to provide evidence of the authority to charge fees and interest for collecting debts.
Wage Garnishment and the TDCA
In Texas, employers are responsible for sending garnished wages to third party debt collectors. However, Texas has one of the most restrictive wage garnishment laws in the United States. Debt collectors can garnish wages only for taxes, alimony, child support, and student loans.
If you owe money for credit card or personal loan debt, Texas law prohibits the garnishment of your wages to collect the debts.
Violations of the TDCA
Many violations of the TDCA are also violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices/Consumer Protection Act, which gives the Texas Attorney General the legal impetus to take action against violators.
The TDCA and FCDPA allow consumers to seek monetary damages against unethical third party debt collectors. To seek the justice you deserve, work with a consumer protection law attorney that has handled TDCA and FDCPA court cases.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Scott & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.