Section 1692a(5) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) defines debt as “any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to judgment.”
Section 1692a(3) defines a consumer as “any natural person obligated or allegedly obligated to pay any debt.” The clout of the FDCPA is therefore quite broad, but so is the protection it provides to consumers.
Federal FDCPA and Texas DCPA
The FDCPA was enacted by Congress in 1977 based on its findings that abusive activities of collecting agencies largely contributed to various difficulties in the lives of Americans, including the following:
- Financial difficulties that results to marriage problems;
- Filing for bankruptcy;
- Invasion of privacy of consumers;
- Loss of jobs.
The FDCPA is a federal law that is normally supported further by local laws, which depend and vary from state to state. Texas enforced a separate version of the FDCPA, which it refers to as the Texas Debt Collection Practices Act (DCPA) contained in the Texas Finance Code, particularly Chapter 392.
Both laws have many similarities, including its application only to consumer transactions and not commercial ones, as ruled before the Texas Court of Appeals (CA) in Ford v. City State Bank of Palacios.
Just as there are similarities, there are also variations between the federal FDCPA and the Texas DCPA. Some of the differences are as follows:
- Coverage of the DPCA includes attorneys, creditors and private child support collecting agencies, besides the usual debt collectors;
- It imposes added requirements to debt collectors, such as a $10,000 surety bond;
- As ruled before Texas CA in Campbell v. Beneficial Finance Co., causes of action are available to any individual whose rights have been violated under the DCPA.
Given the number of laws that may apply to your situation and the legalities involved, it is best to seek the help of a Texas FDCPA attorney to allow you some relief.
Get Help from an FDCPA Attorney in Texas
Another thing that an FDCPA attorney in Texas can help you with is to determine the statute of limitation (SOL) of your debt and make sure a debt collector does not file a lawsuit against you if the SOL has actually expired.
In Texas, the SOL for all consumer debts, like those acquired through written and oral contracts, credit card debts and promissory notes, is 4 years. This means that 4 years from the time you defaulted from payment, a creditor or collection agency may no longer file a case against you for your debt.
It does not matter whether you live in Houston, Dallas, Arlington or even the smallest cities of Texas. Both the FDCPA and the Texas DCPA protects your rights. Should you feel a debt collector violates those rights, simply get the services of a Texas FDCPA attorney to assist you.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
You may acquire a Free Evaluation if you are unsure how the law applies to your situation. Since there is only one year statute of limitation by which you can file a legal claim against an abusive debt collector from the time violation was made, it is vital to act quickly.
Should you decide to proceed with a claim after learning the applicable laws, a Texas FDCPA attorney may be connected to you immediately.