When it comes to the tactics that debt collectors are allowed to use, consumers need to know that some things just aren’t allowed. The main federal law on the subject, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, draws the line against deceptive and unfair practices. At the federal level, there is also the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Texas state law contains various protections for debtors as well. The Texas Debt Collection Practices Act, in particular, has numerous safeguards for consumers.
One of the protections that state and federal law provide is the right to not be harassed by phone calls from debt collectors. This protection is at issue in a recent Texas case. The case involves a man who has filed suit against a debt collection agency for constantly calling him at work – despite the man’s specific requests that the calls stop.
The man says he informed the debt collection agency that his employer did not permit collection calls at work. Yet the debt collectors continued to call. This occurred not just once or twice, but at three times.
The third time was hardly the charm. That call was apparently made by a debt collector who tried to present himself or herself as a law enforcement officer trying to serve legal papers.
The harassment case against the debt collection agency has not yet been resolved. It is fair to say, however, harassment just isn’t allowed under state and federal law.
Private lawsuits are one way to raise this issue. For many people, an effective response to creditor overreaching is a bankruptcy filing. Your bankruptcy lawyer can then communicate with creditors on your behalf.
Source: “Debt collection agency sued for repeatedly calling man’s work place,” The Southeast Texas Record, Michelle Keahey, 10-10-12
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our page on stopping creditor harassment in Texas.