Stop Harassing Phone Calls Federal Fair Debt Collection Act Texas Debt Collection Act Applies to a “debt collector” that is Applies to anyone trying to collect a someone in the business of collecting debt, including the store that sold you debts for another. FDCA doesn’t apply the goods and any agency it hires to to a creditor collecting his own debts. collect the debt. Debt collectors may not harass, It is illegal to oppress, harass, or abuse oppress, or abuse you in connection any person in connection with the with the collection of a debt. collection of a debt. It is illegal to cause a phone to ring A debt collector may not place phone repeatedly with intent to annoy, abuse, calls without disclosing the name of the or harass; or to call without giving the person calling, may not call with intent caller’s identity; or to call after 9 p.m. to annoy or harass, and may not cause or before 8 a.m. the phone to ring repeatedly or You can stop a debt collector from continuously with the intent to harass. contacting you by writing a letter to the If you are being subjected to harassing, debt collector telling them to stop. abusive, or fraudulent debt collection Once you notify the debt collector in tactics by professional debt collectors, writing that you want them to stop and you want to stop further contact communication with you, the debt with you, notify the collector in collector must stop all communication writing. except advising you of his next step. Remedies The Federal Trade Co mmission enforces the Vio lators of the TDCA are subject to FDCA. criminal and civil penalties. Consumers who You have the right to sue a collector in a state think they have been harassed or deceived or federal court within one year fro m the date may seek injunctions and damages against the law was violated. If you win, you may debt collectors. These actions are also recover money for the damages you suffered violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade plus an additional amount up to $1,000. Court Practices/ Consumer Protection Act, which costs and attorney's fees also can be recovered. gives the Attorney General the authority to A debtor-plaintiff can recover statutory take action in the public interest. damages absent proof of actual damages. A debtor-plaintiff can recover statutory Therefore, a plaintiff may not be awarded damages but must produce proof of actual statutory damages in an amount exceed ing damages. A statutory recovery of $100 for $1000. In co mputing the damage award courts each violation of this Act is conditioned on will consider the frequency, persistence, and the successful maintenance of a suit. See nature of noncompliance by the debt collector, Elson v. Resolution Services, Inc., 950 and the extent to which such noncompliance S.W.2d, 180 (Tex. App. 1997). was intentional. See Dixon v. United Adjusters, No. 79-179, 1981 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18392 (D. Or. Feb. 19, 1981). Above information obtained from the Texas Attorney General’s website at http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/debt.shtml and Know Your Rights!, 6 th Edition, by Richard Alderman. Sample Cease Communication Letter Send the letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested to each collectio n agency. Keep a copy of what you send. When you receive the green card receipt back, put it with the copy of the letter you sent. Include a reference to both state and federal statutes to ensure original creditor is included in demand to “cease and desist.” Date Your Name Your Address City, State, Zip Their Name Their Address Their City, State, Zip RE: File #…Creditor Name…Creditor Acct. #…Amount $… (Include all information that will assist bill collector identify which account you are writing about.) Dear Bill Collector: This letter is your notice to cease all communication with me, pursuant to both the federal and state Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, in regard to the above referenced debt. Failure to comply with this notice and to immediatedly cease and desist will result in legal action under these statutes. Sincerely, <Your Name> Above information obtained from the Texas Attorney General’s website at http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/debt.shtml and Know Your Rights!, 6 th Edition, by Richard Alderman.
Pages to are hidden for
"Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Sample Letter"Please download to view full document