The following guest post was contributed by Cole Collins. Cole is a free lance writer in the personal finance industry with a concentration on consumer debt relief and credit card debt.
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While no residents of the United States this day and age should feel comfortable regarding their credit card debt, those men and women residing in the confines on Texas should relax in the notion that, should the worst come to pass, they’ll be uniquely protected from bill collector harassment or fraudulent charges as they tackle the process of debt relief.
The Texas Debt Collection Act
In what has become an extremely important piece of legislation for borrowers who have been troubled with timely payments of the credit card debt accounts or other unsecured bills – especially those Texans who are hoping to avoid bankruptcy through debt settlement negotiation or another form of credit card debt relief – the Texas Debt Collection Act ensures that, even if representatives of lending institutions manage to successfully win a civil court judgment against delinquent debtors, they would not be able to garnish the salaries or force seizure of possessions for eventual auction.
In addition to the Texas Debt Collection Act, which has had a momentous impact upon every borrower’s opportunity for debt relief through negotiation by bringing the brunt of leverage back to the debtor and his or her settlement proxies, Texas officials have also severely limited the latitude given phone communication from collection agencies. As point of local law, Texan residents may actually sue the bill collectors whenever a reclamation agent repeatedly calls a number despite requests to only receive warnings in writing and, unlike the regulations around most of America, this will apply to the original lenders as well as the so called third party debt collections specialists.
Credit Card Debt Fraud Statutes
As yet another benefit to those Texans who hold credit card debt accounts, the legislators in Austin have assembled some of the most enduring and harsh penalties imaginable for hooligans of all colored collars who seek to take advantage of the ubiquity of plastic commerce to defraud hard working men and women living in the Lone Star state. Specifically, under the current Texas penal code, if anyone should purchase goods and services on a credit card debt account not their own (unless they had been given clear permission by the rightful owners of the card), bought a credit card from anyone besides the corporation to approve and issue the debt account, and even simply took possession of another individual’s credit card, they could be convicted of a felony punishable from six months to two years’ incarceration along with a significant fine and costs of restitution.
However, at the same time, those consumers seeking to utilize a credit card that has since expired should be aware that this, too, falls under the broadened criminal statutes, though the law enforcement authorities will obviously treat unknowing errors as forgivable mistakes. As a somewhat more serious offense, given that many Texans regularly fudge the details of their own financial pasts to enlarge their credit card debt balances or heighten the chances of approval without even knowing the potential risks, borrowers should be aware that submitting intentionally fraudulent data regarding their income or assets to the lending institutions could itself result in charges that range from Class C misdemeanors to state felonies, contingent upon the amount of debt falsely extended.