Texas Credit Protection Laws

March 14, 2008

Texas is one, of only 23 states, that has its own credit protection laws. The federal laws still apply, but there are additional statutes to further protect consumers. These states have laws for the credit agency as well as the consumer. Following is a short list of Texas Credit Protection Laws that could affect you.

The Texas Motor Vehicle Commission Code, or the Lemon Law, protects consumers when making the major purchase of a car. This law states that after a reasonable number of attempts to repair a deficit, two or more for serious safety hazards, the consumer has the right to contact the manufacturer in writing. If these efforts are not successful, the buyer should contact the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission in writing. The Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act protects people when buying a used car and when getting automobile repairs.

Texas also has laws about telemarketing. Telemarketers may not call you before 9:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, they may not call until after noon. Telemarketers must provide the name, address and phone number of the company they are representing, as well as their own name and title. A contract that is made as a result of telemarketing is not enforceable unless it is in writing, fully describes the goods and services being provided, has the company’s name and address, and has the total price of the sale. A full refund must be given if the goods or services are returned within seven days of the agreement.

The Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act also defines what agencies can and cannot do to collect a debt. Credit collection agencies must not threaten physical harm, arrest, or confiscation of property without the appropriate court proceedings. They must not use obscene language or harass the creditor or his family with an inordinate amount of phone calls. Finally, they must not send mail that falsely appears to be from a court, nor can they falsely claim that legal action has been taken.

Door-to-door sales are primarily covered under the Texas Home Solicitation Transaction Act. Any time you buy goods or services from a door-to-door salesman, you should receive a notice of cancellation form. This form allows you to simply fill in your name and the date, and as long as you return it within three days, you will get a full refund.

Consumer protection laws in Texas also regulate health spas. Health spas are listed as any company that provides membership for health training, exercise training, or the use of these to the public. The contract must be in writing, and signed by the consumer and the seller. It must have a 3-day cancellation period, a provision for cancellation if the company moves more than 10 miles or if they go out of business, and a prorated refund if the consumer becomes physically unable to use the facilities.

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