TEX FI. CODE ANN. § 392.304 : Texas Statutes - Section 392.304: FRAUDULENT, DECEPTIVE, OR MISLEADING REPRESENTATIONS

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, in debt collection or obtaining information concerning a consumer, a debt collector may not use a fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading representation that employs the following practices:

(1) using a name other than the:

(A) true business or professional name or the true personal or legal name of the debt collector while engaged in debt collection; or

(B) name appearing on the face of the credit card while engaged in the collection of a credit card debt;

(2) failing to maintain a list of all business or professional names known to be used or formerly used by persons collecting consumer debts or attempting to collect consumer debts for the debt collector;

(3) representing falsely that the debt collector has information or something of value for the consumer in order to solicit or discover information about the consumer;

(4) failing to disclose clearly in any communication with the debtor the name of the person to whom the debt has been assigned or is owed when making a demand for money;

(5) in the case of a third-party debt collector, failing to disclose, except in a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action:

(A) that the communication is an attempt to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, if the communication is the initial written or oral communication between the third-party debt collector and the debtor; or

(B) that the communication is from a debt collector, if the communication is a subsequent written or oral communication between the third-party debt collector and the debtor;

(6) using a written communication that fails to indicate clearly the name of the debt collector and the debt collector's street address or post office box and telephone number if the written notice refers to a delinquent consumer debt;

(7) using a written communication that demands a response to a place other than the debt collector's or creditor's street address or post office box;

(8) misrepresenting the character, extent, or amount of a consumer debt, or misrepresenting the consumer debt's status in a judicial or governmental proceeding;

(9) representing falsely that a debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with, or is an instrumentality, agent, or official of, this state or an agency of federal, state, or local government;

(10) using, distributing, or selling a written communication that simulates or is represented falsely to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by a court, an official, a governmental agency, or any other governmental authority or that creates a false impression about the communication's source, authorization, or approval;

(11) using a seal, insignia, or design that simulates that of a governmental agency;

(12) representing that a consumer debt may be increased by the addition of attorney's fees, investigation fees, service fees, or other charges if a written contract or statute does not authorize the additional fees or charges;

(13) representing that a consumer debt will definitely be increased by the addition of attorney's fees, investigation fees, service fees, or other charges if the award of the fees or charges is subject to judicial discretion;

(14) representing falsely the status or nature of the services rendered by the debt collector or the debt collector's business;

(15) using a written communication that violates the United States postal laws and regulations;

(16) using a communication that purports to be from an attorney or law firm if it is not;

(17) representing that a consumer debt is being collected by an attorney if it is not;

(18) representing that a consumer debt is being collected by an independent, bona fide organization engaged in the business of collecting past due accounts when the debt is being collected by a subterfuge organization under the control and direction of the person who is owed the debt; or

(19) using any other false representation or deceptive means to collect a debt or obtain information concerning a consumer.

(b) Subsection (a)(4) does not apply to a person servicing or collecting real property first lien mortgage loans or credit card debts.

(c) Subsection (a)(6) does not require a debt collector to disclose the names and addresses of employees of the debt collector.

(d) Subsection (a)(7) does not require a response to the address of an employee of a debt collector.

(e) Subsection (a)(18) does not prohibit a creditor from owning or operating a bona fide debt collection agency.


Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1008, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 851, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 28.01, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.