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Consumer Protection   Tags: consumer rights, deceptive trade practices  

This guide provides an overview of important Texas and federal laws designed to protect consumers from deceptive trade practices.
Last Updated: Jul 2, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research from Home

If you have a TexLaw ID, you can check out an OverDrive eBook title or access our remote databases. Don't have a TexLaw ID? Texas residents can register for a TexLaw ID from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

Below are some eBook titles that may help you with your research on consumer protection.

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Know Your Rights! - Richard M. Alderman
Call Number: KFT 387 A4 2010
ISBN: 9781589794566
Publication Date: 2010
Richard Alderman is a University of Houston law professor who answers legal questions on the website, The People's Lawyer. This book is a compilation of some of the more popular questions and their plain English answers. The focus is primarily consumer law, covering topics such as applying for credit, contracts, the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, online sales, small claims court, family law, immigration, warranties, landlord and tenant law, and wills and probate.

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Lawyer's guide to the Texas deceptive trade practices act - Richard M. Alderman
Call Number: KFT 1609 A43 1999
Publication Date: 2013
This thorough treatment of the laws surrounding the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act contains the most current research. Coverage includes proper party plaintiffs and defendants, breach of warranty, unconscionability, the insurance code, and interaction with other laws. This annually update publication contains case law information and appendices containing historical version of the DTPA.

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Texas litigation guide - William V. Dorsaneo
Call Number: KF 170 D6
Publication Date: 2014
This comprehensive set explains the law and procedure in a given area and then provides drafting guides to prepare the forms. The set is divided into 10 different units: Pretrial Practice, Trial Practice, Appellate Practice, Pleadings in Business Entity Litigation, Pleadings in Commercial Litigation, Pleadings in Real Estate Litigation, Pleadings in Personal Injury Litigation, Family Code Litigation, Probate Code Litigation, and Administrative Proceedings. Chapters are divided into four parts: legal background on a topic, a drafting guide, forms, and a research guide.


Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.

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Consumer law & protection: a practical approach for paralegals and the public - Neal R. Bevans
Call Number: KF 1609 B48 2011
ISBN: 1594608377
Publication Date: 2011
Written for paralegal students and the general public, this text covers consumer protection topics such as fraud, deceptive practices, Internet scams, warranties, truth in lending, debt collection, and consumer remedies. Each chapter contains a list of objects to learn, selected cases, key vocabulary terms, and review questions.

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Consumer protection handbook - American Bar Association
Call Number: KF 1610 C66 2004
ISBN: 1590313682
Publication Date: 2004
This title contains an overview of consumer protection issues. It looks at both state and federal consumer protection laws and their enforcement. It also contains excerpts of important consumer protection statutes. The first chapter provides an overview of consumer protection issues such as deception, false advertising, unfair practices, and privacy.

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Guide to consumer rights for domestic violence survivors - Chi Chi Wu; John Van Alst; Carolyn Carter
Call Number: KF 1610 G8 2006
ISBN: 1931697973
Publication Date: 2006
This guide from the National Consumer Law Center provides an overview of financial considerations for survivors of domestic violence. Chapters cover a wide range of topics including budgeting, prioritizing debt, joint debts, crime victim compensation funds, credit discrimination, private child support collection agencies, identity theft by the abuser, and federal tax issues.

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The ABCs of the UCC: related and supplementary consumer law - Frederick H. Miller; John D. Lackey
Call Number: KF 1609 M55 2004
ISBN: 9781590313084
Publication Date: 2004
This title is part of the ABCs of the UCC series which looks at specific sections of the UCC. This volume covers related and supplementary consumer law. Specific chapters cover the consumer credit protection act, misrepresentation and deceptive practices acts, home solicitation transactions, pyramid schemes, and unconscionability and unfairness.

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Unscrewed: the consumer's guide to getting what you paid for - Ron Burley
Call Number: KF 1610 B79 2006
ISBN: 9781580087629
Publication Date: 2006
This guide is intended to provide consumers tips and strategies for getting their money's worth from companies. Burley provides a five-step plan and supplements this plan with real-life examples.

Consumer Protection

This guide was created to assist consumers research various consumer protection issues, including how to file a consumer complaint. There are consumer protection laws at both the state and the federal level, you can find information about both on this page. 

The "Pro Se Resources" tab lists relevant laws, links to websites from different state and federal agencies that discuss consumer protection laws in "plain English," and information on filing complaints. The "Practice Aids" tab provides a list of Texas State Law Library resources that may be useful to practitioners working on consumer protection issues.

Texas and Federal Law

Below you will find references to areas of the Texas Business and Commerce Code and federal law that govern consumer protection and issues related to deceptive trade practices. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to look at the "plain English" resources on this page or speak to an attorney.

Explained in "Plain English"

Because Texas and federal law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of government resources that help to explain the law in "plain English."

  • Consumer Protection from the Texas Attorney General
    This page from the Texas Attorney General provides information on consumer protection. It provides links to AG columns, consumer alerts, and news releases from the AG's office. The left hand navigation menu provides links to specific consumer protection issues such as the 3-day right to cancel.
  • Consumer Protection from the Texas Department of Insurance
    This website provides consumer protection information from the Texas Department of Insurance. Includes TDI's Auto Insurance Price Comparison and Home Insurance Price Comparison.
  • Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection
    This is the home page of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection which provides information on a wide range of consumer topics including money and credit, homes and mortgages, health and fitness, jobs and making money, and privacy and identity.
  • Commonly Asked Questions from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding student loans, mortgages, credit cards, credit reports, prepaid cards, auto loans, bank accounts, and debt collection. The website contains sections especially for servicemembers, students, and older Americans.

Texas-Specific Consumer Protection Information

These resources also provide "plain English" information on the Texas laws which protect consumers.

Consumer Protection and Federal Law

These resources also provide "plain English" information on the Federal laws which protect consumers.

  • Consumer Action Handbook
    Visit this page to download a PDF of the Consumer Action Handbook. This resource is also available in Spanish.
  • Consumer Protection Publications from the Federal government
    Includes publications on Resolving Consumer Issues, Consumer Scams and Fraud, ID Theft, Smart Shopping, Warranties and Service Contracts, and Where to Complain.
  • General Consumer Protection Information from Consumer Action
    From their website: "Consumer Action creates award-winning free multilingual educational guides on a wide range of personal finance topics and other subjects of interest to consumers. Many publications are available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese, as well as English."
  • Consumer information from the National Consumer Law Center
    The NCLC provides information on a wide range of consumer protection topics including banking, car sales, credit cards, foreclosures, student loans, consumer protection regulation and preemption, and unfair and deceptive acts and practices.
  • Nolo's Consumer Protection Section
    Nolo publishes plain English guides on a variety of legal topics. This page provides information on general consumer protection, consumer protection on the Internet, buy a pet, and common questions on consumer protection.

Who can I contact?

It is possible to file a complaint against a company that violates state or federal law with numerous state agencies, federal agencies, or nonprofit  groups.

  • Texas Attorney General
    This page provides information on what to do if you have a complaint and links to the online consumer complaint form as well as linking to a page that provides an overview of the consumer complaint process.
  • Federal Trade Commission
    This page from the Federal Trade Commission provides information on their collection of consumer complaints and provides a link to the complaint assistant for consumers who wish to file a complaint.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    This page from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allows consumers to submit a wide variety of complaints including complaints against mortgage companies, credit card companies, banks, credit reporting agencies, and money transfer companies.
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
    The BBB accepts complaints regarding disagreements between businesses and consumers. This page discusses what type of complaints they handle and how those complaints are handled. It provides a link to start a complaint.
  • National Consumer League's Fraud Center
    National Consumer League's Fraud Center, part of the National Consumer League, accepts complaints of internet fraud and telemarketing fraud.

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at


The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.

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