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Debt Collection

This research guide provides information about debt collection practices and the related Texas and federal debt collection statutes.

General Information

About This Guide

This research guide provides information about debt collection practices, relevant Texas and federal laws, and other information that may help you understand the debt collection process. It includes links to resources that explain the law in "plain English", agencies who may be able to help and articles with more information on the topic.

New Texas Law Effective Sept. 1, 2019

New state law effective September 1st, 2019

House Bill 996, relating to the collection of consumer debt by debt buyers, takes effect on Sept. 1st, 2019. This new law prohibits a debt buyer from taking certain actions once the limitations period (“statute of limitations”) has expired. It also includes protections against “reviving” or re-aging the statute of limitations.

For more information, see this article from CBS Austin that explains the new law: “New state law will soon stop debt collectors from harassing you over old debts”.

Texas and Federal Law

Below you will find references to areas of the Texas Finance Code and the United States Code (USC) that govern debt collection. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to view 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 resources that help to explain the law in "plain English."

E-Books from the Texas State Law Library

Many of the e-books available through the State Law Library contain forms or drafting guides. Below are some e-book titles that may help you with your research on debt collection.

Books at the Texas State Law Library

Below are some print books that may provide further guidance. If you can't visit the Texas State Law Library in Austin, these books might be available at a law library near you or a public library near you.

Who Can I Contact?

Please contact the agencies below, if you need to file a complaint, get assistance, find more information or just want to get answers to your financial questions.