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I provided a friend and constituent a copy of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. He intends to try to collect a debt (self help) in accordance with the terms of the Act. After making one call to the debtor, my friend received a telephone call from the Sheriff where the debtor lives (adjacent counties). The Sheriff (maybe deputy) said if my friend made another telephone call, he would be arrested for telephone harassment, PC 42.07.

Seems to me the federal act trumps Texas Penal Code. If pursuing self-help debt collection in compliance with the federal act, how can Deputy Dawg threaten a prosecution under PC 42.07?
Do I call the CA? Do I stay out of it?
 
Posts: 244 | Registered: November 02, 2001Report This Post
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Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and PC 42.07 are not inconsistent - so one does not need to "trump" the other. The phone call was not made with the intent to annoy, harass, alarm, etc., so the mens rea for the PC offense is not present. That being said, the Sheriff in the adjoining county could certainly seek a warrant based on the complaint of his constituent, which complaint would almost certainly include an allegation that the phone call was made for the purpose of harassment, since the debtor will most likely claim that the debt is not legitimate anyway. A heads up to the county attorney in the adjoining county might help. Or, your friend can send a certified letter demanding payment, then file suit. Based on the response to his initial phone call, it looks like that is what will eventually transpire anyway.
 
Posts: 325 | Location: Texas, USA | Registered: November 16, 2004Report This Post
<Dennis Foster>
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Why wouldn't the Debt Collection Act overrule such a law? It would seem obvious to me that this would put a huge dent in the collection industry. Afterall, if everytime MasterCard or VISA called someone about a bill and then that person turned around and filed charges on them for telephone harassment, banks would soon quit lending money.

I seem to recall reading an expection in the stalking statute that allows following - even if harassing, annoying, ect., if it covers 1st Amend. activities or other legitimate acts.

Just because the guy is attempting to collect the debt on his own should not really make a difference. He is a creditor under the law and creditors are allowed to do certain things to try to collect their debts.

What say you?
 
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Here's an excerpt of some information I just received from NDAA on legislation in Washington, D.C.:

FINANCE REGULATORY RELIEF ACT: H.R. 3505, the "Finance Regulatory Relief Act," a banking bill before the House Committee on Financial Services was to be amended in two areas of interest to local prosecutors.

It was amended earlier this week by Chairman Oxley to provide that prosecutor-established bad check diversion programs are exempt from the definition of "debt collector" and therefore from the constraints of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In addition, the programs shall be treated as officers of the State when operating the program in accordance with the statute. The language of the amendment does place some conditions on the programs in order for the exemption to apply and limits certain offenders from participating in the programs (offenders convicted of a bad check charge within the last 3 years or offenders who have within the last 18 months participated in a pre-trial diversion program). NDAA has been supporting this amendment

The full Committee passed the bill today, 67-0, but the full House is not expected to vote on the bill until next year.

For more information on federal legislation, check here: http://thomas.loc.gov/
 
Posts: 2419 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Report This Post
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(This is a not a forum for defendants to discuss their personal case; please re-read the warnings and disclosures for this site. Admin.)
 
Posts: 18 | Registered: December 21, 2000Report This Post
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My apologies re: aforementioned posting.

My question to the issue woud be:

When is the line crossed when attempting to collect on a debt, that 3rd degree felony charges are then pressed, when there had never been any prior confict, or confontation with the accuser. No proir notice given to, not attempt to or to make contact with the accuser, nor a cease and deceist ordered before a felony arrest warrant is issued.
thank you for your thoughts
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: November 24, 2005Report This Post
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This post is being locked due to LifeInvaded's improper posts to the forum.
 
Posts: 18 | Registered: December 21, 2000Report This Post
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