Bill Text: TX HB996 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Relating to the collection of consumer debt by debt buyers.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-3)

Status: (Passed) 2019-06-14 - Effective on 9/1/19 [HB996 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB996-Introduced.html
  86R8231 JES-F
 
  By: Collier H.B. No. 996
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the collection of consumer debt by debt buyers.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  This Act shall be known as the Fair Consumer Debt
  Collection Act.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter D, Chapter 392, Finance Code, is
  amended by adding Section 392.307 to read as follows:
         Sec. 392.307.  COLLECTION OF CERTAIN CONSUMER DEBT BY DEBT
  BUYERS. (a) In this section:
               (1)  "Charged-off debt" means a consumer debt that a
  creditor has determined to be a loss or expense to the creditor
  instead of an asset.
               (2)  "Debt buyer" means a person who purchases or
  otherwise acquires a consumer debt from a creditor or other
  subsequent owner of the consumer debt, regardless of whether the
  person collects the consumer debt, hires a third party to collect
  the consumer debt, or hires an attorney to pursue collection
  litigation in connection with the consumer debt. The term does not
  include:
                     (A)  a person who acquires a charged-off debt
  incidental to the purchase of a portfolio that predominantly
  consists of consumer debt that has not been charged off; or
                     (B)  a check services company that acquires the
  right to collect on a paper or electronic negotiable instrument,
  including an Automated Clearing House (ACH) authorization to debit
  an account that has not been processed.
         (b)  Unless otherwise expressly provided, this section
  prevails to the extent of any conflict between this section and any
  other law of this state.
         (c)  A debt buyer may not, directly or indirectly, commence
  an action against or initiate arbitration with a consumer to
  collect a consumer debt later than the earlier of:
               (1)  the fourth anniversary of the date of the
  consumer's last activity on the consumer debt; or
               (2)  the expiration date of any otherwise applicable
  statute of limitations.
         (d)  If an action to collect a consumer debt is barred under
  Subsection (c), the cause of action is not revived by a payment of
  the consumer debt, an oral or written reaffirmation of the consumer
  debt, or any other activity on the consumer debt.
         (e)  If a debt buyer is engaged in debt collection for a
  consumer debt for which an action to collect the debt is barred
  under Subsection (c), the debt buyer, or a debt collector acting on
  behalf of the debt buyer, shall provide the following notice in the
  initial written communication with the consumer relating to the
  debt collection:
               (1)  if the reporting period for including the consumer
  debt in a consumer report prepared by a consumer reporting agency
  has not expired under Section 605, Fair Credit Reporting Act (15
  U.S.C. Section 1681c), and the debt buyer furnishes to a consumer
  reporting agency information regarding the consumer debt, "THE LAW
  LIMITS HOW LONG YOU CAN BE SUED ON A DEBT. BECAUSE OF THE AGE OF
  YOUR DEBT, WE WILL NOT SUE YOU FOR IT. IF YOU DO NOT PAY THE DEBT,
  [INSERT NAME OF DEBT BUYER] MAY CONTINUE TO REPORT IT TO CREDIT
  REPORTING AGENCIES AS UNPAID FOR AS LONG AS THE LAW PERMITS THIS
  REPORTING. THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW.";
               (2)  if the reporting period for including the consumer
  debt in a consumer report prepared by a consumer reporting agency
  has not expired under Section 605, Fair Credit Reporting Act (15
  U.S.C. Section 1681c), but the debt buyer does not furnish to a
  consumer reporting agency information regarding the consumer debt,
  "THE LAW LIMITS HOW LONG YOU CAN BE SUED ON A DEBT. BECAUSE OF THE
  AGE OF YOUR DEBT, WE WILL NOT SUE YOU FOR IT. THIS NOTICE IS
  REQUIRED BY LAW."; or
               (3)  if the reporting period for including the consumer
  debt in a consumer report prepared by a consumer reporting agency
  has expired under Section 605, Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C.
  Section 1681c), "THE LAW LIMITS HOW LONG YOU CAN BE SUED ON A DEBT.
  BECAUSE OF THE AGE OF YOUR DEBT, WE WILL NOT SUE YOU FOR IT, AND WE
  WILL NOT REPORT IT TO ANY CREDIT REPORTING AGENCY. THIS NOTICE IS
  REQUIRED BY LAW."
         (f)  A notice required under Subsection (e) must be in at
  least 12-point type that is boldfaced, capitalized, or underlined
  or otherwise conspicuously set out from the surrounding written
  material.
         SECTION 3.  Section 392.402, Finance Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (d) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), a [A] person
  commits an offense if the person violates this chapter.
         (d)  This section does not apply to a violation of Section
  392.307.
         SECTION 4.  Section 392.404(a), Finance Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A violation of this chapter is a deceptive trade
  practice under Subchapter E, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code,
  and is actionable under that subchapter. This subsection does not
  apply to a violation of Section 392.307.
         SECTION 5.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  an action of a debt buyer to collect a consumer debt if the action
  occurs on or after the effective date of this Act. An action of a
  debt buyer to collect a consumer debt that occurs before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect
  immediately before that date, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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