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What Creditors Need to Know About Debt Collection in Texas

Texas is known as being one of the most difficult states to collect debts in. Even if you went to court to obtain a judgment against a debtor, then you may still encounter difficulties in actually turning the judgment into money, especially if you’re in another state and trying to collect in Texas.

The reality is that federal and state laws tightly restrict the actions debt collectors can take, but with the right legal help, you can still collect what is rightfully yours in an ethical and professional manner.

To collect from an elusive or uncooperative debtor, it is crucial that you know what is permitted and what is not permitted by law.

In Texas, engaging in prohibited debt collection practices can result in civil and criminal penalties. To protect yourself and your business, speak with an experienced debt collection attorney before taking action.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the federal law that establishes guidelines for what is and what is not acceptable in debt collection efforts. This law only covers collectors who have been hired by debt collection agencies and lawyers who have been hired to collect a debt. Texas laws are broader in reach.

The Texas state laws that restrict creditor actions are the Texas Debt Collection Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. These statutes apply not only to collection agencies and lawyers, but also to anyone who is trying to collect a debt.

What communication rules should creditors be concerned about when trying to collect a debt?

The state and federal laws are similar in that they generally prohibit abusive, harassing and fraudulent collection practices. Creditors may also encounter legal trouble with regard to how and when they communicate with debtors. The law specifies the time and manner in which a debtor can be contacted. For example, collection-related phone calls should generally not be made before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless those before- and after-hours times are known to be more convenient for the debtor.

Consumer protection laws also control the manner in which creditors can acquire location information about debtors. For example, in efforts to obtain a debtor’s location information from someone other than the debtor, a collector is not allowed to:

  • Send a post card
  • Communicate more than once with the third party unless the debtor requests otherwise, or unless the information provided by the third party is believed to be incomplete or erroneous
  • Indicate in the communication with the third party that the collector is a collector or that the communication relates to debt collection

For more information about legal issues related to collecting debts in Texas, please see Slater Pugh, Ltd. LLP’s overview of commercial debt collection.


Reports Positive for Texas Businesses. Is Your Company Legally Poised for Success?

Even as other parts of the country have struggled with economic shifts and downturns, Texas has long been a top promoter of business growth. In fact, a recent study by the finance company WalletHub ranked the City of Austin’s economy as the fastest-growing among large cities in the United States.

Among big cities, Fort Worth and Corpus Christi also came in the top five, and in the rankings of cities of any size, nine of the top 10, including Round Rock, are Texas cities. The study looked at economic growth in more than 500 communities since the start of the recession in 2008.

Colleges and universities in Texas are also doing their part to lay the groundwork for business growth.

In addition to the high performance of city economies, business schools throughout Texas continue to be outstanding on a global scale. Recently, a report from Financial Times ranked University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M and University of Houston among the top international business schools worldwide.

The rankings are based on salaries of alumni three years after graduating.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned business owner, you can minimize risk and avoid losses by creating the right business structure and drafting solid, comprehensive contracts.

As a business owner, you want to stay in the positive. That means protecting your company from unwanted surprises while you focus on growth and operations. You want to do things right the first time, and you don’t want to lack proper legal counsel when you form a business and start signing contracts. The risk of loss is too great not to cover your legal bases.

At Slater Pugh, Ltd. LLP, we know the high importance of setting up your company with the appropriate structure and drafting contracts that are specific to your business. We are business-focused, deal-savvy lawyers with a strong record of success throughout Texas.

Our firm overview provides some insight into our areas of practice, our philosophyand the kinds of services we provide.


Neiman Marcus files IPO

Neiman Marcus filed for an initial public offering on Monday, June 24, more than eight years after going private in a sale to Fort-Worth based investment firm TPG Capital (formerly known as Texas Pacific Group) and global private equity firm Warburg Pincus, LLC.

Early this year, prior to the IPO filing, which is being run by Credit Suisse, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts offered a merger of Neiman Marcus and Saks, Inc., which Neiman Marcus declined

According to Neiman Marcus, it earned $140.1 million last year on top of $4.3 billion in revenue, making it the company’s healthiest fiscal year since 2008’s financial fall.

Whether you plan to make an initial public offering or take other legal action that affects the future of your company, consider enlisting the help and assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer


Canadian businessmen acquire Phoenix Coyotes from NHL for $170M

The National Hockey League sold the Phoenix Coyotes to a group of investors led by Canadian businessmen George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc for $170 million on Monday, August 5. The NHL acquired the Coyotes in 2009 after the team’s previous owners went bankrupt, compromising fans and players, as well as Phoenix, who poured $180 million into opening an arena for the team.

Gosbee, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian financial services firm AltaCorp Capital, Inc., said the transaction was one of the most difficult ones he had ever facilitated in his 21 years in the financial industry.

LeBlanc was optimistic that the Coyotes will have a bright future under their management, saying that they are confident of becoming a Stanley Cup contender for the next 10 years.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the sale provided the Coyotes the “opportunity to secure a stable, long-term future in Glendale.”

It is important for a business to acquire the services of an experienced and knowledgeable legal team when conducting business transactions and resolving legal issues, as these professionals can prevent major and expensive errors from occurring. Get in touch with the legal team of Slater Pugh Ltd. LLP by calling our Texas office today at to discuss your business’s legal needs.

The National Hockey League sold the Phoenix Coyotes to a group of investors led by Canadian businessmen George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc for $170 million on Monday, August 5. The NHL acquired the Coyotes in 2009 after the team’s previous owners went bankrupt, compromising fans and players, as well as Phoenix, who poured $180 million into opening an arena for the team.

Gosbee, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian financial services firm AltaCorp Capital, Inc., said the transaction was one of the most difficult ones he had ever facilitated in his 21 years in the financial industry.

LeBlanc was optimistic that the Coyotes will have a bright future under their management, saying that they are confident of becoming a Stanley Cup contender for the next 10 years.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the sale provided the Coyotes the “opportunity to secure a stable, long-term future in Glendale.”


AT&T’s business transaction puts pressure on smaller rivals

AT&T Inc. is putting pressure on its smaller rivals, Sprint Corp. and Dish Network Corp., to become bigger through mergers and acquisitions of other properties/companies with its latest plan to buy Leap Wireless International Inc. in a $1.2-billion bid.

Sprint will be receiving a $5-billion cash infusion from SoftBank Corp., which acquired a controlling stake in the company on July 10, in a bid to expand Sprint’s network.

Wireless industry analyst Chetan Sharma said Chicago-based U.S. Cellular, whose majority of stocks is owned by Telephone & Data Systems Inc. and is serving around 5 million customers, is also on the lookout for more deals.


U.S. Renal Care Inc. buys Ambulatory Services

U.S. Renal Care, Inc. of Texas is set to purchase Ambulatory Services of America, Inc. of Brentwood based on an ongoing negotiation that is set to reach its conclusion at the end of the summer. As of this time, the terms of the companies’ deal are not yet specifically provided.

ASA manages renal dialysis and radiation oncology sites. It has 79 dialysis centers through one of its business units, the Long Beach, California-based Innovative Dialysis Systems, and runs 17 radiation oncology centers that USRC plans to put on the market.

USRC, on the other hand, provides outpatient care for patients with chronic kidney failure.


Survey shows marked optimism in Texas business owners

Tax and business consulting firm UHY Advisors recently conducted a survey in which it was discovered that a significant number of businesses owners in Texas believe that 2013 will be a good year regarding job opportunities and investments, with more of them saying that an economic downturn is not anticipated for this year.

In the Texas Business Outlook Survey conducted February 21-25 and for which results were released in March, 14 percent of business managers expected a steady acceleration of the economy, with 40 percent saying economic expansion is possible, and 45 percent saying that the business climate will probably be the same as last year’s, but definitely isn’t headed downhill.

UHY Advisors’ chief operating officer Ron Martin said this sentiment proves Texas businessmen are showing continuous optimism in the economy, but are still cautious and are guarded against “challenges and surprises that are beyond their control.”


American Airlines set to merge with U.S. Airways

Fort Worth-based American Airlines (AMR) filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan on Monday, April 15.

If the plan for the company’s reorganization is approved by the court, AMR will be afforded 60 days to make a presentation before the creditors, after which a hearing, the outcome of which will be decided on by the same creditors, will determine the mode of reorganization.

Part of the reorganization plan is AMR’s decision to merge with publicly-traded U.S. Airways. Part of the merger filing, of which the Securities and Exchange Commission was given a notification, asked U.S. Airways shareholders to approve of the merger.

A union in 2012 would have earned the companies $24.85 billion in revenues and $1.87 billion in losses, including $2.2 billion in reorganization costs.

AMR CEO Tom Horton will become chairman of the new company and will be succeeded by U.S. Airways chief executive Doug Parker if the merger is approved.


Solana business park land acquired by Verizon

Verizon Wireless has bought 25 acres of land from Carrolton-based developer Centurion American Development Group in preparation to expand its office complex at the northeast corner of Texas 114 and Dove Road in the 900-acre Solana business park.

Centurion owner Mehrdad Moayedi acquired more than 285 acres of undeveloped land from the Maguire Partners-Solana Land limited partnership in August 2012. Moayedi, managing partner of Maguire Partners-Solana Land, sold 8.2 acres east of the Baylor Medical Center to Irving-based hotel developer Trophy Lodging.

Development plans are in store for 169 acres of Moayedi’s Solana lands at the northeast corner of Davis and Solana boulevards, which include 85 acres for a commercial enterprise called Westlake Vallecito and 84 acres for residential use.


Texas governor attempts to draw more business to his state

On his recent visit to the Bay Area, Governor Rick Perry worked on coaxing businesses to set up shop in Texas, indirectly saying enterprises and companies should invest in his state rather than in California.

Perry brandished his state’s array of perks for the business sector, such as the absence of state income tax, more affordable labor, and more convenient business regulations.

This was met by cynicism by California Governor Jerry Brown, saying weather conditions in Texas are not favorable compared with the climate conditions in California.

Perry’s words seem to have been making their mark, though. Bay Area firms such as Facebook and eBay are establishing campuses in Texas.

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