TEXAS DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES ACT

Houston DTPA Lawyers

A deceptive trade practice is an activity that an individual or business engages in, designed to mislead or lure the public into purchasing a product or service. Activities are given special status as offenses against the public, in general, and are therefore accorded by law special enforcement status.

What is the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act?

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act or DTPA is one of the most important consumer statutes. This statute developed out of the Texas legislature recognizing that consumers need to be protected from fraudulent business practices. The law encourages victims of dishonest companies to file lawsuits which serve to incentivize businesses to act fairly and honestly.

What Does the DTPA Do?

The primary goal of the DTPA is to protect consumers against false, misleading, or deceptive business practices. It applies to a broad range of transactions including the sale of goods (both new and used) and services. In this context “goods” also include real property such as homes.

What are the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act Elements?

In order to sue under the DTPA, several elements must be met. The elements of a DTPA action include that the plaintiff must be a consumer, the defendant must have committed one of the proscribed acts under the DTPA, and the defendant’s actions must have been the producing cause of the plaintiff’s harm.

In layman’s terms, what this means is that the person suing must have either purchased or leased a good or service and the defendant must have engaged in some sort of false, misleading or deceptive business practices in relation to that good or service.

What are Texas DTPA Laundry List Violations?

Some of the most common laundry list violations include:

  1. Representing that goods or services have characteristics which they do not;
  2. Representing that goods or services are of a particular quality which they do not;
  3. Representing that an agreement confers or involves legal rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, or which are prohibited by law; and
  4. Failing to disclose information concerning goods or services which was known at the time of the transaction if such failure to disclose such information was intended to induce the consumer into a transaction into which the consumer would not have entered had the information been disclosed.

Which Entity Enforces the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) Rules?

The Texas DTPA provides remedies for both public and private violations. The Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office enforces the public remedies.

What Forms Do You Need to File a DTPA in Texas?

The DTPA does not allow consumers to sue as soon as they know there’s a problem. When you are ready to file a DTPA lawsuit in Texas, you can’t go straight to the courthouse to file your claim. The Deceptive Trade Practices Act requires that you give written notice of your problem to the business at least 60 days before you can file the suit in court. 

Who Can Sue Under Texas DTPA?

In order to sue under the DTPA, you must be considered a consumer. This is defined as any individual, partner, corporation, or government entity that seeks to acquire by purchase or lease of goods or services. 

What Must a Consumer Provide in a DTPA Lawsuit?

A DTPA consumer must prove that the representations were a producing cause of his or her injuries. The DPTA defendant’s actions must also be in connection with the transaction.

To learn more about what qualifies as a “Consumer” under the DTPA, click here: The DTPA: What does it mean to be a “Consumer?”

What is the Deceptive Trade Practices Act Statute of Limitations?

A Deceptive Trade Practices Act lawsuit must generally be filed within two years after the date on which the misleading or deceptive act or practice occurred.

DTPA Illegal Actions

The proscribed actions under the DTPA include any of the following:

  1. A “laundry list” violation;
  2. Breach of an expressed or implied warranty;
  3. An unconscionable action; or
  4. Violations of the Texas Insurance Code.

DTPA Attorneys in Houston

At Reich & Binstock in Houston, our knowledgeable lawyers can help you understand the specific requirements stipulated by the DTPA. If you believe you may have a DTPA case, contact our lawyers for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 713-622-7271 or 800-622-7271 toll free or complete our confidential online form.

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