Deceptive Trade Practices Act

The people living in Weatherford, Grand Prairie, Arlington, Dallas, or Fort Worth, is protected by the laws in Texas, against businesses that try to take advantage of them. These laws are found in the Texas Business & Commerce Code, Section 17.
To be eligible for protection under the DTPA, all you have do is prove your status as a consumer. Proving consumer status under the DTPA requires the plaintiff to prove it was a person or entity listed in Texas Business & Commerce Code, Section 17.45(4) that sought or acquired goods or services by purchase or lease. In determining the plaintiff’s consumer status, the focus is on the plaintiff’s relationship to the transaction, not on the plaintiff’s contractual relationship with the defendant. Thus, the plaintiff does not need to prove it is in privity of contract with the defendant to have standing as a consumer. Instead of privity, the plaintiff is required to show that the defendant was “connected with” the transaction.
This Blog primarily deals with issues related to different forms of insurance issues. The importance of the DTPA is that most violations of the Texas Insurance Code are also violations of the DTPA and subject to the penalties of both sets of laws regulating the matters. Relevant Insurance Code Sections are, 541.003, and 541.051 thru 541.061.
Each state in the Union has its own sets of laws dealing with violations of the DTPA laws. But the laws between the states are very similar, as are the laws regarding insurance regulation in the various states.
The Miami Herald published an article on February 16, 2010, regarding a DTPA violation in Florida. The title of the article is “Thousands To Get Checks In Countrywide Settlement”. In the article, it speaks of a lawsuit involving about 2,700 Floridians getting settlement checks from Countrywide Financial. In the lawsuit, the Florida Attorney General sued Countrywide under the Florida DTPA. Countrywide is alleged to have taken advantage of the Floridians in the way their home loans were handled. The 2,700 Floridians will be receiving checks from Countrywide for about $6,000 each.
Anytime a consumer believes they have been cheated or taken advantage of by a business the consumer should talk to an attorney who deals with DTPA claims. The consultation is usually free and the consumer has nothing to lose by talking with the attorney.