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Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA)

The Deceptive Trade Policies Act protects Texas consumers against false, misleading and deceptive business practices, unconscionable actions and breaches of warranty.

The DTPA eliminates many barriers to the enforcement of a consumer's rights.  If a consumer prevails in court, he/she can also recover his/her attorney's fees.

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  • A consumer may collect actual and punitive damages.  However, to collect punitive damages, it is necessary to show that the seller breached the law intentionally, a standard that may be difficult to prove in court.  Without the proof of "intent," the consumer's remedies are usually limited to recovery of "economic damages," court costs and attorney's fees only, but punitive damages may be up to three times the amount of your actual damages.

  • Yes.  To assert a claim under the DTPA, at least 60 days before filing a lawsuit, a consumer must give written notice to the person or business against whom the complaint is being made.  The notice must include a statement that the letter is intended as notice prior to filing suit under the DTPA the specific complaint of the consumer the amount of actual damages and expenses claimed, including attorney's fees, if any.  The merchant then has 60 days in which to pay the amount demanded by the consumer or make a written settlement offer.  An offer is considered rejected if the consumer fails to accept it within 30 days.  If a consumer rejects an offer, the dispute can then go to trial.