The Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC) supervises the consumer credit industry in its aim toward achieving and sustaining a fair, lawful, and healthy credit environment for social and economic prosperity in Texas. Regulating non-depository creditors and educating both consumers and creditors alike, are vital functions in pursuit of this goal.
The agency encourages communication and collaboration between industry, consumers, and regulators by:
Offering consumers assistance with complaints and inquiries
Enforcing Texas laws regarding lending
Licensing and registering creditors operating in Texas
Providing educational services to both consumers and creditors
Providing legal policies, informal opinions, and official interpretations to the industry, the Legislature, the courts, and financial institutions, including those not regulated by the OCCC
The OCCC operates through five departments: consumer assistance (complaints and inquiries), consumer protection (examination and enforcement), licensing and registration, credit education/communication, legal and administration. Each department performs functions vital to consumers and to members of the credit services industry in Texas.
Consumer Assistance (Complaints and Inquiries)
This section offers protection to consumers from misrepresentation, fraud, and deceptive practices by:
Addressing complaints and inquiries promptly.
Offering a help-line, (800) 538-1579, for consumers to contact the agency directly.
Enabling consumers to get resolution of their complaints in a timely fashion, most within seven (7) days.
Providing complete and accurate information about credit transactions.
Helping consumers understand the terms of contracts and their legal rights.
Mediating disputes to ensure swift and fair resolution.
Notifying the consumer protection (examination and enforcement) section of possible noncompliance by licensees.
The OCCC operates a helpline, 800.538.1579, that allows consumers to directly contact regulatory assistance quickly and easily to obtain complaint resolution. The helpline number must be printed on every contract of an authorized creditor subject to regulation. A consumer wishing to file a complaint about an OCCC licensee or to request advice on a credit transaction, can call the helpline or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Direct inquiries to the Consumer Assistance Department should be directed to email@example.com.
Consumer Protection (Examination and Enforcement)
The consumer protection section, often referred to as examination and enforcement, reviews licensed creditor activities to ensure compliance with the law and performs investigations of registered creditors and licensees. A routine exam involves a visit to a licensee, review of a representative sample of transactions, and inspection of key business records. An investigation focuses specifically on a single transaction or particular business practice of a licensee, typically initiated in response to, and with the goal of, resolving a consumer complaint.
Direct inquiries to Consumer Protection Department should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Licensing and Registration
The licensing and registration section’s activities are essential to ensuring that creditors are qualified to operate in Texas. Those activities include:
Processing all license applications.
Conducting thorough background investigations and licensing creditors that qualify.
Registering creditors that finance sales of goods and services.
Renewing authorizations to operate in Texas annually.
Companies desiring to arrange credit for Texas residents must be licensed by the OCCC, unless specifically exempted. The agency licenses these types of credit service companies:
Home equity and second mortgage lenders
Motor vehicle sales finance companies
Finance companies that make consumer installment loans
Credit access businesses (payday and title loans)
When a company applies for a license and the commissioner finds the applicant has the qualifications based upon experience, criminal history checks, and credit investigations, that company can be approved for a license within 60-90 days of submitting a completed application. Application forms and instructions for applying online through the Application, Licensing, Examination, Compliance System, (ALECS) can be found on our website.
Direct inquiries to Licensing at 512.936.7605 or email@example.com.
Creditors who finance sales of goods or services must register with the OCCC. To find out whether a particular company needs to register, please contact the Licensing Department or visit the Registered Creditor page. Registration requires providing contact and address information and payment of a small annual fee to the agency. Once an account is set up in ALECS, the information is entered though the system and the fees are paid, the company can print their certificate. This certificate is to be displayed in the business for consumer awareness. You can download application or amendment forms and learn more here.
Direct inquiries to Licensing Department at 512.936.7605 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Educational activities are critical to maintaining a positive and effective regulatory presence. These programs are designed to provide credit information that meets the needs of credit consumers and industries in Texas. The agency has prepared information in Spanish and English on various credit-related topics such as home equity, credit basics for consumers, lending terms, and pawn transactions.
Credit information is delivered through:
Presentations at community events such as trade or credit fairs
Participation in workshops with other education-oriented organizations
Press releases and public service announcements
Distribution of brochures
Outreach to high school students and teachers
Other internal and external publications and presentations
Consumers and event organizers can contact this department Monday-Friday to request literature or discuss an education representative’s potential attendance at an event. Most decisions regarding events are made within two to four (2-4) days. Brochure requests are usually filled within two (2) weeks of being ordered. In addition to offering its own credit education services, the OCCC seeks partnerships with non-profit educational and debt-counseling programs to promote credit-wise consumer decision making in Texas.
Direct inquiries to Consumer Education at 512.936.7639 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Legal and Administration
The primary responsibility of the legal and administration department is the operation of the agency. Much of the expertise provided to industry, the Legislature, and the courts comes from this group. The areas encompassed in this department are:
Executive Management directs agency activities, assists the agency in meeting its objectives, maintains records retention schedule, establishes the rates that appear in the Texas Credit Letter, and acts as liaison with the Texas Register. Direct inquiries to Alexandra Jones at 512.936.7640 or via e-mail to Alexandra.Jones@occc.texas.gov.
Legal represents the agency in administrative hearings, provides support to the Finance Commission of Texas and the commissioner in interpreting law, and consults with financial institutions and other legal counsel about credit compliance issues. Direct inquiries to Ginger Harmon at 512.936.7611 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Information makes official statements about the stance of the agency, handles media queries, and provides access to agency documents (except for documents deemed confidential by law). Direct inquiries to Audrey Spalding at 512.936.7659 or via e-mail to email@example.com.
Personnel provides information about job openings, employment provisions, and employee benefits. Direct inquiries to 512.936.7666 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accounting provides financial statements and information about agency revenue and expenditures, ensures prompt payments for goods and services, and manages accounts receivable. Direct inquiries to 512.936.7641 or via e-mail to email@example.com.
Purchasing obtains equipment and services needed by the OCCC and its staff. Direct inquiries to 512.936.7640 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information Resources ensures the appropriate functioning and management of the agency's Web site and other electronic and computer systems. Direct inquiries to Thomas White at 512.936.7650 or via e-mail to Thomas.White@occc.texas.gov.
Customer Service Principles
The Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner affords all consumers and industry members quality service and attention to their immediate needs. The OCCC consistently and effectively provides answers and assistance directly to individuals and creditors. The OCCC regulates creditors aggressively but fairly, minimally but effectively. The regulatory approach will be balanced and sensible—addressing both consumers and creditors—exhibiting the highest standards of professional conduct, ethics, and sensitivity to cultural diversity issues.
The goals of this agency are to:
Protect consumers from abusive and deceptive practices, fraud, and misrepresentation by promptly addressing complaints and inquiries.
Provide an effective and comprehensive program of consumer protection and licensing that ensures high standards and efficiently serves the demand for a sound, equitable consumer credit market.
Educate consumers and credit providers of their rights, remedies, and responsibilities, and to encourage communication and collaboration between the credit industry, the consumer public, and the agency.
Establish and implement policies governing purchasing and public works contracts that foster meaningful and substantive inclusion of historically underutilized businesses (HUBs).
If the agency fails to meet your expectations, please direct complaints about OCCC services or operations to Commissioner Pettijohn via Alexandra Jones; phone number is 512.936.7640 and e-mail address is Alexandra.Jones@occc.texas.gov.
General Contact Information
Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC)
Customer Service Representative
2601 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin TX 78705
Main phone line: 512.936.7600
Consumer Helpline: 800.538.1579
General e-mail address: email@example.com
Web site address: occc.texas.gov