DEBT COLLECTORS AND CREDITORS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CONTACT YOU WITHOUT GIVING YOU THE MINI MIRANDA WARNING, OR A RUN-DOWN OF YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.
Has a debt collector or creditor contacted you and not given you the “mini Miranda” warning?
We all know what the Miranda warning is. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in a Court of law. You have the right to an attorney and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. But, what is the “mini Miranda” warning? Most of us have heard it from a creditor or debt collector, it goes something like this: “this is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for the purpose of collecting such debt.” Just as a law enforcement officer is required to read you the Miranda warning before questioning you as a suspect, a debt collector or creditor must provide you with the mini Miranda warning of debt collection fairness in its initial oral or written communication with you, unless the communication is the form of a pleading filed with the Court. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA) require debt collectors and creditors to do this. All communications after the initial communication from the collector also must state that the communication is from a debt collector.
The initial collections warning has been come to known as the “mini Miranda warning” because just as the Miranda warning informs a criminal suspect that anything they say may be used against them in a criminal proceeding, the mini Miranda warning informs a consumer that anything they say may be used against them in an attempt to collect a debt. For example, if, while speaking with a debt collector, you say that you have just started a new job at Company A and will not receive a pay check for two weeks and so you cannot make a payment today, the debt collector may then use the information that you are employed by Company A to collect on the debt. They can do this by obtaining a judgment as quickly as possible, before you leave Company A, and then getting a garnishment order so that Company A will be required to withhold a certain amount of your pay each pay period and send it to them.
The purpose of the Miranda warning is to inform a suspect that they have the right to not provide any information that may incriminate them. The purpose of the mini Miranda warning is to inform a consumer that he or he has the right to not provide any information that will assist the creditor or debt collector in collecting on the debt. If a debt collector or creditor has failed to inform you that you have this right, they may have violated the FDCPA and/or the RFDCPA and could owe you compensation.
If a creditor or debt collector has contact you and not given you the “Mini-Miranda” warning, call the Law Office of Paul Mankin at 800-654-9517 today for a free case review.