Miranda rights refer to a type of notification police give to criminal suspects to make them aware of their rights. The most popular example is when police advise criminals of their right to remain silent during an arrest.
Another example of a Miranda right is a sort of mini-Miranda right in debt collection. It occurs when a collector calls to collect a debt. When doing so, they must make the statement in the first communication, “This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.” If a collector fails to make this statement, he or she may be violating the FDCPA. In all subsequent communications, the collector must state that the call is from a debt collector.
Read more to find out about mini-Miranda and how it can apply to your debt collection case.
When Must a Mini Miranda Be Stated?
The mini Miranda must be included when debt collectors initiate communication with you regarding the debt, whether it be over the phone or by mail. This protects you from unknowingly providing information that can be used against you.
Debt collectors who do not provide a mini Miranda will be in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a law that governs what a debt collector can and can not do. If the collector violates the FDCPA in this matter, the debtor may have grounds to sue them.
When is it Okay Not to Use the Mini Miranda?
According to the FDCPA, only third-party debt collectors are obligated to read you your Miranda rights. So if the company that originally loaned you the money decides to contact you about your debt, they are not required to provide these disclosures.
How the Mini Miranda Protects You
Whether in real life or on a TV show, we have all heard police officers say, “Anything you say can incriminate you in a court of law,” while making an arrest. Well, just like this applies to situations in which you are being arrested, it also applies to owing a debt. Anything you say in the conversation can be used to infer that you owe the debt or have agreed to pay it.
This could be especially damaging in cases where the debt has passed its statute of limitations. If you say something that can be perceived as you admitting the debt is yours or agreeing you owe the debt, the clock can be reset and the collector can be within his or her rights in suing you for the amount owed.
Getting the Right Lawyer to Protect Your Consumer Rights
If you are involved with a debt collector and you think your rights may have been violated, its best to consult an FDCPA attorney. They will advise you of what a collector is and isn’t allowed to do when trying to collect a debt and whether or not they have crossed a line.
If you are looking for a FDCPA attorney in the state of Louisiana, Samuel Ford of Alexander Shunnarah Personal Injury Attorneys can help.
The SVHC team has years of experience in the field of consumer protection. They take a client-centered approach, consulting with their clients in every step of the decision-making process. Their aggressive representation has given them a winning reputation.
Debtors have rights too. Make sure yours are protected by getting the SVHC team on your side.
Samuel Ford of SVHC offers free consultations and, if you have a claim, you may be able to recover all associated costs and attorney’s fees, meaning SVHC may be able to represent you at no cost to you! Contact Samuel Ford today!