Texas Law Requires Debt Collectors To Provide Debtors With So-Called Mini-MIRANDA Notice

Effective September 1, 2003, the Texas Debt Collection statute was amended to require debt collectors to provide so-called mini-Miranda notices to debtors. Tex. Fin. Code Ann. § 392.304(a)(5), amended by 2003 Tex. S.B. 533, § 2 (effective Sept. 1, 2003). The requirement applies to a “debt collector,” which is defined to include a person who directly or indirectly engages in any action, conduct or practice in collecting or in soliciting for collection consumer debts that are due or alleged to be due a creditor. Id. § 392.001(5), (6). The statute requires a debt collector to disclose, except in a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, if the communication is the initial written or oral communication with the debtor. In addition, a debt collector must disclose that the communication is from a debt collector, if the communication is a subsequent written or oral communication with the debtor.

Margaret Stolar and Chuck Gall