As discussed last week, there are four pieces of information that make up what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau refers to as “validation information” in Regulation F. They are: debt collection communication disclosures, information about the debt, information about consumer protections, and information about how the consumer can respond to the letter. In the newest episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” John Bedard of Bedard Law Group starts a series of discussions about each of those four categories, beginning with debt communication disclosures.
For collectors, debt communication disclosures is the one category of validation information that they will likely recognize, although they might know it under a different term used by those in the accounts receivable management industry — the mini-Miranda. The mini-Miranda is a disclosure that collectors must make every time they communicate with a consumer, whether via a letter or over the phone. The mini-Miranda warns consumers that they are speaking with a debt collector and any information obtained during the communication will be used to help collect on the debt.
Under Regulation F, that disclosure is still in effect, Bedard notes. While there are technically two separate components to the mini-Miranda — one for the initial communication and one for subsequent communications — most collectors combined the two and use them both during every communication. Every time Regulation F mentions “validation information,” Bedard notes, collectors will be required to recite or included the mini-Miranda notice.
This is likely to be one component of Regulation F that collectors should not have any problem complying with, since it is essentially copied from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and being re-used verbatim, with the caveat that both components of the mini-Miranda are required to be included once the debt collection rule goes into effect.
Check out all the episodes in the series here: You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule. You will also find links on that page to subscribe to the audio version of the series through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Like what you see? Be sure to reach out to John and let him know! And be sure to check out the Debt Collection Rule Resource Guide, which not only includes all the provisions of Regulation F, but insights from experts on many of the components of the rule.