California Civil Code
1788. This title may be cited as the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
1788.1. (a) The Legislature makes the following findings:
(1) The banking and credit system and grantors of credit to consumers are dependent upon the collection of just and owing debts. Unfair or deceptive collection practices undermine the public confidence which is essential to the continued functioning of the banking and credit system and sound extensions of credit to consumers.
(2) There is need to ensure that debt collectors and debtors exercise their responsibilities to one another with fairness, honesty and due regard for the rights of the other.
(b) It is the purpose of this title to prohibit debt collectors from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the collection of consumer debts and to require debtors to act fairly in entering into and honoring such debts, as specified in this title.
1788.2. (a) Definitions and rules of construction set forth in this section are applicable for the purpose of this title.
(b) The term "debt collection" means any act or practice in connection with the collection of consumer debts.
(c) The term "debt collector" means any person who, in the ordinary course of business, regularly, on behalf of himself or herself or others, engages in debt collection. The term includes any
person who composes and sells, or offers to compose and sell, forms, letters, and other collection media used or intended to be used for debt collection, but does not include an attorney or counselor at law.
(d) The term "debt" means money, property or their equivalent which is due or owing or alleged to be due or owing from a natural person to another person.
(e) The term "consumer credit transaction" means a transaction between a natural person and another person in which property, services or money is acquired on credit by that natural person from such other person primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
(f) The terms "consumer debt" and "consumer credit" mean money, property or their equivalent, due or owing or alleged to be due or owing from a natural person by reason of a consumer credit
(g) The term "person" means a natural person, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, trust, estate, cooperative, association or other similar entity.
(h) The term "debtor" means a natural person from whom a debt collector seeks to collect a consumer debt which is due and owing or alleged to be due and owing from such person.
(i) The term "creditor" means a person who extends consumer credit to a debtor.
(j) The term "consumer credit report" means any written, oral or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for (1) credit or insurance to be used primarily for person, family, or household purposes, or (2) employment purposes, or (3) other purposes authorized under any applicable federal or state law or regulation. The term does not include (a) any report containing information solely as to transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person making the report; (b) any authorization or approval of a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly by the issuer of a credit card or similar device; or (c) any report in which a person who has been requested by a third party to make a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly to a consumer conveys his or her decision with respect to that request, if the third party advises the consumer of the name and address of the person to whom the request was made and such person makes the disclosures to the consumer required under any applicable federal or state law or regulation.
(k) The term "consumer reporting agency" means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages, in whole or in part, in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer credit reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer credit reports.
1788.3. Nothing contained in this title shall be construed to prohibit a credit union chartered under Division 5 (commencing with Section 14000) of the Financial Code or under the Federal Credit Union Act (Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 1751) of Title 12 of the United States Code) from providing information to an employer when the employer is ordinarily and necessarily entitled to receive such information because he is an employee, officer, committee member, or agent of such credit union.
1812.700. (a) In addition to the requirements imposed by Article 2 (commencing with Section 1788.10) of Title 1.6C, third-party debt collectors subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1692 et seq.) shall provide a notice to debtors that shall include the following description of debtor rights:
"The state Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act require that, except under unusual circumstances, collectors may not contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They may not harass you by using threats of violence or arrest or by using obscene language. Collectors may not use false or misleading statements or call you at work if they know or have reason to know that you may not receive personal calls at work. For
the most part, collectors may not tell another person, other than your attorney or spouse, about your debt. Collectors may contact another person to confirm your location or enforce a judgment. For more information about debt collection activities, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or www.ftc.gov."
(b) The notice shall be included with the first written notice initially addressed to a California address of a debtor in connection with collecting the debt by the third-party debt collector.
(c) If a language other than English is principally used by the third-party debt collector in the initial oral contact with the debtor, a notice shall be provided to the debtor in that language within five working days.
1812.701. (a) The notice required in this title may be changed only as necessary to reflect changes under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1692 et seq.) that would otherwise make the disclosure inaccurate.
(b) The type-size used in the disclosure shall be in at least the same type-size as that used to inform the debtor of his or her specific debt, but is not required to be larger than 12-point type.
1812.702. Any violation of this act shall be considered a violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Title 1.6C (commencing with Section 1788)).