Navigating through debt collection law in California can be tricky. There are a lot of moving parts inside of pertinent legislation that can be hard to keep up with. However, no matter your situation, there are a few important factors to keep in mind as you work through the collections process.
The primary collection law in California is the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This mandates that debt collectors and creditors are required to treat people due for collections in a fair manner. They are not allowed to be deceptive, unfair, or engage in an abusive manner when it comes to debt collection so the process can be fair for both sides.
As per the Act, all entities, including the agencies collecting debt, are regulated. This means anyone contacting you to pay off bills or dies should be in full compliance with the Act. It also means a number of other entities,such as the attorneys involved in debt collection activities, and the companies who actually make debt collection tools, should be in compliance with the Act. Do not let anyone try to manipulate you into thinking they do not have to be in compliance with the Act. California laws are strict when it comes to debt collection.
However, it is important to note debt collectors in the state are not mandated to have a license, since agencies underwent deregulation in the 1980s. These collectors are not even required to have a local business license to start and continue operations.
Debt collectors are under limits on how much they can communicate with debtors. They are not allowed to use profane language, must disclose their information, and are not allowed to call repeatedly or harass you with calls while you are busy on the phone. Additionally, they are not allowed to lie to you in a manner that causes you to spend more money than you needed to, like if they try to get you to call a long-distance number for an extra charge.
Debt collectors in California must protect the privacy of all debtors, as per the law. Regulations say they are allowed to send debt reports to a credit reporting agency, but they are very limited in the other information they can give out. Envelopes from collectors can not have any details about debt on the outside, and the law says debt collectors are not allowed to publish your information in a public setting if you do not pay.
California collection laws gives debtors a lot of protection and options if a agency breaks they law. If a collector breaks the Act, you can file a complaint with the state attorney general, sue the debt collector in court, or get in touch with federal authorities who are in charge of enforcement of debt collection laws.
Overall, the best way to stay out of the way of debt collectors is to pay your debts on time and in full. While legislation in California does provide protections against predatory debtors and ones who are abusive, you are still required to pay off debts, and these agencies can be very persistent when it comes to getting their money.
Be sure to clear your debts as quickly as possible so you do not have to deal with the debt collectors and subject yourself to worry and stress about their tactics and methods.
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If you do engage with a collector, be sure to study relevant laws so you understand what collection agencies are and are not allowed to do as they engage with you. Don’t be afraid to report a debt collector if they break the law.
Do you have a question about collection laws in California? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!