Rules for Debt Collection in California

California has some of the most robust consumer protection laws in the United States, and this includes regulating the manner in which companies can collect debts. The Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a state law that offers more protections than federal law, including the following:

  • Debt collectors cannot threaten criminal charges for not paying a debt
  • They cannot threaten to destroy your reputation or cause you physical harm
  • Collectors cannot defame you to others
  • They cannot threaten to garnish your wages, seize your property or assets, or take similar actions unless they have obtained a judgment from the court via a collection lawsuit
  • Debt collection representatives cannot use profanity or obscenities
  • They must identify themselves as debt collectors in all communications
  • They cannot engage in harassing behaviors
  • They may not reveal information about your debts to your family (with the exception of your spouse)
  • Collectors cannot publish your name in a public list for not paying your debts
  • They cannot falsely claim to be lawyers, government officials, credit reporting representatives, or otherwise trick you into paying a debt
  • Collectors cannot contact you directly if you have a lawyer representing you
  • Debt collection agencies must properly file lawsuits according to the Rules of Civil Procedure
  • They cannot continue to collect a debt after the statute of limitations has expired, which is generally four years in California for written creditor agreements

If a debt collector violates your rights, you can take legal action against the collector. You can file proper complaints and even potentially seek damages in civil court.

Speak with a California Consumer Protection Attorney Right Away

The California consumer protection lawyers of Martin & Bontrager, APC, help protect consumers from unlawful debt collection practices. Call 323.940.1700 or contact us online if you believe that your consumer rights have been violated by any type of company.