What is the California State Law Regulating Debt Collection Harassment?

Debt collectors use many different strategies to persuade their debtors to make a payment to them.  Some of these tactics are actually legal, some are over the line.  How do you know when the debt collector is violating debt collection laws?

The California law controlling Debt Collection is found in the California Civil Code 1788. It is known as Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

California Civil Code Section 1788.11 states:

No debt collector shall collect or attempt to collect a consumer debt by means of the following practices:

(a) Using obscene or profane language;

(b) Placing telephone calls without disclosure of the caller’s identity, provided that an employee of a licensed collection agency may identify himself by using his registered alias name as long as he correctly identifies the agency he represents;

(c) Causing expense to any person for long distance telephone calls, telegram fees or charges for other similar communications, by misrepresenting to such person the purpose of such telephone call, telegram or similar communication;

(d) Causing a telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously to annoy the person called; or

(e) Communicating, by telephone or in person, with the debtor with such frequency as to be unreasonable and to constitute an harassment to the debtor under the circumstances.

If you owe money and a debt collection agency has contacted you,it is important that you respond as soon as possible: if you don’t, the agency may keep trying to reach you to collect what they believe is a valid debt.

Harassment by Debt Collectors is Illegal

The California State law prohibits debt collectors attempting to collect a consumer debt by using obscene or profane language (California Civil Code section 1788.11(a). There is also the Federal law that states that a “debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person…” and also prohibits the use of obscene or profane language to the hearer or reader (15 United States Code section 1692d(2)).

A collection agency or its employees must not threaten to do anything that it cannot legally do. It cannot damage your property or physically injure you or others (California Civil Code section 1788.10).

Other consumer rights covered in the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act include call restrictions and arranging for partial payments. An agency may only call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. If you are unable to pay the whole amount, you may request that the agency make a payment agreement with you to allow regular payments to pay the bill in full.

Remember even if you legitimately owe the money, a debt collector has to treat you with respect.  It is the law!

www.jdfinder.com will help you find a lawyer in your area to protect you under the California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Simply fill out the on-line information form and we will match you to lawyers in your area who are experienced in handling debt collection harassment. There is no obligation. You hire the attorney that feels right for you. Use our free matching service to save time and money searching for the expert lawyer in the area of your concern.

Leave a Comment