Civil Code §1788.14. Debt Collectors – Other Prohibited Practices

California Civil Code  >  Civil Code §1788.14. Debt Collectors – Other Prohibited Practices

*New statutes and amendments effective January 1, 2022 are shown in bold, underline italics. [ ] indicates an amendment of deleted text only.

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

(a)  Obtaining an affirmation from a debtor of a consumer debt that has been discharged in bankruptcy, without clearly and conspicuously disclosing to the debtor, in writing, at the time the affirmation is sought, the fact that the debtor is not legally obligated to make an affirmation;

(b)  Collecting or attempting to collect from the debtor the whole or any part of the debt collector’s fee or charge for services rendered, or other expense incurred by the debt collector in the collection of the consumer debt, except as permitted by law [ ].

(c)  Initiating communications, other than statements of account, with the debtor with regard to the consumer debt, when the debt collector has been previously notified in writing by the debtor’s attorney that the debtor is represented by the attorney with respect to the consumer debt and the notice includes the attorney’s name and address and a request by the attorney that all communications regarding the consumer debt be addressed to the attorney, unless the attorney fails to answer correspondence, return telephone calls, or discuss the obligation in question. This subdivision shall not apply if prior approval has been obtained from the debtor’s attorney, or if the communication is a response in the ordinary course of business to a debtor’s inquiry.

(d) Sending a written communication to a debtor in an attempt to collect a time-barred debt without providing the debtor with one of the following written notices:

(1) If the debt is not past the date for obsolescence set forth in Section 605(a) of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681c), the following notice shall be included in the first written communication provided to the debtor after the debt has become time-barred:

“The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it. If you do not pay the debt, [insert name of debt collector] may [continue to] report it to the credit reporting agencies as unpaid for as long as the law permits this reporting.”

(2) If the debt is past the date for obsolescence set forth in Section 605(a) of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681c), the following notice shall be included in the first written communication provided to the debtor after the date for obsolescence:

“The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it, and we will not report it to any credit reporting agency.”

(e) Collecting consumer debt that originated with a hospital licensed pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code without including in the first written communication to the debtor a copy of the notice required pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 127425 of the Health and Safety Code and a statement that the debt collector will wait at least 180 days from the date the debtor was initially billed for the hospital services that are the basis of the debt before reporting adverse information to a credit reporting agency or filing a lawsuit against the debtor.

(f) For purposes of this section, “first written communication” means the first communication sent to the debtor in writing or by facsimile, email, or other similar means. [2021]

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