The Rosenthal Act, in its extensive compendium, encompasses a myriad of rules and provisions that effectively bar various debt collection practices, comprised of but not limited to the ensuing.
Employing Threats, Coercion, or Fear Tactics
Debt buyers in California are prohibited from uttering any of the subsequent threats as per state legislation.
- It is highly unlikely that you will be charged with a crime for failing to pay your debt. Additionally, it is important not to make any statements that may harm someone’s reputation or make threats to do so.
- Moreover, it is illegal for a debt buyer to falsely claim that they will transfer the debt to another person and that you would lose any defense against the debt in the process.
- They also cannot threaten you with arrest, seizure of assets, or wage garnishment unless they are planning to take such actions and have the legal authority to do so. Note that in most cases, a debt buyer must take legal action against you and obtain a court judgment before implementing specific collection actions such as wage garnishment and bank garnishment. (California Civil Code Section 1788.10).
CFS2 Inc face restrictions in both their communication and contact approaches when trying to reach you, particularly via telephone.
- The use of offensive or vulgar language is prohibited for debt collectors.
- It is mandatory for the caller to reveal their identity when contacting you via telephone.
- A collector is not allowed to deceive you in a manner that would result in unnecessary expenses, such as making you pay for a long-distance call or other similar charges.
- The act of repeatedly calling you or causing your phone to ring incessantly with the intention of irritating you is forbidden for debt collectors.
- Communicating with you in a manner that qualifies as harassment, whether through phone calls or face-to-face interaction, is not permitted for collectors (Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.11).
Attempting to Deceive You Into Settling an Obligation
Debt Buyers are prohibited from engaging in any of the actions listed below.
- To maintain the appearance of being authorized by the government, unless they are pursuing government debt recovery.
- Claiming the right to impose extra charges for collection or legal fees, unless they possess the legal jurisdiction or an agreement with you allows it.
- Identifying as a credit reporting agency or threatening to report you to such agencies if they have no intention of doing so.
- Dispatching correspondence resembling official documents from departments such as claims, credit, audit, or legal departments, except if it is genuinely issued by one of those departments. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.13).
Contacting You while Working
Debt buyers must abide by various guidelines enshrined in the Rosenthal Act to guarantee the safeguarding of your privacy.
- Debt buyers are restricted from divulging details about your debt to anyone in your family unless you are married or a minor living in the same household.
- In the pursuit of locating you, collectors may contact your family members. Nonetheless, your name cannot be disclosed on a public record known as the deadbeat list to shame you for non-payment.
- Furthermore, if a debt buyer sends you mail, they are prohibited from indicating any information about the debt that could cause embarrassment. The mail may only display the name, address, and phone number of both the debtor and collector.
- Sending postcards as a means of communication is also prohibited by law (Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.12).
Reaching Out to You in Case Legal Representation is Already in Place
In the event that your attorney consents to engage in conversations with your creditors and formally notifies them, you are safeguarded from any contact by debt collectors. However, in the unfortunate circumstance where your attorney neglects to respond to the collector’s correspondence, ignores their phone calls, or refuses to discuss the matter, the collector may reach out to you. (According to California Civil Code § 1788.14).
California law has specified certain prerequisites for CFS2 Inc. What do these requirements entail?
The Rosenthal Act outlines a series of actions that collectors are obligated to implement. These actions encompass the following requirements.
It is mandatory for debt collectors to notify you if the time period in which legal action can be taken, known as the statute of limitations, has lapsed.
According to the California Civil Code § 1788.14, the Rosenthal Act necessitates that upon the expiration of the statute of limitations for a specific debt, a debt collector must promptly notify you. This notification should be included in the initial written correspondence they send after the expiration.
Collectors are prohibited by the law from taking any legal action, such as filing lawsuits or initiating arbitration, to collect a debt that is no longer legally enforceable. This prohibition is outlined in Section 337 of the California Code of Civil Procedure.
Regulations for Exposing Time-Limited Debts
Starting from 2014, debt collectors attempting to recover debts from individuals residing in California are obligated to furnish one of the following two notifications once the timeframe within which they could file a lawsuit to collect the debt has expired:
There is a legal restriction on the duration for which you can be sued over a debt. Due to the age of the debt in question, we have no intention of bringing a lawsuit against you. However, if you fail to settle the debt, CFS2 Inc has the option to notify the credit reporting agencies that it remains unpaid, within the timeframe allowed by law.
We shall refrain from taking legal action against you or relaying information about your debt to credit reporting agencies due to its long-standing duration (Civ. Code § 1788.52(d)(2)).
Starting from January 1, 2019, it is mandatory for debt collectors to dispatch this communication in situations where a debt has exceeded the time limit. It is worth mentioning once again that the collector is required to incorporate this communication in the initial written correspondence sent to the consumer following the expiration of the statute of limitations. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.14).
Collectors are prohibited under the law from taking any legal action, such as filing a lawsuit or initiating arbitration, in order to collect a debt that is past the statute of limitations.
Debt buyers must adhere to the procedures set by the court system in order to maintain a respectful approach towards debt collection.
CFS2 Inc in California must adhere to specific additional requirements, emphasizing the importance of honoring judicial proceedings.
- A lawsuit must be accompanied by a notification from a debt collector, ensuring that you are aware of the legal proceedings against you. Furthermore, if the creditor obtains a default judgment, they are prohibited from collecting or making any attempts to collect the debt if they are aware that you were not properly served.
- Additionally, according to California Civil Code § 1788.15, a collector is only allowed to sue you in the county where the debt was incurred, the county in which you resided when the debt was incurred, or your current county of residence.
What remedies are available to individuals facing harassment from debt debt buyers?
If you happen to fall behind on a payment, it is essential to be aware of your entitlements. The debt collector is legally obligated to conform to the established debt collection laws at both the federal and state levels. Furthermore, you hold the prerogative to counter a lawsuit filed by the collector and are eligible to employ a legal representative to advocate for your interests (refer below for more details).
Should you find yourself facing harassment from a debt collector that goes against California law, know that you have the ability to lodge a complaint with the California Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Lodging a Grievance with the Attorney General of California.
If you suspect that a debt collector has infringed upon the Rosenthal Act, you have the option to lodge a formal complaint with the California Attorney General’s office. While the Attorney General does not take legal action on your behalf, it utilizes these complaints as a means to acquire knowledge about any prevailing misconduct.
The public can benefit from insightful details on debt collectors offered by the Attorney General’s office.
File a Complaint
How to Report an Issue to the Federal Trade Commission
If you happen to have any grievances, it is within your rights to address them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It is important to note that it is generally the duty of the FTC to enforce the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as mandated by federal law (15 U.S.C. § 1692l).
File a Complaint
How to Report a Concern to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
If you ever have any grievances, don’t hesitate to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This organization will not only transmit your complaint to the debt collector but also strive to secure a prompt response on your behalf.
What methods can be utilized to ensure compliance with California’s regulations regarding the Fair Collection of debts?
Aside from lodging grievances against a collector, you have the option to initiate legal proceedings against said collector. In the event of a triumph, you are entitled to compensation for any genuine losses you suffered as a result of the misconduct. Furthermore, according to the legislation in California, if the debt collector displayed intentional and knowledgeable behavior, a court has the authority to allocate an extra sum ranging from $100 to $1,000 for your benefit. Additionally, you may receive remuneration for your lawyers’ fees. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.30).
The expiration period for filing your claim is limited to one year, as mandated by the statute (Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.30). Furthermore, there are instances when the court may deduct the amount owed to the creditor from the total sum awarded to you.
Typically, the guidance of a legal professional is crucial for the successful filing and victory of a lawsuit. Nevertheless, if you possess a strong grasp of legal principles and procedures, it is plausible to independently initiate a lawsuit in small claims court.
It is important to note that a debt collector cannot be held responsible for breaking the law if they take action within 15 days of becoming aware of a fixable violation or after being notified in writing about the violation. In such cases, the debt collector must inform you of the violation and rectify it accordingly, as stated under Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.30.
In the event of actual damages, it is improbable for the debt collector to rectify the violation.
File A Complaint
Hire the Helstowski Law Firm to represent you
We can be hired to resolve issues with CFS2 Inc and defend your rights.
What consequences can one face for breaching the fair debt collection laws in California?
Typically, debt buyers are obligated to adhere to both the federal FDCPA as well as the California-based Rosenthal Act. Should a bill collector breach the FDCPA, there is a possibility for you to initiate a legal suit and receive compensatory awards, such as the potential statutory damages set at $1,000 (15 U.S.C. § 1692k).
The cumulative nature of the Rosenthal Act means that its remedies, as stated in Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.32, complement and add to any other procedures, rights, or remedies available under different laws. Consequently, engaging in activities in California that violate both federal and state statutes can lead to remedies under both legal frameworks, as specified in Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.17.
Once more, according to the Rosenthal Act, in situations where the debt collector has deliberately and knowingly acted, the court has the authority to grant you a sum ranging from $100 to $1,000 in addition to the reimbursement of attorneys’ fees (Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.30). Nevertheless, the debt collector can absolve themselves of any responsibility if they are able to rectify the violation. It is crucial to note that this remedy must be executed within 15 days from the moment the breach is identified.
The breach cannot be rectified by the debt collector if you have suffered genuine harm, like emotional damages.
If a debt collector is taking legal action against you, what entitlements do you have in terms of your rights?
In the eventuality where a lawsuit has been filed against you, it is within your entitlement to submit a response or answer. This reply provides you with the opportunity to bring forth any potential breaches of debt collection regulations, which you can leverage to enter into negotiations for resolving your debt.
Leveraging the Violation for Negotiating Debt Settlement
In the event that you find yourself attempting to resolve a financial obligation and the collector breaches the Rosenthal Act, you have an opportunity to employ this breach as an advantageous tool during your negotiations. The collectors are well aware that facing a lawsuit can lead to exorbitant expenses for their defense, potentially resulting in an unfavorable judgment against them.
The extent of your potential advantage in debt settlement negotiations greatly relies on the validity of your claim. If your case is supported by compelling evidence, such as numerous instances of harassing calls or the testimonies of fellow colleagues who have also received threatening phone calls, you will possess significantly greater leverage.
It is important to note that if a debt is eliminated, pardoned, or resolved for a reduced amount, there is a possibility that the canceled debt might be subject to taxation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) typically views canceled debts that amount to $600 or more as taxable. Moreover, settling debts for less than the actual owed sum can potentially elevate your tax obligation and may vary depending on your tax bracket and the canceled amount. To obtain further details, it is advisable to seek guidance from a tax specialist.
Laws Governing the Settlement of Debts in California
Starting from January 1, 2022, the California Fair Debt Settlement Practices Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.300, and subsequent) safeguards consumers availing debt settlement services. It ensures necessary protection for individuals who engage professionals in the resolution of their outstanding debts.
- Mandating specific information be made public
- Banning particular actions (such as participating in dishonest, misleading, or deceitful behaviors)
- Providing the option to terminate agreements, and Granting individuals the ability to pursue legal recourse should a debt settlement company violate regulations.