All debt collection regulations in California were sunset (shut down) in 1992. There is currently no state agency that accepts consumer complaints and mediates/investigates individual complaints.
The best recourse today is for consumers to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Attorney General’s office. They don’t act on individual consumer complaints but do look at trends and file large cases. Consumers should also contact their local Better Business Bureau or District Attorney’s office, as some of them have mediation programs.
Basic debt collection information for consumers:
1. If a consumer owes money, they can contact the company and try to work out a payment plan.
2. Don’t ignore letters and communications.
3. Seek self-help resources as soon as possible and avoid further damage to their credit rating.
4. Report illegal threats.
5. To stop debtors from harassing calls/communications consumers can send them a “cease and desist” demand letter, which requires that debt collector to stop their communications, or to communicate with their attorney if they have one.
Here are some helpful websites with more information:
Federal Trade Commission sites:
Debt Collection FAQ's
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Links
Dealing with Debt
FTC Issues Report on Reforming Debt Collection Litigation
Debt Collection Supervisors Settle FTC Charges
Debt Collection Arbitration: The Who, What, Why and How
Second Largest Debt Collection Civil Penalty in FTC History
FTC Report Urges Reform and Modernization of Federal Debt Collection Law; Agency Also Issues Annual FDCPA Report to Congress
Debt Collectors Settle with FTC; Abusive Practices Affected Consumers Nationwide
In Debt? Facts for Consumers
Public Good Law Center:
DCA LA County:
Attorney General’s Office:
Better Business Bureau Southland:
California and Nevada Credit Union League:
Consumer Action - Help Desk FAQ - What types of debt collectors are sunject to the FDCPA?
Consumer Action - Arbitration no shield for debt collectors
Consumer Action - FTC proposes new rules for collecting debt from dead people
Consumer Action - Don't get caught in the debt settlement trap
Consumer Action - The Fair Debt Law - Consumers in Debt Series
Consumer Action - Help Desk FAQ - What is the "mini-Miranda" warning?
Consumer Action - 2008-2009 Winter Issue: Dealing with Debt
Support for SB 339
Beware of Debt Settlement Trap Consumer Groups Offer Debt-Strapped Consumers Advice on Getting Real Relief
Department of Consumer Affairs:
After the Judgment - collecting or Satisfying the Judgment
Marin County District Attorney:
WHAT TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE A DEMAND FOR PAYMENT FROM A CREDITOR OR DEBT COLLECTION AGENCY
San Diego District Attorney:
Consumer news - San Diego City Attorney's Office
Directory of State Agencies
Directory of Federal Agencies
Return to DCA Home Page