Can a bail bonds company, operating in the State of California, be sued under the Rosenthal Act? An agent was recorded verbally berating an alleged client, threatening to send the client to collections. The true basis of this question, is can a bail bonds company be classified as a debt collector under this act?
1788. This title may be cited as the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection
1788.1. (a) The Legislature makes the following findings:
(1) The banking and credit system and grantors of credit to
consumers are dependent upon the collection of just and owing debts.
Unfair or deceptive collection practices undermine the public
confidence which is essential to the continued functioning of the
banking and credit system and sound extensions of credit to
(2) There is need to ensure that debt collectors and debtors
exercise their responsibilities to one another with fairness, honesty
and due regard for the rights of the other.
(b) It is the purpose of this title to prohibit debt collectors
from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the
collection of consumer debts and to require debtors to act fairly in
entering into and honoring such debts, as specified in this title.
1788.2. (a) Definitions and rules of construction set forth in this
section are applicable for the purpose of this title.
(b) The term "debt collection" means any act or practice in
connection with the collection of consumer debts.
(c) The term "debt collector" means any person who, in the
ordinary course of business, regularly, on behalf of himself or
herself or others, engages in debt collection. The term includes any
person who composes and sells, or offers to compose and sell, forms,
letters, and other collection media used or intended to be used for
debt collection, but does not include an attorney or counselor at
(d) The term "debt" means money, property or their equivalent
which is due or owing or alleged to be due or owing from a natural
person to another person.
(e) The term "consumer credit transaction" means a transaction
between a natural person and another person in which property,
services or money is acquired on credit by that natural person from
such other person primarily for personal, family, or household
(f) The terms "consumer debt" and "consumer credit" mean money,
property or their equivalent, due or owing or alleged to be due or
owing from a natural person by reason of a consumer credit
(g) The term "person" means a natural person, partnership,
corporation, limited liability company, trust, estate, cooperative,
association or other similar entity.
(h) Except as provided in Section 1788.18, the term "debtor" means
a natural person from whom a debt collector seeks to collect a
consumer debt which is due and owing or alleged to be due and owing
from such person.
(i) The term "creditor" means a person who extends consumer credit
to a debtor.
(j) The term "consumer credit report" means any written, oral or
other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency
bearing on a consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, credit
capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics or
mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in
whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in
establishing the consumer's eligibility for (1) credit or insurance
to be used primarily for person, family, or household purposes, or
(2) employment purposes, or (3) other purposes authorized under any
applicable federal or state law or regulation. The term does not
include (a) any report containing information solely as to
transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person
making the report; (b) any authorization or approval of a specific
extension of credit directly or indirectly by the issuer of a credit
card or similar device; or (c) any report in which a person who has
been requested by a third party to make a specific extension of
credit directly or indirectly to a consumer conveys his or her
decision with respect to that request, if the third party advises the
consumer of the name and address of the person to whom the request
was made and such person makes the disclosures to the consumer
required under any applicable federal or state law or regulation.
(k) The term "consumer reporting agency" means any person which,
for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis,
regularly engages, in whole or in part, in the practice of assembling
or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on
consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer credit reports to
third parties, and which uses any means or facility for the purpose
of preparing or furnishing consumer credit reports.
1788.3. Nothing contained in this title shall be construed to
prohibit a credit union chartered under Division 5 (commencing with
Section 14000) of the Financial Code or under the Federal Credit
Union Act (Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 1751) of Title 12 of
the United States Code) from providing information to an employer
when the employer is ordinarily and necessarily entitled to receive
such information because he is an employee, officer, committee
member, or agent of such credit union.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Why'd you attach all that law? We already know the law. The bail bondsman is considered a debt collector if you can prove that he or she meets the statutory criteria.
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