Legal Question in Business Law in California

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?


SECTION 1788-1788.3

1788. This title may be cited as the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection

Practices Act.

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.

Asked on 7/09/13, 8:55 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

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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Answered on 7/09/13, 10:01 pm

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