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WBK Industry News - State Regulatory Developments

CA Amends the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Definitions

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law a bill, Senate Bill 187 (SB 187) which amends the California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the Rosenthal Act).  The amendment goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

The Rosenthal Act governs debt collection responsibilities in California when the activity is performed by a “debt collector” in connection with “consumer debt.”  SB 187 amends the definitions of the terms “consumer debt” and “debt collector.”  The term “consumer debt” is amended to explicitly include “mortgage debt.” The term “debt collector” is amended to remove an exception previously included in this term for an attorney or counselor at law.

Of note, SB 187 indicates, with respect to the amendment of the definition of the term “consumer debt,” that this amendment does not constitute a change in existing law, but is instead declaratory in nature.  Additionally, SB 187 makes various nonsubstantive changes to the Rosenthal Act’s definitions.