SACRAMENTO, Calif .– The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) today announced the formal creation of its first Debt Collection Advisory Committee, a seven-member board that will provide critical feedback to the department while he lifts his debt collection licensing program. The diverse group includes a consumer advocate and representatives from the debt collection, debt purchasing, third party collection and collection law industries.
Committee members represent a representative sample of interested candidates; five are industry representatives, one is a consumer advocate and one is a professor of law and economics who studies the industry.
- Elizabeth Gonzalez, Center for Public Law
- Scott Hyman, Severson & Werson
- Mark Naiman, Absolute Resolutions Corporation
- Cindy Yaklin, States Recovery Systems Inc.
- Tamar Yudenfreund, Midland Credit Management
- Ohad Samet, TrueAccord Corporation
- Prasad Krishnamurthy, University of Berkeley School of Law
“I look forward to working with this group representing various stakeholders in the debt collection industry,” said DFPI Commissioner Manuel P. Alvarez. “The committee’s perspectives and advice will be essential in helping the ministry effectively oversee debt collectors and protect consumers. “
The members of the committee were appointed by Commissioner Alvarez for a two-year term in accordance with Article 100025 of the Financial Code adopted by the adoption of the Debt Collection Licensing Act (DCLA). The committee is scheduled to hold its inaugural meeting on July 28, 2021 and is expected to meet twice a year or as needed. To find out more, visit: https://dfpi.ca.gov/dfpi-debt-collection-advisory-committee.
The The DCLA was enacted in 2020 with the passage of SB 908. The DCLA protects California consumers and gives DFPI the licensing and review authority over debt collectors, which includes debt buyers, operating in California.
The DFPI will begin accepting applications for debt collector licenses later this year. Under the new law, the commissioner must review all businesses that apply for a debt collection license. Grounds for license denial include “any act involving dishonesty, fraud or deception, if the crime or act is substantially related” to debt collection activity and violations of any similar regulatory regime. In addition, the Commissioner can revoke a license if he determines that “there is a fact or condition which, had it existed at the time the licensee applied for the license, would have been grounds for rejecting the application” .
Since January 1, 2021, the DFPI has been operating under the authority of the new California Consumer Financial Protection Act (CCFPL). The department has expanded supervisory and enforcement powers to better protect California consumers, promote responsible innovation, reduce regulatory uncertainty for emerging financial products, and increase education and awareness among vulnerable groups.
In addition to regulating collection agents, the DFPI authorizes and regulates financial products and services, including state chartered banks and credit unions, student loan services, commodities and investment advisers, money transmitters, securities and franchise offering and selling, brokers, non-bank installment lenders, payday lenders, mortgage lenders and service agents, escrow companies, PACE administrators , rental contractors with option to buy, credit repair companies, consumer credit reporting agencies, debt relief companies, and more.