Code Section

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 3. PROFESSIONS AND VOCATIONS GENERALLY [5000 - 9998.11]

  ( Heading of Division 3 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 30. )
  

CHAPTER 9. Contractors [7000 - 7191]

  ( Chapter 9 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 37. )
  

ARTICLE 10. Home Improvement Business [7150 - 7170]
  ( Article 10 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1021. )

  
7161.  

It is a misdemeanor for any person to engage in any of the following acts, the commission of which is cause for disciplinary action against any licensee or applicant:

(a) Using false, misleading, or deceptive advertising as an inducement to enter into any contract for a work of improvement, including, but not limited to, any home improvement contract, whereby any member of the public may be misled or injured.

(b) Making any substantial misrepresentation in the procurement of a contract for a home improvement or other work of improvement or making any false promise of a character likely to influence, persuade, or induce any person to enter into the contract.

(c) Any fraud in the execution of, or in the material alteration of, any contract, trust deed, mortgage, promissory note, or other document incident to a home improvement transaction or other transaction involving a work of improvement.

(d) Preparing or accepting any trust deed, mortgage, promissory note, or other evidence of indebtedness upon the obligations of a home improvement transaction or other transaction for a work of improvement with knowledge that it specifies a greater monetary obligation than the consideration for the improvement work, which consideration may be a time sale price.

(e) Directly or indirectly publishing any advertisement relating to home improvements or other works of improvement that contains an assertion, representation, or statement of fact that is false, deceptive, or misleading, or by any means advertising or purporting to offer to the general public this improvement work with the intent not to accept contracts for the particular work or at the price that is advertised or offered to the public, except that any advertisement that is subject to and complies with the existing rules, regulations, or guides of the Federal Trade Commission shall not be deemed false, deceptive, or misleading.

(f) (1) Any person who violates subdivision (b), (c), (d), or (e) as part of a plan or scheme to defraud an owner of a residential or nonresidential structure, including a mobilehome or manufactured home, in connection with the offer or performance of repairs to the structure for damage caused by a natural disaster, shall be ordered by the court to make full restitution to the victim based on the person’s ability to pay, defined as the overall capability of the defendant to reimburse the costs, or a portion of the costs, including consideration of, but not limited to, all of the following:

(A) The defendant’s present financial position.

(B) The defendant’s reasonably discernible future financial position, provided that the court shall not consider a period of more than one year from the date of the hearing for purposes of determining the reasonably discernible future financial position of the defendant.

(C) The likelihood that the defendant will be able to obtain employment within one year from the date of the hearing.

(D) Any other factor that may bear upon the defendant’s financial capability to reimburse the county for costs.

(2) In addition to full restitution and imprisonment as authorized by this section, the court may impose a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), based upon the defendant’s ability to pay. This subdivision applies to natural disasters for which a state of emergency is proclaimed by the Governor pursuant to Section 8625 of the Government Code or for which an emergency or major disaster is declared by the President of the United States.

(g) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2021.

(Repealed (in Sec. 9) and added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 92, Sec. 10. (AB 1869) Effective September 18, 2020. Operative July 1, 2021, by its own provisions.)