Code Section Group

Financial Code - FIN

DIVISION 25. Debt Collection Licensing Act [100000 - 100025]

  ( Division 25 added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 163, Sec. 3. )

CHAPTER 2. Licensing [100003 - 100017]

  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 163, Sec. 3. )

ARTICLE 2. Application for Licensure [100007 - 100014]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 163, Sec. 3. )

100007.
  

An applicant shall apply for a license by submitting all of the following to the commissioner:

(a) A completed application for a license in a form prescribed by the commissioner and signed under penalty of perjury. An application shall include the location of the applicant’s principal place of business and all branch office locations.

(b) (1) An application fee, of three hundred fifty dollars ($350), and an investigation fee, the amount of which shall be determined by the department, to cover any costs incurred in processing an application, including a fingerprint processing and criminal history record check under Section 100009. The investigation fee, including the amount for the criminal history record check, and the application fee are not refundable if an application is denied or withdrawn.

(2) The fees assessed pursuant to this subdivision shall be billed and collected by the commissioner at the time of initial application.

(c) A sample of the initial letter required pursuant to Section 1692g of Title 15 of the United States Code that the licensee will use in correspondence with California consumers.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 77, Sec. 6. (AB 137) Effective July 16, 2021. Operative January 1, 2022, pursuant to Sec. 100000.5.)

100008.
  

(a) The commissioner shall submit to the Department of Justice fingerprint images and related information required by the Department of Justice of every applicant, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 100002, for purposes of obtaining information as to the existence and content of a record of state or federal convictions, state or federal arrests, and information as to the existence and content of a record of state or federal arrests for which the Department of Justice establishes that the person is free on bail or on their own recognizance pending trial or appeal.

(b) When received, the Department of Justice shall transmit fingerprint images and related information received pursuant to this section to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining a federal criminal history records check. The Department of Justice shall review the information returned from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and compile and disseminate a response to the commissioner.

(c) The Department of Justice shall provide a state or federal response to the commissioner pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (p) of Section 11105 of the Penal Code.

(d) The commissioner shall request from the Department of Justice subsequent arrest notification service, as provided pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code, for the license applicant described in subdivision (a).

(e) The Department of Justice shall charge a fee, payable by the applicant, sufficient to cover the costs of processing the requests pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 163, Sec. 3. (SB 908) Effective January 1, 2021. Operative January 1, 2022, pursuant to Sec. 100000.5.)

100009.
  

(a) (1) Upon the filing of an application for a license pursuant to Section 100007 and the payment of the fees, if the applicant is a partnership, the commissioner shall investigate the applicant and its general partners and individuals owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the outstanding interests or any individual responsible for the conduct of the applicant’s servicing activities in this state.

(2) Upon the filing of an application for a license pursuant to Section 100007 and the payment of the fees, if the applicant is a corporation, trust, limited liability company, or association, including an unincorporated organization, the commissioner shall investigate the applicant, its principal officers, directors, trustee, managing members, and individuals owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the outstanding equity securities or any individual responsible for the conduct of the applicant’s debt collection activities in this state.

(b) Upon the filing of an application for a license pursuant to Section 100007 and the payment of the fees, the commissioner shall investigate the individual responsible for the debt collection activity of the licensee at the location described in the application. The investigation may be limited to information that was not included in prior applications filed pursuant to this division.

(c)  For the purposes of this section, “principal officers” shall mean president, chief executive officer, treasurer, and chief financial officer, as may be applicable, and any other officer with direct responsibility for the conduct of the applicant’s debt collection activities in this state.

(Added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 163, Sec. 3. (SB 908) Effective January 1, 2021. Operative January 1, 2022, pursuant to Sec. 100000.5.)

100011.
  

(a) When the application is complete, including the information from the Department of Justice, and the commissioner determines that the applicant has satisfied the requirements set forth in this division and does not find facts constituting reasons for denial, the commissioner shall issue and deliver a license to the applicant.

(b) If the commissioner determines that the requirements have not been satisfied, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the commissioner may deny the application and shall provide a written explanation for the denial.

(Added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 163, Sec. 3. (SB 908) Effective January 1, 2021. Operative January 1, 2022, pursuant to Sec. 100000.5.)

100012.
  

(a) The proceedings for a denial of a license shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(b) After notice and an opportunity for a hearing the commissioner may deny an application for a license for any of the following reasons:

(1) A false statement of a material fact has been made in the application.

(2) The applicant or any principal officer, director, general partner, managing member, or individual owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the outstanding interests or equity securities of the applicant, within the last 10 years has (A) been convicted of, or pleaded nolo contendere to, a crime, other than traffic violations, or (B) committed any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit, if the crime or act is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a person engaged in business in accordance with this division.

(3) The applicant or any principal officer, director, general partner, managing member, or individual owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the outstanding interests or equity securities of the applicant, has violated, or is not in material compliance with this division, or an order or rule of the commissioner.

(4) A material requirement for issuance of a license has not been met, provided that a written notice of a material omission shall first be sent to the applicant with an opportunity to correct the omission prior to the applicant’s denial.

(5) The applicant or any principal officer, director, general partner, managing member, or individual owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the outstanding interests or equity securities of the applicant, has violated this division or the rules thereunder, or any similar regulatory scheme of this or a foreign jurisdiction.

(6) The applicant or any principal officer, director, general partner, managing member, or individual owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the outstanding interests or equity securities of the applicant, has been held liable by final judgment in a civil action under Title 1.6C (commencing with Section 1788) or Title 1.6C.5 (commencing with Section 1788.50) of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, within the past seven years.

(7) The commissioner, based on its investigation of the applicant, is unable to find that the financial responsibility, criminal records, experience, character, and general fitness of the applicant and its general partners, managing members, principal officers and directors, and individuals owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the outstanding interests or equity securities of the applicant, support a finding that the business will be operated honestly, fairly, efficiently, and in accordance with the requirements of this division.

(8) The commissioner may adopt regulations specifying the factors that the commissioner will consider in denying a license, including, but not limited to, the harm to the consumer, the frequency of prior violations, and the number of prior disciplinary actions taken against the licensee in California or in other states.

(Added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 163, Sec. 3. (SB 908) Effective January 1, 2021. Operative January 1, 2022, pursuant to Sec. 100000.5.)

100013.
  

(a) The commissioner may deem an application for a license abandoned if the applicant fails to respond to any request for information required by the commissioner or department during an investigation of the application.

(b) The commissioner shall notify the applicant, in writing, that if the applicant fails to submit responsive information within 60 days from the date the commissioner sent the written request for information, the commissioner shall deem the application abandoned.

(c) An application fee paid prior to the date an application is deemed abandoned shall not be refunded. Abandonment of an application pursuant to this subdivision shall not preclude the applicant from submitting a new application and fee for a license.

(Added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 163, Sec. 3. (SB 908) Effective January 1, 2021. Operative January 1, 2022, pursuant to Sec. 100000.5.)

100014.
  

A license shall remain effective until the license is either suspended or revoked by the commissioner or surrendered by the licensee.

(Added by Stats. 2020, Ch. 163, Sec. 3. (SB 908) Effective January 1, 2021. Operative January 1, 2022, pursuant to Sec. 100000.5.)

FINFinancial Code - FIN2.