As RMAI has previously reported to our members, starting January 1, 2022, anyone collecting debt in California must be licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI).  DFPI recently sent out the message below with details on the application process and requirements, which we felt would be helpful to RMAI members. The application is currently available via the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry.

The Debt Collector Licensing Act (Fin. Code § 100000 et seq.) (DCLA), which takes effect Jan. 1, 2022, requires any person engaging in the business of debt collection in California to be licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI). (Fin. Code § 100001(a)). If you are a debt collector collecting debt in the state of California you must submit an application on or before Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. Once you have submitted your application, you may continue operating as a debt collector in California while your application is pending. If you submit an application after this date, you will be required to wait for the issuance of a license before you can operate in California. (Fin. Code § 100000.5(c)).

The application will request financial and other information and will need to be submitted via the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS). In addition, applicants will need to submit fingerprints through the California Department of Justice’s electronic fingerprint submission Live Scan Service.

For further information about debt collectors’ licensing requirements please refer to the DFPI’s Debt Collectors web page and FAQs. The DFPI looks forward to reviewing applications and welcoming our new licensees.

If you wish to continue operating as a debt collector in California starting from Jan. 1, 2022, we strongly recommend that you start gathering the necessary information to ensure timely filing of your application by the Dec. 31, 2021, deadline. Failure to submit an application by this deadline and continued operation without a license may result in enforcement actions.

To avoid missing important updates, you are strongly encouraged to check the DFPI website periodically and subscribe to the DFPI’s email subscription service.

This Member Alert is intended for members of the Receivables Management Association International, is for informational purposes only, and is in no way intended to provide legal advice. Members are encouraged to consult with an attorney of their choice for legal advice concerning this matter.