California Seeks Comments on Consumer Complaint Rules

Comments focused on complaint response methods and timeliness are due by July 5.

06/28/2022 7:00 A.M.

2 minute read

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) is seeking comments on its processes for consumer complaints and inquiries under the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) enacted in 2020.

“The broad objective of this regulatory action mirrors the [l]egislature’s intent in enacting the CCFPL to strengthen consumer protections by expanding the ability of the [d]epartment to improve accountability and transparency in the California financial system, provide consumer financial education, and protect consumers from abusive financial practices, while prioritizing the prevention of unethical businesses from harming the most vulnerable populations,” according to the DFPI. “The proposed regulations would achieve these benefits by requiring covered persons to have appropriate procedures to review, investigate, respond to, track, and report consumer complaints and inquiries.”

Specifically, the DFPI is focused on the meaning of a timely response to consumers and to the department about complaints against or inquiries about a covered business or person, according to an article from ACA International member law firm Troutman Pepper.

“For each complaint, covered persons must provide the complainant with a written acknowledgement of receipt,” according to the article. “Under the proposed rules, the written acknowledgement of receipt shall advise that the complaint has been received and shall include the date of receipt, a unique tracking number to identify the complaint in subsequent communications, and the telephone number and email address that can be used to contact the appropriate representatives of the covered person who have been designated to handle the complaint.”

The timing of the complaint responses would depend on how the complaint was received, such as by email, mail or telephone. Covered persons would also be required to keep a written record of each complaint for at least five years, according to Troutman Pepper.

Feedback Needed
The California Association of Collectors Inc. (CAC) is asking for feedback from its members to add to the comments it will submit to the DFPI, which are due by July 5. Contact Kelly Parsons-O’Brien at [email protected] to share your feedback.

The CAC is also working on a sample letter for members to send to the DFPI.

Submit comments to the DFPI by any of the following methods:

Via email to: [email protected]

Via postal mail addressed to:

Department of Financial Protection and Innovation
Attn: Sandra Navarro
300 S. Spring Street, Suite 15513
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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