Licensing Update: California Launches Search Portal for Debt Collection License Applicants

laptopThe portal allows consumers to look up licensees and debt collectors allowed to do business in California and for applicants to check their business operation status while their license is pending.

05/16/2022 2:00 P.M.

1.5 minute read

California’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) recently launched an online portal for consumers and debt collection license applicants to search for their operation status while their application is being reviewed by the state.

The Debt Collection Licensing Act, which took effect Jan. 1, 2022, requires any person engaging in the business of debt collection in California to be licensed annually by the DFPI.

The DFPI is expecting to license thousands of entities over the next two years. To avoid missing important updates, interested parties are encouraged to check the DFPI website periodically and subscribe to the DFPI’s email subscription service.

Meanwhile, the new online portal has two options to look up your application or for consumers to search for a debt collector’s license.

Some licensing applicants, under the Debt Collection Licensing Act, are allowed to do business while they are waiting for the DFPI’s decision on their license.

The DFPI also told the licensing department with Collectors Insurance Agency Inc. that in the event applicants used a trade name or “doing business as” name on their licensing application and it isn’t displayed on the online portal, they can still search the portal using their company name.

How Did We Get Here?

The first license applications were due Dec. 31, 2021, to operate in California. Before the end of 2021, the DFPI received approximately 600 applications, which allowed companies to operate while the approval process played out.

Melinda Lee, deputy commissioner of debt collector licensing at the DFPI, said last year the department expected the approval process to continue through 2022 and possibly 2023.

ACA’s licensing team has resources to help members navigate the licensing process.

For more information on how the contact the licensing team at [email protected] or call (952) 926-6547 or visit the website.

If you have executive leadership updates or other member news to share with ACA, contact our communications department at [email protected]. View our publications page for more information and our news submission guidelines here.


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