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    Urge That SB 908 Be Amended so Private Investigators
    Will Not Need a Debt Collector License

    Members and Colleagues:

    Despite the best efforts of many of you who have been involved in attempting to get an amendment on SB 908, our voices are not being heard. SB 908 has passed both the Assembly Banking and Finance and Assembly Appropriations Committees and is on its way to the Assembly Floor for a vote of the entire Assembly. For those of you who have been asking how you can help, NOW IS THE TIME!

    We need everyone to step up. The bill is ambiguous and broad and may require some of us to get a second license, even if we are doing nothing more than a locate or surveillance for a client to collect a debt, even though we are not collecting the debt ourselves.

    Please let me know once you have called or sent an email. To keep your notifications separate and not overwhelm my regular email, please send it to me at

    Thank you.

    Francie Koehler, Government Affairs Committee Chair


    Urge That SB 908 Be Amended so Private Investigators
    Will Not Need a Debt Collector License

    CALI is urging all members to contact their Assembly Member and urge them to vote “no” on the debt collector licensure bill SB 908 [Wieckowski] unless the bill is amended to clarify that licensed PI’s locating individuals, conducting surveillance, or performing background checks will not be required to obtain a second license as a debt collector.

    What to Do

    Confirm your Assembly Member:
    Click on their name to visit their website, go to the “contact link,” enter your name and request
    Let CALI GAC Chair Francie Koehler know that you have made contact:
    When to Contact Your Representative

    Right Now – the bill could be brought up on the Assembly Floor [Assembly Third Reading] as soon as Monday, August 24. PLEASE MAKE CONTACT BY 10 AM MONDAY, AUGUST 24.

    CALI’s Position on SB 908 [Wieckowski]
    CALI is opposing SB 908 unless the measure is amended to resolve the ambiguity in the bill that could result in licensed private investigators having to be licensed twice for the same investigatory activities for which they are currently licensed under the state Private Investigator Act.

    What you can say or write to your Assembly Member

    I have no objection to the licensure of debt collectors and the protection of consumers. However, the restatement of the current Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as a licensure act brings to the forefront the broad scope of key definitions.

    SB 908 would:

    Require the licensure of individuals who meet a very broad definition of “debt collector” as “any person who, in the ordinary course of business, regularly, on the person’s own behalf or on behalf of others, engages in debt collection.”
    Define “debt collection” to mean “any act or practice in connection with the collection of consumer debt.”
    Together, these definitions are so broad that they could be interpreted as applying to the investigations by licensed private investigators that are not considered debt collection as they do not involve the collection of a consumer debt or an attempt to collect a consumer debt. These acts include locating an individual, performing a background investigation of an individual, or serving process. These acts are covered by the PI Act.

    CALI is urging that SB 908 be amended on Page 7, Line 31 to clarify that these specific acts do not trigger a second license.

    The Amendment:

    This division shall not require an additional license for the specific act of locating an individual, conducting a background investigation of an individual, or the service of process that is ancillary to the collection of a debt, that does not involve the collection of a consumer debt or an attempt to collect a consumer debt, and that is performed by a person pursuant to his or her license as a private investigator, as covered by the Private Investigator Act [Chapter 11.3 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, commencing with Section 7512].

    Business and Professions Code Section 7521 states:

    7521. A private investigator within the meaning of this chapter is a person, other than an insurance adjuster subject to the provisions of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 14000) of Division 5 of the Insurance Code, who, for any consideration whatsoever engages in business or accepts employment to furnish or agrees to furnish any person to protect persons pursuant to Section 7521.5, or engages in business or accepts employment to furnish, or agrees to make, or makes, any investigation for the purpose of obtaining, information with reference to:

    (a) Crime or wrongs done or threatened against the United States of America or any state or territory of the United States of America.

    (b) The identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation, or character of any person.

    (c) The location, disposition, or recovery of lost or stolen property.
    (d) The cause or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents, or damage or injury to persons or to property.

    (e) Securing evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigating committee.

    For the purposes of this section, a private investigator is any person, as defined in Section 7512.3, acting for the purpose of investigating, obtaining, and reporting to any employer, or an agent designated by the employer, information concerning the employer’s employees involving questions of integrity, honesty, breach of rules, or other standards of performance of job duties.

    This section does not apply to a public utility regulated by the Public Utilities Commission, or its employees.


    California Legislature Advances Debt Collection Licensing Act
    Advocacy by California Association of Collectors ensures bill includes workable solutions for the accounts receivable management industry and consumers.


    SB 908 Update

    Many thanks to each of you who sent emails to California State Assembly Members regarding SB 909.

    Teamwork does make a difference, and CALI has the best team around! We were successful but not in a traditional way and not in the way we expected.

    We were not able to get clarifying language to distinguish between a collection and the activities an investigator performs, such as locates, surveillance, and others, on behalf of a person or entity who is collecting a debt from a consumer.

    What we did achieve is a procedure in the state legislature called a letter to the DAILY JOURNAL. It is rarely used, but it clarifies the intent of the bill and protects the interests of private investigators. It was not easy, but with the efforts of Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel, who, on behalf of his constituent, newly elected Chairman of the Board and CALI past president, Jay Rosenzweig, convinced Senator Bob Wieckowski to submit the Letter to the Senate Daily Journal on our behalf.

    This is a great illustration of a relationship that each of us can develop with our elected officials.

    Thanks to each of you 110 members, as without your efforts, we would have lacked the mounting legislative concern that allowed Assembly Member Gabriel to be effective.

    Of course, as always, a huge thank you to Jerry Desmond and Anne Schillig, our wonderful lobbying team who stayed on top of it every step of the way. They sent letters to every single Assembly person on our behalf, not once but twice and the most recent on Sunday. They also monitored the hearing all day Sunday till it adjourned late Sunday night as well as Monday. Jerry and Anne – you guys rock!

    The final list of CALI member contacts is listed below. Both houses accepted the Letter without objection, and it will be part of the legislative record on SB 908. The bill has proceeded to Governor Newsome for his signature before the September 30 deadline.

    A little more about the Letter to the Daily Journal. . .

    A Letter that is published in the Assembly or Senate Daily Journal is a little-used method to clarify the legislative intent of a bill’s author to explain either the ambiguity in a bill or the purpose of the changes the bill made in the law. It is a formal action. It must be a signed letter on the legislator’s letterhead. The custom is to have the respective leadership in both houses review the contents of the Letter and determine if there are any objections. If both houses approve, then the legislator can request the Letter be printed in the Daily Journal with a roll call vote of the house. The California Courts utilize these letters as aids to determine legislative intent.


    Agosti, Carlos Gabriel, Jesse
    Alexander, Randall Calderon, Ian
    Alvarez, Fernando Bloom, Richard
    Atkinson, Paul Quirk-Silva, Sharon
    August, Brandon Frazier, Jim
    Barfield, Amenoel Gray, Adam
    Barna, Keith Low, Evan
    Barnes, Richard Arambula, Joaquin
    Beresford, Robert Frazier, Jim
    Bortnick, Bob Stone, Mark
    Bradley Nick Gloria, Todd
    Brady, Mathhew Diep, Tyle
    Brown, Clarick Wicks, Buffy
    Brummond, Gary Quirk-Silva, Sharon
    Burr, Barbara Aguilar-Curry, Cecilia
    Cantrel, Jason Gallagher, James
    Cardoza, Allen Diep, Tyler
    Cavalieri, Cary Chau, Ed
    Champion, Dana Carrillo, Wendy
    Chance, Dwight Bloom, Richard
    Cochran, Chuck Gonzales, Lorena
    Copas, Bryan Rivas, Robert
    Corcoran, Evan Brough, William
    Cory, Kelly Holden, Chris
    Courtney, Terry Bonta, Rob
    Crooks, Rick Horvath, Tasha Boerner
    Dellamarie, Barbara Cooper, Jim
    Ditty, Sean Dahle, Megan
    Doemer, Amy Stern, Henry
    Ermoian, Gary Gray, Adam
    Eskander, Nadim Chau, Ed
    Farahmand, Erik Kiley, Kevin
    Fernandez, Michael Quirk-Silva, Sharon
    Fields, Anne Low, Evan
    Flores, Esther Bauer-Kahan, Rebecca
    Flores, Phil Bauer-Kahan, Rebecca
    Fredricks, Susan Chen, Phillip
    Frye, Jason Unknown Assembly Member
    Gagliano, John Jones, Brian
    Garza, Ken Mathis, Devon
    Garza, Marc Weber, Shirley
    Glucroft, Rob Unknown Assembly Member
    Gustafson, Sean Kiley, Kevin
    Harrison, Dusty McCarty, Kevin
    Hart, Cliff Wood, Jim
    Holmes, Brian Carrillo, Wendy
    Hopkins, Anthony Aguiar-Curry, Cecelia
    Hopkins, Anthony Levine, Marc
    Huntington III, Frank Cooley, Ken
    Johnson, Michael Mullin, Kevin
    Jones, Jerimiah Unknown Assembly Member
    King, Dawn Aguiar-Curry, Cecelia
    Klier, Molly Bigelow, Frank
    Koehler, Francie Bonta, Rob
    Krevit, Steve Levine, Marc
    Kroot, Tracey Low, Evan
    Lewis, Becky Reyes, Eloise
    Lewis, Don Reyes, Eloise
    Luper, Pamela Unknown Assembly Member
    Mann, Robert Irwin, Jacqui
    Manzanares, Rick Cooley, Ken
    Martin, V. Bloom, Richard
    McClain, Ed Garcia, Eduardo
    McClain, Mark Rubio, Blanca
    McGarraugh, Michele Bonta, Rob
    Miller, Mitchell Mathis, Devon
    Moore, Bea Kiley, Kevin
    Nagle, Bob Choi, Stephen
    Nelson-Serrano Stone, Mark
    Nixon, Tom Muratsuchi, Al
    Nobriga, John Eggman, Susan
    Ontiveros, Randy Wicks, Buffy
    Palma, Sylvia Bauer-Kahn, Rebecca
    Paloma, Richard Eggman, Susan
    Paulino, Jay Gloria, Todd
    Perrin, Anthony Maienschein, Brian
    Price, Robert Waldron, Marie
    Quihuis, Ed Vopel, Randy
    Radus, Bob Petrie-Norris, Cottie
    Ragan, Chad Irwin, Jacqui
    Reitz, Ron Gloria, Todd
    Reynolds, Chris Garcia, Eduardo
    Rice, Robert Calderon, Ian
    Rivera, Roberto Chu, Kansen
    Romero, Ernest Cunningham, Jordan
    Rosenzweig, Jay Gabriel, Jesse
    Rowland, Mitch Fong, Vince
    Samra, Harry Quirk, Bill
    Sanderson, Robert Holden, Chris
    Shigut, Ken Smith, Christy
    Smothers, Ray Cooley, Ken
    Stearman, Jeff Diep, Tyler
    Thomas, Wen-Chi Low, Evan
    Tyndall, Tawni Unknown Assembly Member
    Wallace, Dave Flora, Heath
    Walsh, Sean Huffman, Jared
    Walsh, Sean Levine, Marc
    Walshin, Linda Grayson, Timothy
    Washington, Mason Unknown Assembly Member
    Wells, Jeff Gallagher, James
    Whitney, Kelly Wicks, Buffy
    Whitney, Scott Wicks, Buffy
    Williams, Dave Diep, Tyler
    Wilson, Thomas Kiley, Kevin
    Wolfe, Lee Dahle, Megan
    Woolford, Barbara Allen, Ben
    Wynn, Steve Choi, Stephen
    Zemaitis, Edward Cunningham, Jordan
    Zimmer, Jim Brough, William
    Zisner, Jeff Nazarian, Adrian

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