Be Courteous When Trying to Collect Your Judgment

en español>

California has a set of laws that protect consumers who must pay judgments from abusive or unfair conduct by the judgment creditors.

(See California Civil Code, Sections 1788.10 -1788.18 Opens new window and 1788.30 - 1788.33Opens new window  

Although this law applies only to consumer debts, it gives anyone collecting a debt a framework of acceptable conduct.

As the judgment creditor, you should follow these rules when collecting the judgment debt: 

  • Call at a reasonable time (for example, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.), 
  • Identify yourself truthfully, 
  • Use professional business language when you speak and write, 
  • Don't use obscene language, call collect, harass the debtor by contacting them too often, or pretend to be a lawyer, a consumer credit reporting agency, or someone associated with the government, 
  • Don't threaten to hurt the debtor or the debtor's family, property, or reputation,
  • Don't suggest the debtor will face criminal charges (if no crime was committed) or that the debtor's property will be taken (unless the law permits it and you intend to do this), 
  • Don't suggest that you'll be turning the debt over to a collection agency (unless you intend to do so).

If you don't follow these rules, the debtor could sue you for: 

  • Misuse or abuse of process, 
  • Invasion of privacy, 
  • Defamation, 
  • Interference with potential economic relations or employment relations.




Did this information help you?  Tell us what you think.