This decision holds that lenders and loan servicers who act to collect on real-estate-secured loans are “debt collectors” regulated by California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Rosenthal Act defines a “debt collector” as “any person who, in the ordinary course of business, regularly, on behalf of himself or herself or others, engaged in debt collection.” (Civ. Code § 1788.2(c).) Debt collection is defined as the collection of consumer debt, and consumer debt is defined as money due from a natural person as a result of a transaction in which property, services or money by that person primarily for personal, family or household purposes. (Civ. Code § 1788.2(b), (e), (f).) These definitions are broad enough to cover a lender or loan servicer of a conventional home loan. And given the statute’s remedial purpose there is no reason to construe it more narrowly.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (Aaron, J.); March 13, 2018; 2018 WL 1281873