BILL NUMBER: AB 377	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 23, 2009
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 9, 2009
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 2, 2009

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Mendoza

                        FEBRUARY 23, 2009

   An act to amend Sections 23001, 23027, and 23035 of, and to add
Sections 23005.5, 23010.5, 23016.5, and 23036.5 to, the Financial
Code, relating to deferred deposit transactions.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 377, as amended, Mendoza. Deferred deposit transactions.
   Existing law, the California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law,
provides for the licensure and regulation by the Commissioner of
Corporations of persons engaged in the business of making or
negotiating deferred deposit transactions. Existing law prohibits a
licensee from making false, misleading, or deceptive advertisements
regarding its business of making or negotiating deferred deposit
transactions. Existing law prohibits a licensee from placing an
advertisement disseminated primarily in this state for a deferred
deposit transaction unless the licensee discloses that it is licensed
by the Department of Corporations. Existing law authorizes the
commissioner to require a licensee to maintain a file of its
advertisements for a period of 90 days. Existing law provides that a
customer who enters into a deferred deposit transaction shall not be
subject to criminal penalties for failure to comply with the terms of
a deferred deposit transaction agreement. Existing law authorizes a
licensee to defer the deposit of a customer's personal check for up
to 31 days and provides that the face amount of the check shall not
exceed $300. Existing law requires an agreement to enter into a
deferred deposit transaction to be in writing and to include
specified information and disclosures. Existing law authorizes a
licensee to allow an extension of time, or a payment plan, for
repayment of an existing deferred deposit transaction, as specified.
A willful violation of the California Deferred Deposit Transaction
Law is a crime.
   This bill would require specified applicants for licensure under
the California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law, including, but not
limited to, corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships, to
include in their applications fingerprints and a completed statement
of identity and questionnaire, as specified, for certain individuals,
and other information, as specified. The bill would require a
licensee to notify the department in writing of changes to the
individuals named in the licensee's original application for
licensure or if the licensee or any of those individuals has been
found to have violated the laws of another state relative to deferred
deposit transactions. The bill would also require a licensee to
notify the department in writing when offering a new product or
service that will generate more than 5% of the revenues of an office.
The bill would make advertisements on the Internet by a licensee
subject to the provisions regulating deferred deposit transaction
advertisements and would require a licensee to maintain a file of all
advertising copy  currently in use  for a period of 2 years
from the date of its  final  use. The bill would authorize
the face amount of a check for a deferred deposit transaction to be
up to $500. The bill would prohibit a deferred deposit transaction
customer from being threatened with criminal penalties for a failure
to comply with the terms of an agreement and would prohibit a
licensee from referring or delivering a check taken in a deferred
deposit transaction to a prosecutor  , district attorney's
diversion program,  or other law enforcement official for
purposes of collection or criminal prosecution unless that
information is requested as part of an investigation. The bill would
require a specified notice that is separate and distinct from the
deferred deposit transaction agreement to be provided to and
initialed by a customer before entering into the agreement. The bill
would require the notice to inform the customer that he or she may
rescind a deferred deposit transaction at no cost by notifying the
licensee and returning the proceeds of the transaction within a
specified time period  . The bill would also require a licensee
to make reasonable and accessible provisions for a customer to notify
the licensee of his or her intent to rescind the transaction and
return the loan proceeds and would require these provisions to be
included with this notice  . The bill would require that, if the
deferred deposit transaction is conducted over the Internet, the
customer shall agree in the written agreement to conduct the
transaction and to receive notices and the agreement electronically.
The bill would also require a licensee, when conducting deferred
deposit transactions over the Internet, to make notices and the
agreement available to a customer in a format that may be downloaded
and printed or, if the customer is unable to download that
information, to mail the documents to the customer within 24 hours of
the transaction. The bill would require a licensee to annually pay a
fee to the commissioner of 5 cents for each deferred deposit
transaction paid in full in the previous calendar year and would
require the money from these fees to be used by the commissioner to
provide financial literacy education programs relative to deferred
deposit transactions. The bill would authorize a customer who is
unable to repay a deferred deposit transaction to elect, once in any
12-month period, to repay the deferred deposit transaction to the
licensee pursuant to an extended payment plan, as specified. The bill
would require a customer to be notified of his or her right to an
extended payment plan. Because a willful violation of the bill's
provisions by a licensee would be a crime, the bill would impose a
state-mandated local program.
   The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 23001 of the Financial Code is amended to read:

   23001.  As used in this division, the following terms have the
following meanings:
   (a) "Deferred deposit transaction" means a transaction whereby a
person defers depositing a customer's personal check until a specific
date, pursuant to a written agreement for a fee or other charge, as
provided in Section 23035.
   (b) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Corporations.
   (c) "Department" means the Department of Corporations.
   (d) "Licensee" means any person who offers, originates, or makes a
deferred deposit transaction, who arranges a deferred deposit
transaction for a deferred deposit originator, who acts as an agent
for a deferred deposit originator, or who assists a deferred deposit
originator in the origination of a deferred deposit transaction.
However, "licensee" does not include a state or federally chartered
bank, thrift, savings association, industrial loan company, or credit
union. "Licensee" also does not include a retail seller engaged
primarily in the business of selling consumer goods, including
consumables, to retail buyers that cashes checks or issues money
orders for a minimum fee not exceeding two dollars ($2) as a service
to its customers that is incidental to its main purpose or business.
"Licensee" also does not include an employee regularly employed by a
licensee at the licensee's place of business. An employee, when
acting under the scope of the employee's employment, shall be exempt
from any other law from which the employee's employer is exempt.
   (e) "Person" means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, a
limited liability company, a joint venture, an association, a joint
stock company, a trust, an unincorporated organization, a government
entity, or a political subdivision of a government entity.
   (f) "Deferred deposit originator" means a person who offers,
originates, or makes a deferred deposit transaction.
   (g) "Controlling person" means any of the following:
   (1) For a corporation, trust, or association, an individual that
owns or controls, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the
equity securities of the corporation, trust or association.
   (2) For a partnership, an individual that owns or controls,
directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the outstanding
interest in the partnership.
   (h) "Supervising manager" means an individual who acts as a direct
supervisor for any person or persons who manage or operate one or
more of a licensee's offices where deferred deposit transactions are
made. A supervising manager may typically work under a title such as
a district manager, regional manager, or a similar title, and has the
authority to interpret and apply the policies and procedures of the
applicant.
  SEC. 2.  Section 23005.5 is added to the Financial Code, to read:
   23005.5.  (a) When filing an application pursuant to Section
23005, an applicant shall include fingerprints and a completed
statement of identity and questionnaire, as prescribed by the
commissioner, for the following:
   (1) If the applicant is a corporation, trust, or association, each
officer, director and controlling person.
   (2) If the applicant is a partnership, each general partner and
each controlling person.
   (3) If the applicant is a sole proprietorship, the individual who
is the sole proprietor.
   (4) Each supervising manager who manages or will manage one or
more offices of the applicant located in California.
   (b) An applicant shall disclose in its application whether any
person named in the application, as specified in subdivision (a),
has, during the last 20 years, conducted a deferred deposit business
or similar business in any other state and, if so, the time period
during which that person conducted that business and whether the
person was found, either individually or as a representative of the
applicant, to have violated any provision of the applicable deferred
deposit transaction laws and regulations, or any similar laws and
regulations  governing lending  , of any other state.
   (c) An applicant shall identify in its application any product or
service, in addition to deferred deposit transactions, that (1) the
applicant intends to offer in the office or offices the applicant
seeks to license and (2) the applicant anticipates will generate in
excess of 5 percent of the gross monthly revenue of any office.
  SEC. 3.  Section 23010.5 is added to the Financial Code, to read:
   23010.5.  (a) A licensee shall notify the department in writing of
changes to persons named in the licensee's original application for
a license, or their successors, as follows:
   (1) If the licensee is a corporation, trust, or association, the
licensee shall notify the department in writing within 10 days after
any change in an officer, director, or controlling person, and shall
submit fingerprints and a complete statement of identity and
questionnaire, as prescribed by the commissioner, for the new
officer, director or controlling person within 30 days of the date of
the change.
   (2) If the licensee is a partnership, the licensee shall notify
the department in writing within 10 days after a change in a general
partner or controlling person, and shall submit fingerprints and a
complete statement of identity and questionnaire, as prescribed by
the commissioner, for the new general partner or controlling person
within 30 days of the change.
   (3) If the licensee is a sole proprietorship, the licensee shall
notify the department in writing of an impending sale or transfer and
the purchaser or transferee shall obtain a valid license as required
prior to the sale or transfer of the business, or the licensee shall
surrender the license in compliance with the department's
procedures.
   (4) A licensee shall notify the department in writing within 10
days after a change or addition of a supervising manager, and submit
fingerprints and a complete statement of identity and questionnaire,
as prescribed by the commissioner, for any new supervising manager
within 30 days of the change.
   (b) A licensee shall notify the department in writing within 10
days of receiving notification that the licensee or any person named
as an officer, director, sole proprietor, controlling person, or
supervising manager has been found, either individually or as a
representative of the licensee, to have violated any provision of the
applicable deferred deposit transaction laws and regulations, or any
similar laws and regulations  governing lending  , of any
other state.
   (c) A licensee shall notify the department in writing that it
intends to offer a new product or service at least 10 days prior to
offering that product or service if the licensee anticipates that the
product or service will generate more than 5 percent of the gross
monthly revenue of any office. Any licensee that determines that a
product or service, other than deferred deposit transactions, is
generating in excess of 5 percent of the monthly gross revenue of any
licensed office shall notify the department in writing that it is
offering that product or service within 10 days of that
determination.
  SEC. 4.  Section 23016.5 is added to the Financial Code, to read:
   23016.5.  Commencing January 1, 2010, and annually thereafter,
each licensee shall pay a fee to the commissioner of five cents
($0.05) for each deferred deposit transaction paid in full in the
previous calendar year. A licensee shall not pass this fee on to its
customers. The fee required by this section shall be used by the
commissioner to provide financial literacy education programs
relative to deferred deposit transactions in California.
  SEC. 5.  Section 23027 of the Financial Code is amended to read:
   23027.  (a) No licensee shall advertise, print, display, publish,
distribute, or broadcast, or cause or permit to be advertised,
printed, displayed, published, distributed or broadcast, in any
manner, including on the Internet, any statement or representation
with regard to the business subject to the provisions of this
division, including the rates, terms, or conditions for making or
negotiating deferred deposit transactions, that is false, misleading,
or deceptive, or that omits material information that is necessary
to make the statements not false, misleading, or deceptive.
   (b) (1) No licensee shall place an advertisement disseminated
primarily in this state for a deferred deposit transaction or
primarily intended to reach California residents, including
advertisements on the Internet, unless the licensee, in the printed
text of the advertisement or the oral text in the case of a radio or
television advertisement, makes the following disclosure:

   "[Insert licensee's name] is licensed by the Department of
Corporations pursuant to the California Deferred Deposit Transaction
Law."

   (2) The disclosure required under paragraph (1) shall be in the
same language as the primary language of the advertisement. If the
terms "California" or "Department" are abbreviated in a printed
disclosure, it shall not be deemed to be a violation of this section.

   (c) The commissioner may require that rates of charges or fees, if
stated by the licensee, be stated fully and clearly in the manner
that the commissioner deems necessary to give adequate information
to, or to prevent misunderstanding by, prospective customers.
   (d) No advertising copy shall be used after its use has been
disapproved by the commissioner and the licensee is notified in
writing of the disapproval.
   (e) A licensee shall maintain a file of all advertising copy 
currently in use and shall retain that advertising copy  for a
period of two years from the date of its  final  use. The
file shall be available to the commissioner upon request.
  SEC. 6.  Section 23035 of the Financial Code is amended to read:
   23035.  (a) A licensee may defer the deposit of a customer's
personal check for up to 31 days, pursuant to the provisions of this
section. The face amount of the check shall not exceed five hundred
dollars ($500). Each deferred deposit transaction shall be made
pursuant to a written agreement as described in subdivision (e) that
has been signed by the customer and by the licensee or an authorized
representative of the licensee. 
   (b) A customer may rescind a deferred deposit transaction at no
cost by notifying the licensee that he or she wishes to rescind the
transaction and returning the proceeds of the transaction to the
licensee no later than the end of the next business day following the
day on which the deferred deposit transaction was made. The licensee
shall make reasonable and accessible provisions for a customer to
contact the licensee in a timely manner, for purposes of notifying
the licensee of his or her intent to rescind the transaction and
return the loan proceeds.  
   (b) 
    (c)  A customer who enters into a deferred deposit
transaction and offers a personal check to a licensee pursuant to an
agreement shall not be subject to, or threatened with, any criminal
penalty for the failure to comply with the terms of that agreement.
It is a violation of this division for a licensee to refer or deliver
a check taken in a deferred deposit transaction to a prosecutor 
,   district attorney's diversion program established
pursuant to Section 1001.60 of the Penal Code,  or other law
enforcement official for purposes of collection or criminal
prosecution, unless the prosecutor or law enforcement official
requests the check as part of an investigation not initiated by the
licensee. 
   (c) 
    (d)  Before entering into a deferred deposit
transaction, licensees shall distribute to customers a notice that is
distinct and separate from the deferred deposit transaction
agreement. The notice may be included with a loan application or
other information, provided that it is clear and conspicuously
disclosed. A customer shall initial the notice to acknowledge receipt
of a copy and the licensee shall retain the initialed copy. This
separate notice shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
   (1) Information about charges for deferred deposit transactions.
   (2) That if the customer's check is returned unpaid, the customer
may be charged an additional fee of up to fifteen dollars ($15).
   (3) That the customer cannot be prosecuted in a criminal action in
conjunction with a deferred deposit transaction for a returned check
or be threatened with prosecution.
   (4) The department's toll-free telephone number for receiving
calls regarding customer complaints and concerns.
   (5) That the licensee may not accept any collateral in conjunction
with a deferred deposit transaction.
   (6) That the check is being negotiated as part of a deferred
deposit transaction made pursuant to Section 23035 of the Financial
Code and is not subject to the provisions of Section 1719 of the
Civil Code. No customer may be required to pay treble damages if this
check does not clear.
   (7) That the customer may rescind a deferred deposit transaction
at no cost by notifying the licensee that he or she wishes to rescind
the transaction and by returning the proceeds of the transaction to
the licensee no later than the end of the next business day following
the date on which the deferred deposit transaction was made. 
The notice shall summarize the provisions the licensee has made in
accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 23035, to allow the
customer to notify the licensee for purposes of rescinding the 
 transaction and returning the loan proceeds. 
   (8) That if the customer is unable to repay the deferred deposit
transaction, the customer may request an extended payment plan as
allowed under Section 23036.5. This notice shall read as follows:


   "If you are unable to repay a deferred deposit agreement when due,
you may be eligible to request an extended payment plan at no
additional cost. You must request the plan from us before the due
date of your deferred deposit transaction and sign an amendment to
the deferred deposit agreement. You qualify for an extended payment
plan from us once in any 12-month period."


   (d) 
    (e)  The following notices shall be clearly and
conspicuously posted in the unobstructed view of the public by all
licensees in each location of a business providing deferred deposit
transactions in letters not less than one-half inch in height:
   (1) The licensee cannot use the criminal process against a
consumer to collect any deferred deposit transaction.
   (2) The schedule of all charges and fees to be charged on those
deferred deposit transactions with an example of all charges and fees
that would be charged on at least a one-hundred-dollar ($100) and a
two-hundred-dollar ($200) deferred deposit transaction, payable in 14
days and 30 days, respectively, giving the corresponding annual
percentage rate. The information shall be provided in a chart as
follows:
Amount               Amount of     14-day    30-day
Provided      Fee    Check         APR       APR
$100          XX     XXX           XXX       XXX
$200          XX     XXX           XXX       XXX


   (3) Notice of the customer's right to an extended payment plan as
allowed under Section 23036.5 that states as follows:


   "If you are unable to repay a deferred deposit agreement when due,
you may be eligible to request an extended payment plan at no
additional cost. You must request the plan from us before the due
date of your deferred deposit transaction and sign an amendment to
the deferred deposit agreement. You qualify for an extended payment
plan from us once in any 12-month period."


   (e) 
    (f)  An agreement to enter into a deferred deposit
transaction shall be in writing and shall be provided by the licensee
to the customer. The written agreement shall authorize the licensee
to defer deposit of the personal check, shall be signed by the
customer, and shall include all of the following:
   (1) A full disclosure of the total amount of any fees charged for
the deferred deposit transaction, expressed both in United States
currency and as an APR as required under the Federal Truth In Lending
Act and its regulations.
   (2) A clear description of the customer's payment obligations as
required under the Federal Truth In Lending Act and its regulations.
   (3) The name, address, and telephone number of the licensee.
   (4) The customer's name and address.
   (5) The date to which deposit of check has been deferred (due
date).
   (6) The payment plan, or extension, if applicable as allowed under
subdivision (c) of Section 23036.
   (7) Notice of the customer's right to an extended payment plan as
allowed under Section 23036.5 that states as follows:


   "If you are unable to repay a deferred deposit agreement when due,
you may be eligible to request an extended payment plan at no
additional cost. You must request the plan from us before the due
date of your deferred deposit transaction and sign an amendment to
the deferred deposit agreement. You qualify for an extended payment
plan from us once in any 12-month period."


   (8) Notice of the customer's right to rescind the transaction
without cost by notifying the licensee that he or she wishes to
rescind the transaction and by returning the proceeds of the
transaction to the licensee no later than the end of the business day
immediately following the date on which the deferred deposit
transaction was made.
   (9) An itemization of the amount financed as required under the
Federal Truth In Lending Act and its regulations.
   (10) Disclosure of any returned check charges.
   (11) That the customer cannot be prosecuted or threatened with
prosecution to collect.
   (12) That the licensee cannot accept collateral in connection with
the transaction.
   (13) That the licensee cannot make a deferred deposit transaction
contingent on the purchase of another product or service.
   (14) If the transaction is being conducted over the Internet, that
the customer agrees to conduct the transaction electronically and to
receive the required notices and agreement electronically.
   (15) Signature space for the customer and signature of the
licensee or authorized representative of the licensee and date of the
transaction.
   (16) Any other information that the commissioner shall deem
necessary by regulation. 
   (f) 
    (g)  The notice required by subdivision (c) shall be
written and available in the same language principally used in any
oral discussions or negotiations leading to execution of the deferred
deposit agreement and shall be in at least 10-point type. 
   (g) 
    (h)  The written agreement required by subdivision (e)
shall be written in the same language principally used in any oral
discussions or negotiations leading to execution of the deferred
deposit agreement; shall not be vague, unclear, or misleading and
shall be in at least 10-point type. 
   (h) 
    (i)  Under no circumstances shall a deferred deposit
transaction agreement include any of the following:
   (1) A hold harmless clause.
   (2) A confession of judgment clause or power of attorney.
   (3) Any assignment of or order for payment of wages or other
compensation for services.
   (4) Any acceleration provision.
   (5) Any unconscionable provision. 
   (i) 
    (j)  If the licensee sells or otherwise transfers the
debt at a later date, the licensee shall clearly disclose in a
written agreement that any debt or checks held or transferred
pursuant to a deferred deposit transaction made pursuant to Section
23035 are not subject to the provisions of Section 1719 of the Civil
Code and that no customer may be required to pay treble damages if
the check or checks are dishonored. 
   (j) 
    (k)  If a licensee conducts a deferred deposit
transaction with a customer over the Internet, the notices required
in subdivisions (c) and (d) and the agreement required in subdivision
(e) shall be provided to the customer electronically and shall be
available for the customer to download and print. If the customer is
unable to download these documents, the licensee shall mail the
notices and agreement to the customer within 24 hours of the Internet
transaction. Deferred deposit transactions conducted over the
Internet shall comply with the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act
(Title 2.5 (commencing with Section 1633.1) of Part 2 of Division 3
of the Civil Code).
  SEC. 7.  Section 23036.5 is added to the Financial Code, to read:
   23036.5.  (a) Subject to the terms and conditions contained in
this section, a customer who is unable to repay a deferred deposit
transaction when due may elect once in any 12-month period to repay
the deferred deposit transaction to the licensee by means of an
extended payment plan. The 12-month period is measured from the date
the customer fully pays all amounts due under one extended payment
plan with the licensee until the date that the customer enters into
another extended payment plan with the licensee.
   (b) To request an extended payment plan, the customer, before the
due date of the outstanding deferred deposit transaction, shall
request the plan and sign an amendment to the deferred deposit
transaction agreement that memorializes the plan's terms.
   (c) The extended payment plan's terms shall allow the customer, at
no additional cost, to repay the outstanding deferred deposit
transaction, including any fee due, in at least four installments.
Unless otherwise agreed by the customer and licensee, payment plan
installments shall all be substantially equal in amount. Each plan
installment shall be due on or after a date on which the customer
receives regular income. The customer may prepay an extended payment
plan in full at any time without penalty. The licensee shall not
charge the customer any interest or additional fees during the term
of the extended payment plan. A licensee shall not engage in
collection activities or make any additional deferred deposit
transactions to the customer while the customer continues to make
timely payments in accordance with the extended payment plan.
   (d) If the customer fails to pay any extended payment plan
installment when due, the customer shall be in default of the payment
plan and the licensee may immediately accelerate payment on the
remaining balance. Upon default, the licensee may take action to
collect all amounts due.
  SEC. 8.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
Constitution.