A bill aims to create new rules for California’s mostly unregulated debt settlement industry. AB 1405, expected to pass through Senate committees, comes at a time when the industry expects to see a 75% increase in account enrollment.
Before the pandemic, Graciela Gomez relied on two jobs to keep up with her expenses. After losing her part-time job at Macy’s in March 2020, she had to choose between paying off her credit cards or paying her rent. She chose the latter.
“I didn’t know who to talk to, who to contact. I was embarrassed,” Gomez said.
An ad for a debt settlement company appeared on her social media feed promising to lower her debt. After following up, she says what she got was a lawsuit from one of her credit card companies in March. She’s still fighting today.