Consumer Financial Rights – What Consumers Need to Know

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Back to DFPI Consumer Resources ›› Consumer Financial Rights

a hand under a dollar billIt’s hard to count the ways American lives intersect with our country’s sprawling financial industry. That’s even more true here in California, home to over seven million mortgages and one of every eight loans originating in the U.S. Nearly 25 million of us carry credit cards. Four million of us are repaying student debt. With so much at stake, protecting consumer financial rights is our top priority.


Your financial rights are protected by state law.

It’s important to know your rights as a consumer

  • The right to information that’s clear, accurate, and transparent about the services you’re buying
  • The right to choose freely among different products and different providers
  • The right to expect private, secure transactions and personal data confidentiality
  • The right to be treated fairly and respectfully, whether you’re dealing with a huge institution or a car dealer down the block
  • The right to seek redress, in the form of a refund, repair or compensation, if the product or service you purchase is inadequate

California — where consumer rights are golden.

After the passage of the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) in 2020, consumer rights in our state now reach across a broader range. Some industries are so large and complex, or rife with fraud and abuse the California Legislature has passed bills defining specific consumer rights for them:

Student Borrower Bill of Rights: Expands the rights of borrowers, and forces service providers to provide clear and accurate  information, minimize fees and refrain from deceptive and abusive practices.

Fair Debt Collection: Federal and state laws create a framework that sets reasonable limits on debt collector behavior and gives consumers the right to dispute that they owe a debt.

Homeowner Bill of Rights: A set of laws that provide protections to homeowners who fall behind on their mortgages or are facing foreclosure.

Fair credit reporting: Californians have the right to accurate credit reports under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and  California’s Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act.

Accurate advertising: The California False Advertising Law prevents businesses from engaging in false or misleading advertising practices.

Pursue legal remedies: Californians have the right to file complaints with government agencies and to take legal action against businesses that violate their consumer rights.


Learn more, get specific, and Do Your Own Research

On this page, we’ve provided a broad understanding of the financial rights protecting all California consumers. However, consumer finance is such a large and complex topic, you may be covered under additional financial protections. As always with financial matters, we recommend you “Do Your Own Research.”

To get started, here are some helpful resources to learn more about your rights, from CFPB, the FTC, and the California Attorney General’s Office:


Financial rights are important to Californians, which means they’re important to us.

Financial rights are at the core of the DFPI’s mission. To protect your rights, we regulate and oversee financial services across the state. That begins with serving as the state watchdog against unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP, for short) in the financial marketplace. We work every day to investigate and stop illegal behavior, resolve complaints, and prevent consumer harm.

We also license and regulate financial institutions and industries operating in the state. In recent years, California legislators have given us more power as a financial regulator, boosting our ability to regulate banks, credit unions, money transmitters, securities brokers, and lenders.

We’re your go-to if you think you’ve been the victim of fraud or that your financial rights have been violated. You can submit a complaint online, call us at (866) 275-2677 or send an email to AskDFPI@dfpi.ca.gov.

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Last updated: Jul 11, 2024 @ 1:12 pm