AB 492 to Protect Consumers Against Misleading Solicitations Passes Assembly Judiciary Committee

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) In a unanimous bi-partisan vote the Assembly Judiciary Committee this morning passed AB 492 by Assemblymember Grayson (D-Concord). The bill will now head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 492 protects consumers, homeowners, business owners and non-profits by enhancing solicitation disclosures to prevent solicitors from producing misleading, official-looking advertisements that result in consumers paying exorbitant fees for public records they can more easily and cheaply obtain from county or state offices.

Upon passage Assemblymember Grayson stated, “I want to thank the members of the Judiciary Committee for their support. Business practices that rely on misleading solicitations represented as government documents have no place in California, and I’m glad that my colleagues in the legislature are joining me in standing up for consumers and our constituents across the state.”

In committee Assemblymember Grayson showed an example of a solicitation targeted by AB 492 and noted, “Many elements of the letter mimic official government documents to alarm consumers. The top states that the letter originates from a ‘Local Records Office,’ which is not a government agency. It also includes a false ‘Respond By’ date to pressure the recipient into paying a sky-high cost of $89 for a deed. In reality there is no legal obligation to respond, and if the person wanted an extra deed, he or she could obtain it from the County Clerk’s office for a few dollars per copy.”

AB 492 will now head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for a vote.

Tim Grayson represents the 14th Assembly District that includes the communities of Benicia, Concord, Clayton, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Vallejo, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek. For more information please visit the Assemblymember’s website, www.assembly.ca.gov/a14.