Personal effects shall be removed from the collateral, including any personal effect that is mounted but detachable from the collateral by a release mechanism. A complete and accurate inventory of the personal effects shall be made, and the personal effects shall be labeled and stored by the licensee for a minimum of 60 days in a secure manner, except those personal effects removed by or in the presence of the debtor or the party in possession of the collateral at the time of the repossession. If the licensee or the licensee’s agent cannot determine whether the property attached to the collateral is a personal effect or a part of the collateral, then that fact shall be noted on the inventory and the licensee or agent shall not be obligated to remove the item from the collateral, unless the item can be removed without the use of tools, in which case it shall be removed and inventoried. The licensee or the licensee’s agent shall notify the debtor that if the debtor takes the position that an item is a personal effect, then the debtor shall contact the legal owner to resolve the issue.
(a) The date and time the inventory is made shall be indicated. The permanent records of the licensee shall indicate the name of the employee or registrant who performed the inventory.
(b) The following items of personal effects are items determined to present a danger or health hazard when recovered by the licensee and shall be disposed of in the following manner:
(1) Deadly weapons and dangerous drugs shall be turned over to any law enforcement agency for retention. These items shall be entered on the inventory and a notation shall be made as to the date, time, and place the deadly weapon or dangerous drug was turned over to the law enforcement agency, and a receipt from the law enforcement agency shall be maintained in the records of the repossession agency.
(2) Combustibles shall be inventoried and noted as “disposed of, dangerous combustible,” and the item shall be disposed of in a reasonable and safe manner.
(3) Food and other health hazard items shall be inventoried and noted as “disposed of, health hazard,” and disposed of in a reasonable and safe manner.
(c) Personal effects may be disposed of after being held for at least 60 days. The inventory, and adequate information as to how, when, and to whom the personal effects were disposed of, shall be filed in the permanent records of the licensee and retained for four years.
(d) The inventory shall include the name, address, business hours, and telephone number of the repossession agency to contact for recovering the personal effects and an itemization of all personal effects removal and storage charges that will be made by the repossession agency. The inventory shall also include the following statement: “Please be advised that the property listed on this inventory will be disposed of by the repossession agency after being held for 60 days from the date of this notice IF UNCLAIMED.”
(e) The inventory shall be provided to a debtor not later than 48 hours after the recovery of the collateral, except that if:
(1) The 48-hour period encompasses a Saturday, Sunday, or postal holiday, the inventory shall be provided no later than 72 hours after the recovery of the collateral.
(2) The 48-hour period encompasses a Saturday or Sunday and a postal holiday, the inventory shall be provided no later than 96 hours after the recovery of the collateral.
(3) Inventory resulting from repossession of a yacht, motor home, or travel trailer is such that it shall take at least four hours to inventory, then the inventory shall be provided no later than 96 hours after the recovery of the collateral. When the 96-hour period encompasses a Saturday, Sunday, or postal holiday, the inventory shall be provided no later than 120 hours after the recovery of the collateral.
(4) The licensee is unable to open a locked compartment that is part of the collateral, the available inventory shall be provided no later than 96 hours after the recovery of the collateral. When the 96-hour period encompasses a Saturday, Sunday, or postal holiday, the inventory shall be provided no later than 120 hours after the recovery of the collateral.
(f) Environmental, Olympic, special interest, or other license plates issued pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 5000), Article 8.4 (commencing with Section 5060), or Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 5100) of Chapter 1 of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code that remain the personal effects of the debtor shall be removed from the collateral and inventoried pursuant to this section. If the plates are not claimed by the debtor within 60 days, they shall either (1) be effectively destroyed and the licensee shall, within 30 days thereafter, notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of their effective destruction on a form promulgated by the chief that has been approved as to form by the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles; or (2) be retained by the licensee indefinitely to be returned to the debtor upon request, in which case the licensee shall not charge more than 60 days’ storage on the plates.
(g) The notice may be given by regular mail addressed to the last known address of the debtor or by personal service at the option of the repossession agency.
(h) With the consent of the licensee, the debtor waives the preparation and presentation of an inventory if the debtor redeems the personal effects or other personal property not covered by a security interest within the time period for the notices required by this section and signs a statement that he or she has received all the property.
(i) If personal effects or other personal property not covered by a security agreement are to be released to someone other than the debtor, the repossession agency shall request written authorization to do so from the debtor.
(j) A licensee shall not sell personal effects or other personal property not covered by a security agreement and remit money from the sale to a third party, including, but not limited to, any lending institution.
(k) The inventory shall be a confidential document. A licensee shall only disclose the contents of the inventory under the following circumstances:
(1) In response to the order of a court having jurisdiction to issue the order.
(2) In compliance with a lawful subpoena issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) When the debtor has consented in writing to the release and the written consent is signed and dated by the debtor subsequent to the repossession and states the entity or entities to whom the contents of the inventory may be disclosed.
(4) To the debtor.
(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 740, Sec. 5. (AB 281) Effective January 1, 2016.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018