About Us

Mission and History

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About Us

Mission and History

The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs mission: To promote a fair and vibrant marketplace, we serve consumers, businesses, and communities through education, advocacy, and complaint resolution.

History

The County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs has a long history of working to ensure a fair marketplace for L.A. County residents.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized the need to have a department who could advocate for L.A. County residents, act as the central clearinghouse for consumer complaints and disseminate consumer protection information. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) was established under Ordinance 11166 by the Board of Supervisors on July 1, 1975. We officially opened to the public on April 15, 1976.

On January 13, 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion to add the County’s Office of Small Business to DCA and to change the name of our department from the Department of Consumer Affairs to the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA). Now, the Department serves both consumers and small businesses in Los Angeles County. DCBA now assists with certifying local small businesses and helping those who wish to start a small business in Los Angeles County.

Starting in 2016, the Board of Supervisors tasked DCBA with enforcing the new Los Angeles County minimum wage. DCBA’s Wage Enforcement Program accepts complaints of alleged minimum wage violations for residents who work in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

dcba team picture

History

The County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs has a long history of working to ensure a fair marketplace for L.A. County residents.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized the need to have a department who could advocate for L.A. County residents, act as the central clearinghouse for consumer complaints and disseminate consumer protection information. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) was established under Ordinance 11166 by the Board of Supervisors on July 1, 1975. We officially opened to the public on April 15, 1976.

On January 13, 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion to add the County’s Office of Small Business to DCA and to change the name of our department from the Department of Consumer Affairs to the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA). Now, the Department serves both consumers and small businesses in Los Angeles County. DCBA now assists with certifying local small businesses and helping those who wish to start a small business in Los Angeles County.

Starting in 2016, the Board of Supervisors tasked DCBA with enforcing the new Los Angeles County minimum wage. DCBA’s Wage Enforcement Program accepts complaints of alleged minimum wage violations for residents who work in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

dcba team picture

Our mission is to serve consumers, businesses and communities through education, advocacy and complaint resolution to promote a fair and vibrant marketplace in Los Angeles County.

In our first year of operation, Shirley Goldinger was appointed as the Department’s first Director. Our primary focus during these early years was to answer questions from consumers and investigate consumer complaints.

Shirley Goldinger served as Director until 1991. She was succeeded by Pastor Herrera, Jr., who served as our Director for 19 years. Most recently, Brian J. Stiger served as our Director between 2012 – 2018. Currently, Joseph M. Nicchitta serves as the fourth director in the department’s 42-year history. He was appointed by the Board of Supervisors on October 16, 2018 after having been DCBA’s Interim Director since May.

The Department’s resources and areas of assistance have greatly expanded over the past 40 years. In addition to assisting with general consumer complaints, the Department now helps Los Angeles County residents with issues involving real estate fraud, identity theft, elder financial abuse, Small Claims Court, mediation, foreclosure, small business development, and minimum wage enforcement. All of our services are free.

The Department has developed a close working relationship with many law enforcement, prosecuting, and legal aid agencies. Many of our investigations have led to criminal arrests or civil judgments.

The Department has made many improvements in recent years to improve our efficiency, meet the growing demand for our services and assist more consumers. With the help of the Internal Services Department, we created eComplaints, our new online consumer complaint intake and case management system. Under the leadership of Director Stiger, we created our first-ever Consumer Education and Public Outreach Unit to concentrate and streamline our efforts to educate consumers. We’ve also expanded our mediation program to include court-connected mediations which are conducted on-the-spot at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

On December 2, 2013, the Department expanded its Homeowner Notification Program to include the Notice of Default and Notice of Sale. The expanded program will allow us to help consumers facing foreclosure explore their options to retain their home and prevent them from being victimized by foreclosure consultants.

Our Department is often recognized for the positive impact of our programs. We have received local, state, and national awards throughout the years for delivering effective service and working efficiently to maximize our resources.

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http://dcba.qacp.lacounty.gov/