Washington has enacted a state statute covering debt collection, which contains state-specific licensing requirements for debt collectors. The law also provides rules designed to protect consumers from harassing or oppressive debt collection practices such as misrepresentations and the use of counterfeit legal processes. These rules closely mimic the requirements of the FDCPA.
In addition to the damages and other relief available under the FDCPA, a Washington resident subjected to improper debt collection practices can also obtain relief under the Washington law. Washington victims can bring a lawsuit under state law and obtain their actual damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs. Perhaps most importantly, although collectors who violate the Washington law can still collect the original amount of the debt, if a court finds a violation of the Washington law it can order that the collector and anyone to whom it assigns or sells the debt can never again collect interest, service charges, attorneys' fees, collection costs, delinquency charge, or any other fees or charges on the original amount of the debt.
If you believe that a collector has behaved inappropriately while attempting to collect a debt from you in Washington, our attorneys can help you to determine whether the FDCPA or Washington law provides you with a legal remedy.
To learn more about the FDPCA, go to Federal Debt Collection Practices Act.
Washington Revised Code Sections 19.16.100 to 19.16.950.