Fair Debt Collection

There are strict rules that collection agencies must follow when attempting to collect a debt. One of the most intimidating, and illegal practices they use, is to imply they are officially connected with a law enforcement or government agency.  The links below help to explain your rights under State and Federal law.

Washington RCW 19.16.250 is a list of prohibited practices. Here are examples of prohibited practices:

"No licensee or employee of a licensee shall":

  • "Have in his or her possession or make use of any badge, use a uniform of any law enforcement agency or any simulation thereof, or make any statements which might be construed as indicating an official connection with any federal, state, county, or city law enforcement agency, or any other governmental agency, while engaged in collection agency business".
  • "Use any name while engaged in the making of a demand for any claim other than the name set forth on his or her or its current license issued hereunder".
  • "Communicate with the debtor after notification in writing from an attorney representing such debtor that all further communications relative to a claim should be addressed to the attorney: PROVIDED, that if a licensee requests in writing information from an attorney regarding such claim and the attorney does not respond within a reasonable time, the licensee may communicate directly with the debtor until he or she or it again receives notification in writing that an attorney is representing the debtor".

 

The 2013 version of the Washington Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can be accessed here:

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=19.16.250

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?Cite=19.16&full=true#19.16.100

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