What can we do for you?

Reduce your monthly payment
Waive off late fees
Have a single monthly payment
Reduce collection calls
Reduce interest rates
Take the first step towards a debt free life

Washington State Debt Collection Laws

This section sums up some of the significant portions of the state’s collection agency law (RCW 19.16) and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 USC 1692). These laws are applicable to those businesses that collect debts from other businesses or from individuals.

When a collection agency can contact you

The first time a collection agency reaches out to you, whether by phone or mail, it must tell its name, address, and the name of the original creditor (to whom you actually owe the money). The collection agency is also required to inform you in writing the actual debt amount and any fees that have been added (like interest or collection fees). Again, you must also be informed about your right to dispute the debt.

A collection agency cannot call or write to you for more than thrice in a week and only one of those calls can be made at work. Again, you can’t be called after 9 pm and before 8 am.

A collection agency can never harass, intimidate or embarrass you. Moreover, a collection agency can never use offensive language, threaten violence or criminal prosecution.

If you send the collection agency a ‘cease and desist’ letter requesting an end to all collection attempts, it cannot continue to call or write to you for payment.

When Contacting Other People

If you have an attorney to deal with your legal issues, a collection agency can never contact anyone other than your attorney. However, if there is no attorney to represent you or handle your cases, the collection agency can reach out to other people to find out where you live or your place of work. However, the collection agency cannot tell other people that you are in debt. Again, as per law, a collection agency can contact another person only once.

Informing credit bureau

A collection agency can contact a credit bureau to report the debt, but they also have to mention in case if you have disputed the debt.

Additional charges

To know whether or not the collection agency can add additional charges on top of your existing balance, consult your actual contract. If you agreed to pay for ‘collection costs’ on the original agreement, the agency can charge you additional fees like court costs, attorney fees, or for credit reports. It can also add collection fees as well.

Post dated checks

A collection agency can ask you to provide them with a post-dated check, but you can refuse to do so. However, if you provide them with a post-dated check, as per federal law, they have to deposit the check on the date written on it.

A collection agency can never:

  • Publish a list of people who owe money
  • Claim them to be from a government or law enforcement agency
  • Make use of documents that have similarity with court or government documents, telegrams or emergency messages
  • Violate postal regulations
  • Threaten to add charges that are not mentioned in the original agreement
  • Garnish your wages or take your possessions without a court order
  • Threaten to put the debtor behind the bar for non-repayment of debt

For greater details regarding the prohibited practices of debt collection agencies, read RCW 19.16.250. Also, you can get a copy of Washington state laws at most public libraries.

Latest Articles

Have you ever thought about these 6 year-end money moves?

How was your 2015? Did you achieve all the goals that you set last year? If yes, then congrats, and if not, then here is another chance to start a new race. Start setting some smart money moves before the end of the year. Thus, you’ll be able to organize your money in a proper shape by ...

View more »
Latest answers

Are payday loans illegal in the State of Maryland? Do I have ...

Are payday loans illegal in the State of Maryland? Do I have to pay them back?. I'm looking at Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy ...

View more »
Latest from blog

Financial to-do list - December 2015

Create a plan to use your holiday bonus. Allocate 10 percent of the bonus for fun and 90 percent for financial priorities. Review your financial progress in 2015 and create a new plan for 2016. Donate to charitable organizations before December 31, 2015 for tax savings ...

View more »

The services of Oak View Law Group (OVLG) and its affiliates may not be available in all states. OVLG along with its Of Counsel attorneys may also be referred to as "Oak View Law Group", "we", "us" or "the firms".
Copyright © 2015 Oak View Law Group
Contact us at:-
Oak View Law Group APC
4966 El Camino Real STE 225, Los Altos, CA 94022, United States

Disclaimer: The contents of this web site are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, provide the reader with legal advice, or substitute for legal advice from an attorney.
  • The debt settlement program typically lasts between 6 months to 4 years time.
  • At least 30% of the debt amount per creditor needs to be accumulated in the trust account for OVLG to give the creditor any settlement offer.
  • Not all creditors or debt collectors will accept a reduction in the balance, interest rate, or fees a customer owes such creditor or debt collector.
  • Pending completion of the represented debt-relief services, the customer's creditors or debt collectors may pursue collection efforts, including initiation of lawsuits.
  • That the use of the debt-relief service will likely adversely affect the consumer's creditworthiness, may result in consumers being sued by their creditors, and may increase the amount owed to creditors as a result of the accrual of additional fees and interest.
  • Savings a customer realizes from use of a debt-relief service may be taxable income.

Report bug/Send feedback
Chat Live!