SENATE BILL 5494
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Senators von Reichbauer, Pelz, Johnson, Owen, Thorsness, Vognild, Sellar and Moore.
Read first time February 4, 1991. Referred to Committee on Financial Institutions & Insurance.
AN ACT Relating to collection of debts; amending RCW 12.40.105, 12.40.070, and 62A.3‑515; and adding a new chapter to Title 19 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. (1) "Financial institution" means a bank, trust company, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized to do business and accept deposits in this state under state or federal law.
(2) "Account information" means:
(a) The date the account was opened, the amount of the opening deposit to the account and, if closed, the closing date of the account;
(b) The last known address and phone number, if any, of the drawer according to the account records of the financial institution;
(c) A copy of the statement of account which would include the period ten calendar days prior to the date the item was drawn through the tenth calendar day after the item was drawn.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. (1) A financial institution may report a financial transaction to law enforcement agencies, regardless of the value of the property involved, if it suspects the transaction to involve the proceeds of an unlawful activity. No financial institution, or officer, employee, or agent of the financial institution, making a report in good faith under this section, shall be liable to any person for loss or damage caused in whole or in part by the making, filing, or governmental use of the report, or information contained in the report. The law enforcement agency requesting a report under this section shall reimburse the financial institution for the reasonable costs of providing any documents under this chapter. Upon conviction, the defendant shall be required to reimburse these costs as part of restitution.
(2) A financial institution may disclose information concerning the identity of the account owner and other account information to law enforcement agencies, a holder of a dishonored item drawn on the account or a payee or its agent concerning a dishonored item drawn on it, where it reasonably believes a statutory notice of dishonor has been given pursuant to RCW 62A.3-520, fifteen days have elapsed, and the item remains unpaid. No financial institution, or officer, employee, or agent of a financial institution, disclosing information under this section, shall be liable to any person for loss or damage caused in whole or in part by the disclosure of such information. The party requesting a report under this section shall reimburse the financial institution for the reasonable costs of providing any documents under this chapter. Any reasonable administrative costs paid to a financial institution by a party in compliance with this subsection shall be included in recoverable collection costs as provided in RCW 62A.3-515.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. Records obtained pursuant to section 2 of this act shall be admitted as prima facie evidence in all courts of this state where accompanied by a certificate substantially in the following form:
1. The accompanying documents are true and correct copies of the records of the financial institution named on the documents that were made in the regular course of business of the financial institution at or near the time of the acts, events, or conditions that they reflect.
2. The documents are produced in response to a request made under section 2 of this act.
3. The undersigned is authorized to execute this Certificate.
I CERTIFY, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of Washington, that the foregoing statements are true and correct.
Place of Signing Type or Print Name
Sec. 4. RCW 12.40.105 and 1983 c 254 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
losing party fails to pay the judgment within twenty days or within the period
otherwise ordered by the court, the judgment shall be increased by: (1) An
amount sufficient to cover costs of certification of the judgment under RCW
12.40.110; (2) collection costs incurred pursuant to section 2(2) of this
act; and ((
(2))) (3) the amount specified in RCW
36.18.020(3), without regard to the jurisdictional limits on the small claims
Sec. 5. RCW 12.40.070 and 1984 c 258 s 64 are each amended to read as follows:
A claim must be verified by the real claimant, and no claim shall be filed or prosecuted in the small claims department by the assignee of the claim except that collection agencies may seek enforcement of a previous judgment in the small claims department.
Sec. 6. RCW 62A.3‑515 and 1986 c 128 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
Whenever a check as defined in RCW 62A.3-104 has been dishonored by
nonacceptance or nonpayment the payee or holder of the check is entitled to
collect a reasonable handling fee for each such instrument. When such check
has not been paid within fifteen days and after the holder of such check sends
such notice of dishonor as provided by RCW 62A.3-520 to the drawer at his or
her last known address, then if the instrument does not provide for the
payment of interest, or collection costs and attorneys fees, the drawer of such
instrument shall also be liable for payment of interest at the rate of twelve
percent per annum from the date of dishonor and cost of collection not to
exceed forty dollars or the face amount of the check, whichever is the lesser,
and reasonable administrative costs under section 2(2) of this act. In
addition, in the event of court action on the check the court, after such notice
and the expiration of said fifteen days, shall award a reasonable attorneys
fee, and three times the face amount of the check or ((
hundred dollars, whichever is less, as part of the damages payable to the
holder of the check. This section shall not apply to any instrument which has
been dishonored by reason of any justifiable stop payment order.
(2)(a) Subsequent to the commencement of the action but prior to the hearing, the defendant may tender to the plaintiff as satisfaction of the claim, an amount of money equal to the sum of the amount of the check, a reasonable handling fee, accrued interest, collection costs equal to the face amount of the check not to exceed forty dollars, and the incurred court and service costs, and reasonable administrative costs under section 2(2) of this act.
(b) Nothing in this section precludes the right to commence action in any court under chapter 12.40 RCW for small claims.