The credit repair regulations were a focus of the Washington Collectors Association’s advocacy this legislative session. The robocall law contains exemptions for collection agencies.
05/02/2023 1:30 P.M.
2 minute read
Legislation on telephone communications and a separate bill to regulate credit repair companies will both take effect on July 23, 2023, in Washington state.
The Robocall Spam Protection Act
Washington State House Bill 1051 (PDF) expands provisions in the state’s code that regulate robocalls and telephone solicitations “to prohibit abusive telephone communications that mislead or harm Washington residents.”
The bill sought to prevent origination of robocalls on telephone networks and extend liability for violations to those who provide substantial assistance or support in the origination of robocalls.
The Washington Collectors Association (WCA) worked with the bill’s sponsor, Democrat State Rep. Mari Leavitt, early in the state’s legislative session to ensure it did not inadvertently impact the accounts receivable management industry.
Leavitt was willing to work with industry and consumer advocates to amend the bill, which was signed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on April 20.
The law includes an exemption for a person licensed under the state’s code, RCW 19.16.110, which regulates collection agencies. The exemption applies to calls by collection agencies, according to a House Bill report (PDF).
Credit Repair Service Regulations
Another prominent bill for WCA advocates this session will also take effect on July 23.
In addition to regulating credit repair companies, the new law creates transparency for consumers by adding prohibited acts to the Credit Services Organization Act.
- Specifies situations when a consumer reporting agency, creditor, or collection agency does not need to communicate with a credit services organization.
- Requires credit services organizations to redact certain personal consumer information when sending written communication.
- Requires credit services organizations to receive explicit written approval from the consumer before using a consumer’s signature for credit repair services.
- Requires credit services organizations to provide consumers with a notice about their ability to file complaints with the Attorney General and their rights.
The WCA legislative team, which attended the governor’s bill signing, will have a full update on the new law at the 2023 Northwest Collectors Conference, May 22-24, for members interested in similar legislative activity in their state units. Registration for the conference will be available online through ACA’s unit events calendar.
For more information on how the ACA licensing staff can assist with your licensing application completion needs, please contact us at [email protected] or call (952) 926-6547.