Kudos to the Washington Collectors Association for getting a bill passed through the state legislature that will require credit repair services to obtain written authorization from a consumer prior to communicating with a consumer reporting agency, creditor, or collection agency while also placing other conditions on how credit repair services interact with consumers.
A copy of HB 1311 can be accessed by clicking here.
The bill passed by a vote of 91-to-5 in the state House and by a vote of 46-to-0 in the state Senate. It was introduced by state Rep. Kristine Reeves, the vice chair of the House Consumer Protection & Business Committee.
Under the provisions of the bill, which now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature or veto, collection agencies and creditors would not be required to communicate with credit repair services if the account has been paid, settled, or otherwise resolved, has been removed from the consumer’s credit report, if the collection agency has provided verification information under Section 1692g(b) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or if the collection agency “reasonably determines” the dispute is frivolous or irrelevant.
Credit repair organizations will also now be required to send monthly statements to consumers detailing all of the services performed, including providing an accounting of any funds paid by a consumer or disbursed on the consumer’s behalf. and copies of any letters sent by the organization on the consumer’s behalf. They are also prohibited from disputing a debt with a collection agency or creditor “without a good faith belief in the accuracy of the dispute.”