New Law Addresses Unscrupulous Debt Collection Practices

OLYMPIA – A new law signed by Governor Inslee on Tuesday, April 30, addresses an unscrupulous debt collection practice called “Pocket Service.” The law, HB 1066, was sponsored by Rep. Christine Kilduff, D-University Place, and puts an end to the practice.

“Pocket Service” is a process by which debt collectors can serve consumers with a legal complaint, but not actually file the complaint with the court. When consumers call the court to check the status of the case, they are told no case exists. That can lead to consumers taking no further action, resulting in missed hearings and default judgments that can harm credit, housing, and employment opportunities. HB 1066 requires that a complaint to be filed with the court before the consumer is served.

“Pocket Service is unfair and takes advantage of consumers. Ending this practice was one of my top priorities this legislative session and I want to thank the Attorney General’s office for helping move this forward. This new law provides transparency and fairness to a complicated legal system,” said Kilduff.

Gov. Inslee signs House Bill No. 1066, April 30, 2019. Relating to the service of legal actions to collect a debt by a collection agency. Primary Sponsor: Christine Kilduff