Washington Debt Collection Laws: Experience Washington

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Today, April 11, 2013, The National List of Attorneys published the white paper on debt collection law in Washington State, written by Robert C. Scanlon, with Dellwo Roberts & Scanlon, P.S.  The firm has been a member of The National List of Attorneys for 15 years. They have represented clients in Eastern Washington for over 50 years. The firm practices in all areas of civil litigation including commercial and consumer matters, insurance subrogation and the collection of other types of debt.

Robert C. Scanlon received his JD from Gonzaga University School of Law. He has been a member of the firm since 1984 and has been handling collection matters since 1985. Presently, about 75 percent of his practice is devoted to debt collection. He is admitted to practice in all Courts in the State of Washington, as well as the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington. He is a member of the Spokane County and Washington State Bar Associations, as well as the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA).

Robert told us, “In Washington, a number of debtors are people who 10 years ago never thought they would have a ‘debt problem.’ The Recession hit this state very hard, and a number of people still haven’t recovered. Also, there seems to be a ‘cottage industry’ of litigation involving alleged violations of the FDCPA and other regulatory statutes. The attorneys involved seem to be more interested in generating fees for themselves rather than helping their clients. What I enjoy most is helping people ‘solve problems.’”

Robert Scanlon

Robert Scanlon

In the paper, we read, “A potentially very significant case with regard to the collection of debt is presently pending before the Washington State Supreme Court. In the State of Washington there are a series of statutes dealing with lawsuits seeking to recover a debt of $10,000.00 or less. The statutory scheme allows either the plaintiff or the defendant to make an offer of settlement prior to trial. If the offer is not accepted and the offering party receives more at trial than the sum offered, the party who rejected the offer must pay the offering party’s attorney fees. The question now before the Washington State Supreme Court is whether that statutory scheme applies when a Plaintiff recovers ‘nothing.’” We invite Robert to keep us up-to-date with what happens in this case. We are publishing several follow-ups to papers, when state laws change dramatically.

Dellwo Roberts & Scanlon provides pro bono assistance through the local Bar Association. Robert has been a volunteer firefighter for 22 years. He is married and has three adult daughters.

The National List thanks Robert for submitting this paper and for telling us something about himself and his firm. You can access the paper at http://www.nationallist.com/white_papers/washington.

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