Prohibited Communications From Debt Collectors

Debt collectors like to harass you.  They reach out to your friends, family, and do whatever they can to embarass you into paying regardless of whether the debt is valid or not.  However, there are limitations.  One limitation is that they cannot send written communications to you that have any words or symbols that indicate that they are debt collectors pursuant to 15 USC 1692(b)(5) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: A debt collector may not use any language or symbol on any envelope or in the contents of any communication effected by the mails or telegram that indicates [...]

Seattle Municipal Code 22.206.160- Extra Rights for Seattle Tenants

Have you ever had a landlord demand that you handle things around the home you are renting that do not feel like they should be your responsibility?  Things like removing moss from the roof, trimming trees, or removing excessive junk from the property that you didn't put there? If you live in the City of Seattle, Seattle Municipal Code 22.206.160 protects you from this type of landlord abuse even if the landlord put it in the lease agreement.  SMC 22.206.160 sets out the duties of the landlord and specifically precludes a landlord from contracting around them. Additionally, SMC 22.206.160 imposes [...]

Landlord Tenant Law Series: Ejection, Tenancy at Will, and Getting Rid of Tenants with No Lease

No good deed goes unpunished.  You had some extra space or even a second home and out of the goodness of your heart you let some friends move in as they had no where else to go.  Now they won't leave. Under Washington Law, this type of situation is called a "tenancy at will" and it is not easy to resolve. Unlike a landlord in a traditional lease situation under the landlord tenant act (RCW 59.18 et. seq.), you do not have the ability to just issue a three day pay or quit notice and swiftly evict the tenant.  Instead, [...]

Fighting Collection Claims Using Evidentiary Objections

Did you know that most collection lawsuits can be defended by using evidentiary objections? An evidentiary objection in layman's terms means objecting to the evidence, or the lack thereof, that a creditor is relying upon in their lawsuit.  Here is an example of a typical allegation that will appear in a collection suit: 1.   ABC Generic Collections, Inc. is properly licensed in the State of Washington to collect debts.  ABC purchased the debt from the original creditor Bigbadbank, NA and therefore has standing to collect upon the debt. Unless the lawsuit is accompanied by a purchase and sale agreement, assignment, [...]

How the Washington Foreclosure Fairness Mediation Act Can Help Homeowners

 In 2011, the Washington State Legislature enacted the Foreclosure Fairness Mediation Act. This Act was passed in part to combat Bank's reluctance to deal fairly and directly with homeowner's who are seeking loan modification, deed in lieu of foreclosure, and other loss mitigation options. One of the requirements of the Act is that prior to starting the foreclosure process, the beneficiary (meaning the lender or bank/financial institution that owns the promissory note and deed of trust) must attempt to contact the homeowner regarding potential work outs as an alternative to foreclosure. This contact is usually in the form of a [...]