|Robert C. Scanlon|
Submitted by Robert C. Scanlon, of Dellwo Roberts & Scanlon, P.S.
Published by The National List of Attorneys
The firm of Dellwo, Roberts & Scanlon, P.S. has 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 has been a member of the firm since 1984. 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).
1. Debt Collection Laws
A. Statutes of Limitation
The statute of limitations in the State of Washington for a debt arising from an open account is six years from the date of the last payment (RCW 4.16.040). The statute of limitations for a claim based upon a written contract is also six years (RCW 4.16.040). A judgment entered by a court in the State of Washington has a “life” of ten years from the date of entry of the judgment (RCW 6.17.020). The judgment can be extended for an additional ten-year period by filing an application with the court that entered the judgment within ninety days of the expiration of the ten year period. The “life” of a foreign judgment (a judgment entered in a state other than the State of Washington) is based upon the “life” of the judgment under the law of the state where the judgment was entered. If the law of the state where the judgment was entered allows the judgment’s “life” to exceed ten years, then the life of the foreign judgment in the State of Washington can also be extended beyond the initial ten year period by filing an application in the court where the judgment has been filed within ninety days of the expiration of the initial ten year period (RCW 6.17.020).
B. Dishonored Checks
The law of the State of Washington provides a remedy for checks that are dishonored, by either non-acceptance or non-payment, when presented for payment to the bank upon which the check has been drawn. RCW 62A.3-520 contains a statutory notice of dishonor. If the check is not made “good” within fifteen days after the date that the notice of dishonor is mailed, then if a lawsuit is filed, the holder of the check, in addition to the face amount of the check, is allowed to collect:
a. Interest at the rate of 12% per annum (simple interest) from the date of dishonor;
b. A collection cost not to exceed the lesser of $40.00 or the face amount of the check;
c. $300.00 or three times the face amount of the check, whichever is less;
d. Reasonable attorney fees.
These penalties do not apply, however, if there is a justifiable Stop Payment Order. RCW 62A.3-515 does provide an “out” for the party who issued the dishonored check. After suit is commenced, but before trial, the defendant may tender to the plaintiff, as satisfaction of the claim, an amount of money equal to the face amount of the check, a reasonable handling fee, the accrued interest, collection costs equal to the face amount of the check but not to exceed $40.00, the statutory attorney fee of $200.00 and the filing and service fees.