Per se violations of CPA – WA

Per Se Violations of Washington’s Consumer Protection Law

Washington’s legislature has made certain violations of statutes per se “unfair and deceptive” and per se “a matter in the public interest”. This page describes some of these provisions. Scam keyboard key

Adoption advertising

RCW § 26.33.400(2) prohibits certain advertising for adoption of a child and § (3) provides for a per se CPA violation.

Adult Family Home  – unlicensed

RCW § 70.128.058 prohibits operating an adult family home without a license and provides for a per se CPA violation.

Auctions

Auctions and auctioneers are required to be licensed, bonded, and conduct themselves according to statute. RCW § 18.11.260 provides that violations of the statute are a per se CPA violation.

Automotive Repair

In addition to failure to provide a written estimate (RCW § 46.71.025), RCW § 46.71.045 makes each of the following acts or practices unlawful: (1) Advertising that is false, deceptive, or misleading. A single or isolated media mistake does not constitute a false, deceptive, or misleading statement or misrepresentation under this section; (2) Materially understating or misstating the estimated price for a specified repair procedure; (3) Retaining payment from a customer for parts not delivered or installed or a labor operation or repair procedure that has not actually been performed; (4) Unauthorized operation of a customer’s vehicle for purposes not related to repair or diagnosis; (5) Failing or refusing to provide a customer, upon request, a copy, at no charge, of any document signed by the customer; (6) Retaining duplicative payment from both the customer and the warranty or extended service contract provider for the same covered component, part, or labor; (7) Charging a customer for unnecessary repairs. RCW § 46.71.058 states that violations of this statute are per se violations of the CPA but provides the following defense: “For purposes of this subsection “unnecessary repairs” means those for which there is no reasonable basis for performing the service. A reasonable basis includes, but is not limited to: (a) That the repair service is consistent with specifications established by law or the manufacturer of the motor vehicle, component, or part; (b) that the repair is in accordance with accepted industry standards; or (c) that the repair was performed at the specific request of the customer In an action under chapter 19.86 RCW due to an automotive repair facility’s charging a customer an amount in excess of one hundred ten percent of the amount authorized by the customer, a violation shall not be found if the automotive repair facility proves by a preponderance of the evidence that its conduct was reasonable, necessary, and justified under the circumstances”.

Automatic dialing solicitation

“(2) No person may use an automatic dialing and announcing device for purposes of commercial solicitation. This section applies to all commercial solicitation intended to be received by telephone customers within the state. (3) A violation of this section is a violation of chapter 19.86 RCW. It shall be presumed that damages to the recipient of commercial solicitations made using an automatic dialing and announcing device are five hundred dollars.” RCW § 80.36.400

Bail bond agent’s duties

(1) Every qualified agent shall keep adequate records for three years of all collateral and security received, all trust accounts required by this section, and all bail bond transactions handled by the bail bond agency, as specified by rule. The records shall be open to inspection without notice by the director or authorized representatives of the director. (2) Every qualified agent who receives collateral or security is a fiduciary of the property and shall keep adequate records for three years of the receipt, safekeeping, and disposition of the collateral or security. Every qualified agent shall maintain a trust account in a federally insured financial institution located in this state. All moneys, including cash, checks, money orders, wire transfers, and credit card sales drafts, received as collateral or security or otherwise held for a bail bond agency’s client shall be deposited in the trust account not later than the third banking day following receipt of the funds or money. A qualified agent shall not in any way encumber the corpus of the trust account or commingle any other moneys with moneys properly maintained in the trust account. Each qualified agent required to maintain a trust account shall report annually under oath to the director the account number and balance of the trust account, and the name and address of the institution that holds the trust account, and shall report to the director within ten business days whenever the trust account is changed or relocated or a new trust account is opened. (3) Whenever a bail bond is exonerated by the court, the qualified agent shall, within five business days after written notification of exoneration, return all collateral or security to the person entitled thereto. (4) Records of contracts for fugitive apprehension must be retained by the bail bond agent and by the bail bond recovery agent for a period of three years. Failure to comply is a per se CPA violation. RCW § 18.185.210

Business Opportunity Fraud

Washington’s Business Opportunity Fraud statute applies to all sales designed to enable a person to start a business. It requires registration as well as many other specific provisions. Violation are per se violations of the CPA. RCW § 19.110.170

Business telephone listings – floral products

“No person engaged in the selling, delivery, or solicitation of cut flowers, flower arrangements, or floral products may misrepresent his, her, or its geographic location by: (1) Listing a local telephone number in a local telephone directory if: (a) Calls to the telephone number are routinely forwarded or otherwise transferred to a business location that is outside the calling area covered by the local telephone directory; and (b) The listing fails to conspicuously disclose the locality and state in which the business is located; or (2) Listing a business name in a local telephone directory if: (a) The name misrepresents the business’s geographic location; and (b) The listing fails to disclose the locality and state in which the business is located.” The statute was written before the Internet was prominent but may apply. RCW § 19.160.030. Violation are per se violations of the CPA. RCW § 19.160.020

Camping clubs

It is a violation of this chapter and chapter 19.86 RCW for any person to use a membership list for commercial purposes unless authorized to do so by the operator of the camp. RCW § 19.105.405. The statute has numerous other provisions and any “material” violation is a per se CPA violation. RCW § 19.105.500.

Cemetery Regulations

Violation of the cemetery sales and other regulations is a per se violation of the CPA. RCW § 68.05.330.

Chain letter or pyramid schemes

“(4) “Pyramid schemes” means any plan or operation in which a person gives consideration for the right or opportunity to receive compensation that is derived primarily from the recruitment of other persons as participants in the plan or operation, rather than from the bona fide sale of goods, services, or intangible property to a person or by persons to others.” RCW § 19.275.020. “Pyramid scheme — Prohibition (1) No person may establish, promote, operate, or participate in any pyramid scheme. (2) A limitation as to the number of persons who may participate, or the presence of additional conditions affecting eligibility for the opportunity to receive compensation under the scheme, does not change the identity of the scheme as a pyramid scheme. (3) It is not a defense under chapter 65, Laws of 2006 that a person, on giving consideration, obtains goods, services, or intangible property in addition to the right to receive compensation, nor is it a defense to designate the consideration a gift, donation offering, or other word of similar meaning.” RCW § 19.275.030. Violation of the Anti-pyramid statute is a per se CPA violation. RCW § 19.275.040.

Collection of Debts

“(2) “Collection agency” means and includes: (a) Any person directly or indirectly engaged in soliciting claims for collection, or collecting or attempting to collect claims owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another person; (b) Any person who directly or indirectly furnishes or attempts to furnish, sells, or offers to sell forms represented to be a collection system or scheme intended or calculated to be used to collect claims even though the forms direct the debtor to make payment to the creditor and even though the forms may be or are actually used by the creditor himself or herself in his or her own name; (c) Any person who in attempting to collect or in collecting his or her own claim uses a fictitious name or any name other than his or her own which would indicate to the debtor that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such claim.”  RCW § 19.16.100. Section (3) contains numerous exemptions including one for lawyers. “Prohibited practices. No licensee or employee of a licensee shall: (1) Directly or indirectly aid or abet any unlicensed person to engage in business as a collection agency in this state or receive compensation from such unlicensed person: PROVIDED, That nothing in this chapter shall prevent a licensee from accepting, as forwardee, claims for collection from a collection agency or attorney whose place of business is outside the state. (2) Collect or attempt to collect a claim by the use of any means contrary to the postal laws and regulations of the United States postal department. (3) Publish or post or cause to be published or posted, any list of debtors commonly known as “bad debt lists” or threaten to do so. For purposes of this chapter, a “bad debt list” means any list of natural persons alleged to fail to honor their lawful debts. However, nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a licensee from communicating to its customers or clients by means of a coded list, the existence of a check dishonored because of insufficient funds, not sufficient funds or closed account by the financial institution servicing the debtor’s checking account: PROVIDED, That the debtor’s identity is not readily apparent: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the licensee complies with the requirements of subsection (10)(e) of this section. (4) Have in his or her possession or make use of any badge, use a uniform of any law enforcement agency or any simulation thereof, or make any statements which might be construed as indicating an official connection with any federal, state, county, or city law enforcement agency, or any other governmental agency, while engaged in collection agency business. (5) Perform any act or acts, either directly or indirectly, constituting the practice of law. (6) Advertise for sale or threaten to advertise for sale any claim as a means of endeavoring to enforce payment thereof or agreeing to do so for the purpose of soliciting claims, except where the licensee has acquired claims as an assignee for the benefit of creditors or where the licensee is acting under court order. (7) Use any name while engaged in the making of a demand for any claim other than the name set forth on his or her or its current license issued hereunder. (8) Give or send to any debtor or cause to be given or sent to any debtor, any notice, letter, message, or form, other than through proper legal action, process, or proceedings, which represents or implies that a claim exists unless it shall indicate in clear and legible type: (a) The name of the licensee and the city, street, and number at which he or she is licensed to do business; (b) The name of the original creditor to whom the debtor owed the claim if such name is known to the licensee or employee: PROVIDED, That upon written request of the debtor, the licensee shall provide this name to the debtor or cease efforts to collect on the debt until this information is provided; (c) If the notice, letter, message, or form is the first notice to the debtor or if the licensee is attempting to collect a different amount than indicated in his or her or its first notice to the debtor, an itemization of the claim asserted must be made including: (i) Amount owing on the original obligation at the time it was received by the licensee for collection or by assignment; (ii) Interest or service charge, collection costs, or late payment charges, if any, added to the original obligation by the original creditor, customer or assignor before it was received by the licensee for collection, if such information is known by the licensee or employee: PROVIDED, That upon written request of the debtor, the licensee shall make a reasonable effort to obtain information on such items and provide this information to the debtor; (iii) Interest or service charge, if any, added by the licensee or customer or assignor after the obligation was received by the licensee for collection; (iv) Collection costs, if any, that the licensee is attempting to collect; (v) Attorneys’ fees, if any, that the licensee is attempting to collect on his or her or its behalf or on the behalf of a customer or assignor; and (vi) Any other charge or fee that the licensee is attempting to collect on his or her or its own behalf or on the behalf of a customer or assignor; (d) If the notice, letter, message, or form concerns a judgment obtained against the debtor, no itemization of the amounts contained in the judgment is required, except postjudgment interest, if claimed, and the current account balance; (e) If the notice, letter, message, or form is the first notice to the debtor, an itemization of the claim asserted must be made including the following information: (i) The original account number or redacted original account number assigned to the debt, if known to the licensee or employee: PROVIDED, That upon written request of the debtor, the licensee must make a reasonable effort to obtain this information or cease efforts to collect on the debt until this information is provided; and (ii) The date of the last payment to the creditor on the subject debt by the debtor, if known to the licensee or employee: PROVIDED, That upon written request of the debtor, the licensee must make a reasonable effort to obtain this information or cease efforts to collect on the debt until this information is provided. (9) Communicate in writing with a debtor concerning a claim through a proper legal action, process, or proceeding, where such communication is the first written communication with the debtor, without providing the information set forth in subsection (8)(c) of this section in the written communication. (10) Communicate or threaten to communicate, the existence of a claim to a person other than one who might be reasonably expected to be liable on the claim in any manner other than through proper legal action, process, or proceedings except under the following conditions: (a) A licensee or employee of a licensee may inform a credit reporting bureau of the existence of a claim. If the licensee or employee of a licensee reports a claim to a credit reporting bureau, the licensee shall, upon receipt of written notice from the debtor that any part of the claim is disputed, notify the credit reporting bureau of the dispute by written or electronic means and create a record of the fact of the notification and when the notification was provided; (b) A licensee or employee in collecting or attempting to collect a claim may communicate the existence of a claim to a debtor’s employer if the claim has been reduced to a judgment; (c) A licensee or employee in collecting or attempting to collect a claim that has not been reduced to judgment, may communicate the existence of a claim to a debtor’s employer if: (i) The licensee or employee has notified or attempted to notify the debtor in writing at his or her last known address or place of employment concerning the claim and the debtor after a reasonable time has failed to pay the claim or has failed to agree to make payments on the claim in a manner acceptable to the licensee, and (ii) The debtor has not in writing to the licensee disputed any part of the claim: PROVIDED, That the licensee or employee may only communicate the existence of a claim which has not been reduced to judgment to the debtor’s employer once unless the debtor’s employer has agreed to additional communications. (d) A licensee may for the purpose of locating the debtor or locating assets of the debtor communicate the existence of a claim to any person who might reasonably be expected to have knowledge of the whereabouts of a debtor or the location of assets of the debtor if the claim is reduced to judgment, or if not reduced to judgment, when: (i) The licensee or employee has notified or attempted to notify the debtor in writing at his or her last known address or last known place of employment concerning the claim and the debtor after a reasonable time has failed to pay the claim or has failed to agree to make payments on the claim in a manner acceptable to the licensee, and (ii) The debtor has not in writing disputed any part of the claim. (e) A licensee may communicate the existence of a claim to its customers or clients if the claim is reduced to judgment, or if not reduced to judgment, when: (i) The licensee has notified or attempted to notify the debtor in writing at his or her last known address or last known place of employment concerning the claim and the debtor after a reasonable time has failed to pay the claim or has failed to agree to make payments on the claim in a manner acceptable to the licensee, and (ii) The debtor has not in writing disputed any part of the claim. (11) Threaten the debtor with impairment of his or her credit rating if a claim is not paid: PROVIDED, That advising a debtor that the licensee has reported or intends to report a claim to a credit reporting agency is not considered a threat if the licensee actually has reported or intends to report the claim to a credit reporting agency. (12) Communicate with the debtor after notification in writing from an attorney representing such debtor that all further communications relative to a claim should be addressed to the attorney: PROVIDED, That if a licensee requests in writing information from an attorney regarding such claim and the attorney does not respond within a reasonable time, the licensee may communicate directly with the debtor until he or she or it again receives notification in writing that an attorney is representing the debtor. (13) Communicate with a debtor or anyone else in such a manner as to harass, intimidate, threaten, or embarrass a debtor, including but not limited to communication at an unreasonable hour, with unreasonable frequency, by threats of force or violence, by threats of criminal prosecution, and by use of offensive language. A communication shall be presumed to have been made for the purposes of harassment if: (a) It is made with a debtor or spouse in any form, manner, or place, more than three times in a single week, unless the licensee is responding to a communication from the debtor or spouse; (b) It is made with a debtor at his or her place of employment more than one time in a single week, unless the licensee is responding to a communication from the debtor; (c) It is made with the debtor or spouse at his or her place of residence between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. A call to a telephone is presumed to be received in the local time zone to which the area code of the number called is assigned for landline numbers, unless the licensee reasonably believes the telephone is located in a different time zone. If the area code is not assigned to landlines in any specific geographic area, such as with toll-free telephone numbers, a call to a telephone is presumed to be received in the local time zone of the debtor’s last known place of residence, unless the licensee reasonably believes the telephone is located in a different time zone. (14) Communicate with the debtor through use of forms or instruments that simulate the form or appearance of judicial process, the form or appearance of government documents, or the simulation of a form or appearance of a telegraphic or emergency message. (15) Communicate with the debtor and represent or imply that the existing obligation of the debtor may be or has been increased by the addition of attorney fees, investigation fees, service fees, or any other fees or charges when in fact such fees or charges may not legally be added to the existing obligation of such debtor. (16) Threaten to take any action against the debtor which the licensee cannot legally take at the time the threat is made. (17) Send any telegram or make any telephone calls to a debtor or concerning a debt or for the purpose of demanding payment of a claim or seeking information about a debtor, for which the charges are payable by the addressee or by the person to whom the call is made: PROVIDED, That: (a) This subsection does not prohibit a licensee from attempting to communicate by way of a cellular telephone or other wireless device: PROVIDED, That a licensee cannot cause charges to be incurred to the recipient of the attempted communication more than three times in any calendar week when the licensee knows or reasonably should know that the number belongs to a cellular telephone or other wireless device, unless the licensee is responding to a communication from the debtor or the person to whom the call is made. (b) The licensee is not in violation of (a) of this subsection if the licensee at least monthly updates its records with information provided by a commercial provider of cellular telephone lists that the licensee in good faith believes provides reasonably current and comprehensive data identifying cellular telephone numbers, calls a number not appearing in the most recent list provided by the commercial provider, and does not otherwise know or reasonably should know that the number belongs to a cellular telephone. (c) This subsection may not be construed to increase the number of communications permitted pursuant to subsection (13)(a) of this section. (18) Call, or send a text message or other electronic communication to, a cellular telephone or other wireless device more than twice in any day when the licensee knows or reasonably should know that the number belongs to a cellular telephone or other wireless device, unless the licensee is responding to a communication from the debtor or the person to whom the call, text message, or other electronic communication is made. The licensee is not in violation of this subsection if the licensee at least monthly updates its records with information provided by a commercial provider of cellular telephone lists that the licensee in good faith believes provides reasonably current and comprehensive data identifying cellular telephone numbers, calls a number not appearing in the most recent list provided by the commercial provider, and does not otherwise know or reasonably should know that the number belongs to a cellular telephone. Nothing in this subsection may be construed to increase the number of communications permitted pursuant to subsection (13)(a) of this section. (19) Intentionally block its telephone number from displaying on a debtor’s telephone. (20) In any manner convey the impression that the licensee is vouched for, bonded to or by, or is an instrumentality of the state of Washington or any agency or department thereof. (21) Collect or attempt to collect in addition to the principal amount of a claim any sum other than allowable interest, collection costs or handling fees expressly authorized by statute, and, in the case of suit, attorney’s fees and taxable court costs. A licensee may collect or attempt to collect collection costs and fees, including contingent collection fees, as authorized by a written agreement or contract, between the licensee’s client and the debtor, in the collection of a commercial claim. The amount charged to the debtor for collection services shall not exceed thirty-five percent of the commercial claim. (22) Procure from a debtor or collect or attempt to collect on any written note, contract, stipulation, promise or acknowledgment under which a debtor may be required to pay any sum other than principal, allowable interest, except as noted in subsection (21) of this section, and, in the case of suit, attorney’s fees and taxable court costs. (23) Bring an action or initiate an arbitration proceeding on a claim when the licensee knows, or reasonably should know, that such suit or arbitration is barred by the applicable statute of limitations. (24) Upon notification by a debtor that the debtor disputes all debts arising from a series of dishonored checks, automated clearinghouse transactions on a demand deposit account, or other preprinted written instruments, initiate oral contact with a debtor more than one time in an attempt to collect from the debtor debts arising from the identified series of dishonored checks, automated clearinghouse transactions on a demand deposit account, or other preprinted written instruments when: (a) Within the previous one hundred eighty days, in response to the licensee’s attempt to collect the initial debt assigned to the licensee and arising from the identified series of dishonored checks, automated clearinghouse transactions on a demand deposit account, or other preprinted written instruments, the debtor in writing notified the licensee that the debtor’s checkbook or other series of preprinted written instruments was stolen or fraudulently created; (b) the licensee has received from the debtor a certified copy of a police report referencing the theft or fraudulent creation of the checkbook, automated clearinghouse transactions on a demand deposit account, or series of preprinted written instruments; (c) in the written notification to the licensee or in the police report, the debtor identified the financial institution where the account was maintained, the account number, the magnetic ink character recognition number, the full bank routing and transit number, and the check numbers of the stolen checks, automated clearinghouse transactions on a demand deposit account, or other preprinted written instruments, which check numbers included the number of the check that is the subject of the licensee’s collection efforts; (d) the debtor provides, or within the previous one hundred eighty days provided, to the licensee a legible copy of a government-issued photo identification, which contains the debtor’s signature and which was issued prior to the date of the theft or fraud identified in the police report; and (e) the debtor advised the licensee that the subject debt is disputed because the identified check, automated clearinghouse transaction on a demand deposit account, or other preprinted written instrument underlying the debt is a stolen or fraudulently created check or instrument. The licensee is not in violation of this subsection if the licensee initiates oral contact with the debtor more than one time in an attempt to collect debts arising from the identified series of dishonored checks, automated clearinghouse transactions on a demand deposit account, or other preprinted written instruments when: (i) The licensee acted in good faith and relied on their established practices and procedures for batching, recording, or packeting debtor accounts, and the licensee inadvertently initiates oral contact with the debtor in an attempt to collect debts in the identified series subsequent to the initial debt assigned to the licensee; (ii) the licensee is following up on collection of a debt assigned to the licensee, and the debtor has previously requested more information from the licensee regarding the subject debt; (iii) the debtor has notified the licensee that the debtor disputes only some, but not all the debts arising from the identified series of dishonored checks, automated clearinghouse transactions on a demand deposit account, or other preprinted written instruments, in which case the licensee shall be allowed to initiate oral contact with the debtor one time for each debt arising from the series of identified checks, automated clearinghouse transactions on a demand deposit account, or written instruments and initiate additional oral contact for those debts that the debtor acknowledges do not arise from stolen or fraudulently created checks or written instruments; (iv) the oral contact is in the context of a judicial, administrative, arbitration, mediation, or similar proceeding; or (v) the oral contact is made for the purpose of investigating, confirming, or authenticating the information received from the debtor, to provide additional information to the debtor, or to request additional information from the debtor needed by the licensee to accurately record the debtor’s information in the licensee’s records. (25) Submit an affidavit or other request pursuant to chapter 6.32 RCW asking a superior or district court to transfer a bond posted by a debtor subject to a money judgment to the licensee, when the debtor has appeared as required.” RCW § 19.16.250 Violation of RCW 19.16.250 — Additional penalty. If an act or practice in violation of RCW 19.16.250 is committed by a licensee or an employee of a licensee in the collection of a claim, neither the licensee, the customer of the licensee, nor any other person who may thereafter legally seek to collect on such claim shall ever be allowed to recover any interest, service charge, attorneys’ fees, collection costs, delinquency charge, or any other fees or charges otherwise legally chargeable to the debtor on such claim: PROVIDED, That any person asserting the claim may nevertheless recover from the debtor the amount of the original claim or obligation. RCW § 19.16.450. RCW § 19.16.440 makes violations of licensing or prohibited conduct per se CPA violations.

Consumer Credit Report  

The Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates the release of credit report including after identity theft. RCW § 19.182.150 makes violations of licensing or prohibited conduct per se CPA violations. Intentional violations add a $1000 penalty.

Going out of business sales

Regulates advertising, limits time, and prohibits continuing in business. Violations are per se CPA violations. RCW § 19.178.110.

Health Studios (Gyms)

Health studios are subject to regulation including: “(1) Each health studio shall prepare and provide to each prospective buyer a written comprehensive list of all membership plans of health studio services offered for sale by the health studio. The list shall contain a description and the respective price of each membership plan of health studio services offered. (2) A health studio is prohibited from selling a membership plan of health studio services not included in the list. (3) A health studio is prohibited from making a special offer or offering a discount unless such special offer or discount is made in writing and available to all prospective members: PROVIDED, That a special offer or discount offered to groups need not be available to all similarly-situated prospective members. (4) A health studio is prohibited from making any misrepresentation to any prospective buyer or current member regarding qualifications of staff, availability or quality of facilities or services, or results obtained through exercise, body building, figure development, or weight loss programs, or the present or maximum number of customers who may contract to use the facilities or services.”  RCW § 19.142.020. Moneys paid prior to opening must be in trust. RCW § 19.142.060. Buyer’s are entitled to cancel and obtain a refund within thirty days. RCW § 19.142.050. Attorney fees are awarded to the prevailing party. RCW § 19.142.110. Violations are per se CPA violations. RCW § 19.142.100.

Immigration Services

Non-lawyers and those not permitted to practice immigration law under federal rules are prohibited from charging for services. Violation is a per se CPA violation. RCW § 19.154.090. Actual damages or $1,000 penalty allowed. Registration is required. RCW § 19.154.040. “Prohibited practices — Assistance with immigration matters (1) Persons, other than those licensed to practice law in this state or otherwise permitted to practice law or represent others under federal law in an immigration matter, are prohibited from engaging in the practice of law in an immigration matter for compensation. (2) Persons, other than those licensed to practice law in this state or otherwise permitted to practice law or represent others under federal law in an immigration matter, are prohibited from engaging in the following acts or practices, for compensation: (a) Advising or assisting another person in determining the person’s legal or illegal status for the purpose of an immigration matter; (b) Selecting or assisting another in selecting, or advising another as to his or her answers on, a government agency form or document in an immigration matter; (c) Selecting or assisting another in selecting, or advising another in selecting, a benefit, visa, or program to apply for in an immigration matter; (d) Soliciting to prepare documents for, or otherwise representing the interests of, another in a judicial or administrative proceeding in an immigration matter; (e) Explaining, advising, or otherwise interpreting the meaning or intent of a question on a government agency form in an immigration matter; (f) Charging a fee for referring another to a person licensed to practice law; (g) Selecting, drafting, or completing legal documents affecting the legal rights of another in an immigration matter. (3) Persons, other than those holding an active license to practice law issued by the Washington state bar association or otherwise permitted to practice law or represent others under federal law in an immigration matter, are prohibited from engaging in the following acts or practices, regardless of whether compensation is sought: (a) Representing, either orally or in any document, letterhead, advertisement, stationery, business card, web site, or other comparable written material, that he or she is a notario publico, notario, immigration assistant, immigration consultant, immigration specialist, or using any other designation or title, in any language, that conveys or implies that he or she possesses professional legal skills in the area of immigration law; (b) Representing, in any language, either orally or in any document, letterhead, advertisement, stationery, business card, web site, or other comparable written material, that he or she can or is willing to provide services in an immigration matter, if such services would constitute the practice of law. (4) (a) The prohibitions of subsections (1) through (3) of this section shall not apply to the activities of nonlawyer assistants acting under the supervision of a person holding an active license to practice law issued by the Washington state bar association or otherwise permitted to practice law or represent others under federal law in an immigration matter. (b) This section does not prohibit a person from offering translation services, regardless of whether compensation is sought. Translating words contained on a government form from English to another language and translating a person’s words from another language to English does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law. (5) In addition to complying with the prohibitions of subsections (1) through (3) of this section, persons licensed as a notary public under chapter 42.44 RCW who do not hold an active license to practice law issued by the Washington state bar association shall not use the term notario publico, notario, immigration assistant, immigration consultant, immigration specialist, or any other designation or title, in any language, that conveys or implies that he or she possesses professional legal skills in the areas of immigration law, when advertising notary public services in the conduct of their business. A violation of any provision of this chapter by a person licensed as a notary public under chapter 42.44 RCW shall constitute unprofessional conduct under the uniform regulation of business and professions act, chapter 18.235 RCW.” RCW § 19.154.060. International Student Exchange Organizations Registration is required. The Secretary of State regulates this industry. An informational document is proscribed. Violation is a per se CPA violation. RCW § 19.166.100.

Mortgage Brokers

Licensing is required and there are numerous other statutory requirements including: “Duties — Generally The activities of a mortgage broker affect the public interest, and require that all actions of mortgage brokers, designated brokers, loan originators, and other persons subject to this chapter be actuated by good faith, abstain from deception, and practice honesty and equity in all matters related to their profession. The duty of preserving the integrity of the mortgage broker business rests upon the mortgage broker, designated broker, loan originator, and other persons subject to this chapter.” RCW § 19.146.085. Fiduciary duties (1) A mortgage broker has a fiduciary relationship with the borrower. For the purposes of this section, the fiduciary duty means that the mortgage broker has the following duties: (a) A mortgage broker must act in the borrower’s best interest and in the utmost good faith toward the borrower, and shall disclose any and all interests to the borrower including, but not limited to, interests that may lie with the lender that are used to facilitate a borrower’s request. A mortgage broker shall not accept, provide, or charge any undisclosed compensation or realize any undisclosed remuneration that inures to the benefit of the mortgage broker on an expenditure made for the borrower; (b) A mortgage broker must carry out all lawful instructions provided by the borrower; (c) A mortgage broker must disclose to the borrower all material facts of which the mortgage broker has knowledge that might reasonably affect the borrower’s rights, interests, or ability to receive the borrower’s intended benefit from the residential mortgage loan; (d) A mortgage broker must use reasonable care in performing duties; and (e) A mortgage broker must provide an accounting to the borrower for all money and property received from the borrower. (2) A mortgage broker may contract for or collect a fee for services rendered if the fee is disclosed to the borrower in advance of the provision of those services. (3) The fiduciary duty in this section does not require a mortgage broker to offer or obtain access to loan products and services other than those that are available to the mortgage broker at the time of the transaction. (4) The director must adopt rules to implement this section.” RCW § 19.146.095. “Financial interest in a mortgage broker — Prohibited practices (1) A mortgage broker, loan originator, officer or employee of any mortgage broker, or person who has a financial interest in a mortgage broker shall not, directly or indirectly, give any fee, kickback, payment, or other thing of value to any person as an inducement, reward for placing business, referring business, or causing title insurance business to be given to a title insurance agent in which the mortgage broker, loan originator, or person having a financial interest in the mortgage broker also has a financial interest. (2) A mortgage broker, loan originator, or person who has a financial interest in a mortgage broker shall not either solicit or accept, or both, anything of value from: A title insurance company, a title insurance agent, or the employees or representatives of a title insurance company or title insurance agent, that a title insurance company or title insurance agent is not permitted by law or rule to give to the mortgage broker, loan originator, or person who has a financial interest in the mortgage broker. (3) A mortgage broker, loan originator, or person who has a financial interest in a mortgage broker shall not prevent or deter a title insurance company, title insurance agent, or their employees or representatives from delivering to a mortgage broker or loan originator or its employees, independent contractors, and clients printed promotional material concerning only title insurance services as long as: (a) The material is business appropriate and is not misleading or false; (b) The material does not malign the mortgage broker or loan originator, its employees, independent contractors, or affiliates; (c) The delivery of the materials is limited to those areas of the mortgage broker or loan originator’s physical office reserved for unrestricted public access; and (d) The conduct of the employees or representatives is appropriate for a business setting and does not threaten the safety or health of anyone in the mortgage broker’s or loan originator’s office. (4) A mortgage broker or loan originator shall not require a consumer, as a condition of providing loans or real estate settlement services, to obtain title insurance from a title insurance agent in which the mortgage broker or loan originator has a financial interest.” RCW § 19.146.103. Violations are per se CPA violations. § 19.146.100.

Motor vehicle title – transfer or leasing

Failure to promptly clear title when selling or leasing a motor vehicle is a per se violation of the CPA. RCW  § 19.116.030

Motor vehicle warranty – Lemon Law

Failure to fix a vehicle according to the statutory provisions is a per se CPA violation. RCW  § 19.118.120.

Pay per call

The statute requires certain disclosures and protects children. Violation is a per se CPA violation. RCW § 19.162.010. “Violations — Action for damages A person who suffers damage from a violation of this chapter may bring an action against an information provider. In an action alleging a violation of this chapter, the court may award the greater of three times the actual damages sustained by the person or five hundred dollars; equitable relief, including but not limited to an injunction and restitution of money and property; attorneys’ fees and costs; and any other relief that the court deems proper. For purposes of this section, a telecommunications company or interexchange carrier is a person. RCW § 19.162.070.

Promotional Advertising of Prizes

Regulates the advertising of prizes and the sending of checks (real or promotional). Damages are available and include the value of prize not received plus $500 or three times actual damages not to exceed $10,000 and attorney fees and costs. RCW § 19.170.060. Violations are per se CPA violations. § 19.170.010.

Telephone Solicitation

Registration is required. The time of call and unprofessional conduct is regulated. Penalties are from $500 to $2000. Violation is per se violation of CPA. RCW § 19.158.030. The contract is voidable until a written confirmation is received and at least three days thereafter. RCW § 19.158.120. “Unprofessional conduct In addition to the unprofessional conduct described in RCW 18.235.130, the director of the department of licensing may take disciplinary action for any of the following conduct, acts, or conditions: (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in unfair or deceptive commercial telephone solicitation. (2) A commercial telephone solicitor shall not place calls to any residence which will be received before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. at the purchaser’s local time. (3) A commercial telephone solicitor may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, intimidate, or torment any person in connection with the telephone call.” RCW § 19.158.040. “Requiring payment by credit card prohibited It is a violation of this chapter for a commercial telephone solicitor to require that payment be by credit card authorization or otherwise to announce a preference for that method of payment over any other for unfair or deceptive reasons.” RCW § 19.158.100. “Commercial telephone solicitor — Duties and prohibited acts — Notice to customers (1) Within the first minute of the telephone call, a commercial telephone solicitor or salesperson shall: (a) Identify himself or herself, the company on whose behalf the solicitation is being made, the property, goods, or services being sold; and (b) Terminate the telephone call within ten seconds if the purchaser indicates he or she does not wish to continue the conversation. (2) If at any time during the telephone contact, the purchaser states or indicates that he or she does not wish to be called again by the commercial telephone solicitor or wants to have his or her name and individual telephone number removed from the telephone lists used by the commercial telephone solicitor: (a) The commercial telephone solicitor shall not make any additional commercial telephone solicitation of the called party at that telephone number within a period of at least one year; and (b) The commercial telephone solicitor shall not sell or give the called party’s name and telephone number to another commercial telephone solicitor: PROVIDED, That the commercial telephone solicitor may return the list, including the called party’s name and telephone number, to the company or organization from which it received the list. (3) The utilities and transportation commission shall by rule ensure that telecommunications companies inform their residential customers of the provisions of this section. The notification may be made by: (a) Annual inserts in the billing statements mailed to residential customers; or (b) Conspicuous publication of the notice in the consumer information pages of local telephone directories. (4) If a sale or an agreement to purchase is completed, the commercial telephone solicitor must inform the purchaser of his or her cancellation rights as enunciated in this chapter, state the registration number issued by the department of licensing, and give the street address of the seller. (5) If, at any time prior to sale or agreement to purchase, the commercial telephone solicitor’s registration number is requested by the purchaser, it must be provided. (6) All oral disclosures required by this section shall be made in a clear and intelligible manner.” RCW § 19.158.110. Travel (Sellers of Travel) Sellers of travel have advertising, registration, and trust fund obligations. Violations of this statute are per se CPA violations. RCW § 19.138.290. Registration is required to bring or defend a legal action.

Unsolicited goods

It is unlawful to attempt to collect for unsolicited goods or goods solicited but not sold on the solicited terms. RCW § 19.56.020. Sending unsolicited goods or newspapers are CPA violations. RCW § 19.56.030.

Usury

Charging interest in excess of the legal rate in non-business transactions is prohibited. Costs and attorney fees are available. RCW § 19.52.030. A usurious contract is a CPA violation. RCW § 19.52.036.