Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1968 NO. 1 > Jan 8 1968

The legislature, by amending RCW 19.52.020 (through enactment of § 4, chapter 23, Laws of 1967, Ex. Sess.) so as to grant to lenders of money the right to collect from borrowers a "setup charge" of four percent of the amount of funds advanced or fifteen dollars, whichever is the lesser, on loans not exceeding five hundred dollars, has not affected a lender's pre existing right to assess reasonable charges against a borrower for services actually performed in setting up a loan exceeding five hundred dollars.

AGLO 1978 NO. 2 > Feb 14 1978

Those national banks, federal savings and loan associations and federal credit unions which do business within the state of Washington are required to file annual reports of their financial affairs with the Secretary of State in accordance with the provisions of §§ 1-9, chapter 301, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex. Sess.

AGLO 1976 NO. 5 > Jan 21 1976

(1) If a mutual savings bank is acting as a trustee under RCW 32.08.210, and if by reason of its mismanagement of a trust a loss is sustained for which the bank is legally liable, all of the assets of the bank will be available to cover the loss, including the guaranty fund provided for by RCW 32.08.100 and 32.08.110. (2) In the event such a mutual savings bank becomes insolvent, such parties as may have been injured by reason of the mismanagement of a trust by the bank, for which the bank is legally liable, will not generally have a legal preference of the depositors of the bank with respect to any particular funds or any assets thereof.

AGO 1968 NO. 6 > Feb 8 1968

Where the holder of a bank credit card (e.g., Firstbank card or BankAmericard) uses this credit card to purchase goods or service from a participating vendor, the transaction is governed by the regulatory provisions of the retail installment sales act pertaining to maximum service charges, collection of delinquency charges, information to be provided by sellers, etc., which apply to all transactions made under a "retail charge agreement" as defined therein.

AGLO 1980 NO. 9 > Feb 1 1980

(1) A state‑chartered savings and loan association may legally form and manage a subsidiary service corporation only to perform functions which are incidental and either necessary or proper to the association's purposes, assuming further that having those functions performed by a separate corporation is more efficient.

AGO 1981 NO. 9 > Jul 24 1981

(1) In the light of 1981 legislation, the maximum rate of interest, or service charge, which may now lawfully be imposed in connection with designated types of transactions is as follows: (a) Contract sales of real property‑-the higher of twelve percent per annum or four percentage points over the equivalent coupon issue yield of the average bill rate for twenty-six week treasury bills as determined at the first bill market auction conducted during the preceding calendar month (e.g., for contracts entered into in June, 1981, 20.58 percent), except that this limitation is not applicable if the particular contract is not primarily entered into for personal, family or household purposes or if the transaction is for agricultural, commercial, investment or business purposes and the purchaser is not a natural person; (b) Retail installment sales transactions‑-1-1/2 percent per month (or $1 if greater) for retail charge agreement transactions (e.g., purchases pursuant to a retailer's credit card) and, in the case of purchases covered by a retail installment contract, six percentage points above the average of the equivalent coupon yields of the bill rates for twenty-six week treasury bills for the last market auction conducted during February, May, August and November of the year prior to the year in which the contract is executed (e.g., for retail installment contracts during calendar year 1981, 18.5 percent); (c) Bank credit card transactions‑-the higher of (i) 12 percent, (ii) the rate computed by application of the same formula as now applies to real estate contracts, above, or (iii) 1 percent above the Federal Reserve Bank's discount rate;(2) The foregoing interest rate limitations apply to (a) contracts for the sale of real property entered into on or after May 8, 1981, with the caveat that the general usury statute, chapter 19.52 RCW, should be deemed to have become applicable to such contracts as of February 11, 1981; (b) retail installment transactions likewise occurring on or after May 8, 1981 with, however, a limited exception involving certain existing agreements; and (c) bank credit card transactions entered into on or after May 8, 1981, the effective dates of chapters 77 and 78, Laws of 1981.[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

AGLO 1978 NO. 9 > Mar 14 1978

A state regulated credit union may legally take action which will have the effect of extending a loan beyond the applicable four-year or eight-year statutory limit without violating RCW 31.12.270, but only so long as the extension is and remains at the discretion of the credit union and does not become, in some manner, a contractual right of the borrower.

AGO 1957 NO. 10 > Jan 30 1957

(1) If a joint savings and loan association invests its funds in promissory notes pursuant to RCW 33.24.150 and secures the notes by a pledge or assignment of a joint savings and loan account, it is necessary to have the signatures of all joint tenants on the note, and it is not sufficient that a single member sign as they are permitted to do for withdrawal. (2) Assuming that a savings and loan association has only one signature on a note secured by a pledge of a joint account the members of which are husband and wife, the association's interest would be subject to the interest of the surviving tenant, and our community property law would not necessarily alter this conclusion. (3) The conveyance or pledge of one of the parties to a joint account would not terminate the joint ownership with right of survivorship and convert it into a tenancy in common.

AGO 1980 NO. 11 > May 16 1980

(1) To the extent permitted by 12 U.S.C. § 85, where the holder of a bank credit card issued by a national bank uses that card to purchase goods or services from a participating vendor, the issuing bank may impose a monthly interest charge on any resulting unpaid balances due which is higher than the maximum service charge permitted by RCW 63.14.120 in connection with a retail charge agreement. (2) In addition to imposing such a monthly interest charge in connection with merchandise purchase transactions, a national bank may lawfully charge its credit card holders a periodic credit card membership fee unrelated to any particular transactions involving use of the card during the period covered; however, that membership fee may not exceed $1 per month or $12 per year. 

AGO 1991 NO. 14 > Mar 28 1991

The state Supervisor of Banking acted within his authority in adopting WAC 50-12-310 through [50-12]-370 which relate to insurance activities by state‑chartered banks and trust companies.

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