Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1956 No. 285 -
Attorney General Don Eastvold


Assignments of future wages must have written consent of wife before they can be accepted as collateral for credit union loans.

                                                                  - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                   June 13, 1956

Mr. R. W. Clingenpeel
Division of Savings and Loan
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 285

Dear Sir:

            In your letter of June 7, 1956, you have requested our opinion on the following question:

            Since under RCW 31.12.280 credit unions are permitted to accept valid wage assignments as collateral for loans under certain conditions, and since RCW 26.16.030 vests the management and control of community property in the husband, can the husband execute a valid and binding wage assignment of future wages as such collateral in view of RCW 49.48.100 which requires the written consent of the wife to assignment of future wages?

            In our opinion the written consent of the wife to assignment of future wages must be obtained before such assignment may be considered as collateral for credit union loans.


            The problem here arises from the two statutes referred to in the question.  Specifically the legal problem is one of statutory construction.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Our supreme court in the case of Kruesel v. Collin, 171 Wash. 200, 203, stated the rule in such cases as follows:

            "It is a cardinal rule of statutory construction that, where there are two or more statutes dealing with the same subject, they will be construed so as to maintain the integrity of both.  Repeal by implication is not effected unless the terms of the later act are irreconcilable with the first. . . ." (Emphasis supplied.)

            We wish to point out the following facts:

            1. The statute requiring the wife's written consent (RCW 49.48.100) was passed in 1909.

            2. The statute vesting the management and control of the community property in the husband was passed in 1881.

            3. The terms of the later statute are not irreconcilable with the earlier one in that the earlier statute covered a much broader field.

            When we consider these facts we must conclude that, under the rule as above stated, the court will give effect to both statutes.  It must of necessity follow that since to be valid an assignment of future wages must contain the wife's written consent, and since only valid assignments can be accepted as collateral by credit unions under RCW 31.12.280, any assignment of future wages must bear the written consent of the wife before it may be accepted by a credit union as collateral.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

B. F. RENO, Jr.
Assistant Attorney General