Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Two consumer protection bills were among those previewed at a press conference today:

  • fix to the state’s Lemon Law that extends “lemon” disclosures to used-car dealers.

    “The Lemon Law is a pilot for the rest of the nation; they look to us. We’ve been improving it a little bit at a time for years now,” said House bill sponsor Rep. Alex Wood, D-Spokane. “If a used car you’re looking at has been judged to be a lemon earlier in its life you shall be notified. … Everyone seems to agree that the basic premise of notification is a good thing. Hopefully, we can get that done this year.”

  • cap on “found money” fees to protect foreclosed homeowners from scammers who offer to recover remaining sales proceeds for a healthy fee. The Attorney General’s Office is aware of firms that contact owners of foreclosed properties offering to obtain the surplus money on their behalf and, in return, receive a hefty percentage of the surplus funds. A typical scenario occurs when a county sells vacant land due to non-payment of taxes.

    “If you’re losing your home to foreclosure, you’re already getting hit with a devastating blow,” said the House bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Dean Takko, D-Longview. “Our bill caps the finder’s fee at 5 percent, the same amount allowed for other kinds of unclaimed funds.”

The Legislative session begins on Monday, Jan. 11.

LINK: AGO 2010 Legislation

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