Olympia…With the 2008 legislative session now over, Attorney General Rob McKenna offered an end-of-session legislative report. Not every bill requested by McKenna passed this session, however the office scored victories for consumers with the passage of bills to assist identity theft victims, prevent mortgage rescue schemes, improve the state’s spyware law and prohibit third-party marketing of cell phone numbers.
Actuality #1 (22 seconds)
I’m very happy that our bill to assist ID theft victims passed. It requires police to file police reports for ID theft victims and allows prosecutors to bring separate charges against an accused identity thief for each use of an individual’s information. Under the old law, even if your stolen identity was used ten times, it only counted as one count of identity theft.
Actuality #2 (26 seconds)
Our bill to prevent mortgage rescue scams passed. It requires a written contract with clearly disclosed terms. It also provides the foreclosed homeowner with the right to cancel the contract within five business days and requires that homeowners must receive at least 82 percent of the difference between the property’s fair market value and the underlying mortgage in the event they transfer their property to a third party who supposedly is going to keep them out of foreclosure.
Actuality #3 (48 seconds)
Our bill to strengthen our state’s law against spyware passed. It closes loopholes and provides remedies for weaknesses in our spyware law to improve our ability to bring and prosecute cases against spyware perpetrators.
I’m pleased that our bill to prohibit the third-party marketing of cell phone numbers passed. It requires people who compile, market or sell phone numbers for commercial purposes to also obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent before publishing their wireless number in any directory.
I was disappointed the Senate failed to pass our House approved community safety bill, which would have protected children by making viewing child pornography a felony, similar to how possessing child pornography is a felony. It would have given law enforcement greater ability to investigate these crimes.
Media Contact: Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director (360) 586-0725