New Washington laws sought by AG go into effect

Rob McKenna

OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline)-A bevy of new laws requested by Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna go into effect today, including statutes dealing with mortgage foreclosure schemes and Internet spyware.

Among the new laws by the Republican attorney general are protections for homeowners from losing their homes in "mortgage rescue" scams by allowing a foreclosed homeowner the right to cancel the contract within five business days.

Another law is aimed at closing loopholes in the state's Computer Spyware Statute by eliminating requirements that hinder the ability to prove cases against violators.

The new law also creates liability for Internet hosting services that ignore violators' use of their products.

On the consumer front, a new law requires any person in the business of compiling, marketing or selling phone numbers for commercial purposes to obtain a consumer's express opt-in consent before publishing his or her wireless phone number in a directory.

A separate new law requested by McKenna requires Washington authorities to take reports from victims of the identity theft.

"These new laws address critical threats to consumers from the purveyors of modern frauds-from mortgage rescue schemes to identity theft and online spying" McKenna said in a statement.

"Also beginning this week, consumers' cell phone numbers will be protected from solicitors, since they can no longer be published without express consent. I want to thank legislators from both parties who helped pass these crucial protections," he added.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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