Interest on judgments — Disposition of nonrestitution interest.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, financial obligations imposed in a judgment shall bear interest from the date of the judgment until payment, at the rate applicable to civil judgments. All nonrestitution interest retained by the court shall be split twenty-five percent to the state treasurer for deposit in the state general fund, twenty-five percent to the state treasurer for deposit in the judicial information system account as provided in RCW 2.68.020, twenty-five percent to the county current expense fund, and twenty-five percent to the county current expense fund to fund local courts.
(2) The court may, on motion by the offender, following the offender's release from total confinement, reduce or waive the interest on legal financial obligations levied as a result of a criminal conviction as follows:
(a) The court shall waive all interest on the portions of the legal financial obligations that are not restitution that accrued during the term of total confinement for the conviction giving rise to the financial obligations, provided the offender shows that the interest creates a hardship for the offender or his or her immediate family;
(b) The court may reduce interest on the restitution portion of the legal financial obligations only if the principal has been paid in full;
(c) The court may otherwise reduce or waive the interest on the portions of the legal financial obligations that are not restitution if the offender shows that he or she has personally made a good faith effort to pay and that the interest accrual is causing a significant hardship. For purposes of this section, "good faith effort" means that the offender has either (i) paid the principal amount in full; or (ii) made at least fifteen monthly payments within an eighteen-month period, excluding any payments mandatorily deducted by the department of corrections;
(d) For purposes of (a) through (c) of this subsection, the court may reduce or waive interest on legal financial obligations only as an incentive for the offender to meet his or her legal financial obligations. The court may grant the motion, establish a payment schedule, and retain jurisdiction over the offender for purposes of reviewing and revising the reduction or waiver of interest.
(3) This section applies to persons convicted as adults or adjudicated in juvenile court.
[2011 c 106 § 2; 2009 c 479 § 14; 2004 c 121 § 1; 1995 c 291 § 7; 1989 c 276 § 3.]
| Finding -- 2011 c 106: "(1) The legislature finds that it is in the interest of the public to promote the reintegration into society of individuals convicted of crimes. Research indicates that legal financial obligations may constitute a significant barrier to successful reintegration. The legislature further recognizes that the accrual of interest on nonrestitution debt during the term of incarceration results in many individuals leaving prison with insurmountable debt. These circumstances make it less likely that restitution will be paid in full and more likely that former offenders and their families will remain in poverty. In order to foster reintegration, this act creates a mechanism for courts to eliminate interest accrued on nonrestitution debt during incarceration and improves incentives for payment of legal financial obligations.|
(2) At the same time, the legislature believes that payment of legal financial obligations is an important part of taking personal responsibility for one's actions. The legislature therefore, supports the efforts of county clerks in taking collection action against those who do not make a good faith effort to pay." [2011 c 106 § 1.]
Effective date -- 2009 c 479: See note following RCW 2.56.030.
Severability -- 1989 c 276: See note following RCW 9.95.062.