Checks dishonored by nonacceptance or nonpayment; liability for interest; rate; collection costs and attorneys' fees; satisfaction of claim.
(a) If a check as defined in RCW 62A.3-104 is dishonored by nonacceptance or nonpayment, the payee or person entitled to enforce the check under RCW 62A.3-301 may collect a reasonable handling fee for each instrument. If the check is not paid within fifteen days and after the person entitled to enforce the check or the person's agent sends a notice of dishonor as provided by RCW 62A.3-520 to the drawer at the drawer's last known address, and if the instrument does not provide for the payment of interest or collection costs and attorneys' fees, the drawer of the instrument is liable for payment of interest at the rate of twelve percent per annum from the date of dishonor, and cost of collection not to exceed forty dollars or the face amount of the check, whichever is less, payable to the person entitled to enforce the check. In addition, in the event of court action on the check, the court, after notice and the expiration of the fifteen days, shall award reasonable attorneys' fees, and three times the face amount of the check or three hundred dollars, whichever is less, as part of the damages payable to the person enforcing the check. This section does not apply to an instrument that is dishonored by reason of a justifiable stop payment order.
(b)(1) Subsequent to the commencement of an action on the check (subsection (a)) but prior to the hearing, the defendant may tender to the plaintiff as satisfaction of the claim, an amount of money equal to the face amount of the check, a reasonable handling fee, accrued interest, collection costs equal to the face amount of the check not to exceed forty dollars, and the incurred court costs, service costs, and statutory attorneys' fees.
(2) Nothing in this section precludes the right to commence action in a court under chapter 12.40 RCW for small claims.
[2000 c 215 § 1; 1995 c 187 § 1; 1993 c 229 § 67; 1991 c 168 § 1; 1986 c 128 § 1; 1981 c 254 § 1; 1969 c 62 § 1; 1967 ex.s. c 23 § 1.]
| Recovery of attorneys' fees -- Effective date -- 1993 c 229: See RCW 62A.11-111 and 62A.11-112.|
Savings -- Severability -- 1967 ex.s. c 23: See notes following RCW 19.52.005.