(1) It is unlawful for any person to seek or receive from any person or contract with any person for any fee or compensation for locating or purporting to locate any property which he or she knows has been reported or paid or delivered to the department of revenue pursuant to this chapter, or funds held by a county that are proceeds from a foreclosure for delinquent property taxes, assessments, or other liens, or, funds that are otherwise held by a county because of a person's failure to claim funds held as reimbursement for unowed taxes, fees, or other government charges, in excess of five percent of the value thereof returned to such owner. Any person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than the amount of the fee or charge he or she has sought or received or contracted for, and not more than ten times such amount, or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both.
(2) The legislature finds that the practices covered by this section are matters vitally affecting the public interest for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW. Any violation of this section is not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business. It is an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce and an unfair method of competition for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW. Remedies provided by chapter 19.86 RCW are cumulative and not exclusive.
[2012 c 117 § 181; 2010 c 29 § 2; 1983 c 179 § 35.]