Colorado’s Citizen Legislature – Feb. 2021
By Doris Beaver ~
Colorado’s First Regular Session of the 73rd General Assembly began on January 13, 2021, with a new Speaker in charge in the House, Representative Alec Garnett, who represents Denver’s District 2. President Leroy M. Garcia is serving his second term in the Senate and resides in Pueblo’s District 3.
Senate Bill 21-002: Concerns Modification of the Limitations on certain Debt Collection Actions Enacted in last sessions’ Senate Bill 20-211, and is a complicated “trail of dates” so bare with me.
The analysis by the Legislative Council Staff of SB 21-002 explains that SB 20-211 “allowed debtors experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to have extraordinary debt collection actions suspended through November 1, 2020, and allowed the Department of Law to extend the suspension through February 1, 2021, if necessary. The department took action to extend the suspension on October 25, 2020, and exempted up to $4,000 from levy and sale under a writ of attachment or writ of execution.”
SB 21-002 extends the suspension until June 1, 2021. “If a collection has already been suspended by the debtor, the creditor must notify them that the suspension is now effective through June 1, 2021. If the debtor did not respond to the initial written notice and the creditor has not started an extraordinary collection process, the creditor must provide a new notice to the debtor prior to any action.”
The February 1, 2021 date for up to $4,000 in a debtor’s depository accounts exempted from levy and sale under a writ of attachment or writ of execution is also extended to June 1, 2021.
Obviously, it is most advisable for a debtor to have such a matter(s) handled by an experienced attorney. The bill was passed and now awaits the Governor’s signature.
Sponsors of Senate Bill 21-002: Senators Faith Winter D-Adams, 866–4863, and Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, 866-4862; Representative Leslie Herod, D-Denver, 866-2959.
House Bill 21-1004: The topic of HB 1004 is Colorado Uniform Electronic Wills Act. Readers considering an electronic will are strongly encouraged to hire an attorney experienced in this type of will. Such a new type of legal matter may need time to work out details.
HB 1004 permits and regulates the use of electronic wills, outlines the processes for executing an electronic will, revoking an electronic will, simultaneously attesting to an electric [nic] will and making it self-proving and creating a certified paper copy of an electronic will, according to the Legislative Council Staff.
HB 1004 is perhaps a result of today’s “digital” technology and the definitions set forth in the body of the bill is demonstrative of that:
(1) “Electronic” means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
(2) “Electronic Presence” means the relationship of two or more individuals in different locations communicating in real time to the same extent as if the individuals were physically present in the same location.
(3) “Electronic Will” means a will executed electronically in compliance with Section 15-12-1505(1). (In Section 1 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, add part 15.)
(4) “Record” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
(5)(a) “Sign” means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record, and subject to subsection (5)(b) of this section, to execute or adopt a tangible symbol or to affix to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol or process.
(b) An electronic symbol or a testator or witness must be an electronic image of the testator’s or witness’ signature in the testator’s or witness’ handwriting affixed to the electronic will.
(6) “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Unite States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes a federally recognized Indian Tribe.
(7) “Will” has the meaning set forth in Section 15-10-201(59).
The bill also makes an amendment – Colorado Revised Statutes, 24-21-514.5, (2)(b)(II) is amended as follows:
A notary public shall not use a remote notarization system to notarize: (II) Except as provided in the “Colorado Uniform Electronic Wills Act”, Part 15 of Article 12 of Title 15, a will, codicil, document purporting to be a will or codicil, or any acknowledgment required under section 15-11-502 or 15-11-504.
HB 21-1004 was passed by both the House and Senate and awaits the Governor’s signature.
Sponsors of House Bill 21-1004: Representatives Marc Snyder, D-El Paso, 866-2932, and Matt Soper, R-Delta and Mesa, 866-2583; and Senators Bob Gardner, R-El Paso, 866-4880, and Pete Lee, D-El Paso, 866-6364.
Doris Beaver is a free lance journalist who writes from her home high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains on senior issues, politics, ethics and environmental issues, and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.. Visit her website www.dorisbeaver.com, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.