Dec. 15, 2021
HARRISBURG – During a productive week on the House Floor, Rep. Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler) was able to get two bills he sponsored passed with bipartisan support.
House Bill 1822
is designed to reduce the financial and emotional burden that families undergo when a loved one dies by allowing quick access to the decedent’s bank funds to address estate expenses and family needs. If a person dies having $20,000 or less with any bank or credit union, the financial institution can release the funds to prioritized relatives without the necessity of probate proceedings, provided that the funeral bill has been satisfactorily addressed.
Bonner stated, “This legislation will help families to meet financial obligations during a time of crisis by allowing quick access to bank funds without incurring legal fees and court costs.”
House Bill 1985
would protect Pennsylvanians from fraudulent telemarketing practices. Some firms exist for the sole purpose of defrauding Americans and American businesses by employing a variety of schemes to defraud unsuspecting individuals. It is estimated that American citizens, mostly elderly, lose $40 billion per year as a result of telephone fraud and scams.
The Telemarketer Registration Act and the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law exist to protect people from these practices, but many consumer protection advocates argue that combatting such schemes is hampered by Pennsylvania’s Wiretap Act’s prohibition on the recipient of the call to record it without the telemarketer’s consent.
This legislation would create an exception to the Wiretap Act by permitting individuals who receive fraudulent and scam calls to record the call of a telemarketer for the purpose of enforcing consumer protection laws.
Bonner said, “Telemarketers have routinely recorded telephone calls on their end. It is time to allow our citizens to record the telemarketer if illegal conduct is suspected.”
Both bills will now be considered by the appropriate Senate committees.
Representative Tim Bonner
8th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Michelle Swab