The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a report from a consumer indicating she and her family members were regularly being contacted by individuals identifying themselves as representatives of a company by the name "FRS and Associates" regarding an unpaid loan transaction. The individuals gave differing dates for the unpaid loan transaction (2007 and 2009). This company also sent a letter detailing payments owed, but did not produce a "validation of debt" as requested by the consumer.
The representatives threatened legal action, fraud charges, and jail time if payment arrangements were not made immediately. The consumer indicated that the callers had her personal information; however, they would not provide any specific details or documentation regarding the payday loan.
The telephone numbers associated with FRS and Associates are (404) 996-0746 and 855-602-1155. The address on the letter is "5757 Main St Williamsville, NY 14221. DFI has been unable to confirm any other contact information pertaining to this company.
FRS and Associates is not licensed by DFI or by the Washington State Department of Revenue, and is not registered with the Office of the Secretary of State.
DFI strongly recommends that consumers deal only with those lenders that are properly licensed to conduct business. Consumers can determine whether lenders are properly licensed using the “Verify a License” feature on DFI's website at www.dfi.wa.gov.
Payday Loan Collection Laws
Washington State law prohibits threatening or harassing behavior by individuals attempting to collect a debt. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that debt collectors must send consumers a written notice within five days of the first collection phone call, stating the amount of the debt and what it relates to. Debt collectors cannot state or imply that failure to pay a debt is a crime. They cannot call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. They cannot harass or abuse consumers, or contact consumers' places of employment.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam involving the Internet, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution, and the three major credit bureaus.
If you wish to file a complaint regarding a collection agency, contact the Washington State Department of Revenue at (360) 664-1389.