Originally Posted: 06/05/2012
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) warns consumers to never give any nonpublic person information, such as social security number, credit card, or bank account information to any individual, website, or company without first verifying their identity and license status. Consumers can determine whether a financial services company or individual is properly licensed to conduct business in the State of Washington by using the “Verify a License” feature on the DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov. Consumers can also check license status with the Department of Licensing at www.dol.wa.gov.
DFI has received complaints from Washington State consumers of what appears to be unlicensed lending activity and a possible debt collection scam.
Several consumers reported they obtained an online payday loan from Integrity Payday Loans (IPL) only to be charged excessive fees.
It appears that IPL is operating as an unlicensed online tribal lender. IPL claims to be wholly owned by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. IPL operates its website at [www.integritypaydayloans.com] which reverts to [www.ipltoday.com] and lists its contact information as:
FSST Financial Services, LLC
d/b/a Integrity PDL Services
P.O. Box 283
Flandreau, South Dakota 57028
Customer Service: 877*562*4980
IPL is not licensed by the DFI and is not registered to conduct business in Washington State by the Department of Licensing, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.
Additionally, DFI received a complaint from a Washington State consumer of what appears to be a possible debt collection scam. The consumer reported receiving threatening and harassing phone calls from individuals claiming to collect on an alleged debt with Integrity Payday Loans. The individuals requested the consumer’s bank account information and demanded that the consumer pay the alleged debt or legal action would proceed. The consumer reported never obtaining a payday loan.
Contact information associated with the debt collection scam:
Cindy Stanberg, “Office Manager”
Important Unlicensed Lender Information for Washington State Consumers
Washington residents are informed that Washington State law provides in RCW 31.04.105(1)(d) and (3) that a “small loan” made by an unlicensed entity to a person physically located in Washington State is uncollectible and unenforceable in Washington State. A “small loan” is defined in RCW 31.45.073 and is a loan that does not exceed $700.
Payday Loan Debt Collection Laws
Collection activities by payday lenders in Washington State are subject to RCW 31.45.082, which limits the time, place, and manner by which a payday lender may collect a debt. Payday lenders must also provide borrowers with an installment plan if the borrower is not able to pay the small loan back when it is due.
If you received a loan from a lender and someone is now attempting to collect the loan, collection activities may be subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. Therefore, if you have questions regarding debt collection laws, please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-Help, or online at www.ftc.gov.
Report Unlicensed Lending Activity or Fraud
Washington State residents only: If you suspect unlicensed activity by a payday lender please contact the Department at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov. Even if your activity involves a loan through the internet, a license may still be required.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or online at www.ftc.gov; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB (2372) or online at www.consumerfinance.gov.
If the scammers already have your bank account information, social security number, or other nonpublic information, you may be a victim of identity theft and you should take appropriate precautions. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has information for victims of identity theft available online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam involving the internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a financial scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution and the three major credit bureaus. Procedures for contacting the credit bureaus are available on the FTC’s website at www.ftc.gov.
If you live in another state, go to this webpage to find the regulator in your home state: http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/consumer/Pages/AgencyContacts.aspx.