Alert Updated: September 25, 2013
Originally Posted: February 01, 2012
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has received several complaints from consumers against St. Armands Group, LLC and St. Armands Services (St. Armands). They report that St. Armands is involved in unlicensed online payday loans and uses harassing debt collection practices.
Several consumers alleged that, without permission, St. Armands electronically deposited funds into their accounts and later withdrew funds.
One consumer also reported harassing collection practices. The consumer reported that an individual claiming to be Daniel Baker of Baker Investigations left messages with the consumer’s family members threatening legal action. The consumer also reported than another individual, who claimed to represent Goldstein and Associates, demanded the consumer’s credit card number and refused to provide a mailing address.
The website associated with St. Armands is www.starmandsgrouppaydayloan.com. DFI has no other contact information.
St. Armands is not licensed by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). It is not registered to do business in Washington by either the Department of Revenue or the Secretary of State.
Washington state residents are advised that state law provides in RCW 31.45.105(1)(d) and (3) that a payday loan made by an unlicensed lender to a person physically located in Washington is uncollectible and unenforceable in Washington.
DFI strongly recommends that residents verify the license of any lender with which they consider doing business with. Consumers are urged to verify licensing status prior to giving the lender nonpublic personal information, such as social security number and checking account access. You can verify a license with DFI at www.dfi.wa.gov or by calling 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334).
Washington State residents, if you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a payday lender please contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you live in another state, find your state regulator.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan 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 or online at www.consumerfinance.gov. Because the scammers have access to bank account information and social security numbers, victims should consider themselves victims of identity theft and take appropriate precautions. The Federal Trade Commission has information for victims of identity theft available online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan 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 loan scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution, and the three major credit bureaus.