Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

News Release

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Contact

Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
PH (360) 349-8501 lpeters@dfi.wa.gov

Deb Bortner, Director of Consumer Services
PH (360) 902-0511 dbortner@dfi.wa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


New DFI-Enforced Legislation Is Designed To Protect Consumers And Make Licensing More Streamlined

Changes impact Washington’s payday loan, reverse mortgage and foreclosure laws

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions is working to ensure timely implementation and enforcement of several new laws aimed at protecting consumers and providing more consistent regulation of its mortgage industry and payday loan company licensees.

“We’re pleased to be able to enforce stronger protections for consumers and more consistent licensing methods for our licensees,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said. “These new laws will help make Washington a better place to live and do business.”

“This law will help DFI protect consumers while retaining access to these short-term loans for those who may not have access to alternatives,” DFI Director of Consumer Services Deb Bortner said.

“Many of the complaints we receive regarding payday loan companies are of harassment or intimidating behavior,” Bortner explained. “This law makes such activities illegal in the State of Washington.”

“These laws (1621 & 1749) level the field across mortgage industries within Washington and also across state lines,” Bortner said. “All people in the mortgage lending business will have similar standards. These laws make the requirements consistent for various licensees.”

“With the number of reverse mortgages growing rapidly in Washington, the regulatory oversight provided in this law of a previously unregulated industry is critical,” Bortner noted. “Reverse mortgages can be useful for a specific portion of our population, but they are also complex and it’s important there be sound consumer protection practices in place. This law does that.”

“With foreclosures on the rise throughout the nation, homeowners need more assistance and guidance in gaining access to agencies and organizations that may help them avoid foreclosure,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said. “This law effectively adds another 30 days to the foreclosure timeline and helps point homeowners in the right direction to get help.”


About DFI
www.dfi.wa.gov ▪ 360.902-8700 ▪ 877.746-4334
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders and securities brokers and dealers. The department has won numerous awards for its financial literacy and outreach programs developed to protect consumers from financial fraud. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, the DFI’s Web site features consumer tips on a variety of financial fraud-related topics. DFI also hosts a financial education blog http://finlit.blogspot.com, a financial education Twitter page http://twitter.com/fined4all, a financial education YouTube page (where we've compiled a host of financial education videos from a variety of reliable resources) http://www.youtube.com/wadfi, a consumers Twitter page http://twitter.com/dficonsumers and a financial education calendar for Washington State http://dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/calendar.htm.

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