Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Loan Act Interpretive Letters Archive

2003-1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1993-1992

The opinions expressed in the interpretive letters are informal and non-binding. These opinions reflect the position of the Division of Consumer Services (DCS) at the time they were produced. The DCS could learn of additional facts, which would cause us to change our position. The letters may also contain policy statements providing a written description of the current approach of DCS to implementation of a statute or other provision of law.

Readers are cautioned that the opinions in both the interpretive letters and policy statements may have changed because of statute or rule revisions or other additional facts presented. Consult your attorney for advice regarding the current state of the law and how it may apply to the issue or situation you have in mind.

Withdrawn Letters: View interpretive letters that have been withdrawn by the Division of Consumer Services.

Note: Only letters directed to all consumer loan companies and other interested parties are available by "hyperlink" from this page. If the letter you're interested in does not have a live hyperlink to the letter text, you may order a copy using the Public Records Request Form.

1995 Interpretive Letters

Number 95-01 CL
Date 2/15/95
Statute 31.04.055(1)
Subject Physical presence in WA
Summary The use of an independent contractor for the origination of residential loans may satisfy the "office" requirement if the staff of the contractor’s office are sufficiently knowledgeable in the business and the Consumer Loan Act and other applicable laws to ensure compliance with the law and to provide information to borrowers and potential borrowers. The office must also display a sign with the name of the licensee. The licensee must, in writing, accept responsibility for the independent contractor’s violations of the Act, agree to permit examination of loan files at the out-of-state location and to pay all cost necessary and incident such examination, file a bond, license its Missouri office under the Consumer Loan Act in order to approve and make loans from that office, and satisfy any other licensing requirements of the Act.

Number 95-04 CL
Date 7/24/95
Statute 31.04.025
Subject Licensing not required for commercial loans
Summary A company engaged solely in commercial, investment, agricultural and business lending , which is not subject to usury limitations, and does not lend for personal family or household purposes, is not required to be licensed under the Consumer Loan Act.

Number 95-06 CL
Date 9/14/95
Statute 31.04.105(8)
Subject Insurance
Summary A licensee may only offer credit insurance products as provided under Title 48 RCW. The Act does not specifically authorize "Nonfiling Insurance" or "Single Interest Insurance." A licensee must provide documentation that approval is given by the WA St. Insurance Commissioner before offering such insurance.

Number 95-07 CL
Date 9/15/95
Statute 31.04
Subject Exemption by DIDMC and National Housing Act
Summary The Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (DIDMC) of 1980 preempts state usury laws for loans secured by a 1st lien on residential real property. The Nat’l. Hsg. Act overrides usury limits for loans, mortgages or advances insured under Title I or II or by the FHA. Junior liens loan products not insured by FHA Tile I or II may be subject to the Consumer Loan Act.

Number 95-08 CL
Date 9/26/95
Statute 31.04
Subject Retail installment contracts
Summary A company which uses retail installment contracts is not subject to the licensing requirements of the Consumer Loan Act is it does not lend directly to consumers in WA state and does not charge interest higher than allowed by the general usury statute.

Number 95-11 CL
Date 10/25/95
Statute 31.04.165(2)
Subject Mediation or arbitration agreements or general release
Summary Any agreement between a licensee and a borrower which attempts to limit or cut off the remedies available to the borrower under the Consumer Loan Act or the Consumer Protection Act is in violation of the CL Act. Such an attempt is in derogation of the law and is not allowed. A general release is also in derogation of the law. The full range of legal resources under these acts are intended for the benefit of the public and cannot be contracted away or subverted.

Number 95-12 CL
Date 10/26/95
Statute 31.04
Subject Exemption by National Housing Act
Summary The Nat’l. Hsg. Act overrides usury limits for loans, mortgages or advances insured under Title I. If a loan is secured by a junior lien and is not eligible for federal preemption, it must conform to either the Consumer Loan Act or the general usury limitations.

Number 95-16 CL
Date 12/14/95
Statute 31.04
Subject Exemption from licensing
Summary An out-of-state company does not need to be licensed in WA to purchase closed receivables in WA, including 1st and 2nd mortgages and small secured and unsecured loans, from its Phoenix location, service those receivables from Phoenix.