The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a report from a consumer who was contacted by an individual identifying himself as Justin Tanner from PCS, Pacific Consolidation Services. The caller indicated he was calling from an attorney’s office and was attempting to collect on a debt for an outstanding payday loan that the consumer obtained from Advance America USA. He also threatened to file a lawsuit against the consumer. The consumer does not have an outstanding payday loan with Advance America or any other company.
It was also reported that the caller faxed paperwork to the consumer titled “Settlement Break Up Letter” in an attempt to settle the alleged outstanding payday loan amount. The consumer provided the following telephone number that is allegedly tied to the company: 347-286-7145.
This company is not licensed by the Washington State of Department of Financial Institutions or by the Washington State Department of Licensing and is not registered with the Washington State Department of Revenue.
Payday Loan Debt Collection Laws
Consumers should know that Washington state law prohibits threatening or harassing behavior by individuals attempting to collect a payday loan. Only licensed companies are permitted to make payday loans in Washington.
The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says debt collectors must send consumers a written notice within five days of their first phone call, showing how much the consumer owes and where the debt is from. The law says collectors can not say or even imply that nonpayment is a crime.
They can't call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Collectors are not allowed to speak to a consumer’s employer about their debt. They are prohibited from harassing or abusing consumers and they must stop calling if the consumer asks them to.
If you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a payday lender contact the Department of Financial Institutions at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357), or online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam involving the Internet, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution and the three major credit bureaus.