Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
Schofield Nottingham & Associates

September 04, 2013

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a complaint from a consumer who was the target of a debt collection scam. The consumer received multiple calls from an individual who identified himself as being from Schofield Nottingham & Associates and that he was collecting on a past due payday loan.

The individual threatened to have the consumer and his wife arrested and if they didn’t pay by the end of the day, and the individual stated he "will handle us." The consumer didn’t provide a phone number where this call came from or if in fact he had taken out an online payday loan.

Verify Licenses

DFI strongly recommends that consumers deal only with those lenders that are properly licensed to conduct business. Consumers can determine whether lenders are properly licensed using the "Verify a License" feature on DFI's website at www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/findcompany.htm.

Payday Loan Debt Collection Laws

Collection activities are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices 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 Fraud

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.

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