Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
U$ Cash Advance

Also Doing Business As

Possible Payday Loan Debt Collection Scam

January 16, 2014

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has received a report of a possible payday loan collection scam conducted by individuals interchangeably claiming to represent U$ Cash Advance, Cash at Once, and Cash4U. The consumer reported receiving calls from individuals identifying themselves as John Kennedy, Brandon McCormick, and Otto Gabten, alleging that the consumer owed the company for a 2012 payday loan debt. The representatives made numerous harassing telephone calls to the consumer, and threatened legal action unless the consumer paid the requested fees. A representative also sent the consumer a "Settlement Initiation Letter." The consumer stated that no such payday loan existed.

The consumer provided the following contact information that is allegedly tied to the company:

Phone number: 646-929-3243
Phone number: 206-259-9123
Fax number: 206-350-8072
E-mail address: cashatonce52@mail.com

U$ Cash Advance, Cash at Once, and Cash4U are not licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions as a payday lender or by the Washington State Department of Revenue Business Licensing Service as a collections agent. Washington residents are advised that state law provides in RCW 31.45.105(1)(d) and (3) that a small loan made by an unlicensed entity to a person physically located in Washington is uncollectible and unenforceable in Washington State.

Verify License

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 the 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.

Debt collectors cannot state or imply that failure to pay a debt is a crime. They cannot call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. They cannot harass or abuse consumers, or contact consumers' places of employment.

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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