Alert Number: CA050900_11/18/19(11/20)
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received information that an entity using the name Apex Servicing has sent faxes to employers in Washington attempting to garnish wages from employee paychecks for alleged loans owed to Inbox Loan and First Loan.
An employer reported receiving a fax labelled as “Wage Assignment Demand Notice.” The fax alleged that the employee had signed a Wage Assignment and authorized Kashia d/b/a Inbox Loan to collect wages from the employer to repay the loan. The information received by the employer indicated that Apex Servicing was collecting on the wage assignment on behalf of Kashia d/b/a Inbox Loan. The demand instructed the employer to deduct 15% of the employee’s disposable pay and mail a check to the following address:
Kashia d/b/a Inbox Loan
PO Box 637
Blanding, UT 84511
A Washington consumer reported receiving a similar “Wage Assignment Demand Notice” at their work. The fax alleged that they had signed a Wage Assignment and authorized Kashia d/b/a First Loan to collect wages from their employer to repay the loan. The information received by the consumer indicated that Apex Servicing was collecting on the wage assignment on behalf of Kashia d/b/a First Loan. The demand instructed their employer to deduct 15% of their disposable pay and mail a check to the following address:
Kashia d/b/a First Loan
PO Box 668
Blanding, UT 84511
Both reported the following additional contact information as associated with the demand notice:
DFI warns Washington consumers:
- Apex Servicing is not licensed as a collection agency by the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). Apex Servicing is not registered to conduct business in Washington State by the DFI, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.
- Inbox Loan is not licensed by the Department to conduct business in Washington State. The Department previously issued a Consumer Alert about Inbox Loan, a company asserting to be owned by the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian Tribe. You can find this alert here: https://dfi.wa.gov/news/alerts.
- First Loan is not licensed by the Department to conduct business in Washington State. The Department has issued a Consumer Alert about First Loan, a company asserting to be owned by the Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians, a federally recognized Indian Tribe.
DFI warns Washington consumers that before doing business with a financial service provider or collection agency the consumer should:
- Make sure that the entity is licensed.
- Consumers can use the “Verify a License” feature on DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov to check whether a payday or consumer loan company is licensed to conduct business in the state of Washington.
- Consumers can use the “Search business and professional license” feature on the Department of Licensing’s website at http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/checkstatus.html to verify if a collection agency is licensed in Washington.
Consumers are urged to verify license status prior to giving the financial institution, company, or individual any nonpublic personal information, such as social security number or bank account number or access.
Debt Collection Laws
Collection activities by third parties are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Consumers should request a written validation notice from a person attempting to collect a debt allegedly owed to a third party. The validation notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and the rights that a consumer has under FDCPA. Consumers should never make payments over the phone to a third party debt collector that refuses to provide a written validation notice. 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
Important Information For Washington State Consumers
Washington State residents are informed that Washington 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 State is uncollectible and unenforceable in Washington State. A “small loan” is defined in RCW 31.45.073 and is a loan that does not exceed $700.
Washington State residents with loans exceeding $700 are informed that Washington State law provides in RCW 31.04.035 that fees or interest charged in the making of a nonresidential loan by an unlicensed lender must be refunded to the borrower.
If you live in another state, go to this webpage to find the regulator in your home state. http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/consumer/Pages/AgencyContacts.aspx.
Report Unlicensed Lending Activity or Fraud
Washington State residents only: If you suspect unlicensed activity by a payday lender or consumer loan company, please contact the Department at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov. Even if your activity involves a loan over the internet, a license may still be required.
All consumers, if you feel you have been the victim of a scam, you might also wish to contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or online at www.ftc.gov; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB (2372) or online at www.consumerfinance.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam involving the internet you can contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.