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Summer 2019 Newsletter
Message from Rick St. Onge
Summer is here and I hope you’re enjoying the longer days. We continue to see growth in all of our industries this summer and that is keeping us busy. To detail a couple of things we are working on:
Communications, you will see more communications and outreach from the Department starting with a quarterly agency newsletter from Director Charlie Clark covering all industries the Department regulates. We will continue our Division of Consumer Services newsletter meant specifically for the non-depository institutions we work with.
It has now been a year since the legislature gave us authority to license and examine Student Education Loan Servicers. Senate Bill 6029 (chapter 62, Laws of 2018) requires that student education loan servicers doing business in Washington be licensed under the Consumer Loan Act, chapter 31.04 RCW. Entities engaged in the business of servicing student education loans for Washington borrowers are required to be licensed with the Department, unless they fall within certain exemptions. We have provided a long notice and stakeholder communication period (the rules became effective January 1, 2019). As such, if you are engaged in conduct requiring licensure, you must submit an application no later than September 30, 2019, to avoid potential penalties for unlicensed activity.
Recently, the Division of Consumer Services (Division) received a consumer complaint alleging that a Consumer Loan Act Licensee had, upon sufficient notice from a service member, declined to forgive interest above 6 percent. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), provides certain protections and benefits to military service members and their families. Among these is a 6 percent limit on the interest that can be charged on loans taken out by a service member or the service member and their spouse jointly before joining the military. The Division agrees with the position of the United States Supreme Court, recognizing that the SCRA “is always to be liberally construed to protect those who have been obligated to drop their own affairs to take up the burdens of the nation.” Boone v. Lightner, 319 U.S. 561,575 (1943). The Department stands in full support of Washington’s service members and will analyze such complaints accordingly. You can read more about the case in the article on The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Throughout the year, members of the Division attend industry and regulator trainings and classes. Two such events coming up are the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) Annual Regulatory Conference and Money Transmitter Regulators Association (MTRA) Annual Conference and School
The American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) Annual Regulatory Conference provides state regulators and industry representatives the opportunity to meet with their peers from around the country, share information and best practices, and discuss current topics in the industry. The conference will held August 5 – 8 in San Diego, California. Registration and agenda information for the 30th Annual Regulatory Conference & Training is open. Visit http://www.aarmr.org/annual-conference for more information.
The Money Transmitter Regulators Association (MTRA) Annual Conference and School will be held September 9 – 12 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania., registration for the event can be found at https://www.mtraweb.org/education/2019-mtra-annual-conference-regulators-school/.