The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a complaint from a Washington resident indicating that individuals using the entity name “Continental Consumer Services” had contacted the resident via telephone alleging that he had a past due balance on a payday loan. The individuals threatened to file a lawsuit and go to the consumer’s home if he did not make an immediate payment.
The following information was contained in the consumer report:
Individuals named: Joe and Jim Tucker, “Lead Investigator”
Phone numbers: 866-577-9104
Continental Consumer Services is not registered to conduct business in Washington State by the Department of Licensing, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.
Washington consumers are reminded that collection activities are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If a consumer is contacted by someone attempting to collect a debt, the consumer should request a written “validation notice” which must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor owed, and the consumer’s rights under the FDCPA. Consumers should never make payments to someone not willing to follow the requirements of the FDCPA. Making any such payment will not stop the scammers from making additional calls.
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.
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(link is external).
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.
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(link is external).
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(link is external); or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB or online atwww.consumerfinance.gov(link is external). 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(link is external).
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(link is external).
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.