Alert Updated: 07/26/2016
Originally Posted: 05/15/2012
Island Finance LLC may also be doing business as White Hills Cash LLC , whitehillscash.com
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) warns consumers that before doing business with a financial institution, company, or individual, they should make sure that the entity is properly licensed. 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. Consumers can determine whether a payday loan or consumer loan company is properly licensed to conduct business in the State of Washington by using the “Verify a License” feature on the DFI’s website at http://www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/findcompany.htm.
DFI has received a complaint from a Washington consumer against Island Finance, LLC d/b/a White Hills Cash (White Hills Cash). The consumer claimed that he obtained a payday loan through White Hills Cash and was charged excess fees and interest.
It appears that White Hills Cash is operating as an online tribal payday lender. White Hills Cash claims to be a tribal enterprise of the Ft. Belknap Indian Community located in Montana.
White Hills Cash operates a website at [www.whitehillscash.com]. The website lists its contact information as:
Island Finance, LLC d/b/a White Hills Cash
Attn: Michelle Fox
PO Box 330
Hays, MT 59527
Tribal Hotline: 888*517*3696
White Hills Cash is not licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions nor registered to conduct business in Washington State by the Department of Licensing, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.
Washington State residents are informed 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 State is uncollectible and unenforceable in Washington State. A “small loan” is defined in RCW 31.45.073 and does not exceed $700.
Payday Loan Debt Collection Laws
Washington State law prohibits threatening or harassing behavior by individuals attempting to collect a debt. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that debt collectors must send consumers a written notice within five days of the first collection phone call, stating the amount of the debt and what it relates to. 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.
DFI strongly recommends that residents verify the license of any lender with which they consider doing business with. Consumers are urged to verify licensing status prior to giving the lender nonpublic personal information, such as social security number and checking account access. You can verify a license with DFI at www.dfi.wa.gov or by calling 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334).
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357), or online at www.ftc.gov(link is external).
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam involving the Internet, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center atwww.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.
Categories: CONSUMER alert