The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) warns consumers to verify that they any lender they considered doing business with is licensed by DFI. DFI urges consumers to verify licensing status before giving the lender nonpublic personal information, such as social security number and checking account access.
DFI has received complaints against Sierra Finance, LLC d/b/a Sierra Lending (Sierra Lending). Sierra Lending is an online lender that asserts that it is wholly owned by the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, a federally-recognized Indian Tribe, and that it has sovereign immunity. Based on its claim of sovereign immunity, it asserts that it is not subject to regulation by the DFI and that only the United States Government has jurisdiction over federally recognized Indian Tribes and their business activities.
Sierra Lending is not licensed by DFI. Sierra Lending is not registered to conduct business in Washington State by the Department of Licensing, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.
Sierra Lending operates a website at http://www.sierralending.com. Its contact information is:
Mail Address: PO Box 647
Santa Ysabel, CA 92070
Phone Number: 855-556-9477
Fax Number: 877-727-0525
If you have a complaint against Sierra Lending you can contact the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel. The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel’s contact information is:
Phone Number: 760-765-0845
Fax Number: 760-765-2545
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing Address: PO Box 130
Santa Ysabel, CA 92070
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 Department’s website atwww.dfi.wa.gov.
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 382-4357 (1-877-FTC HELP), or online at www.ftc.gov(link is external).
Washington State residents, if you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a payday lender please contact the Department at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you live in another state, go to the following webpage to find the regulator in your home state:http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/consumer/Pages/AgencyContacts.aspx(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 (2372) or online at www.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.
Categories: CONSUMER alert