Florida Office of Financial Regulation

Consumer Finance Companies Fined $500,000

01/12/2017

For Immediate Release                               
January 12, 2017
 
Media Contacts:
Jamie Mongiovi (850) 410-9709
Katie Norris (850) 410-9826
Twitter: @FlFinancialReg
 
Consumer Finance Companies Fined $500,000
 
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Office of Financial Regulation today announced a settlement agreement with three internet consumer loan businesses, CashCall, Inc., Western Sky Financial, LLC and WS Funding, LLC, who acted together in an organized scheme to charge Floridians exorbitant and illegal rates of interest on personal installment loans. The settlement resulted in a $500,000 fine, revocation of CashCall, Inc.’s consumer finance license and a lifetime ban on licensure by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation for all control persons affiliated with the three companies.
 
Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear said, “Illegal, unethical consumer loan activity will not be tolerated in Florida. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation remains committed to working with our partners to protect Floridians from bad actors and ensure the financial industry is safe for consumers to do business.”
 
Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “Lending schemes harm consumers seeking financial assistance, and with these settlements, Florida borrowers will now be better protected from such business practices. Thanks to a great partnership with the Office of Financial Regulation, Floridians will receive millions in restitution.”
 
The settlement agreement follows allegations that Western Sky Financial, LLC offered Florida consumers unsecured personal loans via the internet, charging annual interest rates that, in some cases exceeded 330 percent, far in excess of Florida’s legal rate of interest. Such loans were serviced by CashCall, Inc., and WS Funding, LLC, who purchased the illegal interest rate loans from Western Sky Financial, LLC. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation opened an inquiry into the companies’ questionable practices after receiving complaints from consumers. 
 
Chapter 516, Florida Statutes, requires a business operating as a consumer finance company that charges more than 18 percent interest on a loan to be licensed with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. 
 
If you feel that you may be a victim of fraud or to report suspicious activity, please file a complaint with the OFR online, www.flofr.com, or call (850) 487-9687.

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