Consumer Loan Companies – General

The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) regulates Consumer Loan Companies doing business in Washington State through the Division of Consumer Services.  

Consumer Loan licensees are primarily regulated under the Consumer Loan Act RCW 31.04 and its associated regulations Washington Consumer Loan Act Regulations WAC 208-620.  Other than specific exemptions enumerated in RCW 31.04.025 No person may make secured or unsecured loans, or extend credit, or service or modify the terms of a residential mortgage or a student loan without obtaining and maintaining a consumer loan license. In addition, all consumer lending is subject to a variety of State and Federal Statutes and regulations depending on the nature of the lender and the nature of the loan. Potentially applicable statutes and regulations include:

Washington Statutes (RCW)

Mortgage Lending and Homeownership

Washington State Interest/Usury Laws

Mortgages, Deeds of Trust, and Real Estate Contracts

Washington Administrative Regulations (WAC)

Mortgage Lending and Homeownership

Mortgage brokers and loan originators licensing regulations

Federal Statutes and Regulations

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

Fair Credit Reporting Act (Regulation V)

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Regulation F)

High-Cost Mortgage and Homeownership Counseling Amendments to the Truth in Lending Act

Home Mortage Disclosure (Regulation C)

Privacy of Consumer Information (Regulation P)

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X)

Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (Safeguards Rule)

Truth in Lending (Regulation Z)

Fair Housing Act

Unless acting through a specific exemption, all lenders operating in Washington must apply for a Consumer Loan License and register as a Consumer Loan Licensee with DFI and are monitored accordingly. The following contain information for applying to secure a consumer loan license.

A number of statutes and regulations include strict disclosure requirements. Among other things, DFI regulates the various disclosure forms mortgage brokers may use in their practice of originating mortgage loans. Suggested acceptable forms include:

Ari Brown has litigated a variety of issues involving lending, mortgage origination and disclosures, loan servicing, broker and lender liabilities, and debt collection for more than twenty years. Cases he has litigated have informed application of the Mortgage Broker Practices Act; the Consumer Loan ActEscrow Agent Registration Act and Washington Consumer Protection Act. Years of litigating cases pertaining to banking and lending practices both on individual bases and as class actions have informed Mr. Brown’s approach to dealing with alleged violations and has heightened his ability to mitigate common mistakes and to help financial licensees avoid actions that DFI may perceive as misconduct.  

Robert Rhodes is a lawyer who works with Mr. Brown on an as needed basis.  He has handled hundreds of administrative and licensing investigations and enforcement actions in various forums. He is able to draw on his extensive background in criminal and whistleblower law that occasionally becomes useful.  Other team members are available as necessary.