Question:
APR 17, 2014

Repay Your CashCall or Western Sky Loan?

I have a loan with a company called Cash Call that I am behind on, they are not willing to work with me. What are my options?

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Woman receives bad phone call | Cash Call Loan
Bill's Answer: Answered by Mark Cappel

CashCall and its affiliate Western Sky lend from $850 to $10,000 to consumers with rates ranging from 90% to 343%. A typical CashCall or Western Sky loan of $10,000 costs more than $60,000 to repay, and a $2,600 loan will cost you $13,840 over a 4-year period.

New York Settles with CashCall & Western Sky
Source: NY Attorney General
In January 2014, the New York attorney general announced New Yorkers need to repay only the principal (and not interest) on their Western Sky and CashCall loans. New Yorkers who repaid more than the principal plus the legal interest rate of 16% should apply for a refund with the refund administrator.

According to studies by consumer groups, these high-interest loans are pitfalls for consumers. Due to their high rates and fees, studies find that borrowers are better off avoiding the loans, and working out a payment plan directly with the creditor they want to pay with the high-interest loan.

If you default on a CashCall or Western Sky loan, it can, in theory, take the same action as any other unsecured creditor to enforce a defaulted debt. Collection efforts will start with telephone calls, letters and e-mails demanding you pay the balance of the loan. If CashCall or Western Sky refers your accounts to a collection agency such as Delbert Services Corp., you can stop the telephone calls by sending a cease communications letter, commonly called a cease and desist notice. The federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) states that collection agents must stop calling you when you notify them in writing to do so.

CFPB Sues CashCall
Source: CFPB
In December 2013, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed lawsuits against CashCall and its two subsidiaries Western Sky Financial and Delbert Services Corp. for unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices, including illegally debiting consumer checking accounts for loans that were void.

The CFPB alleges CashCall and Western Sky loans violated licensing requirements and/or interest-rate caps in eight states, including Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and North Carolina.

The CFPB wants CashCall to issue refunds to borrowers and pay penalties.

If CashCall or Western Sky cannot convince you to pay through standard collection tactics, such as phone calls, it may decide to file a lawsuit against you to obtain a judgment for the balance of the debt. If CashCall or Western Sky sues and obtains a judgment against you, it can then take steps to enforce the judgment as allowed by your state law. The most common methods of enforcing a judgment are wage garnishment, bank account levies, and property liens.

Most lenders do not sue debtors to collect debts. A lawsuit is a worst-case scenario, which you will probably not experience. However, take a moment to learn your state's collection laws so you are aware of what actions your state allows.

Repay a CashCall or Western Sky Loan?

In December 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against CashCall (PDF) and its related companies Western Sky Financial and Delbert Services Corp. alleging the companies engaged in unfair, deceptive, or abusive lending and collections practices. The CFPB is asking the court to order CashCall to refund money to consumers in states where the loans were illegal, and pay penalties.

Do you need to repay a CashCall or Western Sky loan? The answer is unclear. At least five states have filed lawsuits against CashCall in 2013 for offering residents in their states loans with illegal terms. If state courts find the loans are illegal, CashCall may need to return all of the interest and fees borrowers paid to the lender. But what do the pending state and federal lawsuit mean to you if you have a CashCall or Western Sky loan now?

Wise Advice The Federal Trade Commission has a great list of six alternatives to high-interest loans. Explore all of your options before choosing a high-interest loan such as those offered by CashCall and Western Sky.

Take these four steps if you have a CashCall or Western Sky loan:

  1. Contact your state’s bank regulator or attorney general and ask if either believe you have an obligation to pay the loan. Your state may take the position you must repay the principal (the amount you borrowed) but not the interest. Or, your state may consider the loan illegal and therefore void, and you need not repay anything. Go to the Bills.com Loan Laws, Limits & Repayment Plans By State page to find your state’s loan regulator. In some states it is a banking regulator, and in others it is the attorney general’s office.
  2. Take careful notes of what your state officials tell you to do with your CashCall or Western Sky loan. If your state publishes any information on a Web page about CashCall or Western Sky loans, print this information and keep it in a safe place so that you have a detailed record for the future.
  3. If your state asks you to do so, file a complaint about your CashCall or Western Sky loan with your state attorney general or banking regulator. You may need file a complaint so that you are on record as being offered an illegal loan, or a loan from an unlicensed lender. Accepting an illegal loan is not a crime.
  4. File a complaint with the CFPB so that you are on record with the CFPB as having a possibly illegal loan, or a loan from an unlicensed lender.

If you have a CashCall or Western Sky loan, stay in contact with your state attorney general or banking regulator to learn if your obligation to repay the CashCall or Western Sky loan changes. Visit the CFPB’s newsroom Web page each month or so to learn if the CFPB made any announcements about its lawsuit against CashCall.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

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Comments (81)


William H.
Steubenville, OH  |  April 01, 2014
I have a Western Sky loan for $10,000 that I have been paying on since October of 2012. I filed a complaint with the CFPB and I received a response from Western Sky that had nothing to do with my complaint. I have since disputed their response and am now awaiting a reply. I have also contacted the Ohio AG's office and I received a lame response that said that Western Sky is a Native American owned business and that I should contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The response from the AG's staff also contained this line: "The Attorney General's office is the legal representative for the state and all its departments, boards and commissions under R.C.109.02." I took that to mean that they don't represent me, the taxpaying citizen. I followed up by contacting an investigator in the AG's office who I know professionally, and he has never returned my calls or emails. There are currently 28 complaints listed on the Ohio AG's website against Western Sky. About 90% of those complaints are listed as being referred to another agency for resolution. Unfortunately that other agency appears to be the Bureau of Indian Affairs! The bottom line, unless everyone in Ohio starts contacting the AG's office about this company, and keeps contacting them until they get an answer, this issue will never be dealt with in Ohio. Mike Dewine's office apparently has very little interest in helping the citizens of Ohio like the AG's in other states have done.
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Jb B.
Elyria Township, OH  |  April 17, 2014
From what I read, all these lenders need to be licensed in Ohio to make a loan. Otherwise the loans are illegal. Check with an Ohio attorney about this.
Timica W.
Whitehall, OH  |  March 10, 2014
I had a loan with them back in 2013 and stopped paying after I noticed the high interest. But they are now on my credit report and I can't get it removed. I have contacted Delbert about a payment plan on numerous occasions and they will not budge on the outstanding amount. They actually have still been sending me email settlements at almost $300 per month as if they haven't been sued by other states.
Macy S.
Ottumwa, IA  |  March 07, 2014
I live in Iowa and had a loan with Western Sky. I stopped paying last Summer in 2013 when I got a strange e-mail from a company called Delbert, it was a payment reminder, I had never even heard of Delbert. I called the Cash Call number and was told they were now Delbert. However I was NEVER notified of this. I started researching other complaints online and other states suing DELBERT. Unbelievably scary how many people are being and have been scammed by these 3 rip-off companies.

I contacted the Iowa Banking Commission for the state of Iowa, I talked to the state's rep. who advised me to quit paying them because Iowa currently has a lawsuit against them. As it is now, I am just waiting to hear what happens.
Bills.com
March 07, 2014
Thank you for sharing that information! Other Iowa borrowers should follow your lead and call the Iowa Banking Commission. Please keep us posted on how things go.

CashCall, Western Sky, and Delbert share a common owner.
Tom J.
Kalamazoo, MI  |  February 14, 2014
I need some help with a CashCall loan I walked away from a year ago. They call my work and my phone non-stop and are stating they are filing a judgment on me if I don't work with them. They say I owe $15k to them and I can work on payment arrangements. I cannot afford that which is which is why I walked away from the $10k loan a year ago. I probably paid $4,800 in payments. I am in Michigan and I need some help or advice. What should I do? Can they take me to court? Is this loan legal? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Bills.com
February 14, 2014
Follow the four steps we outline above in the section "Repay a CashCall or Western Sky Loan?" You will need to contact your state attorney general to learn if the loan is legal.
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Tom J.
Kalamazoo, MI  |  February 17, 2014
I have started to follow the steps above. Also the same individuals are now claiming to be a "Mediation Firm" to try and negotiate on a settlement on behalf of the collector. I sent them a FDCPA to stop contacting my work along with the harassing phone calls.. they called back and said the FDCPA Act doesnt apply to them because they are not a Debt Collector..has anybody had this experience and is this true? Is a "Mediation Firm" exempt from this, or is this just a tactic to collect..if so, how do i confirm if they are legit or not?
Bills.com
February 18, 2014
Start with the assumption anyone contacting you about a debt is either:
  • A fake collection agent trying to rip you off
  • A collection agent with some right to collect the debt
  • A debt settlement company soliciting you for its services

Your caller's claim it is a "mediator" is interesting. Because it is a third party contacting you to collect a debt, I believe it still qualifies as a debt collector as defined by the FDCPA, and is therefore subject to that law. What is this mediator's name and location?

LeeAnn P.
Cincinnati, OH  |  February 14, 2014
I received a call from an attorney representing CashCall stating they were going to serve me to get a judgment against me for the loan I owe. I filed a chapter 13 and included them in it, they filed a claim and it looks like the courts denied the claim. Does anyone know if I still need to pay this if the court denied it? They said my bankruptcy attorney couldn't help me and I should hire another attorney for when I'm served and have to appear in court. Thoughts?
Bills.com
February 14, 2014
Consult with your bankruptcy attorney immediately. Whoever told you not to consult your bankruptcy lawyer gave you very bad advice, indeed.

I don't know what you mean when you say, "...they filed a claim and it looks like the courts denied the claim." I'm guessing CashCall filed an objection to the discharge of its debt in your chapter 13, and the bankruptcy court denied the objection. In a bankruptcy case, a creditor can challenge the dischargeability of a particular debt by filing an objection to the bankruptcy court. The reasons for filing objections are few, and your lawyer can tell you what reason he or she used to oppose the objection.

Again, talk to your lawyer today. It is possible CashCall is in violation of bankruptcy law by filing a lawsuit against you while you are under the bankruptcy court's protection. The lawyer who called you is certainly in violation of your state's professional responsibility laws by calling you, and not your lawyer, about this matter.
Karl W.
Phoenix, AZ  |  February 12, 2014
I also contacted the CFPB and the attorney general and received no response except for a letter saying they passed my complaint on to the Dept. of Financial Institutions. The Dept. of Financial Institutions simply sent me Delbert's response. I have the right to a rebuttal but this doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Delbert offered to change my interest rate to 20% which is actually much lower than the 36% permitted in my state. I've already paid my principal in full though so I'm not sure if that's retroactive. I really just want to hear the loan is void and I'm done with this whole thing. Not sure what to do next... Anybody have any advice?
Bills.com
February 12, 2014
You indicated you reside in Arizona. It's up to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, the Arizona Dept. of Financial Institutions, or an Arizona court to declare the CashCall or Western Sky loans are illegal and void for Arizona residents. I realize that's not the answer you want to hear, but unless or until an authority steps up and says otherwise, you should presume these loans are legal.
NM K.
Zionsville, IN  |  February 11, 2014
I filed a complaint with the CFPB and, because of my complaint, Delbert offered to reduce my interest rate to the rate legally allowed by my state. I also filed a complaint with my Attorney General Office and was advised that the loan was null and void and uncollectible, as the loan violated state usury laws. Hope this helps. Definitely follow the instructions listed above, it helped me tremendously.
Bills.com
February 12, 2014
Thank you for commenting. I am pleased that our information helped you!
EA A.
Phoenix, AZ  |  January 21, 2014
I took out a loan with Cash Call and I didn't have the money to pay back. I took out $1500 and now I owe $2,900. I'm in Arizona is there anything I can do? I'm willing to payback the $1000. What can I do about the rest of the moeny owed?
Bills.com
January 21, 2014
Reread the section "Repay a CashCall or Western Sky Loan?" above and follow the four steps described there to learn how much, if any, of your CashCall loan you need to repay.
Carrie F.
Quimby, IA  |  January 07, 2014
I took out a loan with Western Sky in August. I paid the first payment and then it was sold to Delbert Services. Is this kind of loan legal in Iowa? I borrowed $1,000 and have to pay $198 a month for 24 months. Delbert Services say my loan was for $1,500 and continue with the same payments. I don't want to pay them. What do I do?
Bills.com
January 07, 2014
Two observations and a recommendation:

Delbert Services, Western Sky, and CashCall have common ownership. The companies are really one in the same.

You borrowed $1,000 and your payments will total almost $4,800. Did Western Sky disclose this to you when you signed the loan contract?

Contact the Iowa attorney general's office and ask if the loan is legal in your state. Ask the office what, if any, legal obligation you have to repay the loan. If Western Sky did not disclose the loan terms to you in a clear manner, then file a complaint with the Iowa attorney general's office, and the FTC.

Reread the section "Repay a CashCall or Western Sky Loan?" above for details.
Carol B.
Long Beach, CA  |  January 04, 2014
Cashcall is sueing me, I'm to appear in court on the 15 of Jan. Do I have any chance of ridding myself of this loan?? I fell behind on my loan, when I was off of work due to illness. I don't know what to do!
Bills.com
January 06, 2014
Consult with a lawyer who has consumer law experience immediately. If you cannot afford a lawyer, call your county's bar association and ask for the names of the organizations in your area that provide no-cost legal services to low- or no-income people in your area. Make an appointment with one of these organizations, and bring all of your documents to your meeting. The lawyer you meet with will help you file an answer or may represent you in your hearing.

After you make an appointment to meet with a lawyer, call your state attorney general's office and ask if it has any opinion or advice on how to respond to a CashCall lawsuit. In other words, follow the instructions we share in the "Repay a CashCall or Western Sky Loan?" section above.

But as mentioned, your first and highest priority is to find and consult with a lawyer.
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Edwin P.
Burbank, CA  |  January 31, 2014
How did things go with your court appearance? I got a similar notice from them last month and I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle the situation. These are predatory meant to take advantage of people in desperate times of need. I hope something is done to keep people from falling victim to these lending practices in the future.
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