Check Casher settles with Washington State

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OLYMPIA, Washington - The state Department of Financial Institutions here announced a settlement with payday lender Check 'N Go of Washington Inc., following an investigation and charges filed by the department last August.

The DFI's investigation revealed that Check 'N Go allegedly collected multiple checks from borrowers to secure single small loans, charged excessive fees, and collected personal identification numbers without the borrowers' knowledge. DFI fined the company $82,000.

Check 'N Go must also immediately begin making restitution totaling $69,675 to consumers. In addition, the department will receive $5,800 for the cost of the investigation. Within 120 days, Check 'N Go must provide DFI with documented proof that the terms have been fulfilled.

Most payday loan companies generally secure small loans by getting a post-dated check, which the consumer writes for the advance amount, plus a fee. The check is held for the loan period and deposited, or the customer returns with cash to reclaim the check.

Check 'N Go stores in Puyallup, Tacoma, and Lacey required the borrower to write multiple checks to secure a single payday loan. If the checks were returned unpaid from the borrower's bank, service fees were collected by both the bank and Check 'N Go.

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