Massachusetts residents who received a loan from Western Sky Financial, LLC (you may also know it as CashCall, Inc.) are entitled to relief from a settlement obtained by the Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Banks.
If you received a loan from Western Sky/CashCall, the relief you can get depends on the current payment status of your loan:
If you paid off your loan in FULL
- You are entitled to a partial refund of the interest you paid.
- You will be contacted by the Settlement Administrator, Dahl Administration, Inc. (the Settlement Administrator) in writing. You can contact the Dahl directly by phone at 1-866-949-5187 or email at mail@MassWesternSkySettlement.com.
If you STILL HAVE A LOAN with Western Sky/CashCall
- The amount you owe will be reduced and your interest rate going forward will be reduced.
- CashCall will contact you regarding the change in your loan balance and interest rate.
- CashCall may only collect payments on your loans for two years. After that time, the loan will be forgiven and nothing will be reported to the credit bureaus.
If you have questions about the settlement, please contact the Attorney General's Office at 617-727-8400.
On October 6, 2015, the Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Western Sky Financial, LLC, CashCall, Inc., and their various owners and affiliated entities for allegedly violating the Consumer Protection Act by making, servicing, and collecting illegal high-interest loans to more than 4,700 Massachusetts borrowers. This enforcement action was brought in conjunction with the Division of Banks, which had issued cease and desist orders to the various Western Sky and CashCall entities in 2013 for the same conduct.
Massachusetts law limits the interest rate and fees that a lender can charge on a loan. The loan products issued by Western Sky and serviced by CashCall carried interest rates ranging from 89% to 135%, with origination fees ranging from $75 to $500, far in excess of lawful limits. If you would like to read the Complaint filed by the Attorney General’s Office, you can find it here file size 9MB.
On October 26, 2015, the Court entered a Consent Judgment that will provide relief to thousands of borrowers who received loans from CashCall. You can read the judgment here file size 1MB.
Relief for Borrowers
If you are one of the over 4,700 Massachusetts consumers that took out an online loan with Western Sky (that was serviced by CashCall), you are eligible for a refund of the interest you were charged that exceeds the legal rate. If your loan has been paid off, this will result in a refund payment to you. If you still owe money on your loan, your excess interest payments will be applied to pay-down your remaining loan balance. This may result in a discharge of your loan, possibly with a refund payment, or a reduced outstanding loan balance. Consumers with a reduced outstanding loan balance will have their loan terms further adjusted to their benefit, as described in detail below.
Refunds for Loans that Have Been Paid Off
Dahl Administration, Inc. is the Settlement Administrator to administer the refunds to Massachusetts consumers required by the Consent Judgment. If you are eligible to receive a refund, you will be contacted by the Settlement Administrator no later than December 25, 2015 via postal mail and email (if possible).
The Settlement Administrator will provide you with a “Notification of Refund Eligibility” that will provide you with the refund amount that you are entitled to receive under the settlement and provide instructions to submit your claim. To obtain your refund check, you will simply have to sign and return the notification to the Administrator within thirty (30) days. Your refund check will be sent to you by the Administrator within thirty (30) days of receipt of your signed notification.
You should be aware that by signing the claim and requesting your refund, you will be releasing CashCall from any claims related to your loan and you will not be able to bring a lawsuit of your own regarding your loan. You may wish to discuss this with a lawyer.
If you have questions relating to your refund eligibility, amount, or claim, please contact the Settlement Administrator, Dahl Administration, Inc., toll free at 1-866-949-5187 or by email at mail@MassWesternSkySettlement.com. You may also visit the designated settlement website for additional information at www.MassWesternSkySettlement.com.
Modifications of Outstanding Loans
If after all unlawful interest has been refunded and applied to pay down your principal loan balance (exclusive of any origination fees) you still have an outstanding loan balance, your loan is eligible for modification and collection by CashCall.
To determine your new loan terms, CashCall will:
- Further modify your outstanding loan to pay down your principal balance (i.e., only the actual amount loaned to you, excluding all fees) with all the payments you have already made;
- recalculate the remaining loan balance at a 12% rate of interest; and
- extend the loan term to 24 months – substantially lowering your monthly payment.
CashCall will notify you in writing of your new modified loan terms. If you choose, you may pay your modified loan balance in full without interest if you pay within 60 days (approximately 2 months) of the date you receive the notice from CashCall. However, even if you choose to repay your loan over time pursuant to your modified loan terms, you may prepay your remaining loan balance at any time, without penalty.
CashCall must stop all collection activity on all modified loans by October 26, 2017. At that time, any outstanding loan balances must by marked “Paid in Full” and discharged, even if you have not paid the modified loan balance back to CashCall.
If you took out a loan from Western Sky, it will be removed from your credit report no later than December 25, 2015. It will be removed from your credit report whether or not you have paid the loan back in full or whether you still owe money on the loan. No collections made on modified loans will be reported to any credit reporting agency.
Questions? Contact the Attorney General's Office at 617-727-8400.
Dahl Administration, Inc. is the approved Settlement Administrator for the Western Sky/CashCall settlement. All consumer questions regarding refunds should first be directed to Dahl. Dahl can be reached in a variety of ways:
Massachusetts Western Sky Settlement
c/o Dahl Administration
P.O. Box 3614
Minneapolis, MN 55403-0614
Do I need to do anything right now to get relief under the settlement?
Dahl Administration, Inc. has been approved to administer refunds to Massachusetts consumers required by the Settlement. If you are eligible to receive a refund, you will be contacted by the Settlement Administrator no later than December 25, 2015 via postal mail and email (if possible).
If you don’t have access to the internet, you may call the Attorney General’s Office at (617) 727-8400 to request that a consumer complaint form be mailed to you.
If you do not receive a notice, the Administrator may not have your most updated contact information. To update that information, please call toll free at 1-866-949-5187 or by email at mail@MassWesternSkySettlement.com. You can also visit the designated settlement website for more information at www.MassWesternSkySettlement.com.
How do I know if I am entitled to relief under the settlement?
If you took out a Western Sky loan before April 4, 2013 and you lived in Massachusetts at the time, you are subject to the settlement.
If you are unsure if you are eligible, you may contact the contact the Settlement Administrator, Dahl Administration, Inc., toll free at 1-866-949-5187 or by email at mail@MassWesternSkySettlement.com. You may also visit the designated settlement website for more information at www.MassWesternSkySettlement.com.
What type of payment or other compensation will I get from this settlement?
- If your loan was paid in full on or before April 4, 2013, you will be entitled to a refund of the interest and fees that you paid that were over and above the amount that could be legally charged to you.
- If your loan was still outstanding as of April 4, 2013, you will receive a loan modification.
What happens if I make no payment to CashCall on my modified loan?
After two years, on October 26, 2017, your loan will be discharged. You may, however, have to report the amount that is discharged as taxable income and you may receive a 1099-C tax form from CashCall. The Attorney General’s Office is not able to provide tax advice. If you need assistance with low income tax preparation or tax advice, there are resources available to help you. Please see our tax preparation resources listed on the Additional Resources tab.
Questions? Contact the Attorney General's Office at 617-727-8400.
Although not specifically prohibited under Massachusetts law, the high annual percentage rates of interest that small dollar installment loans and payday loans traditionally charge makes such loan products illegal in Massachusetts. Small dollar lending activities are statutorily regulated and require lenders to, among other things, adhere to interest rate limitations and to obtain a special license from the Massachusetts Division of Banks.
Under Massachusetts law, no unlicensed person or entity may make a loan of $6,000 or less that carries an annual rate of interest greater than 12%. Even a properly licensed small loan lender may only charge up to 23% interest per year and a maximum, one-time $20 administration fee. For loans above $6,000, the Massachusetts usury law prohibits charging an annual rate of interest greater than 20% per year.
To verify if a lender is licensed and authorized to do business in Massachusetts, you can consult the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/.
Information regarding payday loans, including the risks and alternatives thereto, can be found on the Division of Bank’s website: http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/banking-and-finance/loans-and-mortgages/payday-loans.html.
For additional consumer resources, please see:
- The Federal Trade Commission, at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0097-payday-loans; and
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/1567/what-payday-loan.html
Consumers who have a complaint or concern with a payday lender may contact the Division of Banks’ Consumer Hotline at 1-800-495-BANK (2265), ext. 509 (for in-state phone numbers) or (617) 956-1509 (any phone numbers).
For specific tax questions or tax preparation assistance, please see:
Massachusetts Department of Revenue, at http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/filing-and-payment-information/filing-options/free-filing-and-preparation/free-tax-filing-information.html.