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Update: OK consumers wondering what’s happening with their refund checks

UPDATE 8/23/18 - Our In Your Corner team has new information tonight involving those CashCall refunds.

Thousands of Oklahoma consumers are owed refund checks from the lender.

All along The Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit has alleged CashCall took advantage of tribal lender, Western Sky Financial, so they could collect a bunch of cash on illegally made loans.

The state had launched an aggressive campaign to get the those checks out to consumers, but months later consumers are still waiting and wondering what’s happening with their refund. 

“I've never been given a specific date,” Glenda Johnson said. “The end of July comes and goes, nothing.”

Glenda Johnson eventually paid off the predatory loan to CashCall and forgot about it.

It wasn't until she was watching our report on News 4 that she realized she was owed a refund.

She immediately got in touch with The Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit.

She said, “Once I got the paperwork, they actually did a great job of following up, making sure they had all of my information.”

Glenda is one of nearly 1200 Oklahomans still waiting on their CashCall refund check from Deputy Administrator Ruben Tornini's agency.

Tornini told the In Your Corner team, “I wouldn't classify them as delays in the traditional sense of the word.”

He says he understands Glenda's frustration, but his agency is in uncharted territory with these refunds.

Here’s how we got to this point.

Consumers, like Glenda, took out their loan through tribe lender, Western Sky.

Western Sky then sold the loans to a CashCall, so CashCall could cash in on the excessive interest rates.

That’s a big deal, because tribes don't have to follow state or federal rules and can charge excessive interest rates, but CashCall can't because they are regulated by the state. 

A settlement deal was struck, but instead of CashCall doing all the leg work and cutting individual refund checks to consumers, the company bucked the norm, and wrote The Department of Consumer Credit one giant check for a million dollars. 

“We had to make the calculations for each refund, then register each recipient, each consumer as vendor with the state and then have another agency with the state actually cut the check,” Tornini said.

The stale data didn't help either.

They ended up with about a thousand bad addresses, 600 returned emails, and about 600 disconnected phone numbers.  

“To do it all over again, you wish you knew a little bit more going into it, but this was part of the process of learning.”

Glenda will have to wait just a bit longer, but their checks are on the way.

They are scheduled to go out in the mail Friday, September 7th.  

We’ll check back.

Besides the refunds, CashCall has also agreed to forgive consumer debt and clean up any negative information from their credit reports.

OKLAHOMA CITY - CashCall refunds are still on the way.

Rubin Tornini and the Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit have been busy verifying information, finally rolling out their refund program, in hopes of getting in touch with Oklahoma consumers owed financial relief.

“People saw the commercials late night TV, promising a lot of money overnight in your account,” he said.

People in need, like Wanda Jones, got on their computer and got a loan without realizing what it was going to cost them.

By the time Wanda took action she had already paid online lender, CashCall, $1800 dollars on an $800 dollar loan and she didn't even get her loan through CashCall.

“They told me they had purchased my account from Western Sky and I would be making payments to them instead,” Wanda said.

The In Your Corner bottom line:

  • Tribes don't have to follow state or federal rules and can charge excessive interest rates. 
  • CashCall on the other hand cannot and is accused of letting Western Sky create loans, so they can purchase them and cash in on the excessive interest rates.

“That was a mistake,” Tornini said. “CashCall we do have jurisdiction over.

The agreement gives the state one million dollars to distribute to customers.

That money is already in the state's account, but Tornini tells the In Your Corner team the refunds checks are still months away from going out. 

You have until March 31st of next year to register over the phone or online with the Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit.

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