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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Washington Consumer Protection – Have a Complaint Against a Financial Institution or Individual? Let DFI Know

It’s National Consumer Protection Week. Each day this week I will be featuring one of the many ways the Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) helps protect you and your money.

Today, I explain how DFI protects Washington residents by reviewing complaints against companies and individuals we regulate.

DFI reviews complaints filed against financial institutions and individuals it regulates or should regulate. Sometimes we find that complaints filed involve companies or individuals that should be licensed and regulated, but are not.

If you have a complaint against a financial institution or service provider doing business in Washington, try to resolve the complaint with the company or individual.

If that’s unsuccessful, you can then file a complaint with DFI. DFI will review the complaint, may launch an investigation, and may take action against the company or individual.

How to File a Complaint
First, make sure DFI is responsible for regulating the company or individual you have a complaint against. See below for more information about who DFI regulates.

Second, you can file a complaint online or call DFI at 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334) and request that a complaint form be sent to you.

Institutions and Individuals Regulated by DFI
  • Check Casher/Seller
  • State Chartered Bank
  • Consumer Loan Company
  • State Chartered Credit Union
  • Escrow Agent or Officer
  • Money Transmitter 
  • Mortgage Broker
  • Payday Lender
  • Savings and Loan Institution
  • Securities Broker-Dealer
  • Securities Investment Adviser
  • Securities Salesperson
DFI Does Not Regulate All Financial Institutions in Washington
Other Agencies to File a Complaint with:

Federal savings and loan or federally chartered savings banks (F.S.B.) complaints:
National banks complaints:
Federally chartered banks complaints:
Real Estate Complaints (Real Estate Agents, Appraisers):
Insurance Complaints (Auto, Home, Life, Business):
Construction Service Complaints (Contractor, Plumber, Electrician):
Internet Business Complaints (Fraud, Privacy, Security)
For a business complaint not handled by one of the agencies above: