Consumer Alerts - 2014

  • 09/12/14 - **Cash N More at 21919 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA**
    The California Department of Business Oversight has been notified that a business operating under the name Cash N More of Canoga Park, California is offering deferred deposit transactions, commonly known as payday loans, to California residents without a license. Cash N More is misusing the fictitious business name of GVG Financial Services, a lender licensed by the Department.  Cash N More is located at 21919 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, which is not a location of GVG Financial Services.   

    The Department advises consumers that using a licensed payday lender affords protections under state law related to disclosures, fees, and availability of funds, and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the lending company.

    California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check on the licensing of companies, investments or other financial services they are considering by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at 1-866-275-2677.

  • 04/29/14 - ** Fraudulent Payday Loan Debt Collection **
    The Department of Business Oversight has been notified that consumers in California and other states have received telephone calls from debt collector(s) falsely claiming to be collecting a payday loan debt on behalf of CMG Financial.  CMG Financial is a licensed California finance lender and mortgage banker not involved in payday lending. 

    The debt collector(s) make threatening and abusive telephone calls to consumers to collect an alleged payday loan debt that consumers never incurred.   One consumer received numerous phone calls from the telephone number (844) 714-2286 in which the caller claimed to be hired by CMG Financial to collect on a payday loan she had never received.   Another consumer received numerous phone calls from the telephone number (866) 664-3600 in which the caller claimed to be collecting a payday loan debt on behalf of CMG Financial, a company with whom the consumer had never transacted business. 

    CMG Mortgage, Inc., doing business as CMG Financial, is a California-licensed finance lender (license # 603K639) and California-licensed mortgage banker (license # 4150025) who is not engaged in payday lending or the debt collection activities described.  All consumers who have been contacted by an entity or entities falsely claiming to collect a payday loan debt on behalf of CMG Financial are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of Business Oversight to file a formal complaint at (866) 275-2677 or on our website www.dbo.ca.gov

    California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check on the licensing of all companies, investments or other financial services they are considering.  That can be done by visiting the financial services licensee listing at www.dbo.ca.gov or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at (866) 275-2677.

  • 04/17/14 - ** American Financial Resolutions; afranswers.com **

    The California Department of Business Oversight has been notified that www.afranswers.com is claiming to be American Financial Resources, with the alternate name American Financial Resolutions, and is offering mortgage modification services to consumers via the Internet.  American Financial Resources, Inc. is a California-licensed Residential Mortgage Lender and Finance Lender.  Afranswers.com is not a website of American Financial Resources, Inc.   

    Afranswers.com and American Financial Resolutions are not licensed to conduct lending activity by the California Department of Business Oversight.

    The Department advises consumers that using a licensed lending company affords protections under state law related to disclosures, fees and protection of funds, and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the lending company.

    California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check the licensing of companies, investments or other financial services they are considering by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at 1-866-275-2677.

  • 04/08/14 - ** Agreed International– related to timeshare sales in Mexico**
    The California Department of Business Oversight has been notified that Agreed International appears to be misleadingly using the name of a company that is licensed by the Department, Agreed Escrow (formerly Aftermarket Escrow) to offer escrow services. 

    Agreed International is offering escrow services to consumers in connection with the sale of timeshares in Mexico with a phone number of (310) 693-4443 and website address of www.agreedinternational.com and is claiming to be Agreed Escrow. Agreed International is not licensed to conduct escrow activity by the California Department of Business Oversight. Agreed Escrow is a licensed escrow company but does not have a phone number of (310) 693-4443 and is not involved in the solicitations being made to consumers by Agreed International.

    The Department advises consumers that using a licensed escrow company affords protections under state law related to disclosures, fees and protection of funds, and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the escrow company.

    California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check on the licensing of companies, investments or other financial services they are considering by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at (866) 275-2677.
  • 04/08/14 - ** Argon Holdings – related to timeshare sales in Mexico **
    The California Department of Business Oversight has been notified that Argon Holdings is offering escrow services to consumers in connection with the sale of their timeshares through Advanced Realty AL without a license.

    Argon Holdings lists an address of 11444 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 402, Los Angeles, California 90064, with the phone numbers (818) 732-8341 and (866) 345-4432, and a website address of www.argonholdings.com. Argon Holdings is not licensed to conduct escrow activity by the California Department of Business Oversight.

    The Department advises consumers that using a licensed escrow company affords protections under state law related to disclosures, fees and protection of funds, and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the escrow company.

    California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check on the licensing of companies, investments or other financial services they are considering by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at (866) 275-2677.
  • 03/26/14 - Charter Investments, Inc.
    The California Department of Business Oversight has been notified that Charter Investments, Inc. is offering purportedly high-yield certificates of deposit without a license to consumers on its websites, www.charterinvestmentsinc.com and www.charter-investmentsinc.com. This company lists its telephone number as (800) 580-9926, and its address as 8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California. The Department is unable to locate the business at its reported address.

    Charter Investments, Inc. is not licensed by the Department to act as a broker-dealer. Nor is Charter Investments, Inc. licensed as a bank by the Department.

    The Department advises consumers that using a licensed broker-dealer affords protections under state law related to disclosures, fees and protection of funds, and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the broker-dealer.

    California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check the licensing status of companies, investments or other financial services they are considering by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling us toll-free at (866) 275-2677.
  • 01/23/14 - World Capital Market, Inc. (WCM777)
    The California Department of Business Oversight issued a Desist and Refrain Order against three companies, World Capital Market, Inc., WCM777, Inc. and WCM777 Limited, which collectively ran an investment scam marketed under the name “WCM777.”   The order was also issued against the principals of WCM777, Ming Xu and Zhi Liu, and salesperson, Harold Zapata. The order directs WCM777 to cease all operations in California.

    The Department has not issued WCM777 a permit, license or qualification to offer or sell securities.  In connection with security offerings, WCM777 makes a number of material misrepresentations, including the claim that WCM777 operates outside the jurisdiction of United States regulators. 

    The Department advises consumers that using a licensed securities broker or investment professional affords protections under state law related to disclosures and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the broker or investment professional. Please check the background of your broker or investment professional by using Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck.

    All California investors in WCM777 are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of Business Oversight to file a formal complaint at (866) 275-2677.  The January 8 order is available on the Department’s website at http://www.dbo.ca.gov/ENF/pdf/2014/WorldCapitalMarketInc_dr.pdf.
  • 01/22/14– PayDayOne LLC
    The Department of Business Oversight has been notified that PayDayOne LLC is sending unsolicited emails to consumers offering payday loans.  This company lists its telephone number as (916) 288-8008, and its address as 1515 K Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, California 95814, which is the Sacramento address for the Department of Business Oversight. PayDayOne LLC is not licensed by the Department to engage in the business of making payday loans in the State of California.  PayDayOne LLC is using a name similar to a licensed company doing business under the names Payday One and Payday One of California. The Department advises consumers that licensure under California law means consumers will have protections related to disclosures, fees and protection of funds, and recourse should there be a dispute with the payday lender. California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check on the licensing of companies, investments or other financial services they are considering.  That can be done by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at (866) 275-2677.
  • 01/22/14 – Aftermarket Escrow/Agreed Escrow
    The Department of Business Oversight has been notified that a company illegally offering escrow services to consumers in connection with the sale of their timeshares in Mexico is falsely claiming to be the company “Aftermarket Escrow” or “Agreed Escrow," with a San Francisco phone number of (415) 613-6013. Agreed Escrow, formerly known as Aftermarket Escrow, is a licensed escrow company operating in Los Angeles, California with a phone number (310) 909-7900.  Agreed Escrow, formerly Aftermarket Escrow, is not involved in the illegal solicitations being made to these consumers.  The Aftermarket Escrow and/or Agreed Escrow with phone number (415) 613-6013 is not licensed to conduct escrow activity by the California Department of Business Oversight. The Department advises consumers that using a licensed escrow company affords protections under state law related to disclosures, fees and protection of funds, and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the lender. California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check on the licensing of all companies, investments or other financial services they are considering.  That can be done by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at (866) 275-2677.
  • 01/22/14 – Real Pro Escrow, Inc., Real ProEscrow, Inc., and Realproescrowinc.com
    The Department of Business Oversight has been notified that Real Pro Escrow, Inc., and Real ProEscrow, Inc., with a website address of www.realproescrowinc.com, is offering illegal escrow services to consumers. This company lists its telephone number as (805) 755-6591, and its address as 600 Hampshire Road, Westlake Village, California 91361. Pro Line Mortgage, a licensed real estate company that formerly did business as Real ProEscrow at the Hampshire Road address ceased operations at that location in 2009.  The entity using the names Real Pro Escrow, Inc., Real ProEscrow, Inc., and realproescowinc.com is not associated with Pro Line Mortgage and not licensed to conduct escrow activity in California. The Department advises consumers that using a licensed escrow company affords protections under state law related to disclosures, fees and protection of funds, and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the lender. California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check on the licensing of all companies, investments or other financial services they are considering.  That can be done by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at (866) 275-2677.