Resolving Consumer Disputes


ELEM CONSUMER FINANCE DEPARTMENT
CONSUMER DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURE

  • Initiation of Dispute Resolution Process
    • A consumer may initiate a dispute resolution process before the Elem Consumer Finance Department by submitting the following information in writing to the Department:
      • Consumer name, address, phone number, e-mail address
      • Lender name
      • Date, account number and principal amount of loan, if any
      • Amounts paid on the loan, if any
      • Nature of dispute
      • Requested relief
    • The Department may provide a Dispute Resolution Request Form for use by consumers.
    • The consumer may send the written submission to the Department by e-mail to disputes@elemindiancolony.com or by US Mail to ECFD Dispute Resolution, PO Box 2583, Clearlake, CA 95422.
    • The Department currently does not charge a fee for the processing of consumer disputes.
    • The Department will send acknowledgement in writing to the consumer of its receipt of a complete submission, or identify in writing to the consumer any missing information, within 72 hours of receipt of the consumer’s submission.
  • Initial Processing by Department: Investigation; Report; Determination and Recommended Resolution
    • Upon receipt of complete submission, Department shall immediately undertake an investigation of the matter.
    • The investigation may include any or all of the following:
      • Examination of relevant documents
      • Interview of witnesses and other persons possessing information relevant to the dispute
      • Review of consumer’s interactions with the Lender and/or related entities involved in the processing of loan applications and/or servicing of accounts
    • The Department shall make its best effort to conclude the investigation within ten (10) days after its receipt of a complete submission or such other time frame as it may determine to be reasonable given the nature of the dispute.
    • Once the investigation has been completed, the Department shall prepare a report that includes a determination regarding the dispute, including recommended resolution.
    • The Department shall then provide written notice to the consumer and the Lender summarizing the Department’s determination and recommendation and notifying the consumer of his/her right to request a hearing should the consumer not be satisfied with the determination and recommendation of the Department regarding the dispute.
    • The Department shall make its best effort to provide such written notice within twenty-one (21) days after its receipt of a complete submission from the consumer or such other time frame as it may determine to be reasonable given the nature of the dispute.
  • Hearings
    • The Department shall conduct a hearing if it receives a timely hearing request from the consumer. A consumer’s hearing request will be timely if received by the Department via e-mail to disputes@elemindiancolony.com or US mail to ECFD Dispute Resolution, PO Box 2583, Clearlake, CA 95422, within ten (10) days after the date of the Department’s written notice of determination.
    • The following procedure shall apply to hearings conducted by the Department:
      • The Department shall provide written notice of the date, time and location of the hearing to the consumer, Lender and any witnesses at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing.
      • The consumer will have the right to attend the hearing in person or via electronic videoconference
      • The consumer shall have the right to be represented by an attorney
      • The hearing shall be conducted by Department personnel or, in the Department’s sole discretion, a designated third party neutral.
      • At the hearing, the Department or its designee shall first present its report regarding the dispute, including its determination and recommendations regarding resolution.
      • The consumer shall then be given the opportunity to respond to the report of the Department.
      • Any witness with relevant knowledge or information regarding the dispute may be asked to give testimony.
  • Decisions of the Department
    • The Department shall issue a decision in writing, explaining the reasons for its decision following a hearing, and describing any remedy it deems appropriate, within ten (10) days after the hearing.
    • The Department’s written decision shall be sent to the consumer and Lender.
    • In the event no hearing is timely requested, the written notice referenced in section 2.e above shall be the decision of the Department.
    • Every decision of the Department shall be final and not subject to appeal.