Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

State handles concerns
about financial firms

Question: If you pay off a loan from a finance company and you learn that you're entitled to an interest refund, how much time is given to the finance company to pay you this refund?

Answer: Unfortunately, your question is just too general for D.B. Griffin, commissioner of the state Division of Financial Institutions, to want to even venture an answer.

He suggested calling his office -- 586-2815 -- with more information and he will try to get you an answer. An alternative is to go to the state's Web site -- -- and download complaint forms.

If any consumer has a question or concern, "or feels something wasn't right" in his or her dealings with a financial institution, Griffin said they can contact his division. Depending on the situation, and if the institution is one that is under state regulation, the state may get involved.

If not, "we will try to steer (you) in the right direction," Griffin said.

The Division of Financial Institutions regulates and supervises institutions that are state-chartered or state-licensed. According to its Web site, these are the companies currently under the division's jurisdiction:

>> Banks: Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, City Bank and First Hawaiian Bank

>> Credit unions: Hawaii Central Credit Union, Lihue Credit Union and Oahu One Credit Union

>> Depository financial services loan companies: Finance Factors, Limited and GECC Financial Corp.

>> Foreign bank branches: Philippine National Bank Honolulu Agency

>> Nondepository financial services loan companies: Accredited Home Lenders, American General Financial Services of Hawaii, ASB Realty Corp., Beneficial Hawaii, CPB Real Estate, CitiFinancial, Countrywide Home Loans, FHL Lease Holding Co., First Finance Company of Molokai, Ford Motor Credit Co., Full Spectrum Lending, GE Capital Hawaii, General Motors Acceptance Corp., GMAC Mortgage Corp., Honowaii Investment Co., House of Finance, Investors Finance, Kauai Island Finance, Maui Industrial Loan & Finance Co., Merrill Lynch Credit Corp., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Credit Corp., Mutual Finance Co., New Century Mortgage Corp., OK Finance, Safety Loan Co., Standard Financial Corp., Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance Hawaii and Wells Fargo Financial Hawaii

>> Escrow depositories: Developers Escrow Service, Fidelity Escrow Services Corp., Fidelity National Title & Escrow of Hawaii, First American Title Co., First Financial Title & Escrow Agency of Hawaii, First Hawaii Title Corp., Guardian Escrow Services, Hawaii Escrow & Title, Hawaii Resort Escrow, Island Title Corp., Old Republic Title & Escrow of Hawaii, Security Title Corp. and Title Guaranty Escrow Services

The state also regulates Hawaii-chartered savings banks, savings and loan associations and trust companies, but none currently.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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