Indian Tribes Oppose New York Order on Online Lenders

August 12, 2013
Wall Street Journal  
payday lending news

Benjamin M. Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, has launched an effort to shut down tribal lenders' online operations, but Indian tribes argue that the state lacks authority to do so. Tribes that make loans over the Internet are planning to challenge Lawsky in tribal or federal court. Last week, the financial regulator ordered 35 online and tribal lenders to stop offering "illegal payday loans" in New York, saying that the products violate state limits on consumer interest rates. He also called on 100 banks and an industry-run group for electronic payments to sever access to those lenders. The lenders counter that their operations are legitimate and that those run by tribal governments do not need to comply with state laws because they have sovereign status under federal law. Storefront payday lenders have seen a decline in business with the rise of online loans, which have nearly tripled since 2007 to $18.6 billion last year.
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