Category: Tribes


California HB539, Tribe Collaborations, Small-Dollar Lenders

Are You Interested in Tribe Collaborations? Could this solve your *California HB539 <36% APR Rate Cap issue?

Wondering if the Economics Make Sense?

Afraid you’ll wind up like Scott Tucker?

*Effective January 1st, 2019, California Lenders operating with a CFL License can only fund loans of $2500+ with 36% APR caps!

Tribal Lender Defeats Class Action Lawsuit in the Eastern District of Virginia. Huge Win for Sovereign Immunity!!

Tribal Lending TLE Personal Loans

The ability of geographically challenged [think casino and natural resource revenue, not an option] federally recognized Native American Indian tribes to participate in E-commerce collaborations with Silicon Valley, servicer/marketers, investors, and other sophisticated experienced entrepreneurs HAS IMPROVED DRAMATICALLY since the days the Scott Tucker’s of the world participated in the “business of lending to the masses.”

In today’s environment, a tribal E-commerce business model that benefits ALL parties is easily accomplished. All the pieces are in place. Compliance, regulatory oversight, realistic revenue share agreements, tribal lending business entities, consumer-friendly loan products, capital, and experienced 3rd-parties for outsourcing if needed. It’s simply a matter of introductions! That’s what I do.

[For an intro:] or email:

My readers are fully aware of all the studies and papers produced by our industry, the so-called consumer advocates, PEW, the multitude of federal and state agencies, the myriad of church and charitable groups ad nauseam who continue to fret about “predatory lending” and “cycle of debt” issues.

MEANWHILE, the FACT REMAINS: Approximately 140,000,000  plus/minus US residents cannot access $500 cash when faced with a sudden, unexpected, frightening financial emergency! Cars to get to work break down, lights get turned off, contractors need to purchase materials, hours are cut back by employers, gig workers become ill and can’t “gig,” prescriptions have to be filled…

How is it possible when we have record low unemployment, low inflation, 2 income households, 100’s of thousands of jobs go unfilled and still, there are millions of Americans who cannot access $500 cash today? The reasons are varied and the nuances many. BUT, it’s a fact.

The regulators, legislators and 1%  cannot quench the demand for quick, no-hassle $small-dollar loans by the masses!

So what to do? Allow capital to partner with entrepreneurs to embrace technology in all it’s forms, unfettered by pre-internet infrastructure, bureaucracy, and rules that simply no longer reflect the realities of today.

Rather than “big-brother” and incumbents dictate the rules of the game, enable collaborations between creative minds to build and partner disparate expertise in finance and tech and capital to create and deliver small-dollar loans that truly result in win-win scenarios for all parties to solving this challenge!

Again, for a formal, DISCREET introduction & exploration to a collaboration: Click

Big Picture Loans Defeats Class Action Lawsuit in Eastern District of Virginia

Consumer loans offered by the U.S. federally recognized Native American Indian tribes are legal and sovereign per the U.S. 4th District of Virginia.

When creative groups of enrolled tribal members, capital and experienced 3rd party collaborators join forces resulting in definitive financial benefits for all parties, the Fourth Circuit Court ruled sovereign nation status is in order.

A class-action lawsuit, brought against Big Picture Loans, was recently overturned by the Fourth Circuit.

Big Picture Loans is a tribal lender offering payday, installment and line-of-credit loans to consumers via their online platform. Big Picture is owned and operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe.

The tribe is a balance sheet lender and secures capital from its servicer/marketers, family offices, and investors from around the country.

In 2017, consumer plaintiffs argued that federal and state laws applied to Big Picture Loans, regardless of their sovereign immunity. The tribal lender, however, argued that they are entitled to sovereign immunity, regardless of state or federal laws.

Initially, the U.S. District Court rejected Big Picture Loans assertions that they are immune from the suit.

However, an unexpected turn came about when the U.S. District Court decision was reversed by the Fourth Circuit.

Reason: The U.S. District Court was found to be erroneous in their decision in claims that Big Picture Loans is not an arm of the Tribe.

The case was officially dismissed, giving the lender and it’s technology partners, in this case, Ascension, another victory for tribal lenders.

Further, the Fourth Circuit concluded that, regarding tribal lenders, it will adopt the Ninth Circuit’s first five breakthrough factors when determining tribal sovereign immunity in future cases.

The Future for Tribal Lenders

Tribal Lenders and their 3rd party servicer/marketers should adhere to the following five breakthrough factors by the Ninth Circuit if they wish to prevent lawsuits in the future.

1) Method of Creation According to the court’s findings, business formation under Tribal law weighs in favor of sovereign immunity. Organized under the Tribe’s Business Entity Ordinance via Tribal Council resolutions, Big Picture Loans and Ascension, were in fact, exercising powers delegated to it by the Tribe’s Constitution.

2) Purpose Tribal nations receive little, if any, federal or state assistance. Big Picture Loans argued the case that the goals of their lending program were to support economic development for their tribal nation, which financially benefits the tribe to grow and prosper. As the case stated, the lender proved the business revenue had been used to fund homeownership opportunities, new health clinics, youth activities, college scholarships and much more. If a tribal lender can prove the business revenue helps fund economic development, the Purpose factor has been met.

3) Structure, Ownership, and Management Since the lender was incorporated under tribal laws, and operates and manages the business, the court found that this weighed in favor of tribal immunity.

4) Intent to Extend Immunity Tribal lenders must not extend immunity to any third-party partners. The court found that BPL indeed did not provide immunity to any of their partners outside of the tribe, specifically Ascension.

5) Financial Relationship A lawsuit could prove to be devastating to a tribal nation if a lender is found guilty. According to the court, this would severely impact the Tribal Treasury in a way that would limit economic growth. Therefore, the fifth factor was in favor of BPL.

Based on these five factors, the Fourth Circuit ruled that all factors were being upheld by Big Picture Loans and Ascension.

Are you interested in collaborating with tribal lenders? Leaning Rock Finance is interested in exploring collaborations in an effort to continue to deliver eCommerce platforms and capital to geographically challenged tribes lacking income-producing casinos, natural resources…  Visit Leaning Rock Finance for an introduction or simply email:

Tribal Lending TLE Personal Loans

Jer- Trihouse 702-208-6736 Cell
Knowledge Store: Resources for Lending $$ to Consumer


Upheaval in the Business of Lending while Continuing to Serve Consumers & Tribal Collaborations TLE

The “business of lending to the masses is under constant attack!” Witness the recent passage of the <36% APR HB539 bill enacted in California, the devastation of lending to the under-banked “thin-file” residents of South Dakota, the latest machinations occurring in Nebraska…


We simply do not have the clout, money, political connections and collaboration that our opponents have at their disposal. [Think banks able to access capital at ridiculously low costs from the FED (taxpayers], credit unions; they are non-profits and pay no taxes, the various so-called consumer protection advocates who in many cases are simply shills having agendas that fail to acknowledge the plight of the 50% of all US households who cannot access $400 cash when suddenly facing an emergency financial challenge.


Sure! Our industry has some bad apples! Every endeavor does, be it for profit, charitable, non-profit…


Do you realize the executives at the Red Cross [$500,000/yr} or the infamous CRL do not work for free? They want to keep those soft jobs!


We are not saints! But we certainly are community leaders in many cases who deploy our profits to provide service to our customers, our community, our churches, our employees and their families, our investors… hell, even our landlords and banks! [Take a look at Amscot Financial as just one of MANY examples.]


The business of lending to the masses is undergoing tremendous upheaval. The internet, smartphones, artificial intelligence, data scraping, automation, the millennial generation is replacing the “Boomers,” websites, chat boxes, identity fraud, LMS cloud-based platforms, same-day ACH, big brother Google and Facebook, the “bank model” and its access to cheap money, the <36% APR theme…


ALL these issues and MANY more are creating disruption AND more importantly, OPPORTUNITY for those of us who embrace change, stay informed, reverse engineer the newest business models available to legally and profitably serve the hundreds of millions of hardworking folks who need a financial leg up now and then. 


collaboration with a Native American Indian tribe is BUT one of many solutions to your path remaining in business while helping your customers deal with life.


PS: Reach out to meJer if you would like to explore potential solutions to your specific challenges in your B2C business. My Team and I travel the world, meet with executives and founders of a multitude of companies offering tribe introductions, capital raises, methodologies & products that adhere to the <36% APR issue while still achieving 200%+ APR’s, executive search, new product & platform launches, California HB539 solutions… I’m always available to explore… and if I can’t help, guaranteed I know a savant with the expertise to help you!




Tribal Lending-TLE-Collaboration

Click the Image Above to Explore a Collaboration with a Federally Recognized Native American Tribe in the B2C lending Space!

Tribal Lending Provides More Opportunities For America’s Indigenous Peoples

By: Mary Jackson. Forbes Councils Member
This “Opinion Piece” below appeared in Forbes and was written by Mary Jackson the CEO of the Online Lenders Alliance, the online lending industry’s center for lending, technology, and innovation.
Read and “digest” wholeheartedly Mary Jackson’s insight! 

For some Native American tribes, online lending has become a critical part of their economic development efforts. Unlike the federal, state and local governments, which fund operations through levying taxes, Native American tribes rely on economic development enterprises to provide essential government services to their members.

Many tribes are also located on geographically isolated reservations that are far from urban population centers. For these tribes, on-reservation business activity is difficult to build and harder still to sustain. With traditional forms of commerce largely unavailable, the internet and e-commerce have emerged as lifelines to them, and Tribal Lending Enterprises (TLEs), specifically, have been a major asset in helping generate revenues to fund their governments and provide for their members.

Lending revenues increase funds for the tribes’ operating budgets, helping them to provide essential services like health care, elder care, infrastructure, and education. In addition, these businesses create jobs in areas where unemployment has long been rampant, providing a meaningful opportunity to tribal members in their own communities. In short, they allow tribes to be more independent and self-reliant, and tribes have created their own enforcement practices and regulatory bodies to ensure they are in the driver’s seat.

Like virtually any other business sector, the online lending industry has a variety of participants who bring it to life and ensure it operates smoothly. The membership of my online lending association comprises a diverse cross-section of the industry, including big, publicly traded companies; small, privately owned businesses and companies owned and operated by sovereign Native American tribes — among others. In addition to actual lenders, members rely on third parties such as service providers, marketing agencies, web designers, application developers and data bureaus.

For Native American tribes who have developed TLEs, service providers and vendors play a vital role. Just like lenders of all types, tribes partner with other fintech companies to offer credit in innovative and convenient ways — thereby making loans available to consumers who otherwise would have little or no access to lending options.

These third parties enable creditors to reach different customer segments by leveraging an existing customer base or customer lists, underwrite borrowers more effectively by using nontraditional data sources that go beyond the FICO score and make additional loans by providing liquidity and funding. They help with advertising and marketing the business as well as with screening customers pursuant to fraud prevention and know-your-customer guidelines.

The U.S. Treasury’s fintech report and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have acknowledged this vital business function for banks and other lending businesses. According to the OCC Comptroller’s Handbook on Installment Lending, the most common reasons for banks to use the services of an outside vendor include cost savings, capacity reasons and access to expertise and resources. This is also true for tribal lenders.

As to regulations, tribal lending is subject to the same 19 federal laws that banks and all other financial service providers must adhere to in their product offerings. Laws such as the Truth in Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act are just a few of the notables. In addition, sovereign tribal nations set their own financial services laws and regulations. Just like states, tribes have formed their own regulatory authorities, which enforce tribal and federal regulations for lending and consumer protections.

For years, tribes have fought for their right to self-determination, which includes the power to enact their own laws and be governed by them. As they have entered the e-commerce frontier, many tribes have set up sophisticated online lending businesses that can compete with the biggest players in the industry.

This is a relationship that should be encouraged — and not disparaged, as some industry opponents have done in recent years. The service providers who partner with tribes are a key part of driving them forward and helping to establish robust, well-run and viable businesses. And as a result of these partnerships, many tribes are thriving as they’re seeing previously unforeseen revenues fill tribal coffers.

These tribes are true entrepreneurs and are a model for the entrepreneurial spirit. New entrants to the online lending space like these are welcomed, and they are a sign of the diversity in fintech that we should all be embracing. The service providers who they partner with play a key role in bringing forth well-established and compliant lending practices to all lending entities — big and small, old and new.

Link to original Forbes Piece: Mary Jackson


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Jerome – Trihouse 702-208-6736 Cell
Knowledge Store: Resources for Lending $$ to Consumer

More Great News for Borrowers: 4th Circuit Finds Lenders Entitled to Tribal Sovereign Immunity

For those of us who champion the rights of consumers and borrowers to have the right to choose financial products that are best for meeting their personal money challenges, the Fourth Circuit of Appeals just came through for them!

Native American Indian Tribes, servicers and vendors are considered to be “arms of the tribe” when properly constructed collaborations are implemented and are entitled to sovereign immunity.

This is a huge win for consumers, lenders, vendors and payment processors!

Per the Press Release by Weider, Brodsky & Kidder PC:

A panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently found that two lending entities affiliated with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (the Tribe) are entitled to tribal sovereign immunity as “arms of the tribe”.  The panel then ordered the dismissal of an underlying putative class action brought by five Virginia residents who claimed the payday loans they obtained online from the tribe-affiliated lenders violated state usury laws.  The panel’s decision reverses that of the district court, which held that the affiliated lenders failed to sufficiently prove they were “arms of the tribe” and thus were subject to the court’s jurisdiction.

One of the lending entities, Big Picture, was formed by the Tribe in 2014 to consolidate the Tribe’s lending activities, and in 2015, the Tribe formed Ascension as a subsidiary to support its lending activities by providing marketing, technological, and vendor services.  The appellees, Virginia residents, initiated a class action in federal court in 2015 in which they alleged that the payday loans they received from Big Picture came with interest rates fifty times higher than the legal limit in Virginia.  The lending entities moved to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of tribal sovereign immunity, but the district court denied their motion, asserting that the appellants’ claim of immunity was unsupported by the evidence they provided.

In reaching its conclusion, the district court applied an “arm-of-the-tribe” analysis, which is used to determine whether tribal immunity may apply when a tribe-created entity engages in commercial activity.  The “arm-of-the-tribe analysis” typically involves consideration of the following factors: “(1) the method of the entities’ creation; (2) their purpose; (3) their… [Read More Below…

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”4th Circuit Finds Lenders Entitled to Tribal Sovereign Immunity”]

Want to know more? Grab a copy of our “Bible” or schedule a conference call with our Founder: Jer Ayles


1st Tribal Lending

1st Tribal Lending

The Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program is a home mortgage specifically designed for American Indian and Alaska Native families, Alaska Villages, Tribes, or Tribally Designated Housing Entities. Section 184 loans can be used, both on and off native lands, for new construction, rehabilitation, purchase of an existing home, or refinance.

Because of the unique status of Indian lands being held in Trust, Native American homeownership has historically been an underserved market. Working with an expanding network of private sector and tribal partners, the Section 184 Program endeavors to increase access to capital for Native Americans and provide private funding opportunities for tribal housing agencies with the Section 184 Program.

To help increase Native access to financing, the Office of Loan Guarantee within HUD’s Office of Native American Programs, guarantees the Section 184 home mortgage loans made to Native Borrowers. By… Read More



Rent a Tribe Schemes, Fintech Objections & the Logic Behind Them

Rent a Tribe Payday Loan Companies

[Let us know if you ever have any questions.  Jer]
“Those who oppose the idea of American Indian tribes operating successful businesses that compete with non-tribal rivals sometimes use offensive terms to create the illusion of nefarious conduct. One of the ugliest assertions is that a tribe’s success occurs by “renting” itself to non-tribal members, who abuse it for iniquitous purposes.”

“The term “rent-a-tribe” originated in gaming, where attacks started as soon as tribes became a competitive threat to non-tribal casinos. Opponents suggested that tribes’ practice of hiring capable vendors to provide services related to casino operations was akin to “renting” sovereignty and detracted from the tribal ownership of the business, even though many non-tribal entrepreneurs engage in identical outsourcing practices when starting a new business in a regulated industry.”

The term “rent-a-tribe” grossly misrepresents American Indians, their intellectual abilities, and business acumen.

American Indian tribes are sovereign; they have the inherent authority to govern themselves free from outside interference. Sovereignty is acknowledged by the federal and state governments through treaties, laws, executive orders, and intergovernmental agreements, and confirmed by centuries of U.S. Supreme Court and…

Read More: The Times Herald

Want to learn how to launch a consumer loan business? Internet lending? Store-front lending? Licensing? Need to talk to an expert? Step-by-step procedures for “how to lend money to the masses.” Visit: The Business of Lending to the Masses

For a complete set of tribal lending documents: Tribe Lending Entities 5th item down on this page.

How to Start a Consumer Loan Business: Installment lending, car title loan lending, payday loan lending, personal loan business

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