Tribes have long suffered by being disenfranchised from participation in e commerce. It’s the right and duty of a sovereign nation to develop any and all conscionable opportunities for its members to succeed.
To deny any tribe, particularly those in the position of being geographically remote and unable to participate in natural resource, gaming, and energy enterprises, the benefits of participating in online lending, is nonsensical.
Tribes have the ability to add competition to an industry that sorely needs it. Millions of borrowers would be better off. And so will tribes.
YES I am biased. Jer – Trihouse
Galanda Broadman proposes some interesting startegies in her piece, “Tribal Online Lenders Need a Legal Attitude Adjustment.”
A review of recent federal judicial decisions against tribal online lenders shows that they are losing the war–resoundingly.
Arguments under Tuscarora that federal consumer protection laws of general applicability, have fallen flat. Arguments that these tribal enterprises are immune from federal enforcement action (see U.S. v. James), have not surprisingly fared even worse. Tribal sovereignty is being eroded in the process of each federal court controversy.
The tribal online lending industry needs a legal attitude adjustment. Or is it only a matter of time before the industry meets its demise. Instead of throwing traditional federal Indian legal arguments against the walls of federal courthouses, in hope that they stick–they haven’t yet–the industry needs to heed lessons learned by other tribes when over-zealous federal agencies like the IRS, FBI or ATF come barreling onto an Indian reservation or into a tribal economy.
Among other non-conventional tribal defense strategies, one that has been deployed effectively against such federal agencies of late is preemptive consultation:
[C]onsultation can be used as a sword—a preemptive strike that forces U.S. agencies to consult… Read more: Galanda Broadman