Several tribal officials agreed to fund a $39 million settlement to settle claims they were trying to circumvent lending laws.
The settlement benefits consumers who have received a loan from Golden Valley, Silver Cloud, or Majestic Lake at any time, or those who received a loan from Mountain Summit before February 1, 2021.
Corresponding a credit class actionA number of lending companies established under tribal law of the Habematolel Pomo tribe of the Upper Lake Tribe used tribal law to circumvent state interest and collateral laws.
Plaintiffs in the case say they were charged interest rates of between 543% and 919% on payday loans. Although these high interest rates may be permissible under tribal law, if plaintiffs were not properly informed, their loans are not governed by stricter state laws.
“In this model, payday lenders issue their loan products through a company that is ‘owned’ and organized under the laws of a Native American tribe,” the class action lawsuit explains.
“The tribal enterprise serves as a conduit for the loans, facilitating a dubious and legally false claim that the loans are subject to tribal law and not the protections provided by state usury and licensing laws.”
Tribal officials have not admitted wrongdoing but have agreed to settle those allegations with $39 million in settlements.
Under the terms of the Tribal Loan Settlement, Class Members may be eligible for a cash payment based on the amount they have paid for principal and interest on Eligible Loans. Borrowers are not eligible for these payments if they meet any of the following criteria:
- Have not made payments on their loans
- Lived in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia or Wisconsin and made no payments in excess of the principal amount of the loan
- Lived in Alabama, Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington , West Virginia, Washington DC and Wyoming and did not pay interest in excess of their state’s legal limits
- Lived in states with no interest rate restrictions (Utah and Nevada)
Class members who meet the payment criteria will not receive a full refund of their amounts paid, but will be entitled to a portion of the settlement proportional to what they paid.
For example, a group member who paid $10,000 in interest and principal would be eligible for a larger portion of the severance payment than those who only paid $1,000 in interest and principal.
borrowers can Check the comparison website to find out if they receive money.
Even if they are not entitled to monetary settlement payments, all group members are entitled to non-monetary settlement benefits.
Class members may have their unpaid balances forgiven for any Golden Valley, Silver Cloud, Majestic Lake, or Mountain Summit loans that fall within the class definition.
In addition, tribal officials will require that all negatively reported information about the covered loans be removed from class members’ credit reports.
The exclusion and objection period is September 6th, 2022.
The final hearing to approve the settlement is scheduled for October 21, 2022.
No application form is required to benefit from the tribal loan scheme. Class members who do not self-exclude will automatically receive payments.