NAFSA Applauds New York Attorney General Decision to File Suit against Lender Circumventing Tribal Law

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Press Release | 0 comments

WASHINGTON (August 12, 2013) — Following a move by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to file suit against Western Sky Loans – an online lender which does not operate under tribal law or abide by tribal regulatory bodies and is not wholly-owned by a federally-recognized tribe, Barry Brandon, Executive Director of the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) today released the following statement:

“On behalf of the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA), we applaud this lawsuit and its distinction between those tribal government-owned businesses who operate legally under federal law, and those who seek to profiteer on the back of hundreds of years of government-to-government relationships.

“NAFSA sets the bar high for our members. Our member tribes follow all applicable tribal and federal laws and agree to abide by a strict set of industry-leading best practices to ensure that consumers can trust NAFSA members to honor their rights, protect their privacy, treat them fairly, and constantly strive to offer innovative financial products. Western Sky Loans does not abide by these consumer-friendly practices, is not an enterprise wholly owned by a federally-recognized tribe, is not regulated by a tribal regulatory lending authority, does not operate according to tribal law, and breaks the covenants meant to benefit tribal governments and their members.

“Our member tribes support this move by the State of New York and will continue to abide by the highest possible lending standards. We expect the State of New York to take precaution in understanding these distinguishing characteristics between illegal Western Sky Loan products and properly-structured small dollar loan products offered by tribal governments.”


The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products. Through the protection of consumer rights and sovereign immunity, NAFSA provides vital services to tribally operated lenders serving the under-banked with better short term financial services, furthering economic development opportunities in Indian Country.

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