Ga. AG takes action against payday lenders

Bryan Cohen May 21, 2012, 7:00am


ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) - Georgia Attorney General Samuel Olens announced on Friday that he has successfully urged several payday lenders that claim to be owned and operated by Native Americans to stop making loans in Georgia.

Payday Financial LLC, Green Billow LLC and Western Sky Financial LLC will stop making payday loans in Georgia. The companies allegedly made illegal payday loans in Georgia through their websites, despite the fact that Georgia law specifically prohibits making payday loans, including making payday loans to residents of Georgia through the internet.

The companies allegedly offered payday loans of $300 to $2,525 to consumers throughout the nation, through websites and by advertising on television.

"When it comes to payday lending in Georgia, there is no gray area," Olens said. "It is unquestionably illegal in any form. We will not stand for unscrupulous, out-of-state lenders taking advantage of Georgia consumers by skirting our laws."

Attorneys for Martin A. Webb, the operator of Payday Financial LLC and several related businesses in Timber Lake, S.D., claim that the companies are exempt from law in Georgia as a result of tribal, or sovereign, immunity. The businesses claim to operate within the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation and to be completely member owned by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Olens' office said that if a company conducts business in Georgia, the laws of Georgia apply.

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