Court to hear tribe’s appeal in predatory loan lawsuit

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit accusing a small Native American tribe in Michigan of running a predatory loan scheme.

At least five people from Virginia say they borrowed from BigPictureLoans.com after receiving an enticing loan pitch. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the lawsuit alleges that Big Picture violated Virginia’s usury laws by charging annual percentage rates in some cases of more than 600 percent.

The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being asked to decide whether the loan operation is an extension of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, which is entitled to sovereign immunity from lawsuits, or whether the tribe is essentially a front for outsiders controlling and profiting from the business.

Arguments are scheduled for Tuesday.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

Categories: National News