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This Article explores how tribal sovereign immunity is being used in the context of payday lending to avoid state law and explores the ramifications of this for both consumer-protection regulation and tribes. It discusses payday loans and tribal sovereignty generally, as well as tribal sovereign immunity, then discusses what might be done to address this consumer protection issue. More specifically, we discuss who in society has the power and resolve to dissolve this alliance, identifying tribes themselves, the Supreme Court, Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as possibilities. We summarize the debate about whether payday lending regulation will cause more harm than good by depriving the poor of much-needed capital,8 and recount examples of state regulatory efforts that have taken place. We describe the ways that lenders are teaming with tribes to avoid that regulation, and then discuss the long-term implications of these developments, both for consumer protection and for tribal sovereignty.

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Washington and Lee Law Review



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