FTC Workshop: “Fraud Affects Every Community”

Oct 29, 2014 8:30AM

Constitution Center 400 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20024 | Directions & Nearby

Conference Description

This workshop will examine how fraud affects groups including older adults, servicemembers and veterans, low-income communities, and African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans.

The FTC’s law enforcement experience, input from consumer advocates, and survey research reveal that some broadly-targeted frauds – such as telemarketing fraud, debt-relief services, phony opportunities to earn income, and unauthorized billing schemes – are more likely to affect certain communities. Meanwhile, some scams target specific populations – such as service-members shopping for cars, or people seeking help with the immigration process.

This workshop will examine the marketplace experiences of people in these communities, identify areas of concern in different communities, and seek to find actionable remedies through cooperation, law enforcement, industry fraud-prevention initiatives, community outreach and education.  The event will bring together consumer advocates, state and federal regulators, fraud prevention experts, academics and researchers to discuss the issues. Its findings will enhance the FTC’s ongoing efforts to fight fraud in the marketplace in every community.

The workshop will address the following issues:

  • What are the top consumer protection concerns in each community?
  • What types of fraud are most prevalent in each community?
  • What are the different experiences consumers have on the Internet?
  • What interventions by consumer groups, industry, or academics have been and could be successful to prevent fraud?

Individuals who are interested in speaking at the workshop can email everycommunity@ftc.gov with information about any relevant experience in this area by September 24, 2014.

NO PRE-REGISTRATION

This workshop is free and open to the public. Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. A live webcast of the workshop will also be available on the day of the event.

En Banc Petition in Jackson v. Payday Financial LLC

Here:

En banc Petition

Clarkson Amicus Brief

Panel materials here.

Seventh Circuit Rules against Western Sky in Jackson v. Payday Financial LLC — A Warning to Indian Country

Here is the opinion:

CA7 Opinion

Based on these findings, we now conclude that the Plaintiffs’ action should not have been dismissed because the arbitral mechanism specified in the agreement is illusory. We also cannot accept the Loan Entities’ alternative argument for upholding the district court’s dismissal: that the loan documents require that any litigation be conducted by a tribal court on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation. As the Supreme Court has explained, most recently in Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land & Cattle Co., 554 U.S. 316 (2008), tribal courts have a unique, limited jurisdiction that does not extend generally to the regulation of nontribal members whose actions do not implicate the sovereignty of the tribe or the regulation of tribal lands. The Loan Entities have not established a colorable claim of tribal jurisdiction, and, therefore, exhaustion in tribal courts is not required. Accordingly, we cannot uphold the district court’s dismissal on this alternative basis.

Primary briefs here. Supplemental briefs here.

As should be expected by this time, payday lending in Indian country is creating bad law for tribal interests. This case involved a privately owned payday lending operation. Tribally-owned operations will be scrambling to distinguish themselves from this case. Particularly troublesome is the holding and (hopefully) dicta from the opinion that suggests tribal courts have no jurisdiction involving off-reservation lending operations, even though the operation is based in Indian country and even though the lending instrument includes a forum selection clause naming a tribal forum.

My initial recommendations to tribal leaders and counsel — shut down on-reservation-based payday lending operations operated privately immediately. My second recommendation is to ensure that tribal regulations of tribally owned payday lending operations are independent and robust. In other words, tribes must be able to withstand the kind of searching inquiry into their regulatory scheme that the federal court did in this case. Can tribal sovereign lenders say that?

Seventh Circuit Supplemental and Amicus Briefs in Jackson v. Payday Financial (Western Sky Affiliates)

Here:

Jackson Supplemental Brief

Payday Financial Supplemental Brief

Federal Trade Commission Amicus Brief

Gavin Clarkson Amicus Brief [CA7 Order Denying Clarkson Motion: out of time]

Illinois Amicus Brief

Payday Financial Brief in Response to Amici TK

Prior briefs here, with supplemental briefing order.