Legality of Western Sky Wage Garnishments Disputed by State Regulators

OK so you were dumb enough to sign up for a Western Sky Financial loan and find that you cannot afford to repay it. Big surprise right? Now that the firm has obtained a judgment against you in tribal court, they have provided your employer with a garnishment notice. Here’s a case for ignoring that notice.

Sure Western Sky reserves the right to offer usurious loans. They have the right to pursue a judgment against you if you breach the loan contract. They even have the right to pursue a garnishment. All of these rights are available to them through the tribal court.

The trouble is, you are probably not a tribal member. The loan was not made on a tribal reservation. And guess what, you are likely not bound by tribal law either. Despite the claims of tribal sovereignty, regulators have ruled that Western Sky and related lenders are not exempt from federal regulations.

That is the basis of several lawsuits filed by the Federal Trade Commission, the State of Maryland and other states. They are protesting what have been deemed illegal loans by Western Sky Financial, Lakota Cash as well as several other high interest payday loan operations controlled by Martin Webb.

Complaints allege that the lenders have illegally sent garnishment orders to employers that mimic those sent from the federal government. Garnishment of wages for private debts is not permissible until a court order has been obtained.

If your employer has received a garnishment order for one of these loans, it may be worth contacting the attorney general for your state. Find out if the garnishment order is legitimate. You may actually have more protections from the lender than you might think.

Finally, do yourself a favor and never agree to such a stupid loan product ever again. Maybe you were desperate. Perhaps you were lured in by the cute Western Sky spokesperson. Whatever the case, you cannot afford to throw your money away on such a dumb product. Stick with your credit union for loan needs and make sure that you stay employed. A loan is no substitute for income.

Kenneth Long
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Kenneth Long

President at Debtors Unite
Kenneth Long is President of Debtors Unite, Inc. as well as President and Vice Chairman for Vision Credit Education, Inc. He served as a regional coordinator for the North Carolina Saves campaign. Long co-founded the Wake EITC Coalition along with Family Resource Center of Raleigh.

Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.

Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.

In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.

Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!

Favorite quote:

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson
Kenneth Long
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