Kelly Guzzo Files Tribal Lending Class Action Lawsuit Against Fineday Funds for Alleged Violation of State and Interest Rate Laws

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Kelly Guzzo Files Tribal Lending Class Action Lawsuit Against Fineday Funds for Alleged Violation of State and Interest Rate Laws

On June 10, 2024, Kelly Guzzo, PLC filed a class action lawsuit against Eagle Lending, LLC d/b/a Fineday Funds (“Fineday Funds”), which describes itself as a tribal lending entity owned and operated by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. This lawsuit challenges the legality of Fineday’s high-interest loans and seeks damages and declaratory relief against co-conspirators participating in this illegal scheme.

As detailed in the complaint, the plaintiff applied for a $1,400 loan for personal use via the Internet, from Fineday Funds. Fineday Funds approved the loan almost instantaneously but required a repayment sum of more than $6,700 representing an Annual Percentage Rate of 617.862%. The Plaintiff alleges that this high-interest rate loan from Fineday Funds violates state usury laws, as well as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). The Plaintiff further alleges that Fineday Funds is a front for a non-tribal payday lender wishing to use the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin to circumvent state legal prohibitions on usurious lending.

Many companies, like Fineday Funds, have attempted to use the tribal lending model to provide cover for their high-interest loans. In this scheme, a payday lender recruits a Native American tribe to establish a tribal business entity to function as the nominal, originating lender to create a tribal veneer for the business. Although the loan contracts and websites claim that the tribe owns and operates the lending entity, often it is a non-tribal payday lender who actually operates the lending business, including the marketing, underwriting, origination, financing, and collection of loans.

State usury laws protect consumers from these high-interest, predatory lending products—even if they are supposedly made by a tribal lending entity. For example, absent certain exceptions, Virginia law prohibits the payment of interest on a loan at a rate that exceeds 12% per year. Similarly, California law prohibits the payment of interest on a loan that exceeds 10% per year.

Over the past decade, Kelly Guzzo, PLC has represented consumers against individuals and businesses engaged in usurious lending, including those using the tribal lending model. If you have taken out a high-interest loan with Fineday Funds, we can assist you. We are also investigating claims against other tribal lending entities purportedly owned by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, including:

  • Five Clans Lending, LLC
  • Four Directions Lending, LLC

If you have loans with Five Clans Lending, LLC and Four Directions Lending, LLC, we can evaluate your rights. There is no out-of-pocket cost for these services, and we only recover if you do. Please contact us if you have received a high-interest loan.