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Tribal Installment Loan Help

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I am in need of some help with working with and determining the legality of three tribal installment loans. I live in MA, payday loans are illegal. However, these were "installment loans" as that is how they were marketed, not payday loans, even though the apr is beyond 460% and the payments are made when I get paid. I cannot continue to pay them at the current rate and schedule and am not sure the best way to proceed. I have spoken to a few debt consolidation companies (Freedom debt relief, Solid Ground, Oak View Law Group) with some mixed information as well as offers to help me settle that seem absurd and too good to be true. MA has clear limits on APR on installment loans but I believe the tribal lenders will claim that they are not bound by the state laws. The details of each loan are below.

Big Picture Loans:
Original Principle Balance- $1500
Paid to date: -$1669.15
Today's balance- $1390
APR 460%
$333.33 every other week

My Loan Site (Dakota Lending):
Original Principle Balance- $2200
Paid- $379
Balance pay off today- $2600
APR- 510%
$679 every other week

American Web Loan:
Original Principle Balance- $2500
Paid: $430.
$430 every other week

I want to be clear that I am not in the business of not repaying my debts and never intended to get into this situation. I fully intend to repay the money that was deposited into my account but cannot do so at the rate that I am being charged. I have dug myself into a pretty deep hole and want to get myself out without the use of a shady third party that is taking my money with absolutely no guarantee of fixing the situation. Does anyone have experience with this? I have searched most of the forums and cannot seem to find a clear answer with tribal INSTALLMENT loans. If these were PAYDAY loans I think I would be pretty sure the route I would take based on the fact that they are not legal in my state.

I have also heard people use overpayments on principle of previous loans with companies as a means to barter and settle the principle on the current loan. I do have past loans with BPL and MLS and thought of that but know its a long shot.

Any and all help/information is greatly appreciated.

Sub: #1 posted on Wed, 10/04/2017 - 05:23

Betty Leruhe Betty Leruhe

(Posts: 5 | Credits: )

If the payday lenders are illegal, then you just need to pay the principal amount you owe. No need to pay the interest.

What about your income status. Are you able to pay off the principal amount you owe?

Sub: #2 posted on Wed, 10/04/2017 - 06:25

Sanders Patricia Sanders Patricia

(Posts: 1234 | Credits: )

I think the trouble is that these specifically say in the loan documents that they are not "payday" loans but installment loans. The repayment terms were biweekly over 6 to 12 months. So I wonder what my leverage is in terms of legality.

I am able to pay back the principle over a reasonable time frame but can't come up with the principle in one lump sum right now. The problem is in the meantime I paying literally hundreds of dollars of interest.

Sub: #3 posted on Wed, 10/04/2017 - 09:35

Betty Leruhe Betty Leruhe

(Posts: 5 | Credits: )

Hi Betty,
Yes, installment loans are legal in Massachusetts. So, you have to pay the interest.
I would suggest you to contact a reliable debt management company...again. Check online and read reviews about that company before enrolling.
Keep patience and clearly understand the repayment plans, if possible consult an attorney.

Sub: #4 posted on Fri, 10/06/2017 - 04:50

Barbara Delinsky Barbara Delinsky

(Posts: 432 | Credits: )

Installment loans are legal in MA, but only if they adhere to the state usury laws, and these do not. Thus, I believe these loans are not legal even though they are technically not labeled as payday. I have proposed repayment plans that will pay back the principal as well as a reasonable amount of interest. I have not heard back from American Web Loan. Big picture loans agreed to settlement. My Loan Site is giving me trouble. It is my understanding from researching on this forum that even if they were to go so far as to collect or file suit, the court would be a MA court, which would recognize MA state law and may not even go so far as to validate the debt. Am I approaching this negotiation with a leg to stand on? I would like to handle this myself and not resort to paying a company to do it for me as I believe I have the knowledge and power to do it, I just want to be sure I am going about it the best way possible.

Sub: #5 posted on Tue, 10/10/2017 - 15:19

Betty Leruhe Betty Leruhe

(Posts: 5 | Credits: )

Make sure they are not fraud.

Sub: #6 posted on Wed, 10/11/2017 - 05:55

Sanders Patricia Sanders Patricia

(Posts: 1234 | Credits: )

You are doing just fine, DIY debt settlement is a good option if you can handle it. Since you are capable of that...go for it.

Sub: #7 posted on Wed, 10/11/2017 - 05:57

tiarajoseph11 tiarajoseph11

(Posts: 467 | Credits: )

It is better you approach a reliable settlement company and discuss with them.

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 10/11/2017 - 08:07

Mabelle Page Mabelle Page

(Posts: 295 | Credits: )

Update- Success with My Loan Site! Spoke to a lady over the phone who said the only way I could settle was to make four more payments and then settle for the current days principals and fees, which would result in a gross overpayment. I did not budge. I was persistent and went the "you are not a legal lender even though you claim tribal affiliation"... offered a settlement over ten months that paid back principal and an interest rate capped at MA legal limit. Although they claimed they did not have to, and re-stated all of the tribal affiliation stuff, they agreed to it. I think it helped that I am not trying to get out of repayment, but rather trying to pay it back fairly and at legal limits. I proposed that if they resorted to debt collection and I am still unable to pay, ultimately it would land in a MA court, where MA laws, not tribal, would apply. I also cited recent cases by the MA attorney general against predatory online lending in which they won judgments for the borrowers.

I am still working on American Web Loan and that outcome is yet to be determined, but hope if someone else in the same situation reading this thread is going through the same issue it may offer some guidance and hope.

Sub: #9 posted on Wed, 10/11/2017 - 10:15

Betty Leruhe Betty Leruhe

(Posts: 5 | Credits: )

Great! Yes, your story will help others who are on the same page.

Sub: #10 posted on Thu, 10/12/2017 - 06:00

Sanders Patricia Sanders Patricia

(Posts: 1234 | Credits: )

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