1st Circ. Doubts Tribe is safe from bankruptcy

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By Brian Dowling (October 7, 2021, 4:31 p.m. EDT) – A First Circuit judge on Thursday rebuffed the argument that Native American tribes are exempt from federal law prohibiting lawsuits against debtors once they file for bankruptcy.

During oral argument, U.S. Circuit Judge Sandra L. Lynch questioned a lower court’s finding that a Wisconsin tribal payday loan business is immune to $ 173,000 from claims for allegedly harassing a Boston man for reimbursement after seeking Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

Brian W. Coughlin’s appeal argued that Congress removed sovereign tribal immunity from the Bankruptcy Code when it listed “national” governments as within the scope of the law. The tribe…

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