by jhwygirl

I noticed a brief – maybe 20 seconds – commercial on your station KTMF-TV around 5 o’clock this evening. It was Western Sky Financial offering its financial services to your viewing audience, which pretty much is solely in Montana.

I wasn’t really paying attention at all, but did hear the person in the ad say “If you need $2,500 in your checking account tomorrow then call Western Sky Financial. Yes, the money’s expensive but there’s no collateral required!”

As I mentioned – the ad was awfully quick…but I love my DVR for stuff like this (and political ads, city council meetings and legislative sessions) because when I backed up and replayed the commercial I noticed the numbers (barely) in real small fine print at the bottom of the commercial.

139% APR?

Max Media and ABC Montana and KTMF should know that those kind of loans are illegal here in the state. As a public media source with an FCC license, I would have to think you have some responsibility to not air advertisements for services that are illegal.

Western Sky, in fact, isn’t even registered with the Secretary of State here in in Montana.

It is my belief that regardless of the legal issues regarding the Western Financial Loan Sharking commercial, legitimizing these types of reprehensible loans that are illegal here in Montana and forbidden by federal law for all military personnel by airing 20 second ads that flash toll free numbers guaranteeing no-collateral $2,500 loans over the phone isn’t something you should be doing.

I will be contacting the Secretary of State regarding both Western Financial and the legal ability of any Montana media source to sell and air station time for their ads and any other business like it.

Montana voters did not overwhelmingly vote to make these businesses illegal only to have advertising sources such as your stations to gain revenue by selling ad space to out-of-state loan sharks.


/s/ Dawn Quixote

  1. Good catch jhwygirl. I am certaiin this advertisement promotes a business which violates the law against predatory lending in montana enacted last year and effective last january. No loan over 36 percent is permitted. There are harsh penalties involved.

  2. Jamee

    Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has taken action against a national payday lender that has violated Colorado lending laws. Western Sky Financial provides payday loans with interest rates approaching 300%, yet it failed to obtain the necessary license to provide loans to Colorado residents above the 12% statutory limit.

    Despite media reports that Western Sky Financial is owned by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the firm is actually wholly owned by tribal member Martin A. Webb. This time Webb has found himself named in the suit as its principal owner, and Colorado wants the firm to make things right.

    This case represents an important legal challenge to the sovereignty of native American tribal companies. Several payday loan companies have recently become affiliated with tribal governments as a ploy to circumvent states’ payday lending laws. In this case, the lender Western Sky Financial is not actually owned by a tribe, but rather by an individual tribal member.


  3. jack ruby

    The AGs office is who you should notify

    Office of Consumer Protection
    2225 11th Avenue
    P.O. Box 200151
    Helena, MT 59620-0151

    Phone: (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500
    Fax: (406) 444-9680

  4. ruthie

    I recall a loophole for Indian Reservations. If the sole owner is tribal, with a tribal nations address, does that make this (annoyingly) legal?

    • it is my understanding that other states that have regulated no-collateral loans have been able to stop these entities from operating.

      there are two issues here in my opinion – (1) is this loan shark itself and (2) the legality of a Montana business to advertise this activity which is illegal in this state.

      I mean – they can’t advertise crack, can they? Or sex trafficking? Why should they be able to advertise 136% APR no-collateral loans?

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