- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has put a Virginia man’s lawsuit over a payday loan back before a judge.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously reversed U.S. District Judge John Gibney’s order sending the lawsuit to arbitration.

James Hayes claims that Delbert Services Corporation’s debt collection practices violated federal law. Delbert was assigned to collect on a $2,600 payday loan issued by Western Sky Financial, which was located on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The interest rate on the loan was more than 139 percent.

The loan agreement said dispute arbitration was subject to tribal authority, not state or federal law. The appeals court said such an arbitration agreement is unenforceable and sent the case back to Gibney.

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