Legal Alert

Seventh Circuit Hands Ballard Spahr Client Victory in Commerce Clause Challenge to Indiana Lending Law

February 1, 2010

In Midwest Title Loans, Inc. v. Mills, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed a lower court decision, previously reported, and handed a major victory to Ballard Spahr client Midwest Title. The unanimous decision, authored by Judge Richard Posner, constitutes a ringing endorsement of our position that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution precludes Indiana from applying its Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC) to loans made in person in Illinois to Indiana residents. 

According to the court, extraterritorial laws such as the UCCC, "however well intentioned and genuinely beneficial to the state imposing it, would burden interstate commerce by restricting travel and a firm's ability to deal with residents of a different state."  The court reasoned that to "allow Indiana to apply its law against title loans when its residents transact in a different state that has a different law would be arbitrarily to exalt the public policy of one state over that of another." It emphasized that its "conclusion is not altered by the fact that Midwest advertises in Indiana. If Indiana cannot prevent Midwest from lending money to [Indiana residents] in Illinois, it cannot prevent Midwest from truthfully advising them of this opportunity."

Ballard Spahr's Consumer Financial Services Group is nationally recognized for its skill in consumer financial services litigation; its pioneering work in pre-dispute arbitration programs; its guidance in structuring and documentation of new consumer financial services products; and its experience with the full range of federal and state consumer credit laws throughout the country.  For further information, please contact Alan S. Kaplinsky, 215.864.8544 or; Jeremy T. Rosenblum, 215.864.8505 or; John L. Culhane, Jr., 215.864.8535 or; or Barbara S. Mishkin, 215.864.8528 or

Copyright © 2010 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
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This alert is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to notify recipients of new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.

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