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Abstract

The 28.7 million small businesses in the United States—99% of all American businesses—are the backbone of the American economy. Historically, small businesses relied on community banks for their credit needs. Over the last decade, however, small businesses increasingly have turned to “fintech” lenders—nonbank lenders that are largely unregulated. Nonbank consumer lending is governed by consumer protection statutes, but nonbank small business lending is outside of any clear regulatory framework that would protect borrowers from potentially predatory practices. This Article argues that the optimal regulatory regime is a combination of both state authority over fintech lenders and inclusion of small business borrowers in federal consumer protection statutes.

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