Suppose you took out loans to help pay the costs of running your business. You later suffer some setbacks. Bad ones. The market price of the loans, and their value on your lenders' books, take a tumble. In a fair world, those who made the loans would gladly let you pay off the debt at a discount, right?

But you don't live in that world. You abide in one where lenders make bad choices, do things out of spite, or just don't care. Your world also has in it lenders — your lenders — who think that, if they join in a boycott against your offer to pay off your debt for cheap, they can squeeze more out of you. And they try that very thing.

You don't like it one bit. Your lawyer thinks you could sue the lenders under section 1 of the Sherman Act on a theory of group boycott, and you do.

Do you win? No. CompuCredit Holding Corp. v. Akanthos Capital Mgmt. LLC, No. 11-13254 (11th Cir. Nov. 10, 2011) (holding that existing relationship between borrower and lenders precluded antitrust claim).

The panel noted that the two Supreme Court cases that CompuCredit cited didn't involve lenders' butting heads with their borrower over repaying the loan and that the Second and Seventh Circuit had rejected claims just like CompuCredit's.