Lawsuit Lending Bill Defeated in Committee

May 14, 2013
Louisiana Record  

After sailing to an easy approval in the Louisiana Senate, a proposal to rein in lawsuit lenders failed to make it out of committee in the state House of Representatives. The bill would have limited to 35 percent -- the same rate as for payday lenders -- the allowable interest rate on loans to lawsuit plaintiffs who are in line to receive settlements. It also would have introduced regulation for online lawsuit lenders, which currently charge as much as 150 percent interest. With rates that high, critics say borrowers often turn down reasonable court settlements once they realize there will be little or no funds remaining once they repay the lawsuit loan. Other borrowers, according to opponents of the practice, are not even aware that they will be paying excessive interest rates. "They target people who are in these desperate financial situations and give them loans with contracts that include all kinds of fees and interest rates and that are very difficult to read and understand for people who are even knowledgeable about these types of things," says Melissa Landry, executive director of the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch.
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