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During the 2014 spring Legislative Session, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch focused on legislation aimed at regulating the lawsuit loan industry. The Legislature seemed to be on the fast track to move legislation favorable to the lawsuit loan industry.

Senate Bill 3169 was introduced and would have allowed lawsuit lenders to continue to charge exorbitant interest rates on the loans they provide. Specifically, the lawsuit loan sharks’ bill would have set the lawsuit lending industry’s nominal rates at 72 percent, which for some people could mean an annual APR of more than 100 percent.

There are all kinds of horror stories of plaintiffs who end up with little or nothing from a judgment or settlement as result of high interest lawsuit loan they took out. Illinois attorney Frank Avila explains in a video on about how one of his clients took out a $50,000 lawsuit loan and ended up owing the lawsuit lender nearly $1 million.

Predatory, anti-consumer loans like these are causing a diverse coalition — including the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators — to call for the lawsuit lenders to operate under the same types of reasonable regulations and rules other consumer lenders have accepted.

Adding financial incentives for lawsuits will lead to only one thing – more lawsuits – and yet Illinois is already ranked as one of the most litigious, plaintiff-friendly states in the country.

According to a recent report from the global research firm Harris Interactive, Illinois is ranked 46th out of 50 states for legal fairness.

Does this state really need more loan sharks and more lawsuits? What the state needs is more jobs, but the lawsuit loan sharks’ bill would only serve to drive jobs and opportunities to other states.

Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch brought grassroots activists from all across the state to let lawmakers know how Senate Bill 3169 would be to the Illinois economy. Senate Bill 3169 was stalled as a result and never came up for a vote.

See the flier I-LAW activists handed out to legislators.

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