Lawsuit Lending Lunacy
By Travis Akin
The “lawsuit loan sharks” have taken a bite out of another victim.
Chicagoan Debbie Crim injured her spine, neck, shoulders and arms in 2001 when a Metra train she was riding on hit a car at a Chicago railroad crossing.
Unable to work and beset by bills for surgeries, medicine and household expenses as her lawsuit against the motorist who caused the accident dragged on, she took out a loan from lawsuit lender CFS for $108,500. CFS charged her an eye-popping 60% interest rate and she ended up owing almost four times as much money as she borrowed – $413,000.
Her personal injury lawyer called this “ridiculous and unfair,” That’s putting it nicely.
Sadly, Crim’s story is one that is all too common in Illinois. 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 has spoken about how one of his clients took out a $50,000 lawsuit loan and ended up owing the lawsuit lender nearly $1 million.
Lawsuit lenders sometimes can charge as much as 150% interest, which is why many people now refer to these lenders as “lawsuit loan sharks.” You can learn even more about how plaintiffs can end up owing more than they borrowed from the lawsuit loan sharks and use a helpful lawsuit loan calculator at the website.
The need for responsible regulation of the lawsuit loan industry is clear. High interest rates for lawsuit loans leads to higher settlement amounts and ultimately to more lawsuits.
Unfortunately, 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.
Illinois consumers need to be protected from the “lawsuit loan sharks.” It is time for Illinois legislators to pass common sense, reasonable regulations that protect consumers from being exploited by predatory lawsuit lenders.
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