“Do you need cash now? Have a pending lawsuit? Now you can get the money you need in as little as 24 hours!”
If you watch a lot of late night or daytime TV, you’ve probably seen dozens of those commercials blaring at you from the screen, promising to put money in your hand to pay your bills while you are waiting for your lawsuit to be settled.
It’s all part of a burgeoning lawsuit lending business that has been steadily growing in America. And if it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it almost certainly is. In reality, opponents claim these loans are misleading, unregulated, and carry interest rates that can exceed a shocking 200%, leaving some people with nothing.
That’s what happened to Jeffery Hall of Oklahoma. After suffering injuries on the job, Hall borrowed $6,600 dollars from a lawsuit lender. When his case was finally settled three years later, he ended up owing more than $18,000.
“It needs regulation,” Hall added. “Not just in one state, but every state.”
Chicago plaintiffs’ attorney Frank Avila agrees.
According to Avila, one of his clients ended up owing more than $900,000 to the lawsuit lenders — for a loan that was only $50,000.
“You’re getting somebody at the weakest point of their life, perhaps, and you’re saying, okay, sign this and we’re going to give you money,” said Avila.
For Jeffery Hall, signing for one of these lawsuit loans ended up in bankruptcy, costing him his house in the process. “They’re mafia guys trying to steal money from poor, innocent people,” added Hall.