Yesterday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed the nation’s first law to curb lawsuit lending abuses. Lawsuit lenders commonly offer plaintiffs “up front” cash to cover immediate living or medical expenses while they are engaged in a lawsuit, often at sky-high interest rates of over 100%.
Lawsuit lending diminishes recoveries for injured consumers, prolongs litigation, and distorts the fundamental nature of the civil justice system.
With this new law, Oklahoma has taken the lead nationally to curb abuses by establishing common sense parameters for lawsuit lending. This law will bring lawsuit lenders under the Uniform Consumer Credit Code so that they must play by the same rules as others who provide loans in the state.
Governor Fallin, State Senator Brian Crain, and State Representative Leslie Osborn deserve credit for curbing lawsuit lending abuses in Oklahoma, and making their state a leader nationally on this front. Hopefully, other states will follow in Oklahoma’s footsteps.