WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), issued the following statement today applauding Governor Asa Hutchinson for signing into law a bill to rein in lawsuit lending abuses (SB 882). Lawsuit lending is a financial practice that provides "up-front" cash to individual plaintiffs to cover immediate living or medical expenses during litigation.
"We applaud Governor Hutchinson and the state legislature for enacting a strong bipartisan law requiring lawsuit lenders to play by the same rules as others who provide loans in Arkansas. Lawsuit lending shortchanges injured consumers since these loans are typically attached to sky-high interest rates – as much as 200 percent – that leave borrowers with little to no recovery from their lawsuit once the loan is repaid. The practice also increases litigation costs and crowds court dockets.
"With the signing of this law, Arkansas joins Tennessee in placing commonsense legislative safeguards around such loans. Other states ought to follow their lead.
"We especially commend bill sponsor Senator Jason Rapert for his tireless work on this law. Because of his leadership on this critical issue, consumers and businesses in Arkansas will no longer be exploited by this predatory industry."
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the global, national, state, and local levels.
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