Despicable predatory personal injury loan lenders
Many of our clients are in great financial distress. They cannot work due to their injuries. Or they don't have enough money to pay for their medical bills (even if they have insurance, it rarely covers extraordinary medical expenses). They become financially desperate and overwhelmed. That is when "legal finance lenders" come sniffing around.
These outfits loan money to plaintiffs on the promise that they will only be repaid if the plaintiff wins the case. They claim the "risk" in lending money justifies charging grotesque finance charges.
When I use the term "grotesque" - let me explain what I mean - Outrageous, putrid, detestable amounts of money.
The NY Times today published an expose on this "industry." An example includes a blind diabetic who borrowed $9,150 to pay for help. Within 18 months he owed $23,588. After paying off the $14,000 "interest" plus principal fromhis settlement recovery in a Vioxx case, he ended up with nothing.
These loan sharks can ignore usury laws in most states. A few states have started to sue them. But they have strong lobbyists. They are trying to pass their own laws giving them special status.
Even the worst lenders - some of the pay day lending, check cashing type shops - don't begin to approach the disgraceful predatory practices of these outfits. I've started seeing their ads on TV and each time I about want to vomit.
If you are a plaintiff with a personal injury claim, do whatever you have to do to survive. But don't ever strike a bargain with a devil in the disguise of a PI loan lender.