The Louisiana House supported legislation (Senate Bill 299 by Sen. Dan Morrish, R-Jennings) Thursday, May 29 that would give the lawsuit lending industry the green light to continue taking advantage of vulnerable consumers and leveraging the taxpayer-funded court system for private gain.

The bill specifies that lawsuit-funding transactions are not loans and are not subject to Louisiana’s Consumer Credit Law. LABI supported an amendment to remove the problematic language in the bill that deregulates the industry, overturning the Attorney General’s opinion in 2011 that these transactions are in fact loans. Without this amendment, Senate Bill 299 does little to change current practice.

LABI’s 2014 Program of Work supports regulation of lawsuit lending and consumer protection, but goes further to seek “a limit on the maximum loan finance charges allowed in consumer lawsuit loan transactions.” As a result, LABI opposes Senate Bill 299 in its current posture.