Who is watching out for the consumers?

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Questionable, and often unscrupulous, new crops of lenders are popping up every day with innovative schemes to profit off other peoples’ pain.

These lenders tout their benefits to those in need of quick cash and argue that they shouldn’t be regulated because they are simply “advancing” funds prior to a legal settlement or other payment. But they are imposing fees and interest rates on their “customers” that are excessive by any standards. (See recent story in The New York Times about pension lenders).

Who is watching out for the consumers? No one, it seems, and that is a shame.

In Texas, we have a chance right now to create a fair playing field for all parties involved in a loan by putting transparency and realistic rates into one of these burgeoning industries: lawsuit lenders.

Lawsuit lenders prey on people when they are at their most vulnerable. They offer quick cash in advance of legal settlements but often charge up to 150% of the loan in fees and interest. Since they are new in Texas, lawsuit lenders are operating under zero regulation in our state.

House Bill 1595, by Rep. Doug Miller, will protect Texas consumers from these predatory practices.  But our lawmakers need to hear from us.

Please contact your lawmaker today and tell them to protect Texas consumers.  It’s time we drew a line in the sand against unscrupulous lenders who prey on Texans. Lawmakers need to take a stand. Today.