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June 21, 2018

Law Professor: “Lawsuit Lenders are Like Sharks to Shipwrecks”

A law professor at Roger Williams University School of Law said “lawsuit lenders are like sharks to shipwrecks” who “capitaliz[e] on tragedy” in a response to a defense of the industry in Crain’s New York Business.

Professor Jenna Wims Hashway, who wrote Litigation Loansharks: A History of Litigation Lending and a Proposal to Bring Litigation Advances Within the Protection of Usury Laws, pushed back on an argument that said plaintiffs would be hurt by lawsuit lending regulation. She said it isn’t regulation, but “the usurious, extortionate rates of interest charged by this unregulated industry that hurt consumers the most.”

The lawsuit lending industry has been the subject of intense media scrutiny after reports of abuses in the New York Times and New York Post. Professor Hashway called it “low-risk, usurious profiteering, directed at vulnerable consumers.

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