Columbus, OH (PRWEB) August 27, 2008
My Legal Advance (http://www.mylegaladvance.com) announced today that it plans on offering lawsuit loans to plaintiffs in Ohio.
For the first time, residents of Ohio will be allowed to receive financing on their pending lawsuits, a practice commonly referred to as a lawsuit loan. Until today, Ohio was the only state that did not allow the 100-plus lawsuit funding companies to fund its civil cases.
Backed by popular support, Governor Strickland signed House Bill 248 into law on May 28th, 2008, which will make lawsuit funding on Ohio lawsuits available as of August 28th, 2008. The bill had unanimously passed both the House and Senate.
Lawsuit Funding Historically Debated but Now Fully Accepted in all 50 States:
For years, lawsuit funding was viewed as a way for speculators to "gorge upon the fruits of litigation" -- a way to gamble on lawsuits--and the Ohio Supreme Court even ruled in August of 2003 that lawsuit financing was against a 180-year-old state law against champerty (the action of financing lawsuits). After seeing lawsuit funding work effectively in every state and seeing numerous states lift their bans on the practice such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Ohio has also overturned this previous ruling, allowing its constituents the right to choose whether they get funding on their civil suits or not.
Leaders Applaud Ohio's New Stance on Funding:
Betty Montgomery, the former Ohio Attorney General, said, "A well-regulated legal finance market is a very competitive, consumer friendly thing. This is a new market where firms are trying to create options for consumers and meet an acute need."
Betty Montgomery also said, "The Ohio bill that passed has a number of important elements that will protect consumers, most notably the requirement that the consumer's lawyer must be involved in the process and that there be full disclosure on all the terms of the legal funding advance."
Although champerty (lawsuit lending) was once illegal in common law due to the fear of it encouraging lawsuits, today it is successfully being used by plaintiffs to get larger settlements. Jason Argall, the Operations Manager of My Legal Advance (http://www.mylegaladvance.com), a lawsuit funding company, is doubtful, "The corporate interests in our lawsuit funding space have very little lobbying power compared to the powerful corporate interests in the insurance industry where they make their profits on desperate plaintiffs who are forced to accept settlement offers that are less than they deserve. We give these desperate plaintiffs the funds so they can wait for their full settlements. When the lending process is regulated, as it will be in Ohio, it's a win-win scenario. Based on the number of Ohio residents we've had to turn down for funding over the last few years, this bill was long overdue."
HB 248 Has Stronger Regulations for Ohio Lawsuit Funding Than Most States:
-- Since there are no Federal regulations on lawsuit loans, Ohio has instituted consumer-protection regulations which surpass those in all states. HB 248 requires that:
-- Contracts can be canceled by the plaintiff within five business days with no penalty;
-- The total dollar advance and a breakdown of fees, including the annualized rate of return, must be clearly disclosed in the contracts;
-- The legal financing contract requires written acknowledgment by the lawyer representing the plaintiff in the civil lawsuit, specifying that the lawyer has reviewed the contract and all costs and fees have been disclosed;
-- For French and Spanish-speaking consumers, contracts will be available in their primary language; and
-- In the contract, the lawsuit loan company will agree that it has no right to make any decisions involving the claim and its settlement.
About My Legal Advance:
My Legal Advance (http://www.mylegaladvance.com/ohio.htm) is a lawsuit finance brokering site, which means they are able to get you multiple quotes and let you choose the best one. With their years of experience, they know all lenders are different and can help you find the one which will be the best for your case. This allows clients to find the lowest rates and the highest financing approvals. On funding in Ohio, Jason Argall also says, "We've already been getting slammed with phone calls from Ohio and we've added more staff for this reason, but if you're planning to call on August 28th and the phone lines are busy, please just try again after a few minutes."
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