April 22, 2013
An Open Letter to Texas Lawmakers:
The Texas Association of Business (TAB) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) urge you to support HB 1595, authored by Representative Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels). This important legislation will rein in the lawsuit lending industry, a lending industry that is operating virtually unregulated in Texas and numerous other states and that poses a real danger for Texas consumers.
While TAB and LULAC don’t always see eye-to-eye on the issues facing our state, we both strongly agree that the predatory practices of lawsuit lenders cannot be allowed to take hold in the Lone Star State.
Lawsuit lenders prey on consumers when they are at their most vulnerable. They offer quick cash to plaintiffs in lawsuits in advance of monetary legal settlements. However, these lenders often charge fees and interest rates that are excessive by any standard, leaving consumers with nothing at the end of a costly litigation or, worse, in debt to the lawsuit lender. By calling their loans “investments,” these lenders have remained virtually unregulated in almost every state.
With HB 1595, Texas lawmakers will send a clear signal: your business is welcome in Texas, but you are going to face the same proper disclosures, regulations and consumer protections as conventional loan makers and banks.
This measure enjoys broad and diverse support from business, consumer organizations and even many in the trial bar. In addition to TAB and LULAC, supporters include the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce, Mexican Bar Association of Houston, Hispanic Bar Association of Austin, National Federation of Independent Business, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups. The United Ways of Texas and AARP also supported the measure during the House committee hearing.
We strongly urge you to support House Bill 1595. Thank you for your attention, and please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have questions regarding this critical piece of legislation.
|Baldo Garza||Bill Hammond|
|National Vice President for the Southwest||President|
|League of United Latin American Citizens||Texas Association of Business|