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Reformers Score Wins over Lawsuit Lenders in Colorado, Oklahoma

A unanimous Colorado Court of Appeals yesterday ruled against lawsuit lenders seeking to evade the state’s consumer lending laws, while Oklahoma legislators sent a bill to the governor that will subject such lenders to the Uniform Consumer Credit Code.

The big win for reformers came in Colorado, where lawsuit lenders had actually sued Attorney General John Suthers, who had insisted that lawsuit lenders’ products were in fact loans (not “debt purchases,” as lenders contend) and thus subject to lending laws that sharply limit interest rates, among other things.  The court agreed with the attorney general, significantly hemming in a controversial industry that many call “predatory.”

In Oklahoma, SB 1016 now awaits the signature of Gov. Mary Fallin, who’ll presumably sign it into law in order to protect vulnerable tornado victims, some of  whom could well be tempted by lawsuit lenders should they pursue litigation connected to the rebuilding process.  The Oklahoma bill doesn’t include everything reformers wanted, but it’s a solid step forward.

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