Growing Coalition Opposes Ending Key Consumer Protections

Advocate Andy

Advocacy groups across the political spectrum unite to oppose HB 73, a bill that would end consumer protections around lawsuit funding

A coalition of groups with diverse political perspectives has emerged to oppose HB 73, legislation that would change the landscape of the legal financing industry and remove some key consumer protections.

“The extensive list of consumer advocates and business groups make strange bedfellows, that’s for sure. But it reinforces the breadth of just how problematic this legislation is,” said Horacio Mendez, President and CEO of Woodstock Institute. “We didn’t all come to the table last year to negotiate a critical consumer protection law only to have it be undone by a shadowy segment of the industry."

Three provisions of HB 73 are cause for concern, according to the coalition opposing the measure. These include:

  • The bill would add a carveout to the Consumer Legal Funding Act (CLFA) for legal funding greater than $500k
  • Under HB 73’s carveout, the sky’s the limit on the principal amount, finance charges, and fees which could be harmful to consumers
  • There is only one known proponent--the International Legal Finance Association. According to a WSJ article, foreign-funded shell companies underwrite many patent-infringement lawsuits against U.S. firms in industries critical to national security.

The coalition's members now include the following:

AARP of Illinois

Americans for Financial Reform

Capital Good Fund

Col. Paul Kantwill, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Economic Security for Illinois

Financial Inclusion for All Illinois

Illinois People’s Action

Illinois PIRG

Jewish Free Loan Chicago

Legal Action Chicago

NAACP Illinois State Conference

New America Chicago

Prosperity Now

The Resurrection Project

Woodstock Institute

Working Credit NFP

American Property Casualty Insurance Association

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Illinois Insurance Association

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois

Liberty Mutual

National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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