As co-founders of the Bairs Foundation, my wife Amy and I know that in our civil justice system, funding plaintiffs and their families during litigation is frequently needed. Complex cases can be financial marathons, and plaintiffs sometimes run out of money before their lawsuit concludes.
However, we have also witnessed firsthand the caustic effect non-recourse lending has had on thousands of individual plaintiffs. That’s why we started the Bairs Foundation — to change the norm for non-recourse lending. Our team works hard every day to give plaintiffs a lending option that won’t financially cripple them, and we commend any effort beyond our foundation that protects plaintiffs’ rights by extension.
In 2013, the Colorado State Court of Appeals ruled that businesses providing cash advances to plaintiffs are lending money and therefore should be regulated as such. The decision upholds a ruling that sided with Attorney General John Suthers’ decision in 2010 that under state law, litigation-finance companies must register as lenders.
The ruling prompted Oasis Legal Finance and LawCash to file suit against Colorado State, arguing that advancing funds is different than providing loans. The state counter-sued and won.
“Litigation-advance companies take advantage of consumers in desperate financial situations,” said Jan Zavislan, deputy attorney general for consumer protection, told the Denver Post after the ruling in 2013. “The Colorado Court of Appeals recognized that Colorado law protects consumers from such predatory practices.”
We at the Bairs Foundation commend the Colorado State Court of Appeals for acting as a leader in the movement to crack down on unregulated non-recourse lawsuit lenders. States’ attorneys general can make a difference to millions of plaintiffs if they would take up similar cases, and we urge them to do so as soon as possible.
About John Bair
John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process. Motivated by a desire to assist others in protecting their financial well-being, John and his wife Amy established the Bairs Foundation. At seven percent simple interest, the organization provides the financial assistance families need during litigation. Read more at http://www.bairsfoundation.org/.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).