The New York Post published an article about a now-deceased woman who never saw a cent of her settlement against New York City because the lenders are demanding $2.1 million when they loaned the woman just $21,300.
Legal vultures are descending on the estate of a dead Brooklyn resident — demanding $2.1 million as repayment for the $21,300 she took out in cash advances on an old lawsuit, her family says.
An ailing Theresa Guss had taken out five loans from two lenders — MFL Case Funding in 2006 and Law Bucks in 2007 — to pursue a slip-and-fall case against the city.
In 2005, Guss, then 54, had fallen in a 4-by-4 foot hole outside her Williamsburg apartment and fractured her hip. As her lawsuit against the city dragged on, she took out the loans, which ranged from $1,750 to $11,200.
Guss agreed to pay them back as soon as her case was settled.
But while she eventually received a $2.1 million settlement from the city, she never saw her cut, an estimated $1.1 million. The money was still tied up in liens slapped against her by the lenders when she died from lingering hip-surgery complications this past January at age 66.
Tom Stebbins with the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York called Guss’s story “shocking and deeply troubling.
“It shines a light on the dark underworld of lawsuit funding and how these vultures operate,” he said.
“This case illustrates exactly why these loan sharks should be scrutinized not only by the courts but the [state] legislature. Members of the Assembly and Senate – on both sides of the aisle – need to work together and with Gov. Cuomo and finally pass legislation to combat these horrific abuses,” Stebbins said.