SB360 SFAT Trump 3-6
Senator Trump moved to amend the bill by striking out the title and substituting therefor a new title, to read as follows:
Eng. Com. Sub. for Senate Bill 360—A Bill to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §46A-6N-1, §46A-6N-2, §46A-6N-3, §46A-6N-4, §46A-6N-5, §46A-6N-6, §46A-6N-7, §46A-6N-8, and §46A-6N-9, all relating to consumer litigation financing; providing that a litigation financier shall register as a litigation financier in this state; providing registration requirements for business entities, partnerships, and individuals; providing that litigation financiers shall secure a bond or an irrevocable letter of credit; providing to whom the bond is payable; requiring litigation financiers to amend their registration if their information changes or becomes inaccurate or incomplete; providing that the Secretary of State may promulgate rules; providing that the terms of a litigation financing transaction shall be set forth in a completed, written contract; providing that the litigation financing contract shall contain a right of rescission; providing that a litigation financing contract shall contain certain written acknowledgements and disclosures; providing that a litigation financier shall not pay, or offer to pay, commissions, referral fees, or other consideration to any attorney, law firm, medical provider, chiropractor, or physical therapist or any of their employees for referring a consumer to the litigation financier; providing that a litigation financier shall not accept commissions, referral fees, rebates, or other consideration; providing that a litigation financier shall not advertise false or misleading information; providing that a litigation financier shall not refer a consumer or potential consumer to a specific attorney, law firm, medical provider, chiropractor, or physical therapist; permitting a litigation financier to refer a consumer without legal representation to a local or state bar referral service; providing that a litigation financier shall supply copies of the contract to the consumer and the consumer’s attorney; providing that a litigation financier shall not attempt to waive any of a consumer’s remedies; providing that a litigation financier shall not attempt to effect mandatory arbitration or otherwise effect waiver of a consumer’s right to a jury trial; providing that a litigation financier shall not offer or provide legal advice; providing that a litigation financier shall not assign a litigation financing contract to a third party; providing certain exceptions to assignment prohibition; providing that a litigation financier shall not report a consumer to a credit reporting agency; providing that a litigation financier shall not receive any right to direct or make decisions with respect to the conduct of a consumer’s legal claim; providing that an attorney or law firm retained by a consumer shall not have a financial interest in, and shall not receive referral fees or other consideration from, a company offering litigation financing to consumers; providing that a litigation financing contract shall contain certain disclosures and terms; providing form disclosures; requiring disclosure of a litigation financing agreement to other litigation parties without awaiting a discovery request unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court; providing that a violation shall render the contract unenforceable; providing that a court may assess costs and attorneys’ fees against the defendant; clarifying authority of the Attorney General; providing that a contingent right to receive an amount under a legal claim may be assigned by a consumer; providing a priority of liens; providing exceptions for certain liens and claims; providing a maximum annual fee; providing a maximum frequency of annual fee charges; providing that fees may compound semiannually but may not compound based on any lesser time period; providing means for calculating annual percentage fee or rate of return; providing a maximum term for assessing fees; restricting incorporation of prior obligations; prohibiting litigation financiers from knowingly providing financing to a consumer with existing obligations to another litigation financier except under certain circumstances; and permitting multiple litigation financiers to contemporaneously provide financing to a consumer when the consumer and the consumer’s attorney consent to the agreement in writing.