Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against RD Legal Funding LLC, two related companies and their founder Roni Dersovitz accusing them of scamming 9/11 victims and National Football League (NFL) concussion victims out of millions of dollars that the 9/11 victims were to receive under the Zadroga Fund established by Congress to help first responders to the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 and the NFL concussion victims were to receive pursuant to the NFL’s class action settlement regarding concussion injuries suffered by former NFL players.
RD Legal is a company that provides advance payments to consumers eligible to receive payments from various lawsuit settlements or victims compensation funds, which is a legal activity. However, the CFPB and the New York Attorney General allege in their complaint that RD Legal lied to its victims about the terms of their contract with RD Legal as well as about the ability of RD Legal to speed up the processing of its victims’ claims. The CFPB also alleges that RD Legal misled its victims as to when they would actually receive compensation and charged illegally high interest to their victims. In some instances, according to RD Legal, the company collected twice as much money from their victims than they originally advanced months earlier.
These types of contracts are exceedingly complex and no one should ever sign an agreement assigning rights to payments to be received in regard to a lawsuit settlement or a victims’ compensation fund unless they have had the contracts extensively reviewed by a lawyer.