Ex-inmates lose ruling over cash from abuse case

Six former Michigan prison inmates who are due more than $3 million in an abuse lawsuit against the state could end up losing much of the money.

The women took cash advances from a financial firm before the lawsuit was settled in 2009 and so far have failed to repay a dime. Now a federal magistrate in Detroit is recommending that the financier win a civil case against the former prisoners.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Komives says there’s nothing illegal about the 4.25 percent monthly interest rate charged by MFL CaseFunding. His recommendation, made Monday, now goes to another federal judge, Mark Goldsmith.

Attorney Ralph Sirlin says the women were “desperate” for cash, and the deals should be declared illegal. They owed more than $2 million as of last summer.

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