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Crushed by Confessions of Judgement: The Small Business Story

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Crushed by Confessions of Judgement: The Small Business Story.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:30 A.M. on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Time and again, small businesses report one of the biggest challenges they face in starting, operating, or expanding a business is access to capital. Unfortunately, some small firms fall victim to merchant cash advance companies who require borrowers to sign a document called a confession of judgment (COJ) as part of an application. By signing, small business borrowers agree in advance to automatically lose in the event of a legal dispute. That lender can then accuse a borrower of not paying, without presenting proof, and have a court judgment signed by a clerk the same day. At that point the lender can present the COJ to the borrower’s bank demanding funds, leaving small business owners penniless overnight and forced to close their business. This hearing will enable the Committee to examine this practice as Members seek to address this issue. Members will hear from a variety of witnesses detailing the legalities of the practice, its use, and impact on small business borrowers.

To view a livestream of the hearing, please click here

Hearing Notice 

Hearing Memo 

Witness List 


Mr. Hosea Harvey 
Law Professor and Consumer Finance Law Expert
Philadelphia, PA

Mr. Jerry Bush 
Former Owner 
JB Plumbing & Heating of Virginia, Inc. 
Roanoke, VA

Mr. Shane Heskin 
White and Williams, LLP. 
Philadelphia, PA 

Mr. Benjamin R. Picker
McCausland Keen + Buckman
Devon, PA 

*Witness testimony will be posted within 24 hours after the hearing’s occurrence

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