Most of the plaintiffs involved in lawsuits do not realize they can get cash advance before their case settles. It is called as lawsuit funding and often referred as lawsuit loan, legal finance, legal financing, legal funding, legal funds, lawsuit cash advance, litigation financing, pre-settlement loan and plaintiff cash advance.
The following 22 facts, every plaintiff must know about lawsuit loans. I hope these will help and guide them to take a knowledgeable and judicious decision.
1. Who is eligible for Lawsuit funding?
If you are a plaintiff, involved in any of following lawsuits (but not limited to), i.e.: personal injury, auto accident, malpractice (medical, legal, construction), employment discrimination, fraud, product liability, breach of contract, Mesothelioma, negligence, workers compensation, civil rights, class action, patent infringement, whistle blower (qui tam), workers compensation (not in all states), wrongful death, commercial litigation etc.; and if you are represented by an attorney, you may be eligible for a cash advance or legal financing on your pending settlement.
2. How can I benefit from lawsuit funding?
Many plaintiffs are forced to accept a low offer due to the financial hardship that many victims experience soon after their personal injury. An advance on your settlement will allow your attorney the time needed to get the full value for your case.
3. What types of cases are funded by lawsuit pre-settlement funding companies?
A good lawsuit funding company would provide cash advances on mostly all types of cases. The most common types are listed in fact number 1.
4. Is good credit & employment necessary?
No, the lawsuit funding or legal financing is not based on credit history, unless there is a pending bankruptcy. Applicant may have bad credit score and no employment.
5. Why don’t I just get a bank loan?
Traditional financial institutions, including banks, do not generally lend solely on the merits of a lawsuit. They deem the practice of lawsuit finance or lawsuit funding as too risky.
6. Is this a lawsuit loan?
No, this is not a loan. It is actually non-recourse cash advance on the future value of your case. Unlike a loan, if you lose your case you owe nothing in return.
7. Why is this not a loan?
Loans are repayable absolutely. A loan is type of financial aid which must be repaid, with interest. But lawsuit cash advance, legal finance or lawsuit funding is actually purchasing an interest in your settlement. So, if you lose your case, you do not owe the funding company anything.
8. Do I owe any up front out-of-pocket fees or costs? Are there any additional fees, such as monthly fees, involved?
Absolutely NO! A good lawsuit financing company should not charge any upfront fee or any application fee, processing fee or any monthly fee. There should be only a single fee for the lawsuit loan, based upon the length of time to settlement of your case. There will be a specific repayment amount, due and payable only after the case resolves itself successfully. And if the case is unsuccessful, there is no repayment required.
9. Will I have to sign any documents? Will my attorney be required to sign any documents?
Yes. You will need to sign an application and after you are approved for lawsuit loan, you and your attorney will sign the Funding Agreement.
10. How big an advance on my settlement can I get?
Lawsuit cash advances are generally limited to, from 10% to 15% of the projected case value. The minimum advance is $250 and the maximum amount available on a single case is one million dollars.
11. How would this help me get more money for my case?
The defendant, in order to save time and money and settle the case early, will offer you far less than what the case is really worth. If you need immediate financial help you may feel pressured to take an earlier (and often smaller) settlement. Lawsuit funding or so called lawsuit loan can ease your immediate financial needs and allow your attorney to continue to fight for a fair larger award.
12. Is the defendant insurance company notified?
No, the only parties who know about the transaction are you (the plaintiff), your attorney handling your case, and lawsuit funding company.
13. How long does it take for me to get the funds?
If you are eligible you can have your approval decision within 72 hours after reviewing your case documents. Funding company will wire your approved lawsuit funds into your bank account or can Fed Ex your funds within 24 hours of receiving your signed Funding Agreement via fax from your attorney.
14. How is the lawsuit cash advance paid back?
The lawsuit loan is repaid out of the financial settlement award from the case. It is paid at the same time that the proceeds of the claim are paid out to you.
15. What happens if I lose my case?
You owe absolutely nothing in return! The money advanced to you is yours to keep.
16. What can I use the money for?
Anything you like. It is your money. You pay your bills, mortgage and car payments. You can take care of education expenses of your children and pay your medical bills.
17. What if I need more money later?
If you have not received all the money, lawsuit funding company may be able to advance you more on your case. You can make another request for additional settlement funding or pre-settlement funding at a later date.
18. Does the legal finance company get involved in my lawsuit case?
NO. They have no input or control in your case. They do not get involved in the attorney-client relationship. All management and decisions pertaining to your case are made by you and your attorney. They have no role in the pursuit of your case. They only involvement is to initially review your case papers, so they can evaluate the claim.
19. Is this legal?
Yes. The claim or lawsuit is yours and you own it, just like you own a piece of property. After paying your attorney and medical liens (if applicable), the potential remaining money is yours. You may sell or assign it.
20. How will my attorney feel about me doing this?
Attorneys are sympathetic to the financial strain their clients can experience. In some states, attorneys are not permitted to assist clients financially, but they are allowed to assist in seeking third-party financing, such as plaintiff lawsuit finance or lawsuit funding.
You can apply for lawsuit funding without consulting your attorney first. However your attorney plays an important role in getting your lawsuit funding.
Attorneys are typically eager to help a client obtain plaintiff funding because it may mean that a long legal proceeding won’t end with the client having no choice other than to accept a low settlement offer.
Applying for plaintiff funding does not interfere with the agreement between you and your attorney in any way.
21. Why my attorney can not lend me money?
The American Bar Association prohibits attorneys from lending money to clients for anything but case expenses. This prohibition exists to prevent a conflict of interest from arising. If you owed your attorney money you might feel pressured to accept your attorney’s advise to settle your case when you really did not want to accept the amount offered. No. This would cause a conflict of interest because your attorney would now be your creditor. In fact, the American Bar Association expressly prohibits attorneys from loaning money to their clients for anything other then case-related expenses.
22. Is this process confidential?
Yes the total process is confidential, private and quick. Underwriters take a look at your case documents and determine if they think you have a good chance of collecting on your claim. These are the same documents that your attorney prepared to fight your case. If they think your chances to win are good, they will offer you a cash advance.