Searching for a lawsuit loan can be a confusing, frustrating, and painful process. Just the fact that you need a lawsuit loan means that you have most likely been injured and had to file suit against someone to recoup damages. You may or may not be able to work and now you are having trouble making ends meet financially. You are in a difficult situation well before you start the process of finding a lawsuit loan which is why I want to share my experience in the lawsuit loan industry with my 10 guidelines. I hope that this makes the process easier for you and allows you to secure a lawsuit loan and to ultimately receive the damages that you deserve.
First of all, let me quickly define a lawsuit loan:
Lawsuit loan definition:A cash advance based upon the merits of a lawsuit that provides a plaintiff with sufficient funding to reach the conclusion of the case when the plaintiff will receive his/her fair share of the settlement or verdict. Lawsuit loans are not based on a plaintiff’s prior credit or bankruptcy status. Lawsuit financing companies give non-recourse funding to plaintiffs thus requiring the plaintiff to pay back the advance and fees/interest only upon a favorable decision in the case. If the case is lost then the cash advance is kept by the plaintiff with no obligation. Therefore, a lawsuit loan is not a true “loan” but rather a pre-settlement cash advance also know as: litigation funding, litigation finance, litigation loan, litigation cash advance, lawsuit funding, lawsuit cash advance, lawsuit financing, case loan, case cash advance, plaintiff cash advance, litigant funding, pre-settlement loan, and pre-settlement lending.
The following are my 10 Guidelines Every Plaintiff Must Know About Lawsuit Loans, please read them and understand them as they should help every plaintiff through this difficult time.
10) Understand your case
Almost all personal injury attorneys will tell their client that they have a “million dollar case.” We all know that not every case is a “million dollar case.” I am not saying that your attorney is incorrect but I am saying that you, the plaintiff, should understand your own case. Familiarize yourself with other cases that are similar to your case. How long did it take to reach a verdict/settlement? Also, research the final verdict and settlement amounts awarded to the plaintiffs in those other cases which should help set expectations on your own case.
9) Lawsuits take forever
Have you ever heard someone say that the were surprised that their lawsuit proceeded so fast? The judicial system of the is not known for being speedy and I do not think that will change anytime soon. The odds are that your lawsuit will also take longer than you expect. My suggestion is to expect your lawsuit to take twice as long as your original estimate. This should help set realistic expectations and hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your case concludes.
8) Research lawsuit loans
I have given some background on lawsuit loans in this article but you should continue to learn as much as you can about lawsuit loans before applying for one. There are some good internet sites that give more background on lawsuit loans. Some good sources of information are The Funding Exchange (https://www.thefundingexchange.com/litigation_funding.aspx) and Expert Law (www.expertlaw.com).
7) Be prepared to accept less money
A lawsuit loan is not a substitute for your settlement. It should help supplement your current income so that you are able to pay necessary bills until you receive your settlement. The average lawsuit loan amount (depending on the case type) ranges from $1,000 to $10,000. There are lawsuit loan amounts that fall outside of this range but the majority of lawsuit loan applications ask for an amount within in this range.
6) Start early
I see too many plaintiffs who need a lawsuit loan immediately or else “they will repossess my car!” If you are sure that securing a lawsuit loan is the right thing for you then be sure to apply early since these things can take time (see number 3) and no one wants to have their car repossessed.
5) Use only a respected lawsuit funding company
Lawsuit funding companies have popped-up all over the country. Some try to tout their “low interest rates” or how they are the most lenient when it comes to approving lawsuit loans. The truth is that there are respected lawsuit funding companies in the industry that have been doing business for a number of years and they are still in business because they do not try to swindle plaintiffs. I have spoken to over sixty different funding companies ranging from mom-and-pop companies to institutionally funded giants. For every one respected lawsuit funding company I have found another one that will do anything to charge plaintiffs random penalties that make no sense. These senseless penalties help to offset their “low interest rates” and actually end-up costing the plaintiff more of their settlement money in the end.
4) Do not apply with multiple lawsuit lending companies at the same time
When you apply for a lawsuit loan directly with a funding company, they contact your attorney in order to gather documentation and to review your lawsuit loan application. If you apply directly to multiple lawsuit funding companies then you have several companies contacting your attorney at the same time and asking for the same information. Your attorney will become inundated and you may be denied by all of them because companies are now tracking plaintiffs and their applications in order to stop this. A good option is The Funding Exchange. The Funding Exchange is a network of the most respected lawsuit funding companies in the industry. You complete one application on The Funding Exchange (www.TheFundingExchange.com) and your application is intelligently routed to the best litigation funding company for your case. If the funding company declines your application then it is instantly routed to the next best lawsuit funding company and so on until your application is funded (or declined by all of the appropriate funding companies).
3) Be patient
It takes time for lawsuit funding companies to gather the necessary documentation from your attorney and to review your case. It usually takes a lawsuit funding company three business days to make a decision once they have all of the documentation. But, in almost all situations, gathering the documentation from your attorney takes the most time and can sometimes take weeks depending upon how cooperative is your attorney (see number 2 below).
2) Communicate with your attorney
It is absolutely vital that you communicate with your attorney. Every lawsuit funding company needs to review documentation about your case (medical records, complaint, police report, etc.) before approving your funding application since the lawsuit loan is based on the case itself. Your attorney must provide this information to the funding company or else your application will be declined instantly. Make your attorney aware that you are in need of this money and that they should cooperate with the lawsuit funding company by promptly forwarding the requested documentation.
1) Lawsuit loans should be a last resort
Lawsuit loans are only repaid to the funding company when you win your case. But, when you win your case, the amount owed to the funding company varies greatly depending upon the length of time between the date of the advance and the date when you receive the settlement/verdict money. You should exhaust other means of funding first.
About the author:
Tony Perkins is the founder and president of The Funding Exchange which connects lawsuit funding sources in the country to plaintiffs in need of a lawsuit loan. The Funding Exchange is not a lawsuit lending company but rather it is an independent 3rd party company that routes a high volume of plaintiff applications every day to its network of litigation funding companies.