Are Lawsuit Loans Worth It? Pros And Cons Of Getting One

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Are lawsuit loans worth it

Although you may have already filed a personal injury suit, the court proceedings are typically slow. Before borrowing money from your lawsuit, learn when a lawsuit loan is worth it and when it might put you at risk.

What are lawsuit settlement loans?

A settlement advance is a cash advance option that gives plaintiff borrowers access to a portion of their estimated settlement (or jury verdict) amount before their case settles or resolves. They work under non-recourse funding contract agreements, which means they are free of risk to the borrower.

Lawsuit settlement loans are relatively easy to obtain when your case is strong, and your attorney collaborates with the lender. They are available for plaintiffs involved in personal injuries and commercial litigation, from small amounts to jumbo funds.

Sounds like a pretty sweet arrangement when it comes to borrowing money from your pending lawsuit settlement. Having the freedom to have the needed cash until your case resolves could be temporarily beneficial. But if you’re considering applying for a settlement loan, get to know the pros and cons first.

To aid in your search, here are some tips for finding the best lawsuit loan companies for your situation.

Pros and cons behind lawsuit loan transactions

Before taking out a cash advance on your pending lawsuit, consider some of the pros and cons.

Four lawsuit loan advantages

1. There is no risk to the plaintiff.

Risk-free loans do not require the usual collateral (like a house or a car). The only collateral a funder considers is your future settlement proceeds because legal funding is non-recourse. Funding companies take the loss when cases are lost.

2. No credit or job verification

Funding companies do not check your credit score or employment status to approve you for a lawsuit loan as long as your case is strong enough to win.

3. High cash advance amounts.

Lawsuit loans come in all sorts of amounts, starting at $500 for a case worth $5,000 up to $2 million for a personal injury case with a value of $20 million. Litigation claimants can get funding starting in the vicinity of $500,000, all the way up to $20,000,000 or more. The typical pre-settlement funding company will release up to 20% of what the litigation is worth regarding corporate claims.

4. Fast application and approval time. 

Since you can obtain lawsuit cash advances through a variety of funding firms, the approval takes 24-48 hours if the lender is well-capitalized. Others take a proximity of 3 to 7 business days.

Four lawsuit loan disadvantages

1. Lawsuit loan interest rates are higher than normal. 

Because settlement loans are non-recourse, they’re perceived by legal financiers as extremely risky. Pre-settlement funding interest rates can go between 26% to 42% a year with reputable settlement loan companies and up to 200% with predatory lenders.

Do not expect a lawsuit loan interest rate to be like your traditional financial institution. Since a lawsuit funding advance is not considered to be an actual loan (in the conventional sense), lawsuit lenders do not provide real loans. On the contrary, they provide non-recourse financing. Simply put, if you don’t win your dispute, you will not be obligated to pay the advance. But if a bank lends you money, and you don’t pay it, they’ll come after you and drive you through bankruptcy for defaulting on the debt. This is why our rates are higher than theirs.

Some local government officials have tried to ban legal funding or make it an actual loan, resulting in litigation funding companies withdrawing from those states for the extra added risk on top of the already high risk. Ironically, these actions indirectly help insurance companies since not having money for your main expenses will force you to take the lowest amount possible from your settlement out of desperation.

That said, no matter what restrictions these individuals try to impose on the legal funding industry, with their “consumer safeguards” excuse, you know someone is a perpetrator if they are on the insurance’s side to prohibit plaintiff funding robustly. These actions bring a massive disadvantage to injured plaintiffs in need and a huge advantage to insurance companies.

Many bar associations have suggested that legal funding is an ethically robust business that increases access to justice. As a plaintiff, always ensure that the rate on the lawsuit loan doesn’t go above 42% per year and that you don’t take out more than 10% of your case’s value.

2. Be careful with an not so reputable settlement lender

While the rates and fees of your lawsuit advance can multiply the initial rates when they are compounding, you need to do your homework. The fees should always be transparent, and one way to know this is by looking at the funding contract’s yearly interest rate.

Do not choose a settlement lender that provides high-interest rates (higher than 41% per year). Scrupulous companies offer those types of rates that may raise the chance of you ending up with a quarter of your monetary compensation or even losing your settlement money when it pays out.

3. Your attorney plays a key part in your qualification.

Your lawyer helps us figure out the details of your case and estimate its value. He or she will also let the lender know if any other outstanding liens may affect the loan amount. Additionally, attorneys handle the lawsuit loan repayement as it goes on a lien.

On that nore, although he or she has no obligation to sign a funding contract, your lawyer cannot deny you from getting a lawsuit loan from a reputable company. Attorneys know they cannot give advances on settlements. Truth is, most attorneys help their clients get funding by looking for a top-rated lawsuit loan company.

However, less than 0.02% of lawyers in the United States deny their clients with strong, fundable, and meritable claims from getting pre-settlement loans. Understandably, lawyers want to avoid predatory lending, but denying clients from getting financial assistance during a good case, can also hurt the victim.

4. Your case has to be strong enough to win. 

If a lawsuit loan funding company believes your personal injury case has merit, it will release you the amount you need to cover your expenses, considering other criteria is met.

It’s important to take note that f your claim is recent and you only have soft tissue injuries; the lawsuit loan might end up costing you 100% interest a year with lenders who fund these soft tissue claims.

When is a lawsuit loan a good idea?

Lawsuit loans are a great option if you need a quick cash advance from your potential compensation now to pay your medical bills or other day-to-day expenses. Other good reasons to use legal funding include paying for transportation to take kids to school or taking your dog to the veterinarian.

What can I use a lawsuit loan for?

Paying rent and other household bills. Using a lawsuit loan to save you from getting evicted or foreclosure could be an intelligent choice when borrowing against a credit card is no longer an option. If you find you have credit restraints, liquidity issues, or other obstacles to getting the money you need, then you may use settlement funding for those needs.

Paying off medical bills. Out-of-pocket costs can stack up when you have been involved in a pedestrian accident or a slip and fall. If you visit the doctor’s office without insurance, you’ll only be getting more bills in the mail. You can use a lawsuit loan to pay off some of your medical expenses while you fight for the settlement you deserve.

Life-threatening emergencies. More expenses will appear when you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit. Others are so costly, especially for medical malpractice, or wrongful imprisonment victims. You can pay for significant life-threatening conditions with a loan from your lawsuit. But, make sure you only borrow what you need.

When not to obtain a lawsuit loan?

Lawsuit loans are not a good idea for everyone that is involved in a personal injury lawsuit. After all, lawsuit loans are still a form of financing against your future compensation proceeds. If you feel that you have a habit of overspending for no reason, then taking out a lawsuit loan for extra things to spend on makes no sense.

Some funding companies will tell you that you can use your plaintiff loan on just about anything, but think twice before borrowing a pending lawsuit loan from a company that doesn’t care how you spend the funding. Using your advance intelligently is key to getting through your financial difficulties until your the lawsuit resolves.

Remember that you may be able to take out a loan on your litigation once or twice in your lifetime. Your potential settlement payment could be your only exit to save you from worse financial events in the future while helping you get maximum value for your case.

Lawsuit funding is unregulated, so follow these 5 tips.

  1. Only borrow the money that you need from your lawsuit. Even the lowest lawsuit loan interest rates can be extremely high.
  2. Search for the right funder. See what kind of lawsuit loan rates companies offer. Check several funders, too, like Baker Street Funding or Fast Cash. Tribeca Lawsuit Loans and Nova Legal Funding are also reputable firms.
  3. Do your due diligence. Research who they are, dig deep into their reviews.
  4. Know what the contract says. Because a settlement advance is an investment in your legal settlement outcome, the interest rate of return is relatively high when compared to bank loans. However, never sign a legal funding contract with higher rates than industry average. Make sure your attorney explains the agreement to you. 
  5. Be aware of red flags. Does the company you contact demand you only speak over text message? Do they say they are going to call your attorney and delay in doing so? Do they give you a general pre-selected answer to every question you ask? If you don’t feel comfortable, walk away, and seek elsewhere.

Final considerations.

A settlement advance could be a life-saving financial instrument when you have no other option and face dire economic consequences like foreclosure and eviction.

But before taking out one:

  • Know how much you need and only use the funds for emergency expenses.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of taking out a lawsuit loan.
  • Make sure you explore all your financial options, including borrowing money from friends first.
  • Learn about your alternatives, such as a home equity loan, ask people you trust for some money until your case settles, or try to get a credit card balance transfer.
  • Be sure to research and be on the lookout for what lawsuit loan companies do and don’t reveal. 
  • Ask several funders what their rates are to compare interest rates and loan terms. Please don’t take their word for it, but make sure that the contract matches what they tell you. 
  • It is very important to read the fine print, including fees and compounding rates. 
  • Before accepting a lawsuit loan, use a lawsuit loan calculator to determine whether or not you should take out the advance.

Once you have what you need, decide if the benefits of a lawsuit loan outweigh the drawbacks. At the end of the day, you want to work with a lender that makes you feel as comfortable as possible for a fair price.

Need to request a settlement advance?

Lawsuit lending is extremely risky to loan companies, and there’s no one-size-fits-all scenario when it comes to pre-settlement funding approvals.

Baker Street Funding only requires that you have an attorney and a strong case. We are so confident in our legal funding team and our contracts’ structure that we encourage our clients to shop around when they feel insecure. And, while it may be frustrating for your lawyer to field calls from multiple lawsuit funding companies, we are optimistic that our contracts and our customer service trump anyone else in the industry. 

We do not run credit or employment checks as other companies do. The strength of your litigation solely dictates our amounts. This means that if you have been denied loans before and need immediate cash now, those denials will not affect your ability to receive a settlement funding advance from us.

While all our contracts are custom-tailored to each plaintiff’s case, you typically will have to pay back the original amount advanced to you plus interest rates at the time of settlement proceeds. So there is no risk to you.

Your lawyer cannot give you an advance on your settlement, but you can still borrow money from your lawsuit judgment or settlement from Baker Street Funding. You have the option to take a custom rolling contract that gives you access to a fixed amount of cash each month, or you can re-apply for a second lawsuit loan if you run out of money. This way, you can rest assured that you will meet your financial obligations.

Ready to get funding? The application is easy and fast. See the sunrise with lawsuit funding today.

At Baker Street Funding, we give you the inside scoop on pre-settlement funding by covering a variety of ... financing and legal topics to help you made the best financial decision for you and for your case. Our experts break down complex ideas in a way that's easy to understand so you can stay informed on current trends as well as tips and fact checked information by the CEO and founder, Daniel Digiaimo. Furthermore, Despite its name, consumer legal funding is not a loan. If you don't win your case, no payment needs to be made back. To avoid confusion and simplify matters on, we'll use the word "loan" throughout this article.

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