In response to plaintiffs asking, ‘do lawyers give advances on settlements?’, the simple answer is no. Attorneys do not provide advances on pending lawsuit settlements. In fact, you cannot get a loan from your lawyer at all. It is against the ethics guidelines that attorneys abide by to give their clients money secured by a settlement, award, or civil verdict.
However, the good news is that your lawyer can direct you on how to borrow money against a lawsuit from a third-party lawsuit loan company.
In this post, we’ll walk you through some information that will help you understand why attorneys cannot lend money to their clients and how they can potentially refer you to a company that can.
See the reasons why your lawyer can’t give you a loan
Conflict of interest around attorneys giving money to their clients
Virtually every attorney knows better than to give their client money or a loan directly or indirectly related to a case that is still active.
Unless a lawyer is looking to face severe punishment for giving a client money, getting disbarred, or being suspended from practicing law, your attorney will turn the other way whenever talks of giving money to a client come up.
It is important to note that law firms must be extremely cautious not to give money to victims they represent.
Why? When attorneys advance any money to people they represent, they are obviously directly involved with the case; therefore, it affects their judgment because of their monetary interest in the legal matter. An attorney is already invested in your case by charging a contingency fee and can not have an investment interest in your case as well.
So to answer the question and debunk the famous myth that you can take a loan from your attorney, the answer is no. Absolutely not.
Under the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct – Rule 1.8: Current Clients: “A lawyer shall not provide financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation.”
This ABA rule simply translates to “lawyers must not lend their clients any money.”
The exception to this rule
Although the American Bar Association prohibits attorneys from providing funds to their clients for living expenses, there is an exception to this rule.
Lawyers are allowed to use litigation case funding transactions to access capital to cover case-related expenses such as expert testimony, deposition costs, obtaining evidence, medical examination, and other litigation expenditures.
A hypothetical scenario on why you can’t get an advance from your attorney
If your attorney is able to secure a settlement award on your case, they will receive a previously agreed-upon fee that is a percentage of the award amount. Most contingency fee agreements are around 30-40%. This amount will be negotiated when you hire your attorney. The average contingency fee nationwide is 33%.
A plaintiff is carrying a loan of $20,000 directly from their attorney for two years with an 80% APR.
When the client receives the settlement, it is worth $100,000.
With the minimum retainer fee of 33% + other liens from the lawsuit averaging $12,000, in this scenario, the client would ideally keep $55,000.
However, the borrower plaintiff has to also pay their attorney back a principal of $20,000 (lent to them) + $32,000 in interest (2 years).
- Attorney fees: $33,000
- A loan from an attorney: $20,000
- Interest from an attorney: $32,000
- Liens: $12,000
This hypothetical equation equals a total of $85,000 for an attorney engaged in lending money to a client.
In this scenario, the plaintiff would ultimately end up taking home $3,000 from a $100,000 settlement.
In order to avoid exploitation of clients’ weaknesses, such as the hypothetical scenario above, attorneys are barred from lending money to clients as loans against anticipated settlements.
An attorney that loans money to a client could potentially do it for the purpose of making money from that client.
Can I get an advance on my settlement from a third-party company?
The answer is yes. Depending on a few factors, you can get an advance on your potential settlement from any legal funding company that approves your case.
But regardless of how you choose to receive your advance, one consideration before putting your legal representative in a compromising position is to look for a legitimate legal funding company that can actually assist you. This way, you don’t ask your attorney for money; instead, you provide them with a company that you’d like to work with.
Most attorneys understand that their clients cannot get money directly from them, but the best attorneys will have no problem working with reputable lawsuit lending companies for a loan.
Should I take a cash advance from a company my attorney refers me to?
Pre-settlement advances may seem like a godsend to many plaintiffs, but one point you should consider emphasizing is that settlement funding should not be taken lightly.
While it’s unethical for your attorney to loan you money because he is directly related to your litigation, it is also unethical to refer you to a predatory lender.
Many funding companies charge up to 80% to 200% compounding in yearly rates, which can be likened to ripping you off your monetary recovery. The best way to avoid a situation is to not sign their contracts.
With this said, no matter who (i.e., paralegal, legal assistant, lawyer, case manager) refers you to a legal funding company, a lower interest rate isn’t always guaranteed. This is the reason why it’s important to understand what to watch for before you get cash from your upcoming settlement.
Receiving a loan from a predatory company can negatively impact the outcome of your legal compensation payment and put you in a worse position—if you and your attorney are not careful.
Fortunately, pre-settlement lawsuit loans from legitimate companies can save you from the temptation of settling early or buckling under pressure from the defendant or out of frustration. They can also save you a lot of money after your lawsuit settles.
It’s worth mentioning that your attorney can refer your case to a nationwide trusted funding company like Baker Street Funding that charges non-compounding low interest, provides a 3-year capped rate, and has no credit or employment verification.
Since your attorney can’t give you money, Baker Street Funding might be the safety net you need to cover your bills while they fight for the settlement or award you deserve.
What are the benefits of pre-settlement loans?
The bottom line: convenience, risk-free, and speed.
The top benefits of pre-settlement lawsuit loans are the convenience of getting money before your settlement without credit and work verification requirements. Another benefit of using them is the ease that it will buy your attorney enough time to build a formidable case and negotiate a better offer.
Unless you’re new to litigation, you will know that defense attorneys use the “stall tactics” to impede accelerated or quick hearing of your case.
Unfortunately, the families of car accident victims, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and slip and falls often face mammoth bills, especially if the victim is the family’s breadwinner. As such, insurance companies pitch these innocent victims with ridiculous out-of-court settlements and low-ball offers.
Fortunately, pre-settlement lawsuit loans from legitimate companies can save you from the temptation of settling early or buckling under pressure from the defendant or out of frustration.
To not settle early increases the chances of getting the maximum value for your settlement or award.
The plaintiff or their loved ones can use pre-settlement funding to cushion the financial strain that trails protracted lawsuits at no risk.
How are non-recourse pre-settlement lawsuit loans risk-free?
Taking a cash advance on a future settlement is similar to taking traditional loans. However, the difference is that a pre-settlement lawsuit loan is a risk-free loan based on the future proceeds of your lawsuit.
What does that mean? When you take a cash advance on a potential settlement or award, repaying the loan is dependent on the outcome of the settlement or judgment. You only pay back the loan if you win your lawsuit or judgment; otherwise, you are under no obligation to repay both the principal and interest. Hence, the name; lawsuit loans are risk-free.
Also, unlike traditional loans, you don’t need a good credit score or have a job to fund with Baker Street Funding. We understand that it’s almost impossible to work during litigation, especially if the victim was involved in a traffic accident or wrongful imprisonment.
As such, we don’t check your credit or employment before evaluating your case or granting the loan approval.
How to get a loan on your settlement?
Whether you’re considering a small settlement advance or a larger loan, understanding how settlement loans work—can give you a realistic view of what to expect.
Baker Street Funding is recognized for its swiftness in providing reliable funding and an incredibly easy process.
Here is how to go about it:
Before applying for funds, please consult with your attorney and let them guide you on how to get a loan on your settlement. They will also help you determine the value of your case to push your case and sustain the momentum without throwing in the towel.
After due consultations with your legal representative, the funding process will involve the following three steps:
- First, you fill out our online application form. Not to worry, it won’t take much time (you are only required to fill out few details of the case, the law firm in charge of your legal claim, and basic information from you).
- Next, when you submit your lawsuit loan application, a funding team will contact you to finish the pre-qualification and confirm your attorney will participate in helping you. Then, they will immediately contact your legal practitioner to get your legal documents for underwriting to evaluate your case. If your legal matter meets the funding requirements, we will notify you almost immediately, and you and your attorney will receive a non-recourse loan agreement to sign.
- Lastly, when our team receives the signed funding contract back, we will disburse the funds to you without a second delay. All of these are usually done within 24 hours — making it possible for you to get settlement loans on the same day.
You must have an attorney representing your case on contingency. If you are not sure what that means, having an attorney work on a contingency basis means that they will provide legal services without upfront charges. As such, you don’t have to worry about legal fees until after the case is settled.
Last but not least, the person you are suing must have insurance; otherwise, your funding application will be denied.
Bear in mind that although your lawyer cannot deny you from getting a lawsuit advance, you cannot get a lawsuit loan without an attorney’s signature or consent.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, you can get lawsuit loans near all fundable states within 24 hours.
The bottom line
You cannot borrow money from your lawyer, but you can potentially borrow cash on your pending settlement from Baker Street Funding.
Now that you understand that bar lawyers are prohibited from advancing or guaranteeing financial assistance to clients beyond the expenses of the lawsuit itself, you can make informed decisions about what financial path to take and if lawsuit funding makes sense.
Baker Street Funding is one of the leaders in the legal funding space. Upon approval, you can get settlement funds as an advance within 24 hours or less. We also provide low fixed interest rates and even lower if your lawyer refers us to your case.
Pre-settlement lawsuit loans allow you to get a cash advance on your pending lawsuit to cater to urgent financial expenses immediately while your case is being litigated or resolved.
The advantages of opting for pre-settlement lawsuit loans from the best lawsuit loan companies like Baker Street Funding are endless. We have partnered up with attorneys nationwide who trust us with their clients when they need a cash advance on pending lawsuit settlements or settled claims.
We help people get lawsuit loans with low rates (fixed and capped) starting at 24% a year. A capped rate means that even if your case takes 10 years to settle, we won’t charge you more interest after the third year of the loan agreement with us.
Get up to 10% of your expected settlement amount to cater to living expenses, medical bills, and other costs related to your needs. And you can get even more if you have pending surgeries or an offer.
Apply for a lawsuit loan in just a few minutes—with no strings attached.