Is this a good avenue for me to take - if I need the money?
A pre-settlement advance is a good option if you need money while waiting for trial - as long as your case should win. Our legal team looks the over the case for its strength in order to fund it (you can use the funds to build your case to be stronger). It allows you to "wait out" the process in order to prevent an early or lower settlement, which can bring you more money from the lawsuit. ***Because we carry all the risk on pre-settlement funding (if you don't win the settlement, you don't pay it back - known as "non-recourse"), it can seem like an expensive option - ask only for what you "need" - not for what you "want."
If you have been awarded a settlement, and are awaiting the payment of funds, we can advance cash to you on it in many cases if it is allowed. The situation needs to be transferable and allowed, and against some sort of "secure" entity that will pay - a government agency, a municipality, an insurance company, a large corporation, or some like organization with equity and strength to make the payments. We cannot fund on individuals who are to pay out - they often never make payment, or have the means to pay you.
This option may or may not be the best for you - you might be better off by refinancing your home, or by asking family to loan you money. It depends on how large a settlement you are waiting for, how long until it pays, the urgency of your other bills, whether you need to have medical attention but can't afford it, etc. If you absolutely need money now, this is a fast option for you - much quicker than a conventional loan, with less "red tape."
Not all situations are do-able.Read the Restrictions to funding requests - if your case qualifies, or you don't know how to tell, then contact us to find out.
How much will it cost me to get an advance on my settlement?
If your lawsuit is already settled, it will cost approximately $1500-$2500 per $10,000 advanced to you. A higher advance amount will not be this amount ($1500-$2500) added for each $10,000 - we will look into the case and give you an offer. A lesser amount or higher advance for a settled case will have to be individually looked at - we cannot give a quote on the fees until we look over your settlement papers. Some explanation is given here - but these terms are not absolute - your case determines the terms. This is shown to give you information to pursue the process and know what to expect, or know if a rate is too high.
If it is not yet settled, it will cost a fee (may be 10% of the advance requested, or some other fee structure as terms change frequently) and then a low % per month until paid back (taken from the settlement), depending on the strength of your case and how far into the future it will settle. The pre-settled case is non-recourse, meaning that if the case does not win or settle, you do not pay it back. It is highly scrutinized to be certain it's a solid case before we fund on it - we need hard evidence and more than just soft tissue injury. There are always some variations that may be worked out in these cases. The terms will be worked out on a case by case basis - depending on strength of case, amount of time to settle, amount of advance and amount the settlement is looking to win, etc. Auto insurance advances are normally on the lower rate fee.
You do not need to pay anything up front - it is taken out at time of settlement. There is no up front application fee - there is no obligation to apply or to accept our offer. There are no monthly payments to be made.
How soon can I get paid?
On a settled case, it can be as fast as within 24 hours if you have all the paperwork and your attorney cooperates.
On a pre-settlement case, it can usually be funded within 2-7 days, depending on your attorney's cooperation, having all the required paperwork, with 1-3 days at the underwriters, etc. Auto accident cases are usually funded in within 24 -72 hours.
For a structured settlement or annuity, it can be between 30-90 days, depending on when your state's court can take the case, and factors such as digging up all the papers if they are not readily available, etc.
For lottery winnings, it can take up to one year but can be less, depending on the situation your state has.
What is the process?
For a settled case, you send us the settlement papers and it can be done quickly, barring complications like splitting the settlement with siblings, etc. For other situations, we send your attorney (or in some certain cases, directly to you) the application form and it gets filled out and sent back to us. Then it goes to underwriting, which can take from 1 day or more, depending on the case. The offer or denial comes out of underwriting and then if you accept, we can fax a contract to your attorney (or you in certain situations). Once we receive it back as signed by you and your attorney, we get your money to you - you specify how fast you need it - via overnight or wiring or regular mail - you may be charged for a faster delivery option. Read about the funding process
How do I know if I am dealing with a legitimate source?
Be careful - there are a lot of scammers, or perhaps well-intentioned agents who just don't understand the business - they can promise you more than they can do. Some have taken paperwork, promised clients funding at less than other companies, but then after the contract is signed, cannot produce the funds, leaving the clients waiting and in limbo, unable to cancel the contract so they can pursue another avenue. I've heard many awful stories of people getting "taken" by agents or illegitimate funders. Do your due diligence with your attorney. Ask questions - find out who you are dealing with.
Is it better to take a higher rate with lesser fees or a lower rate with higher fees?
You will have to break this down yourself - the fee structure may be a problem in certain cases. If there is a 15% fee added onto your advance request, you may have to pay the monthly rate on that added amount (it may be added to the advance request you want) - find out the specifics of the monthly rate fee before deciding. Sometimes a higher rate is better if the fees are lower - you won't have to pay monthly fees on the added on fees. You can also try to ask for a 10% fee if you are presented with a 15% fee (that is a very high rate - not suggested!) - or go with another funding source.
Who are the funders you work with?
Primarily funders in New Jersey or New York, or certain funders in the mid-west, whom I have heavily scrutinized for ethical and prompt service. I choose the one with the best terms for your situation, and if one cannot work your case, I send it to one who is more likely able to take it. Not all funders take on all kinds of cases.
Will I be taxed on my advance?
This question will need to be deferred to your tax consultant, as there are different rules for the types of advances. It would be unethical for me to give you any tax advice.
Is this legal?
It is unless your state prohibits it. It is your award money to do with as you wish and see fit. The fees are not illegal, and we work with attorneys in every instance we fund on.
Send more questions my way - we'll be waiting.