A Plaintiff’s Guide to Lawsuit Loans
Every funding company tries to streamline their process to make it quick for the customer. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. Look no further than the DMV for proof of that. The Legal Loan industry also tries to keep it short and sweet, but it can seem like you’re being grilled under an interrogator’s lamp. Rest assured that every question that’s asked is designed to make the most of your time. This article is about the questions you will be asked and why they are being asked.
“Do you have an attorney?”
This is simple: if you answer no, the funder won’t fund you. While people can try to represent themselves in lawsuits, funding companies won’t put money on a case unless there is an attorney. It protects them in the long run.
“What state do you live in?”
Some funding companies will ask you for your entire address, others just your state. (Note: you will need to provide an address if you are approved – that information goes into the contract.) This is because different states have different rules when it comes to legal loans. Some companies can’t fund in certain states, or have different structures in other states. Uplift Legal Funding can provide funding in virtually every state, so they may be a good avenue to try.
“How old are you?”
Most companies will ask for your date of birth. This is also to eliminate cases they cannot consider. Most funders cannot fund plaintiffs who are younger than 18 because there are rules guiding where a minor’s settlement money can go (hint: it’s not to pay back funding companies). Most won’t fund a derivative claim either. If the person in the accident is a minor, even if you are their guardian and could see money from the case, most funders will not consider your case for funding.
You’ll see a pattern here. Every early question is designed to filter out cases they cannot consider so you aren’t spending a few days waiting for an answer that has zero chance to fund. Here are some other ones.
“What case type do you have?”
Obviously this is important in terms of being able to review your file. There are other reasons, though. Different case types have different expectations. Some may be quicker to underwrite than others. Some case types can cost more to fund. Others may not be considered altogether. Some funders specialize in certain cases but they would not touch others. Find out if your company considers your case type early on.
“Have you taken money from any other funders?”
If you have, it’s not necessarily a deal-killer. But don’t lie. If you took money elsewhere, the funder needs to know it. When you took funding from another company, a lien was put on your lawsuit. That means that loan gets paid back out of your settlement when your case resolves. Some funding companies will buy out prior fundings, others won’t.
Uplift, for instance, considers cases with prior fundings. But definitely disclose if you have taken money. If you lie about it and are caught, do you think a second funder will trust you to pay them back?
“Have you ever had any other accidents?”
Every accident is unfortunate and it would be great if every victim received financial justice. But a person in their first accident who has arm surgery is different than a person who’s been in six others. Insurance companies could blame prior accidents for any injuries sustained. If you have had prior accidents, again, it’s not a death sentence for funding. But it’s important the funder knows this to speed up the underwriting.
“What is your social security number?”
This is usually asked very late in the process, though some companies may ask for it up front. If you hear this being asked near the end of the process, it’s probably good news. Most funders put your social security number into the funding contract. So if they’re asking you for it, it probably means they were able to get you funding!