A Guide To Help Legal Assistants To Get Lawsuit Funding For Plaintiffs
We understand you as a legal assistant have a lot on your plate. You have client interviews, prepare for trials, and even more legal duties to fulfill everyday. On top all of this, you now you have to worry about the increasing need for plaintiff settlement funding. As a legal assistant, when your client is in need of settlement funding it is your duty to help them through the application process. The process can be easy, or it can be not so easy. The difficulty of the process results on the settlement funding company, or broker you’re working with.
You can not control the settlement funding company your client picks, but you can control some things. The things you can do include steps that help save the client time and also help them not be in a costly agreement which is not in their favor. This is why we have made a guide for you, the legal assistant, to explain the steps you would need to take to have a favorable outcome for your client. Furthermore, we want everything for you as a legal assistant to be more easier.
In this guide we will talk about:
- What to tell a plaintiff before applying for any settlement funding company or broker
- Details on how to handle plaintiffs funding applications
- How to know if your client is getting the best deal for funding
- How to keep secure case documents secret
The steps for a legal assistant to get pre-settlement funding for a plaintiff
1. What you need to tell your client before applying for settlement funding
You need to make sure your client knows that lawsuit funding should be their last option. In addition to this, make sure your client has tried every other option for affordable funding. We want to mention this because although interest rates by lawsuit funding companies are reasonable, they are also costly. Simply meaning that a cash advance from a pre-settlement funding company cost more than other lending options. The cost is so high for this type of funding because the settlement funder takes a high risk providing a non recourse cash advance for every case they take on.
2. What to discuss with a lawsuit funding company before giving documentation
As a legal assistant you will need to know what can qualify your client for pre-settlement funding and what does not. This can vary a little depending on the settlement funding company you’re working with. Nonetheless, there are some common things you will be discussing before you submit documentation on the case. So, we will now provide info on some of what those common things are.
You can expect to discuss the following:
- Stage of the case: One thing you will be touching on is the status of the case. Most pre-settlement funding companies will not even start looking into funding if the lawsuit has not been filed yet. This makes it very important to make sure that your client’s attorney has submitted the lawsuit.
- Notable Injuries: Another thing you can expect that you will be talking about is your client’s injuries. Settlement funding companies in most instances will not provide a cash advance for soft-tissue injuries. We suggest you to bring up your client’s most notable injury to the underwriter of the company you’re working with. Doing this can potentially help with the client getting pre-settlement funding.
- State The Client Resides In: The state the client resides in is also a thing you will have to discuss. This will be brought up because of certain laws and regulations preventing some states from being funded by some pre-settlement funding companies. Additionally, this makes it to where your client may be in a state that is un-fundable. If you’re thinking about working with us then we provide the states we work with on our website. Furthermore, if your client is in one our funding states we can help them get settlement money now!
3. How to make sure documents are kept safe and secured
As a legal assistant, you may have to send over delicate legal and medical documents for your client. This process needs to handled with the utmost importance. Here’s some ways you can do this:
- Confirm funder contacted client: Make sure that pre-settlement funding company that client applied for requested documentation from the client. You want to do this because sometimes funding companies will contact law firms directly without the plaintiff knowing.
- Are you dealing with a direct funder, or a broker?: You need to ask the company you’re dealing with if they are one of these two things. This is because depending on what type of funding company they are you can prepare for some things. With a broker you can expect the documents to be in the hands of multiple institutions. On the hand, with a direct funder it will only be in the hands of that company
- HIPPA Form: Have your client and the lawsuit funding company they’re working with sign the HIPPA Form. This helps with only providing needed info for an appointed person to have access to. For more info on what’s required for that form will be in this article here.
4. Comparing Interest Rates: How To Get The Best Interest Rate
In all actuality it’s not your responsible to make sure if your client is getting the best deal. Ultimately, this is something that the client is responsible for when setting up their agreement with a pre-settlement funding company. Even so, you still have to make sure you explain the fees and terms of agreement before your client signs. Explaining these things is easy but you do have to have answers to the following questions:
- Are there application fees?
You will have to know the application fees charged to your client. Additionally, interest is charged on top of the application fee. For instance, if your client gets a cash advance of $20,000 and the application fee is $400, then the interest rate will apply to 20,400. Furthermore, you want to look for “processing/management fees’ on the agreement. These fees are not due right after your client signs the agreement, but are added on top of the payoff amount after the case has ended.
- Will there be an “origination fee”
An “origination fee” is a fee that is charged when getting plaintiff settlement funding by a broker. If your client is dealing with a broker, you will find this fee located in the contract. This is important to know because most lawsuit funding brokers will not say they’re a middleman for someone.
We at Thrivest Link wanted to provide these steps to help legal assistants with getting plaintiff settlement funding. We understand it may be frustrating to handle everything you deal and wanted to make your life a little easier. If you have anymore more questions, or want to work with us, feel free to contact us. We hope this information was helpful and hope to hear from you soon.