How to Help Your Attorney Help a Funding Company with Your Settlement Loan
You already know that your attorney needs to cooperate with the settlement funding process. This post will outline the top 3 ways to help your lawyer “help you” obtain a settlement loan.
Settlement Loan Process
The lawsuit funding process goes like this:
- You contact the settlement loan company and request an advance.
- Once you are pre-qualified, the company requests important documents (evidence) from your lawyer’s office.
- The firm forwards the requested documents and they are reviewed by company underwriters.
- Underwriters reach out to the firm to discuss the merits of the case, settlement expectations, etc.
- A decision is made to fund the case or decline the application.
The process is simple, but obstacles can appear. With your help, many of these can be overcome.
#1. Tell Your Attorney You Want Funding
Pre-qualification for settlement loans results from asking questions. One of the questions we ask clients during this process is whether their lawyer knows they are applying for settlement funding. We ask this because our attempts to secure important facts regarding the case are met with resistance by law firms and their staff. Usually when this happens, it is because our initial contact is the first the firm is learning about their clients’ intent.
For some reason, some clients are reluctant to communicate with their attorney about their needs for funding. One of the reasons might be risking the attorney saying “no” to the request. While this sometimes might occur, it is the exception – not the rule.
The truth is – attorneys are well versed as to why their clients might need funding and are usually willing to assist if they do not think the funding will hinder settlement negotiations down the road. The best course of action then, is for you to discuss your intentions with your attorney prior to applying for settlement funding.
Lawyers do not need to approve your settlement loan, but they do need to cooperate in the process and sign off on the funding contract. Since this is known, it’s best to let them know right from the start. That way, any funding company request comes as no surprise and the process moves much easier.
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#2. Follow Up with Requests for Documents
Once a settlement loan company requests documents, the ball is in the law firm’s court. The process cannot move forward without their participation.
Law firms are busy places. Many funding requests for documents are not dealt with in a time frame that suits the clients’ needs. This may occur because the firm has more pressing concerns than dealing with a funding request. Consider a firm preparing for multiple large and expensive trials at the same time. The likelihood of a funding request taking priority over trial preparations is small.
Settlement loan companies will generally follow up with their requests daily. Most will not make multiple calls to “chase paper” in a single day. Pestering law firms is rarely a good idea and will likely create an adversarial relationship right from the start. Instead, the best thing a client can do to move the process along is to respectfully remind the firm of your request and that time is of the essence.
Some settlement loan applicants want to simply let the funding company handle the process. And this is fine. But more often than not, clients making their presence felt and needs understood by contacting their law firm leads to quicker approvals and a smoother funding process.
#3. Help Facilitate the Underwriter’s Call
The last piece of the settlement funding underwriting process is a conference call with the attorney. During this call, settlement loan underwriters ask a variety of questions regarding liability, damages, insurance coverage issue, current status of the case, etc. The phone call is usually the last step in the lawsuit loan approval process. Applicants can expect a funding decision shortly thereafter in most cases.
As stated above, law firms are very busy places. Attorneys need to use proper time management to maximize their efficiency. While support staff usually handles document requests, the attorneys themselves must field the lawsuit underwriting call in the majority of cases. Scheduling a call with a busy attorney can often be challenging.
Of course, lawsuit funding underwriters are also busy. But their job is to contact attorneys and have these conversations. Accordingly, most professional settlement loan underwriters will gladly offer several available times when a call can be scheduled.
Clients can help themselves by helping schedule the call. By offering these times to their lawyers, plaintiffs get involved with the process in a positive way. Moreover, attorneys are more likely to respond to a client’s request than from a non-client.
Helping facilitate a phone call between settlement loan company and attorney can do wonders for moving the process along and a positive conversation can do wonders for the approval chances of a particular case.
Despite being a simple process, settlement loans can sometimes be tricky. We’ve touched upon the top 3 things applicants can do to help themselves and secure the financial support they need. Communication, honesty and persistence goes a long way in helping all parties involved navigate process toward a positive outcome.