When someone you are representing in a personal injury case expresses overwhelming concerns about lost income and the inability to work, it puts unwelcome pressure on you, too. Knowing that it can take months or even years to litigate the case, they may try to compel you – their attorney – to settle the lawsuit quickly. As you are well aware, doing so often means accepting a settlement for far less than the case is actually worth.
Insurance companies often take this opportunity to make “low ball” settlement offers, hoping that desperate clients and harried attorneys will accept them. Because you are legally obligated to act in your client’s best interest, negotiating a quick, but fundamentally unfair, settlement is not an option. However, you can help your client get the money they need to pay their bills while their personal injury lawsuit is pending.
Oasis Financial offers pre-settlement funding to qualified plaintiffs in personal injury cases. Once he or she has the cash in hand, your client can use it to pay bills, the rent, mortgage, and cover other routine expenses. Because pre-settlement funding is not like a conventional loan, your client does not have to worry about making immediate payments. Instead, we are paid back the funding amount, along with any applicable fees, from the settlement or award.
We also believe in complete transparency with our funding recipients. In keeping with this, our team is available by phone, and email. We even operate a call center around the clock, all week. That means you can concentrate on building a winning personal injury case.
Who qualifies for pre-settlement funding through Oasis Financial?
To be eligible for pre-settlement funding through Oasis Financial, a client must meet two criteria. First, he or she must be a plaintiff in a civil case. This is usually, but not always, a personal injury case stemming from a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice and the like. Secondly, an attorney must represent the plaintiff.
Attorneys often refer their clients to us. Alternatively, plaintiffs in these circumstances find us themselves.
Since our products and services are not like traditional loans, the plaintiff can simply apply over the phone or online. All we need to start is some basic information about the applicant, his or her case and his or her attorney’s contact information. A credit score is not a factor because we base the approval decision on the strength of the pending case instead of the applicant’s credit history or standing.
The application process
Once we have the information we need, we contact the attorney to get additional information about the pending lawsuit. Our team then assesses the merits of the case to determine the likelihood of a successful settlement or judgment. We also evaluate the case to determine its approximate worth. We decide whether to approve or deny the application, and the amount of the funding(if any) based on our findings.
The inherent risk associated with issuing pre-settlement funding generally leads us to finance cases with the most merit and best chances of favorable outcomes.
The funding agreement
The funding agreement is the document that contains all of the terms governing the transaction. Pay close attention to any terms pertaining to non-recourse aspects of the transaction. These specify the plaintiff’s obligations if:
- The case is not resolved successfully prior to or at trial.
- The settlement or judgment does not cover the pre-settlement amount after attorney’s fees and any other applicable deductions
The funding agreement will also include provisions regarding the type, application and calculation of associated fees. These fees (if any) may be calculated on a simple or compound basis and are deducted from the settlement or judgment along with the principal amount of pre-settlement funding.
As an attorney you should make your client aware of these provisions before he or she accepts the pre-settlement funding.
Eligible case types
We are best known for making pre-settlement funding available to plaintiffs in motor vehicle accidents or premise liability cases. But that’s not all we can do. Last year, we also provided funding to plaintiffs in the following cases:
- Wrongful Death
- Medical Malpractice
- Sexual Harassment
- FELA (Railroad)
- Maritime / Jones Act
- Wrongful Termination
Contact us with questions about funding for a client with a different type of legal claim. We’re always here to help.
We can even provide fundings so clients can cover surgeries or medical treatments
We support healthcare providers through the provision of traditional medical liens, or the provision of direct cash payments through Oasis Express Cash for Care™. Either way, we can find ways to fund your client’s critical medical care, now.
Circumstances in which pre-settlement funding is not recommended
In the interest of full disclosure, pre-settlement funding is not always the best option. Therefore, we encourage attorneys to consider the following before referring clients to us:
- Does your client have alternative means of securing funding such as a personal loan, credit cards, personal savings, a retirement plan that they can borrow from, or friends or family that can offer financial help while the lawsuit is pending?
- Are you confident that the matter will conclude with a favorable judgment or settlement?
- How long will it take to resolve the matter?
If your client has another way to secure financial relief, you have doubts about the merits of the case, or you think the matter will be resolved quickly, talk to your client about waiting for a settlement or pursuing other options.
Addressing concerns about pre-settlement funding
In recent years, critics have given pre-settlement companies a hard time about regulation of the industry or lack thereof. They claim government intervention is warranted to keep greedy and unscrupulous lawsuit lenders from targeting vulnerable people. Accordingly, some states have outlawed lconsumer legal funding completely.
While the government has stepped in to protect consumers in some states, pre-settlement funding companies have also taken matters into their own hands. They have done so by following best practices as delineated by the New York attorney general.
The then-AG created the guidelines for legal funding disclosures on written contracts after industry insiders approached him about doing so several years ago. These provisions now call for:
- Full disclosure of the total amount the consumer will receive.
- Detailed breakdown of any relevant fees, including how they are calculated and applied.
- A detailed explanation of the total repayment amount that would come due every six months and advanced to three years following the contract date, including fees and a minimum payment amount.
- The consumer’s right to rescind the deal within five days after it is finalized.
Advocates say this demonstrates that pre-settlement funding companies are not vultures, as critics claim.
Courts side with pre-settlement companies
Although critics claim otherwise, some courts have recently determined that pre-settlement fundings are not traditional loans. In many instances, if these laws applied to legal funding, the pre-settlement funding business would no longer be viable. Advocates say that would deprive cash-strapped plaintiffs of a valuable service.
In one case not all that long ago, the New York Appellate Court declined to classify pre-settlement funding and other lawsuit fundings as traditional loans. In Cash4cases v. Burnetti, the Court opined, “Although the interest rate was high, given the contingent nature of the transaction, the agreement was not overly unfavorable to the defendant.”
In another case, Ruth v. Cherokee Funding, a legal funding company advanced money to someone at a rate greater than the competitive rate (4.99% per month). As a result, her attorneys refused to repay at settlement. They argued that the agreement violated certain Georgia state laws. However, the Georgia Supreme Court disagreed, stating: “The provision of funds under an agreement that imposes only an uncertain and contingent repayment obligation is not a ‘loan’… such a transaction is better characterized as an ‘investment contract.'”
Oasis Financial provides the freedom from stress your client deserves
As one of America’s top pre-settlement funding firms, Oasis Financial has the strength and stability needed to support you and your clients.
Additionally, we have established the smoothest process in the industry, from first call to payoff. With quick approvals, you and your client can sign from your mobile phone or by email, and our dedicated team can make cash available to your client within hours.
- Efficient use of your time: One phone consultation with our dedicated team is all it takes. There is no paperwork to draft. Clients can call us 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
- Streamlined turnaround: Within hours, an acknowledgment form is forwarded to you. Cash disbursement occurs shortly thereafter.
- Cash is sent directly to the client: We send cash to approved applicants by Western Union® Wire, bank wire to your client’s account, or check to your client by FedEx.
To learn more, contact Oasis Financial at 800-741-1667, today.