An Examination Of Lawsuit Loans In Comparison To Legal Aid
If you’re a plaintiff who wants to take a deep dive into examining Lawsuit Loans in comparison to legal aid, let DeltaSettlementFunding lay it out for you.
When plaintiffs find themselves in a situation where they are unable to financially support themselves throughout their legal proceedings, the first economic support system that generally pops into their heads is legal aid. Legal aid is the government-regulated system that provides legal assistance to those in need. And while it has been a tent pole in the justice system of the United States for years, there are other funding options available that may be much more beneficial to plaintiffs in need. With that in mind, we would like to present you with the main differences a plaintiff will experience using legal aid as opposed to lawsuit loans.
What Is Legal Aid?
Legal aid is a financial support system that is provided for anyone involved in a criminal case who cannot afford to provide legal services for themselves due to economic constraints. In America, it is an inalienable and universal right that a fair trial is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
In order to ensure that this is a reality for all US citizens, the Legal Services Corporation was founded and authorized to oversee the legal aid program at a federal level. Legal Aid aims to provide access to justice for all Americans by:
- Ensuring all citizens are represented equally in the eyes of the law
- Ensuring everyone has maintains the right to council
- Ensuring all Americans have the right to a fair trial
Legal Aid is provided through three different funding & financing models that citizens can utilize if needed.
Judicare model provides free legal assistance but not to citizens who are in financial need. Instead, they are private law firms who are employed by the government to handle legal aid cases. These lawyers are, therefore, paid by their organization and not the client. Judicare helps in various fields such as bankruptcy, family law, income maintenance, etc.
A legal clinic is a form of legal aid that provides services to various clients and does pro bono work. They are also defined as practice-based law clinics designed with the purpose of providing practical teaching to law school students.
Community legal clinics are staffed by law school students, lawyers, and other legal workers. These clinics provide advice and information of legal issues for free.
The Pros Of Using Legal Aid
One of the main advantages of using legal aid services is that it comes in a variety of different models. If you require an actual solicitor to represent your case, you can either be appointed a government lawyer, or you may be appointed representation through a private law firm through the judicare, both at no cost to the client.
However, if you only have a legal inquiry (and are unsure whether an actual trial is necessary), you can simply go to a community legal clinic without the financial concern of retaining a lawyer.
The Cons Of Using Legal Aid
Although it may seem like an ideal option when you first hear about it, it legal aid does have its drawbacks as well. Firstly, the guidelines regarding who qualifies for legal aid can (and have) change dramatically. Legal Aid is only provided to those who exhibit specific financial constraints so even though you may not be able to afford litigious representation on your own, you still might not qualify for legal aid.
On top of that, the specific services available vary from area to area so you may not have the same legal services that you could get in a neighboring state.
Legal aid services are also not immediately delegated so you must be willing to wait days or weeks in order to see if you are approved. And if you do receive legal aid services, there is no guarantee you’ll be appointed the lawyer you want.
Lawyers appointed through legal aid services are generally overworked and have a very large caseload. This can have a negative impact on your lawsuit since your solicitor will not be able to dedicate time and focus on your situation.
The biggest downfall of it, however, is that legal aid cannot be given to all types of lawsuits. It is a service that is only available for criminal trials. This means that if you are involved in any type of civil lawsuit, you will not qualify for legal aid. It’s not reserved for civil trials explicitly, if you are involved in any kind of deportation lawsuit you will also be disqualified from legal aid since it is not technically a criminal proceeding.
How Lawsuit Loans Are Different
Lawsuit loans, on the other hand, are much more flexible litigation financing methods than legal aid. Most plaintiffs immediately turn away as soon as they hear the word “loan” for fear that they’ll have to return any money they are given, even if they lose their case.
But that’s the great thing about them. Lawsuit loans are not technically ‘loans’. With a traditional loan, you have to pay it back no matter what. However, with lawsuit loans, you are only expected to repay the money you have received if your suit is successful!
The Cons Of Lawsuit Loans
While there are very few disadvantages to applying for a lawsuit loan, there are some aspects that could be improved in comparison to legal aid.
For instance, pre-settlement funding does come with an interest rate attached. So although you will not be required to pay back your loan if you lose your case, if your case is a success, you will have to repay your loan with interest.
That said, the rates provided by Delta Settlement Funding are considered favorable by litigation lenders. Additionally, since lawsuit loans are technically investments as opposed to loans, plaintiffs may not qualify if their case is deemed unreasonable. However, if a settlement funding company deems your lawsuit unreasonable, chances are legal aid will deem your case unreasonable as well.
The Pros Of A Lawsuit Loan
The most significant “PRO” of applying for a lawsuit loan is the fact they are essentially no-risk! Unlike other loan options, plaintiffs are only required to repay their lawsuit loan (with reasonable interest) if they win their case! Imagine not having to repay a loan!
Another advantage is that plaintiffs are able to receive a lawsuit loan usually in no time at all. The entire timeline for processing a lawsuit loan is incredibly fast. Quite often clients are able to see their money in a little over a day or two. Think of the relief you’ll feel when you’re able to see money transferred into your bank account within 24 to 48 hours!
And with a lawsuit loan, you’ll be able to choose which lawyer you want to represent you. This means you can expect your lawyer to focus directly on your case. Not only that but once you apply for your pre-settlement funding we might never bother you again – because all further financial matters with your pre-settlement funding company are handled directly through your solicitor.
Also, the entire pre-settlement funding industry is entirely self-regulating meaning it is not a government-run organization in any way. This further means that the government will not be able to intervene in your ability to receive a loan through our company. That said, lawsuit loans also require no credit or employment checks!
Make An Informed Choice With Your Litigation Financing Options
While both legal aid and lawsuit loans are available for plaintiffs to apply for, there are clear advantages to each. And even though legal aid is a free legal service that any American can apply for, there are very obvious disadvantages associated with this kind of help – getting appointed an over-worked and under-funded lawyer is only one of them.
If you are a plaintiff who would like to have the freedom to find the right lawyer to represent your case in a court of law, then you might be better off getting a lawsuit loan.
At Delta Settlement Funding, we invite you to visit our registration page and Apply For A Lawsuit Loan Today!