There are scams everywhere you turn and now there seems to be a widespread scam that is taking place mostly in Florida, but has since been expanding. Consumers should be aware of this scam to ensure that they do not provide those behind it with personal or financial information.
What it consists of is various legal representatives being able to “buy cases” or even “paying clients” an advance on the personal injury cases. This is a loan that the lawyers are passing out to those that might need legal counsel in their particular personal injury case.
This is going around any and all ethical and legal obligations that are related to the case or their standing in the specific cases. In Florida, as well as other states, it is illegal for a lawyer to provide the client with this type of advance or loan of their potential settlements or to pay them any sort of money. This can be done directly or indirectly to the client from the lawyer to enhance their chances of hiring their law firm over others in the area.
Another version of this type of problem is that “litigation funding” companies are now loaning the injury clients money against the cases that they have.
What Exactly is This?
The attorney tells the clients that if they choose to sign up with their law firm, they can immediately get money right then and there in advance on their case. This comes from a litigation funding company that they recommend the client to use. The stipulations for the client are easy: if you lose the case, you don’t pay anything back, but if they win, then they’d have to pay three or four times the amount given. This would then be deducted from the settlement amount on top of the fees that they’re already paying.
The clients, however, are not told that the funds from the litigation funding company are actually friends, business partners or family of the lawyer that sent them. The lawyer is breaking the law when they pay the client for the case, or for their business to represent the case. This is also a ploy to keep all of the money from some of the smaller cases that come into their office, since they’re asking for such a large repayment after the first initial payment.
If anyone offers to pay money for the case that you might have, then they should be reported because this is not a respectable, professional way to do business. It should not be done this way, because it is against ethical and legal standards set forth for law offices.