Rick and the crew,
I actually use these companies as a pretext when I'm dealing with a
claimant involved in litigation. NO, I don't pretend to be a lawyer.
Prior to using them as a pretext, I had called one regional firm and
said I was interested in "getting cash now for my lawsuit." The rep,
who sounded like a high school kid reading from a script, wouldn't
give me any firm numbers, but when I said we had had a 300K cash
settlement offer with a monthly structured settlement to pay lost
wages, he sorta lit up.
He said they would purchase the settlement rights up to a certain
dollar amount. It wasn't a loan, but the purchase of a share of the
settlement, or a settlement advance.
He went into a script about calculating my debt and how much money I
needed now and what I would be doing with settlement money, including
things like paying off my house and cars, or buying a house that met
my needs due to my disability. Then it went into covering living
expenses, yadda yadda, and a little bit of "mad money." It was all
very targeted at selling the idea of me getting money to get by now,
not having to wait for that stupid legal system.
I got him off the script and asked him what he'd seen in similar
circumstances. He figured he could arrange for a $150K payment
immediately - like that week if everything worked out - with a signed
agreement that his firm took the first, oh, calculator churning,
$186K. It wasn't a matter of interest, he said, since it was possible
that the case would be ruled against me. It was an advance with a set
He then went into a script about structured settlements, and it
sounded like he would need a lot of details, and that they normally
were negotiated post settlement.
His next script was details about my "incident" and a timeline of the
litigation. He said, "we need to talk to your attorney," about 350
times in 15 minutes, and wanted to know the name of any attorney
involved in the litigation. Apparently they had a list of attorneys
who were "familiar" with their "product," which would streamline the
I got him off-script again and he said that they checked out the
cases pretty thoroughly and didn't really take on anything that
smelled like a loser, but that wasn't his department. He said he
believed the company was an investment firm working for a group of
I said I was hoping for a seven figure settlement and he said they
would never pay anywhere near that, even on a sure bet. It was about
short term assistance in modest denominations to "get someone injured
like you through until the all the court nonsense is done." He
referenced the term "lawsuit advance" on several occasions.
I asked about collections if and when I won, and he said that they
generally put a lien on the lawsuit. I recall seeing only one of
these in all my days perusing through court files, but it just said
that this national firm had a lien on any settlement for an amount
recorded in a contract between the plaintiff and the national firm.
I have seen a buyout on a structured settlement. The claimant had
received a $3k per month for life settlement. The court file included
a lien and the client, an insurance carrier, had received a contract
ordering future payments to be sent to this structure settlement
What's funny is I screwed that guy's life up. He had sold his
settlement for mid six figures. Apparently the judge in the case was
suspicious of the guy while he was making his ruling and had gone so
far as to say that it wouldn't take too much to make him change his
mind about the settlement. The carrier's lawyers took him up on that
and after we proved the guy could work and was working (he'd bought a
bulldozer and front-end loader with his settlement) the judge
reopened the case and tossed out the settlement. Last I knew the guys
who were happy to buy his structure settlement were now happily
trying to take his house from him.
Ah, the occasional ray of sunshine in our normally bleak jobs.
Anyway, I asked the kid what else his firm did. He said they bought
life insurance policies for cash, bought residential property on some
leaseback deal that was sorta like a "reverse mortgage for terminally
ill people," and would pay cash for annuities or structured
It's an interesting line, basically a fairly wealthy fund looking for
sure-thing investments with low double-digit returns on investments.
Course, it's sorta creepy playing in this market and it seemed like
they were skating a fine line between a very high-interest "loan" and
By the way, I use this pretext when I'm trying to track down a
claimant but all I've got is mom, dad, brother, etc. Call and say I'm
from this firm, that the claimant had filled out a form online, and
had used them as a reference. You can be aggressive friendly
salesman, and you never know what info they'll cough up. If you
spooftel it as jgwentworth, use their fax number.
Yeah, I love my job.
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