Litigation can last for months or years, so you probably felt excitement when you finally reached a settlement. However, your settlement award may be harder to access than you imagined.
For instance, some lawyers hold your settlement check for months, delaying your access to the cash you need. The settlement check process is one more hurdle you must overcome in resolving your claim. So how long can a lawyer hold money in escrow? We give you an overview of the settlement check process here.
Four Steps to Getting a Settlement Check
To get your settlement check, you must resolve these four matters.
Signed Release Forms
When you reach your settlement, you must sign a release form. This form is a legal document that states you will not pursue further legal action on the same claim. Expect to sign a release form for each defendant in your claim. Your lawyer will carefully review the terms of the release form before you sign, and you can request modifications if necessary.
State law should give the defendant a timeline for paying the settlement. Some defendants wait until the last moment allowed by state law to pay your settlement, causing delays in receiving the money you’re owed.
When the defendant pays your settlement, the money goes to your lawyer, who holds it in an escrow account. The check may take up to a week to clear, and then the funds are available to pay debts. Once the check clears, your lawyer takes their fee from the funds and next pays other liens and lawsuit-related bills.
Settlement Lien Payment
During your lawsuit, parties may have placed liens on your settlement. A lien gives someone else the right to your property to pay a debt. For example, if you have unpaid medical bills, the hospital or doctor may place a lien on your settlement.
Your lawyer will also use your settlement funds to pay expenses related to litigating your case, including:
- Expert witness fees,
- Private investigator fees, and
- Medical examinations.
Your lawyer can quickly pay most liens on your account once settlement funds are available. However, government liens, such as those from Medicaid, can take longer to resolve.
After your money moves through these four steps in the settlement check process, your lawyer sends the remaining balance to you. Unfortunately, delays at each step can cause you to wait weeks or even months for access to your settlement funds.
Access Settlement Funds Faster
If you need access to your settlement check sooner, Ally Lawsuit Loans can help. Ally Lawsuit Loans offers cash advances on your lawsuit settlement. You pay back the cash advance when you receive your settlement.
Here are some things you should know about Ally Lawsuit Loans:
- We offer the lowest rate guarantee in the industry;
- You pay nothing back if you lose your case; and
- You can qualify for a lawsuit loan within 24 hours.
To find out more about getting a lawsuit loan or to start your application, contact Ally Lawsuit Loans. You shouldn’t have to stress while you wait for the slow settlement check process, so we’re here to make the wait easier.