FAQs by Lawyers
Q: How much does GLF’s program cost me, the lawyer?
A: There is no cost to the attorney out-of-pocket. There are no membership fees or application fees. GLF’s fee is limited to 15% of the amount paid by the client, and any out-of-pocket expense for collection that is chargeable to the client. The attorney never pays collection fees. GLF’s fee may change from time to time, but any change will apply only to future accounts and not existing accounts.
Q: Who is the creditor, the lawyer or GLF?
A: GLF is the creditor in every respect.
Q: Can a lawyer take collection action if a client is late on a payment?
Q: What collection action will GLF take if a client defaults?
A: The specific action will be decided case-by-case, and may include anything from reminders by telephone, mail, text message or email, to reporting derogatory credit to the credit reporting agencies, to collection actions in court. GLF is not obligated to take any specific collection action. It is important to note that GLF intends to enhance the attorney-client relationship, and therefore, we will never harass or take any inappropriate action toward collection, even if that action is legal. We prefer to work with the attorney up-front to reduce the possibility of bad debts by checking credit history, using co-signers, and reporting to the credit bureau(s).
Q: What does GLF do to increase the chances of payment and collection?
A: GLF conducts itself as would any sophisticated bank. We report monthly to the credit bureau(s). We send out payment reminders by text and email, and we provide instant, online access to an account for both the clients and attorneys. We automatically deduct payments from the client’s bank account and provide other means of electronic payment by telephone and online. If an automatic withdrawal fails for insufficient funds, we take appropriate action. All of these are proven ways of increasing the chances of receiving payment and preventing default.
Q: What can the attorney do to increase the chances of payment and collection?
A: First, be somewhat selective of the clients who pay through GLF. If someone comes to you for representation on a criminal charge for which the punishment is prison, and he has no co-signer, this is probably a very risky client. Same with someone who wants to finance his fee to file bankruptcy – he can’t do it without a co-signer. Second, you should always get a co-signer when possible, preferably someone who is not the spouse or significant other of the client. Third, do good legal work and make the client happy. Fourth, and very importantly, try not to make the term of the loan extend far past the estimated time of completing the legal work. This may be difficult as the payments have to be affordable, but you are much more likely to get paid while you are still working for the client. Fifth, make the payments affordable. A good rule of thumb is that the total of a person’s debt service and living expenses should not be more than 70% of his or her take-home pay.
Q: Is there a limit to the amount of the fee that can be financed through GLF?
A: Yes. That amount is currently set at $10,000.
Q: Is there a minimum amount that can be financed through GLF?
A: Yes. That amount is currently set at $500.
Q: What is the term of the loan?
A: The term is set by the lawyer and client when the account is established. The minimum term is 6 months and the maximum is 36 months. Use our loan calculator on the application to determine the appropriate term based upon the payment that the client can afford.
Q: Can a client have a co-signer?
A: Yes, and GLF strongly encourages a credit-worthy co-signer who is not the spouse or significant other of the client. Research shows that having a co-signer significantly increases the likelihood of payment.
Q: What is the interest rate?
A: The current rate is fixed at 17.99%. This rate was set to comply with consumer laws in all jurisdictions. It also reflects the risk associated with unsecured debt while not being too burdensome on a lawyer’s client. GLF retains the right to adjust the rate to comply with the law of any particular jurisdiction.
Q: Can a lawyer finance a client’s fee through GLF even if the lawyer also will receive a percentage of a recovery on a contingent basis?
A: Yes. GLF does not set the fee or determine which cases can be financed. These decisions are between you and your client. The fee can be for transactional work, or to fund expenses and partial fees for litigation.
Q: Can a lawyer accept a down payment from the client, and finance the remainder through GLF?
A: Of course.
Q: Does GLF accept all applicants?
A: We reserve the right to decline an application, and we do so from time to time for various reasons. Opening an account is expensive for GLF, as there are numerous fees that we have to pay to various entities for each account. However, if we receive an application, we assume the attorney wants it to be approved and believes the client will pay.
Q: Can a client pay off an account early?
A: Of course. A client can pay his or her account at any time without penalty. GLF will receive 15% of the payoff amount.
Q: Can a client make payments directly to the lawyer?
A: No. GLF is the creditor and the only entity that can accept payments on an account.
Q: Can a client pay any way other than Debit Card or ACH withdrawal?
A: The primary and default method of payment is Debit Card or ACH withdrawal. If the client needs an alternative way to pay, he or she can pay online or by phone with a credit card. In rare cases, we may accept a check or money order.
Q: Can a client open a revolving line of credit?
A: No. We have considered this and believe for many reasons it would not be a good idea. However, a client can have as many term accounts as he or she has cases or legal matters that need legal work.
Q: What if I want to charge my clients hourly, rather than a fixed, lump-sum amount.
A: The lawyer can charge his or her clients as he or she wants. In hourly fee cases, the amount financed with GLF would be considered a retainer. If the representation is concluded without using the entire amount, the lawyer would simply contact GLF to inform us that the client has paid in full and payments should stop. If the entire retainer is used by hourly billing, the client may be able to open another term loan for future amounts. However, GLF is sensitive about putting too much debt on people and may well turn down a request for subsequent financing before the first loan is paid in full or substantially paid down.
Q: How is an account opened?
A: The client can open an account only through a participating lawyer. We have designed the process to be very simple and take less than five minutes. Completing the application and loan agreement in the attorney’s office is the best method, but the client can complete it at home or work and save it. The attorney would have to submit the application using his or her identifying information before it would be considered.
Q: Are the transactions safe and secure, and is the personal information of the attorney and client protected?
A: Absolutely! Our online financial transactions are guaranteed safe and secure, and our servers and data storage are as well. And remember, our entire program is designed to help build a good relationship between attorney and client for future business. We do not ask for any personal information from the attorney except for account information where we can deposit your money (and this isn't personal since it is printed on all of your checks). We ask for minimal information from your clients, and we guarantee to keep it secure. A client’s lawyer may have access to the client’s credit score (although some credit bureaus prohibit such access), and the lawyer will be able to access a client's account for as long as the account is open.