Plaintiff funding, also known as legal funding or lawsuit loans, provides financial assistance to plaintiffs involved in litigation. This industry, while offering critical support to plaintiffs in need, is largely unregulated across the United States. However, recent legislative efforts are increasingly seeking to bring more oversight to this field. Understanding the specific laws and regulations of your state regarding plaintiff funding is crucial before referring a client to a particular funding company. This knowledge ensures that you are acting in the best interest of your clients and safeguarding their financial wellbeing.

The Current Landscape of Plaintiff Funding

For much of the country, plaintiff funding operates in a gray area with few laws governing its practices. This lack of regulation can lead to significant variability in the terms and conditions offered by different funding companies. Plaintiffs, often under financial stress due to ongoing litigation, may not fully comprehend the implications of the funding agreements they enter into.

Emerging Regulations and Their Impact

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in legislative measures aimed at regulating the plaintiff funding industry. These regulations typically focus on several key areas:

Interest Rates and Fees: Some states have introduced laws to cap the interest rates and fees that funders can charge. This is aimed at protecting plaintiffs from exorbitant charges that could leave them with little to no settlement proceeds once their case concludes.

Contractual Transparency: Legislation is also targeting the clarity and transparency of funding agreements. Requirements may include clear disclosure of terms, potential costs, and the rights and obligations of the plaintiff.

Licensing and Certification: In certain states, plaintiff funding is classified as a loan, necessitating funders to become certified lenders. Other states require funders to go through a certification process to obtain a license to operate legally within the state.

The Importance of Knowing State-Specific Laws

Given the evolving landscape of plaintiff funding regulations, it is imperative for attorneys to stay informed about the laws in their specific state. Here’s why:

Protecting Client Interests: Ensuring that the funding company complies with state laws helps protect your clients from predatory practices. Clients rely on your expertise to guide them through financial decisions related to their litigation.

Avoiding Legal Pitfalls: Referring a client to a funding company that does not adhere to state regulations can result in legal complications for both the client and your practice. Understanding the requirements helps mitigate this risk.

Maintaining Professional Responsibility: As an attorney, you have an ethical obligation to act in the best interest of your clients. This includes thoroughly vetting third-party services, such as plaintiff funding companies, to ensure they meet legal standards.

Case Study: Varied Regulations Across States

Consider the differences in regulations between states like Tennessee and Texas. Tennessee has stringent requirements for plaintiff funding companies, including licensing and interest rate caps. In contrast, Texas has fewer regulations, making it easier for funders to operate with minimal oversight. As an attorney practicing in either state, your approach to referring clients for funding must adapt to these regulatory environments to ensure compliance and client protection.


Navigating the plaintiff funding landscape requires a keen understanding of state-specific laws and regulations. By staying informed and diligent, you can provide your clients with reliable, safe, and compliant funding options. This not only enhances your professional credibility but also upholds your responsibility to act in the best interest of those you represent. As legislation continues to evolve, keeping abreast of changes will be essential in guiding your clients through their legal and financial challenges effectively.