Frequently asked questions

Raise The Bar™  

Level Case Financing

1

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What is Level Case Financing and how does it work?

Built for and by plaintiff attorneys, Level Case Financing is a business line of credit assigned to a case. It is fast and flexible financing. This case-specific credit line disburses funds as needed, up to the case's credit limit, and features competitive rates and repayment terms that align with the length of your case.

Our quick, easy, and highly automated underwriting allows us to offer you financing in mere hours, as opposed to other lenders that take weeks or longer to approve a loan.

2

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Who can obtain Level Case Financing (LCF)?

LCF is currently available exclusively to plaintiff lawyers. Defendant lawyers are not eligible at the moment.

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How do I obtain Level Case Financing?

Apply for LCF here. It is a simple application that will take a few minutes to fill out and will not impact your credit score.

4

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How do I know if my case qualifies for Level Case Financing?

Nearly all negligence cases (except for mass tort and class action cases) are eligible for LCF. To qualify, the law firm will be underwritten first and, if approved, your cases should qualify for LCF. The most frequent case types that we fund are: professional liability cases (including medical malpractice), product liability, premises liability, auto/trucking negligence, and business torts.

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Where is Level Case Financing available?

LCF is available in every state except South Dakota, North Dakota and Vermont.

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When can I obtain Level Case Financing?

Apply online by clicking this link. The application is simple and will take you only a few minutes.

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What is the interest rate on Level Case Financing?

Rates vary depending on the business credit of the firm and personal credit of the guarantor(s).  Rates are as low as 0.7% per month. Note that your application will NOT affect your personal credit score.

Interest accrues only if there is an outstanding balance on your LCF account. If the balance is zero, interest will not accrue.

Interest expenses are tracked on a per case basis, so that you can pass this cost to your client (where applicable).

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How much time do I have to pay off my Level Case Financing?

To help you manage your cash flow and keep payments low while you work your case, LCF is an interest-only loan for the first 18-24 months. This means that if there is an outstanding principal balance on the line of credit, LCF processes interest-only payments. You may make payments for an amount higher than the interest payment if you so desire. Any payment amount in excess of the interest accrued is applied to the principal balance. After the expiration of the interest-only period, LevelEsq may consider extending the interest-only period depending upon case activity. We understand cases don't always follow a straight line.

Once a case is settled and the settlement funds have cleared payment, the entire line of credit balance, if any, is due. In the event of a trial loss for a case that has Level Insurance, the principal balance will be paid through the policy. In the event of a trial loss for a case that is not covered by Level Insurance, or any other adverse ruling that ends the case, the loan will be amortized over a period of 12-36 months.

Interest-only periods and principal plus interest repayment periods may vary from law firm to law firm, and case to case. Final terms and conditions are subject to underwriting and final approval from LevelEsq. Final terms and conditions will be provided to you during underwriting.

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What information do I need to provide to apply for Level Case Financing?

You need only provide the de minimus information contained within our simple online application form. You will be asked to either link your operating bank account with our third-party service, Finicity, or you can provide the last 6 months of bank statements by uploading them the application. If you link through Finicity, we will waive the bank analysis fee of $100.

10

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Are there limitations on how I spend my Level Case Financing money?

Yes, the proceeds of the loan are to be used to pay the cost disbursements from the associated case.

11

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Do returning customers need to re-qualify for Level Case Financing for each case?

The law firms only need to be underwritten once per year. The initial underwriting is done at the time of application and a renewal underwriting is performed at the one-year mark. Each case will be reviewed by our team to ensure the case meets the basic criteria and to set a credit limit on that case’s loan exposure.

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Will LevelEsq require information about my firm’s financial history?

You will be asked to either link your operating bank account with our third-party service, Finicity, or you can provide the last 6 months of bank statements by uploading them to our system. If you link your bank through Finicity, we will waive the $100 bank analysis fee.

13

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Is Level Case Financing assignable?

No.

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Who underwrites Level Case Financing?

LevelEsq, which is an Idea Financial company, underwrites LCF.

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What happens if I have more expenses than I anticipated?

You can always request a loan limit increase, although there is no guarantee this will be provided.

16

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How often can I make draws from my Level Case Financing?

You can withdraw cash from your Level Case Financing line of credit whenever you wish during the interest-only period. To make a draw, login to the LevelEsq online portal here.

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What if I have a bad credit score or other blemishes on my financial history?

Our underwriting team will underwrite your firm and the guarantors. We require 50% ownership of the law firm to guarantee the loan. You must have a minimum 650 FICO to be approved.

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Why and how did LevelEsq develop Level Case Financing?

LevelEsq’s co-founders, Larry Bassuk and Justin Leto, are both trial lawyers with their licenses to practice law in Florida and in the federal courts in Florida. They initially invented, and brought to market, LevelEsq’s other signature product, Level Insurance (LI). Level Insurance insures cases and makes payment in the event the case is lost at trial. Level Insurance has provided over $100 million in coverage to law firms nationwide. While working on the growth of LevelEsq through Level Insurance, Larry and Justin launched a small business lending company, Idea Financial. Idea Financial has developed excellent technology for speedy underwriting and issuance of small business loans and recently closed on a large debt facility from Synovus Bank.

Level Insurance was acquired by Idea Financial and, using the dynamic lending platform Idea Financial has developed, Level Insurance became LevelEsq to launch Level Case Financing, a business line of credit for plaintiff lawyers.  

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How is LevelEsq different than other lenders?

We have the tools and the expertise to get you the financing you need, quickly and efficiently. LevelEsq knows how your business works and can offer your firm specified case-by-case financing with personalized service, fast approvals, less red tape, and a tech-enabled customer experience. It has taken far too long for fintech to provide this type of financing to lawyers.  LevelEsq is here to change that.

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How is Level Case Financing different than other litigation funding or litigation finance?

Level Case Financing is a flexible line of credit with a credit limit based on the value of your individual case. We understand the unique finances of plaintiff law firms. Funding case costs and investing in quality experts is expensive, and years can pass before a case is resolved. To grow your firm, you need to be able to take on more cases, which places further demands on cash flow that is, by its very nature, sporadic and unpredictable. Level Case Financing provides the liquidity you need to invest in your firm’s future and frees up the cash that you have tied into your case expenses.

Level Case Financing is faster. While other lenders have lengthy and invasive approval processes, our lightning-fast application and underwriting process allows you to access funds quickly and without hassle. Because we are a financial technology company, we can offer loans to applicants in hours, rather than weeks.

Level Case Financing is less intrusive and does not make unreasonable demands. Unlike other lenders, we will NOT require you to:

  • End relationships with your bank or other lenders
  • Buy life insurance for our benefit
  • Provide additional personal collateral

We will track your interest costs for free. Level Case Financing gives you access to our digital platform, which includes easy interest tracking on each case. This tracking allows you to pass that interest to your clients, where permitted by state Bar and Ethics Rules. In most jurisdictions, law firms can recover interest charges related to funding case expenses from case awards, provided the firm individually tracks the interest expenses. Other lenders may provide this service, but they charge a fee. We provide this to you without additional charges.

Level Case Financing applied for within the first 120 days after service of process include a Level Insurance policy. Only LevelEsq offers this unique service. If a trial results in a zero-dollar recovery for your case, this insurance will repay LevelEsq the principal balance of your loan, so your firm doesn’t have to. Level Insurance typically costs 7% of the amount of coverage. Rather than charging you for the Level Insurance policy up front, we charge a monthly line maintenance fee of 30 to 50 basis points of your LCF credit limit. Whereas all other lenders charge fees, those fees do not enhance their product offering. Our fees are directly linked to your Level Insurance policy and provide your coverage so if you lose at trial, you will not have to pay us back from your law firm funds. For more information about our revolutionary Level Insurance, click here.

Level Case Financing uses a digital platform where you and your firm can easily categorize cases, track interest, and quickly request funds for your case as needed.

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What are the benefits of LevelEsq’s digital platform?

Level Case Financing uses LevelEsq's proprietary digital platform that allows you and your firm to easily categorize cases, track interest, and quickly request funds for your case as needed. The online portal shows your transaction history, payment schedule, documents, among other information on a per case basis.

The interest tracking feature allows you to pass that interest to your clients, where permitted by state Bar and Ethics Rules. In most jurisdictions, law firms can recover interest charges related to funding case expenses from case awards, provided the firm individually tracks the interest expenses. We offer this service at no additional fee in every case you finance. We encourage you to check with your State and local Bar to determine your ability to pass interest costs to your client.

22

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How often can I apply for Level Case Financing?

Every time you file a lawsuit, you can apply for Level Case Financing for that case.

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Will LevelEsq require me to obtain Level Case Financing on all my cases?

No. Level Case Financing is available on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the lawyer or firm. There is no requirement to seek Level Case Financing on any case.

24

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Can I pass Level Case Financing interest costs to my client?

You may be able to recover interest charges related to funding case expenses from case awards.

25

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Can I recover Level Case Financing interest payments if my case settles or if I win at trial?

In many jurisdictions, law firms can pass interest costs related to funding case expenses to the client. To do so, the firm must individually track the interest expenses.

Rather than track your own expenses, LevelEsq tracks your interest in each case. We provide this service, which reduces your cost for taking a LevelEsq loan considerably, to your firm at no additional cost.

LevelEsq encourages you to check with your State and local Bar to determine your ability to pass interest costs to your client. All loans are subject to credit approval, and terms and conditions may vary.

26

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Will LevelEsq ask me to buy life insurance for their benefit?

No. Other lenders may require life insurance from a borrower to guarantee loan repayment. We will never demand that you buy life insurance for our benefit. Life insurance is for your family, not for us.

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Will LevelEsq require me to provide personal collateral?

While other lenders may require a borrower to provide equipment, goods, or other tangible collateral to guarantee loan repayment, LevelEsq only requires a personal guarantee that the loan will be repaid.

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Will LevelEsq make me alter or end my firm’s relationships with banks or other lenders?

No. Other lenders may require you to close other financing or to end relationships with banks that you have worked years to establish. We respect your relationships and will never ask you to leave your bank.

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What if I have more questions about Level Case Financing?

Send us an email to info@levelesq.com and we will respond quickly.

Level Insurance

General questions

1

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What is Level Insurance?

Level Insurance is insurance to cover costs spent by plaintiffs’ attorneys and litigants in furtherance of the case. Level Insurance is sold on a case-by-case basis, providing a unique opportunity to insure each case’s individual cost disbursements.

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How is Level Insurance different from litigation funding or litigation finance?

Level Insurance is an insurance product that exists to reimburse a lawyer or litigant for money spent on a case that results in a zero-dollar recovery after trial.

LevelEsq also provides Level Case Financing, to learn about LevelEsq’s Level Case Financing, click here.

3

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Does any other coverage like Level Insurance exist?

No. This is a first-of-its-kind insurance and there is no comparable insurance product available.

4

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Who created Level Insurance and why?

Level Insurance was created by trial attorneys Justin Leto and Larry Bassuk, who understand the burdens of financial risk placed on attorneys and plaintiffs. As the costs of litigation continue to increase, so do the risks associated with litigation. Larry and Justin recognized that this risk was insurable but that no product existed to protect against this risk. As a result, they developed this first-of-its-kind insurance solution to allow plaintiffs and plaintiffs’ lawyers to recoup their investment in the event they fight and lose, thus leveling the playing field in a system that has been historically weighted in favor of the defense.

5

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I am a commercial litigator and my clients pay fees and costs. How can Level Insurance benefit my law firm?

Level Insurance may provide a substantial competitive advantage. If a law firm recognizes that the costs generated by a particular case will be large, and that law firm is in competition with other firms to sign up the client/case, the law firm can offer to buy Level Insurance for the case as a way of incentivizing the client to sign with the firm. Clients recognize the risk and expense of litigation and will appreciate a law firm spending its own money on this valuable coverage. And with Level Insurance being nominally priced, the goodwill gesture of buying this coverage will be well worth the expense.

6

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Does Level Insurance offer other benefits in addition to providing coverage for case costs?

Level Insurance offers many benefits aside from just covering expenses.  First, with a Level Insurance policy, you have access to premier rates with LevelEsq’s Level Case Financing.  In addition, many lawyers reveal that the are covered by Level Insurance at mediation in order to drive settlement values higher.  By informing the defense of this coverage, our customers can reverse the narrative often used by defense lawyers that they will outspend the plaintiff. Moreover, plaintiff lawyers that are covered by Level Insurance never think twice about spending what is needed to get the very best result for their clients because, in the event they lose, they will get their investment back.

7

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For contingency cases, can a lawyer include the cost of the premium for Level Insurance on the Closing Statement when a case either settles or results in a recovery at trial?

The premium paid for the Level Insurance policy may be able to be passed through to the client where state bar guidelines and your retainer agreement allow. For example, Florida, North Carolina, and Utah have specific ethics opinions which allow the cost to be passed through to the client.  

Purchasing Level Insurance

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Who can purchase a Level Insurance policy?

Attorneys and plaintiffs who are funding the litigation. Attorneys who represent clients on a contingency fee basis can purchase Level Insurance on a case-by-case basis. Likewise, plaintiffs who have retained an attorney pursuant to an hourly or other fee arrangement and are paying litigation costs themselves can directly purchase Level Insurance.

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How can I buy Level Insurance?

It’s easy: click here to apply. Level Insurance is available for purchase online and is bound and issued immediately after the applicant satisfactorily answers three simple eligibility questions.

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When can I buy Level Insurance?

Level Insurance is available for purchase until 120 days after the initial complaint has been served on the defendant.

4

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How much does Level Insurance cost?

The policy premium for Level Insurance is 7% of your selected policy limits. So, for example, if you choose a $50,000 policy, you pay a one-time policy premium of $3,500. Additional fees and taxes will apply. The payment is made by credit card or ACH online during the application process.

5

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How difficult is it to obtain a Level Insurance policy?

The application process is simple and is completed on-line. The applicants must identify themselves, the case names, answer three eligibility questions and attach a pdf copy of the operative complaint. That’s it. Click here to apply.

6

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How often can I buy Level Insurance?

Every time you file a lawsuit, you can buy a policy for that lawsuit.

7

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Can I buy Level Insurance coverage on an annual basis for my law firm?

No. Level Insurance is only available on a case-by-case basis. You have the freedom of choosing the cases for which you would like to purchase Level Insurance.

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Should I buy Level Insurance on a case with relatively low cost exposure?

Yes. The lower the cost exposure, the lower the premium. The policy premium for a case that may generate $10,000 in costs through trial is only $700 exclusive of taxes and fees.

Qualifying for Level Insurance

1

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How do I know if I qualify for Level Insurance?

Apply here and answer three simple eligibility questions. It’s that easy.

2

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What types of cases are eligible for Level Insurance?

Level Insurance is available for most tort claims and contract actions.

Examples of tort actions for which Level Insurance is available include:

  • Professional liability cases (including medical malpractice).
  • Product liability.
  • Premises liability.
  • Auto/trucking negligence.
  • Business torts.

Examples of contractual cases for which Level Insurance is available include:  

  • Breaches of contract.
  • Mortgage foreclosure.
  • Promissory note claims.
  • Other claims for indebtedness.

3

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How do I know if my case qualifies for Level Insurance coverage?

Apply here and answer 3 simple eligibility questions. It’s that easy.

4

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Where is Level Insurance available?

Currently, Level Insurance is available in all states except New York

5

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If I am a returning customer, do I need to answer the eligibility questions again?

Yes, but your background information will be saved. You will be asked to provide the new case name, a pdf copy of the operative complaint, and you will be asked to answer the eligibility questions for this case.

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Does a lawyer or law firm have to insure all of their cases in order to purchase Level Insurance?

No. Level Insurance can be purchased on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the insured. There is no requirement to buy insurance on any case.

Policy limits

1

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What limits are available?

The minimum Level Insurance policy limit is $3,500 and the maximum policy limit is currently $500,000.

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Are there pre-set limit amounts?

No. You have the freedom of choosing the policy limit that is custom-tailored to your case. You choose your policy limit during the application process.

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How are the policy limits determined?

By you. The application prompts you to input the amount of coverage you need. You can enter any number between $3,500 and $500,000, and the premium will be immediately calculated. You are not forced to buy pre-set limits. You choose what you need.

Costs covered

1

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What types of cost disbursements are covered?

Level Insurance covers costs spent in furtherance of litigation. These cost disbursements include, for example, expert witness fees, travel costs (hotels, airfare, and ancillary travel expenses), court reporter fees, trial exhibit costs, filing fees, mediator expenses, copies, e-discovery, and all other money you invest directly into the lawsuit. The policy does not use qualifiers like “reasonable costs.” You are reimbursed for whatever you spend, period.

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What is NOT covered?

Attorney’s fees, general overhead or office expenses, an opposing party’s costs or attorneys’ fees as may be awarded by the Court, and the premium paid for this policy are not covered.

3

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Is the premium paid for a Level Insurance policy a reimbursable “cost” in the event of a claim?

No. The premium paid for Level Insurance is not reimbursed to the insured in the event of a loss.

4

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Are my cost expenditures second-guessed if I make a claim?

No. If a covered expenditure was made in furtherance of the litigation, submit it with your claim for reimbursement. There is no requirement that an expense be “reasonable.” This is your case, and you know best what’s needed to prosecute it.

5

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When I purchase Level Insurance, are only future costs covered?

Level Insurance is retroactive to the time a lawyer was first retained and follows the case. If you purchase Level Insurance within 120 days of service of the lawsuit, all covered costs expended prior to the purchase of the policy, dating back to when the lawyer was retained, are eligible for reimbursement.

6

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What if I want to travel first class to a deposition instead of flying coach? Will my first class ticket be permitted as a “cost” under Level Insurance policy?

Yes. Level Insurance does not determine whether litigation costs are reasonable. If the money is spent is in direct furtherance of the case, it is covered up to the policy limits. If a lawyer or litigant chooses to spend money on first class airfare or five-star hotels, that is their choice. The policy clearly defines “Litigation Costs” in the policy and does not use qualifiers like “reasonable.”

7

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Are “costs” limited to what is considered a “taxable cost?”

No. The cost does not need to qualify as a “taxable cost.”

8

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Who underwrites Level Insurance?

Coverage is provided by Aspen Specialty Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (“Aspen”). Aspen provides reinsurance and insurance coverage to clients in various domestic and global markets through wholly owned subsidiaries and offices in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Claims and benefit payments

1

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How do I make a claim?

The claims process is easy. You simply upload the required documents to our website. We will require a certified copy of the adverse judgment; a detailed, line-item listing of all litigation costs and invoices evidencing the same; and proof of payment. Click here to file a claim.

2

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When does the Level Insurance policy pay out?

The policy will pay out after your case goes to trial and results in a zero-dollar recovery. If the case settles, is disposed of on summary judgment, or does not go to trial for any other reason, any costs incurred will not be covered.

3

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What happens if there is an appeal?

Your Level Insurance policy follows the case through appeal, up to policy limits. Your claim is paid after the appellate process has concluded.

For example, if your case is unsuccessful after trial, and no appeal is filed, you may submit your claim for payment after the time to file an appeal has expired. If, on the other hand, an appeal is filed, you may submit your claim for payment after the appellate process concludes.

3

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What happens if I settle with one defendant and proceed against others?

The recovery you obtain if you settle against one defendant will offset the amount of coverage available under your Level Insurance policy. For example, if you have a $100,000 policy and settle against Defendant “A” for $15,000, you will then have $85,000 of coverage available under your policy as you proceed against Defendant “B.”

4

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Is Level Insurance assignable to a successor counsel?

If Level Insurance is purchased by the litigant, it is the litigant’s policy regardless of change in counsel. However, if Level Insurance is purchased by the attorney, the policy is not transferable without prior approval of LevelEsq.

5

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Will I be able to make a claim if my case settles or is dismissed on summary judgment?

No. The Level Insurance policy would not be triggered in the event of a settlement or a dismissal. Level Insurance is an insurance product that exists to reimburse a lawyer or litigant for money spent on a case that results in a zero-dollar recovery after trial.

7

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What if I have more questions about Level Insurance?

Send us an email to info@levelesq.com and we will respond quickly.

8

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If I make a claim, how do I know I will get paid?

Level Insurance is underwritten by Aspen Specialty Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (“Aspen”). For the year ended December 31, 2017, Aspen reported $12.9 billion in total assets, $6.7 billion in gross reserves, $2.9 billion in total shareholders’ equity and $3.4 billion in gross written premiums. Its operating subsidiaries have been assigned a rating of “A” by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”), an “A” (“Excellent”) by A.M. Best Company Inc. (“A.M. Best”) and an “A2” by Moody’s Investor Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”).

LevelEsq

Coming soon!
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