In business since 2000, Seahold provides plaintiff financing to personal injury clients. However, it's more than that; we provide the means to go the distance, to get what is rightfully deserved.
If you are being forced to settle your vehicle accident claim prematurely or are continually pressured due to financial stress, we can provide litigation loans. The interest rate on these loans is the same as is charged by national retail stores on their credit card accounts.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE
The scenario is all too familiar. An accident victim has been working with his or her lawyer for several months trying to settle their insurance claim. The accident has prevented them from working, savings have been depleted, and lawyer fees and household expenses are beginning to accumulate.
The situation is dragging out, the insurance company is low-balling the victim's claim and the victim's lawyer is certain a better offer will be presented in time. The lawyer's argument for a better offer is compelling and yet the insurance company continues to stall. The lawyer's recommendation to their client is to wait it out and continue to push for an appropriate settlement. The difficulty is that the plaintiff's money is running out and debts are mounting. The plaintiff's access to justice is being greatly compromised because of their inability to finance continued proceedings.
Unfortunately, traditional lenders such as banks do not view lawsuits as assets and since the plaintiff is unable to work due to their injuries, banks are unwilling to support clients through the legal process. Clients who cannot obtain cash from traditional methods either because of no credit; poor credit; or no assets are normally unable to pursue their litigation to a successful and fair settlement. This is especially true in families with low income, single income households or clients with limited education.
Courts Recognize Importance of Third Party Lending
In recent years there has been much discussion about the importance of providing access to justice to all Canadians. There is recognition that litigation is becoming more and more time consuming and expensive. Often, plaintiffs who have been seriously injured and are unable to work, do not have the ability to pay for necessary and important medical treatment, reports or other expenses required to advance their litigation.
Various courts throughout Canada, such as the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick, the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Nova Scotia Supreme Court have begun to recognize the value and importance of third party lenders in the legal system to ensure that clients of limited means are able to secure access to justice.
For example, in 2012, the Honourable Chief Justice Drapeau of the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick in the case of LeBlanc v. Doucet and New Brunswick Power Corporation confirmed that the Plaintiff was entitled to recover interest on litigation loans borrowed to pay for necessary disbursements.
In paragraph 39 of his written decision, Chief Justice Drapeau states:
"Seahold Investments was a source of financing totally independent of Mr. LeBlanc. The interest rate it set reflected an assessment of the risk assumed in granting the loans in question, a risk that two financial institutions had previously deemed prohibitive. Only a foolhardy lawyer would have agreed to undertake that risk."
In paragraph 43, he goes on to say that
"The appellant […] lacked the means to finance his action in damages against the respondents. His impecuniosity compelled him to take out loans from an independent third party to cover litigations expenses, all for the purpose of securing access to justice. It suffices that those loans were "necessarily incurred" to secure the just determination of the proceedings and that the interest rates were "reasonable".
In a decision in 2013, The Honourable Mr. Justice Savage of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in the case of Chandi v. Atwell, the Court accepted that interest on loans for necessary disbursements was recoverable.
And again in 2014, The Honourable Mr. Justice Warner of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in the case of National Bank Financial Ltd. v. Potter ordered NBFL (National Bank Financial Ltd.) to reimburse one of the plaintiffs, Lowell Weir, for interest paid on loans borrowed to continue his litigation. Mr. Weir was forced to borrow almost $100,000 during the course of the lawsuit to pay for the extremely complex and bitter litigation. Evidence filed at the costs motion indicated that interest on the loans amounted to more than $80,000.
At paragraph 217 of the decision Justice Warner stated:
"NBFL submits that the costs of a litigation loan are recoverable, but only where the loan is necessary to continue the litigation. It submits that there is no evidence before the court that it was necessary for Weir to borrow in order to continue the litigation. I disagree." Then further at paragraph 221 Justice Warner determined: "I am satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that it was necessary for Weir to take out loans at high rates of interest in order to continue the litigation. The court approves the interest claim of $80,405.82."
The plaintiff financing and litigation loans Seahold Investments provides allows injured and impecunious plaintiffs access to justice and buys them time to receive the compensation they rightfully deserve. Plaintiff financing can help avoid financial disaster for clients by paying critical bills, thus avoiding ruined credit, eviction, bankruptcy or foreclosure.
Plaintiff financing pays bills and feeds families - the wait for fair settlement can take months or years. With legal loans clients can deal with insurers from a position of financial strength and not have to jump at any low initial offers. Plaintiff financing buys time and peace of mind for the injured party and relieves the associated financial pressures. It is a buffer between client pressures and the fair and successful settlement of their case - allowing lawyers to spend less time problem-solving clients financial constraints and more valuable time dealing with the particulars of the case.
Litigation loans are a benefit to lawyers by allowing them to help their clients get the settlement they deserve. Some of the available financing can be used for disbursements for medical experts and treatment providers that may not be able to wait for payment for their valuable and expensive services. Opinions and diagnosis can be expensive, but these experts can be invaluable relative to the successful settlement of the Plaintiff's case.
Some firms (i.e. small firms, single lawyer firms) may not have access to traditional forms of financial sources and have found they can rely on third party financing firms such as Seahold Investments. By empowering their clients to meet their own financial obligations creates less demand on their lawyers time - giving lawyers the time and resources to build a better case. Higher settlements normally far outweigh the interest costs and higher settlement for the client also means a higher fee for the lawyer resulting in a win/win situation for all involved.
Seahold was established for the purpose of providing financial aid to impecunious personal injury clients. This invaluable service allow plaintiffs the financial means to secure access to justice and receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.
"Thank you so much for the financial help. Seahold is truly amazing. When I thought all hope was lost, Seahold saved the day. Seahold's website stated that they are not the light at the end of the tunnel but the tunnel itself, I don't know what our family would have done without this help. Thank you from my family to Seahold."
The annual interest rate is 28.8% (2.4% per month) calculated and compounded monthly from the date of advance until the date of payment in full, together with interest on unpaid interest at the same rate and on the same terms. This results in an effective rate of 32.923% per annum.
Option 1 – Lump Sum Loan Program (Dark blue line in graph above)
Example: You receive a lump sum loan of $12,000. After the first year has passed, your interest cost will be $3,950.74. Meaning, after the first year you will owe a total of $15,950.74.
Option 2 – Monthly Loan Program (Light blue line in graph above)
Example: You receive a monthly loan of $1,000 per month for a period of 12 months. After the first year has passed, your interest cost will be $2,047.06. Meaning, after the first year you will owe a total of $14,047.06.
Choosing Option 2 will result in a savings of $1,903.67, or a 48% reduction, in interest costs.