Tag: legal loans

Taking care of your family and community this Thanksgiving 2 weeks ago

Start using Fortify and get back time and money you might not have realized you were losing.

You’ve heard the adage about “teaching a man to fish”, or the one about helping plant the corn, or the fruit-bearing tree — well, you can insert your favorite food/work metaphor here since it is the holiday season. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, what better time to challenge you, our attorney friend, to really think about the fruit your tree is bearing. Is there enough to sustain your practice? Does it bear enough to feed your family? Your community? 

 

Taking care of yourself first is not a selfish way to live. It is only through being the planter, someone who recognizes the important stages and cycles of preparation, growth, and harvest, that you can reap enough bounty to take care of your loved ones and community. The same is true with your business today, and especially law. Your relationship with clients, especially the explanation of payment, needs to be taken in steps in order to operate successfully. iQualify’s payment management software, Fortify, takes the most important steps for you. Start using Fortify and get back time and money you might not have realized you were losing. Within 30 days, you’ll be saying “yes” to more clients and start seeing the benefits of your well-laid plans with iQualify. 

What are you talking about and how does it relate to my law practice?

Just as there are no instant-harvests, there are no get-rich-quick schemes. Did you know it takes an average child until 12 to have an intermediate mastery of the English language? Just like having the alphabet down in middle school doesn’t make you Shakespeare, simply being a lawyer doesn’t make you rich. Everything has to grow and be nurtured, including your law practice and your relationships with your clients. Fortify does exactly that. Our client payment management system builds a structure of financial stability into your practice. It doesn’t happen overnight, but rather the changes iQualify brings to your business frees up time and is the key to unlocking the next stage in your law practice. 

 

Doing things in stages helps deliver clarity. Think about Thanksgiving: you have to set the table, cook the food, get the house ready, plate the food…all in stages. You don’t just throw the turkey down on the table before it’s ready. Achieving financial stability for your law practice with iQualify is also a process in stages: 

 

  • Stage 1: you sign up and get the Fortify software
  • Stage 2: getting clients signed up, stress melts away
  • Stage 3: financial stability feeds the office, your family, and community

 

How do we invest in the community and ourselves after that? Planning to support a future we didn’t know we were going to have is difficult. But once you’ve taken the steps to simplify and streamline the collection and payment side of your practice, you’ll find so many more opportunities opening up. You could give your newfound free time to Big Brothers or Sisters, or volunteer at a food bank or homeless shelter. You can make larger donations to your favorite nonprofit or a charity close to your heart. Find some way you’d love to help your community, and, once financially solvent yourself, give back! It’s the perfect way to celebrate the spirit of the holidays.

 

Give iQualify a real close look this holiday and sign up so you can start reaping/harvesting/feeding your law practice sufficiently in 2021. Insert your own food/work metaphor here. 

 

Happy Holidays from iQualify! 

Attorneys are responding to Fortify...here's what they think 3 weeks ago

Legal retainer financing is a resounding success for attorneys in the know.

iQualify Lending has piqued interest among attorneys with our Fortify software and legal retainer financing. Recently we sent out an email survey campaign designed to find out about interest in attorney financing. The responses are in and the answer is…attorneys are very interested in legal retainer financing products but aren’t exactly sure what Fortify is.

Out of 500 emails, over 400 responded they would be interested in legal retainer financing products. So, what exactly is our legal lending software and what does it do?

Fortify allows attorneys to offer a client every option to hire them, upfront then manages those payment plans – collecting up to 93 cents on the dollar for the cases. 

Attorneys don’t want to put clients on payment plans, but clients need options that fit their budget. They’re looking for an affordable way to hire an affordable expert to win their case. This problem is so universal that 66% of clients leave their first meeting without a clear understanding of how to pay the attorney for their case moving forward. As a result, the first attorneys often become the baseline for the client to shop around and find a better price. But if the client specifically says “I can’t afford that, can you work something out?”, then the attorney only has one option – offer a  payment plan. The client is looking for the lowest payment and/or to spread payments out over a set amount of time. As a result, your firm becomes the bank – and that’s bad news for attorneys managing their own retainer plans. 

Jason Brown and Josh Utesch began iQualify Lending with a mind for finance, but a heart for legal and the belief in what can happen when those two things meet. “Turns out”, Jason says, “attorneys have never had options like this before. We realized most of them are putting clients on payment plans and, to no one’s surprise, they’re not very good at collecting. It’s hard being counselor and collection agent to the same client. But those same attorneys using our retainer financing tools with Fortify are enjoying up to a 30% raise, for the exact same clients.” 

With a product as unique as Fortify, other legal retainer financiers are hoping you will assume cost is the only difference between them and iQualify. But retainer financing alone won’t solve the problem – not even close. There is no other program out there that will make it easier to get hired, get paid, and get out of the collections business, once and for all. Think about that for a second. We help you convert more potential clients, get you paid, and take you out of the collections business once and for all. What are you waiting for?

Tired of chasing your clients for money? Not anymore. Get hired. Get paid. Get Fortify.


Wrangle Control of Your Practice with Attorney Financing 1 month ago

If you’re going to make one change this year…Wrangle Control of Your Law Practice with legal retainer financing!

Sometimes it’s not about attorneys chasing money from clients. It’s about having the money you need to control the growth of your law practice as a business.  

You probably want to take on as many clients as you can. Let’s face it: this is a business and you need to make money. But how many times have you taken on a client only to then realize they were a bad fit as they showed up late, were hard to communicate with, made you chase their payment down, or were, in general, a hassle? 

Brian Tannebaum from Above the Law believes in “the philosophy that sometimes the best client is the one you turn down.” The idea is “Client Control” and it basically means that controlling clients is controlling your business and you have to set those attorney/client relationships up correctly at the beginning of the relationship, laying the parameters and taking charge. 

How iQualify Lets You Take Charge

iQualify’s unique software puts you in control of how you get paid. Solving the “problem” of when you’ll get money from your clients  gives you control of your practice in several ways: 

Investing in long-term goals – with more money going into your law firm’s bank account at a dependable rate, you’ll be freed up to invest more wisely, pay off debt, and make sound financial decisions.

Bounce back faster from setbacks – bad things happen all the time, and attorneys are certainly not immune to financial or health disasters. If you’re financially sound, you’ll be much more in charge of how you come back from adversity, how long it takes, and how much damage it actually does to your law practice.

Take care of your family and community! – as we’ve mentioned before, one of the most satisfying (no, the most satisfying) parts of making and keeping more money is being able to provide for your family and give back to your community. Happiness doesn’t come from money, but it sure helps, as it provides the agency to give and help others. 

Control is a destination and we can give you the tools to get you there.  

iQualify’s software is only for attorneys who understand the value of being able to say yes to more clients…the right clients.  

Wrestle your law practice and life back away from overbearing clients that are the wrong fit! Let iQualify, powered by Fortify, make this the year you fully take control.

 

Be the Better Gold Miner with Attorney Financing 2 months ago

How effective is iQualify Lending’s legal retainer financing at wrangling control of your legal practice? 

It’s like mining for gold. It’s all about mechanization. 

Say you’re sloshing through a creek with a magnifying glass, looking for gold…that’s kind of what every day feels like as an attorney, right? You’re hoping to find gold in the creek with each new client/strike of the pickaxe. With iQualify Lending, you take all the legal clients in your area, stick them in a sifter and let us find all the gold in your creek by using mechanization.

Technology has changed the way the best lawyers make their money, grow their practice, and manage their business over the last 15 years. This new chapter in mechanization has improved efficiency and profitability for most industries and it’s finally made its way into finance via the software attorneys use. Legal retainer financing, available through iQualify and powered by Fortify, is the best thing to happen to the industry so far. Using iQualify is like being given access to a treasure map with a giant “X” marking the spot where the gold can be found….all you have to do is dig. Think of each shovelful as one application of Fortify, iQualify’s software. 

iQualify Lending helps you start building the structure of financial stability. It’s great if you have an 80% collection rate, but at what cost? Are you still doing all the work? Mechanization/technology frees up time and is the key to unlocking the next stage in your law practice! 

If I told you I had a treasure map and endless gold nuggets to find, when would you stop digging? The answer is probably never! 

Every dig through this soil has the opportunity to strike gold. Technology makes it even easier. And, just like in life, nothing feels better than striking gold…or getting paid upfront. If you’re ready to start being a better gold miner, learn more today about attorney financing and legal lending and let’s get started. 

4 Steps to Strengthen Your Law Practice During COVID-19 2 months ago


The pandemic has shown attorneys the shakiness of life as business owners

The COVID-19 pandemic is currently bearing down hard on lawyers and firms. If we’ve learned anything it’s that were not nearly as cash fluid as we should be or thought we were. For many of us, our businesses are walking the knife’s edge of sustainability, and a year-long-sustained hit to our income is hard to manage. 

Think of your practice as a boat. It has a few holes in it, but nothing too major, no big problem. Now, a monsoon has struck, and your boat is filling with water. The holes are only helping things along. One of the first things to go overboard when costs weigh you down is your staff. Once that happens, you are the one left doing all the work again, back where you started as an attorney, and it’s the worst.

So, what have we learned? Patch the holes before the flood! When things return to “normal”, you need to be sure you’re taking these 4 Steps to Strengthen Your Law Practice

  1. Shore up defenses
  2. Strengthen cash reserves
  3. Collect more money from the cases you’re signing
  4. Have a way to allow any client who wants to hire you to say yes!

That fourth one is super-important and that’s where we come in. Fortify, powered by iQualify Lending, offers your clients payment options they can easily say ‘yes’ to. Start using the Fortify software and you’ll have an easy, modern way to get new clients signed up when they come to you, As the attorney, you get paid upfront with both cash and financing options and get paid over a period of time with an in-house payment option. iQualify attorneys get paid their full retainer on most of their cases without ever having to chase their clients for money or call them for payments. 

Here’s a real-world example. One of our clients, a large criminal defense firm in Vegas, hired a new case manager who signed up for our services again on accident. When we called to discuss the mistake, we spoke at length about Fortify, our new retainer-financing platform. They came to realize we can manage their payment plans and, all of a sudden, the whole conversation changed. The owners popped onto the call from various states and said “Wait a minute…you can do this? That’s the biggest problem we have!” We let them know we can do it all for them and take these worries away. 

Our Vegas friends, like so many attorneys, were exhausting staff by tasking them with tracking down money, dealing with a frustratingly high turnover rate, having to train new employees all the time…the things that puncture your boat with those little holes. We let them know iQualify clients aren’t having these issues! If you’ve learned anything during this pandemic, it should be that there are options for you to help simplify and improve your practice going forward. 

There’s more to iQualify that just financing. We’ll handle your legal lending and take the burden off of you and your staff, positioning you all for success when the economy comes back. Ready to see how it works? Let’s get started now!

How iQualify changed retainer financing forever with Fortify 3 months ago

We came to solve a specific problem and wound up changing the industry.

Imagine being a wheat farmer in 1835, when Hiram Moore patented the first combine harvester, which was capable of reaping, threshing, and winnowing grain. Up to that point, the cost and effort to keep up a wheat field was significant, but manageable for a family. But with a combine, what used to take 80 hours of work each week could be completed in 20, at a fraction of the cost, with better results – all without the health concerns associated with doing the work.

Solving the collections problem changed the wheat industry forever.

The legal industry is going through something similar. To attract and sign more clients, most attorneys offer some kind of payment plan. This leaves it up to them to collect their own harvest – working their cases manually over a long period of time.

In 2016 Jason Brown and Josh Utesch sat down with some attorneys to help them solve this problem for their firms. That solution would ultimately lead to the creation of Fortify, which allows attorneys to offer a client every option to hire them, upfront, then manages those payment plans – collecting up to 93 cents on the dollar for the cases. 


“The verdict is in on iQualify. I’ve used it for 6 months and my current ROI is already over 800%!” — Regina Edwards, a divorce attorney in Gwinnett County, Ga. 

Attorneys don’t want to put clients on payment plans, but clients need options that fit their budget. They’re looking for an affordable way to hire an affordable expert to win their case. This problem is so universal that 66% of clients leave their first meeting without a clear understanding of how to pay the attorney for their case moving forward. As a result, the first attorneys often become the baseline for the client to shop around and find a better price. But if the client specifically says “I can’t afford that, can you work something out?”, then the attorney only has one option – offer a  payment plan. The client is looking for the lowest payment and/or to spread payments out over a set amount of time. As a result, your firm becomes the bank – and that’s bad news for attorneys managing their own retainer plans. 

Jason Brown and Josh Utesch began iQualify Lending with a mind for finance, but a heart for legal and the belief in what can happen when those two things meet. “Turns out”, Jason says, “attorneys have never had options like this before. We realized most of them are putting clients on payment plans and, to no one’s surprise, they’re not very good at collecting. It’s hard being counselor and collection agent to the same client. But those same attorneys using our retainer financing tools with Fortify are enjoying up to a 30% raise, for the exact same clients.” 

With a product as unique as Fortify, other legal retainer financiers are hoping you will assume cost is the only difference between them and iQualify. But retainer financing alone won’t solve the problem – not even close. There is no other program out there that will make it easier to get hired, get paid, and get out of the collections business, once and for all. Think about that for a second. We help you convert more potential clients, get you paid, and take you out of the collections business once and for all. What are you waiting for?

Counsel & Counseling: Attorneys and Mental Health 4 months ago

During this fraught time, there is another epidemic no one is talking about. 

“Being a lawyer is about solving people’s problems: being arrested, getting a divorce, having a business dispute, and so on. We make our clients’ problems into our problems. Add in the worry of being a bill collector and managing an office, and the stress can be crushing. A lawyer with a substance abuse problem or depression may be legally required to report such an illness to their state bar or other lawyer regulatory agencies. This deters lawyers from seeking help and instead they deal with their problems privately, if at all. It’s why I sadly know numerous attorneys who have committed suicide in the past 11 years of my practice.”

—Eric J. Trabin, founder of the Trabin Law Firm, a criminal defense and family law firm in Maitland, Florida. ABAJournal.com 

You learned a lot in law school, but nothing prepared you for the realities of running your law practice as a sustainable business: hiring, firing, bills, training, taxes, advertising, chasing clients, case follow-up, early-morning court, late-evening catch-up sessions, working weekends, and more fast food than anyone should ever be forced to eat. Every day your job is to manage and deal with the most stressful situation in someone’s life. That takes a toll. 

A recent survey by Law.com reported that about 41% of respondents said mental health problems and substance abuse are at a crisis level in the legal industry, while about 34% said they don’t know and 25% said no. More than half of respondents, 56%, said mental health problems and substance abuse are worse in the legal industry than in other industries. Many attorneys are suffering from increased stress and anxiety, and yet no one in our industry feels like they can talk about it. Since iQualify is in the de-stressing business, we see and hear these stories from the front lines all the time. And you know what causes a lot of stress? You guessed it: money.

So much of our stress is tied up in finances. 

As attorneys, we deal with hundreds of small problems every day. Every problem is like adding a tiny stone to your satchel. Not much by itself, but over time – it increases the stress of the load. It means you have to do extra work, with the stress of a heavy load, and it never stops. 50-60-70 hour weeks. All just to barely stay above water and keep the lights on. And at the end of the day, the extra work feels like running on a hamster wheel if you’re also short on money.

Can we be honest for a moment? You can handle the work. You can sign new clients. But chasing clients for money? -that could be the biggest of all your stressors. Your heart races, you avoid it until the last minute, and if you’re lucky you pass the problem off to Carol at the front desk (she’s not great at collecting either, but at least it relieves some pressure). You are their counsel, but you can’t do that if you’re the collection agent

The best thing you can do for a client is a have the freedom to fully represent their best interest in the case. You are called counsel for a reason. And iQualify Lending helps you start putting the counsel back in counselor. With Fortify by iQualify, we’re helping alleviate significant stress and extra work by solving the financial solution for most attorneys. It’s not just retainer financing. It’s a whole new way of life If you are looking for a solution – call us today at 404-369-3112.

Feeling like you’re depressed or overwhelmed by stress? There are several ways to get help, yes, even for attorneys. Start with talking to someone and take away the stigma associated with mental health struggles. If you’re looking to speak with a mental health professional, this link can help. 

The Disappointing Life of Collection Carol. 5 months ago

Be the Compass, Not the Collection Agent

Let’s talk about Carol. As an attorney, you hired Carol to be your office assistant, the face and voice of your practice. Carol is the first person who interacts with the public in your name. She’s sweet and friendly, but also strong and businesslike. She can do almost anything. What Carol is not – is a pit bull. Carol is not exactly what you might call an enforcer or your collections agent. When you give Carol the task to chase money from people she makes the calls, but she secretly hates this part of the job. 

Recently, iQualify Lending ran the numbers on a lawyer who’s been using the Fortify software. We collected over 110 contracts and averaged 95 cents on the dollar. When their Collection Carol was doing the job, she was getting paid 74 cents on the dollar. Imagine Carol as the CEO of a bank, whose job it is to create and collect on loans from clients. If you can’t see her as that person, then why do you have her doing that job?! If you went to a financial institution and said, “I have a plan to collect 74 cents on the dollar for all the money we lend…” you would be laughed out of the bank. But that is how we run our law practices: a fire sale every day. 

If you wouldn’t trust Carol to run the bank, why would you trust her to collect your money?

This is a problem that plagues many law practices and keeps them from being as successful as they should. You cannot be both collection agent and council to the same client. These jobs are at odds with each other. As council, you need to be a client’s compass…their guide through the confusing and intimidating legal world. You need to give your clients what they’re looking for in a lawyer: 

  1. easy to hire
  2. good communication
  3. clear direction
  4. outcome delivered as promised

Remove yourself from the collection process. Give your clients what they want: an affordable way to pay an expert to win their case. 

Nobody wants to be Shakedown Jimmy, either. 

“The client that can’t or won’t pay you money at the beginning of the case, is the same client that won’t pay you at the end of the case.” — Jay Foonberg

Everyone hates confrontation. If the client says “I don’t have the money” you’re stumped because chances are, you weren’t trained in negotiating payments. The worst-case scenario for many lawyers winds up playing out on the big day in court. You tell your client they still owe you money, they say they don’t have it. You tell them to at least bring you something or you’re not showing up to court tomorrow (Now, there is no way to actually hold anyone accountable without repercussions, because if I’m an attorney and I file a claim against someone who owes me money and they countersue, I have to tell my insurance company and my liability insurance goes up). You show up to courthouse steps and they’ve brought you $500, hardly the $2000 balance they owe, but at least it’s something. Now your client is nervous because they owe you money and YOU are the one who is supposed to be fighting for them. It’s a terrible spot for both lawyer and client. It’s a horrible way to do business. 

Attorneys just accept this and write it off as “it is what it is”. It doesn’t have to be. 

iQualify Lending is more than just financing…it’s a lifestyle change for how you get paid. 

You should never be touching another piece of plastic or taking a check for any reason other than a down payment or holding retainer. Fortify, by iQuailfy allows you to get back to being the compass and not the collector. Fortify allows you to present payment plans in a way that makes it simple for clients to say yes – to hiring you. And because we offer true retainer financing plans and manage all of your in-house payment plans – you can get paid in full more often without any of the headaches of chasing clients for money.

Using Fortify by iQualify is the easiest way to get hired, get paid, and get out of the collection business once and for all. With iQualify you are out of the collection business, you’re not part of the financial transaction, and you can be there just for them, building trust, guiding them, through scary and uncharted waters. And Carol? She can hang up her collections hat once and for all. And with all the extra money we are collecting for you, maybe you can finally afford to give Carol that much-needed raise!

From the Other Side of the Table: The Client Experience 6 months ago

Forget your credentials, your clients need you for your problem-solving skills. 

When the phone rings in your office, the person on the other side of the line is often going through the most traumatic experience of their recent life. Too often, as attorneys, we forget that. They are coming to you vulnerable and scared. You have to meet them in that place. Putting yourself in your potential client’s shoes takes a deliberate rewiring of the way we think. 

Let’s take personal injury attorneys for example. The personal injury attorney might assume people know what to do when they get in an accident. It’s what he does (and he advertises a lot to make sure people know!).


But if you’ve never been in a car accident, you actually have no clue what to do. The shock alone can make you forget everything you think you know. Am I injured? I don’t feel that injured. What are my options? Who’s going to pay for these medical bills? What do I say if they call me?

It’s the same thing for clients of attorneys dealing with immigration, divorce, DUIs– the client doesn’t know what to do. They are going through a traumatic event. We’ve discussed how you need to be the expert your clients are looking for. But you also need to remember, as that expert, they don’t need your credentials….they need your problem-solving skills. 

“What are we going to do? What are the next steps? What’s the timeline?” 

You are the person with the answer to the questions that have plagued them. 

From the client’s side of the table. 

As attorneys, when we sit across from someone, we’re often thinking “Can this person really pay me thousands of dollars? How much? Will I end up working for free?” It’s okay. That’s our job and we have to know that we’re going to be paid for our work.

As a client in need of an attorney, when sitting across from you, they’re thinking “How can I get my son out of jail? Do I need to secure housing before leaving my husband? Will I be able to afford to live? Am I going to be deported?”

They are full of thousands of questions, and they already know it’s going to cost a lot. They certainly weren’t planning on this. Clearly, both parties are coming to the table with vastly different interests. 

What if money wasn’t the issue?

Everyone believes that money buys justice or freedom or liberty. The point is – people know that money solves problems! People with money want an affordable way to pay an expert to help them with their case. This begs the question – How affordable are you?

For attorneys who use Fortify by iQualify Lending, the answer is – the most affordable. iQualify Lending is more than just legal retainer financing…it’s the easiest way to get hired, get paid, and get out of the collection business once and for all.

Using Fortify removes you from the financial transaction. And your clients will appreciate the simplicity of the payment options. It supports their belief that you are an expert. Now you get to be the problem solver. 

Now, sitting across from that new client, you can calm their fears and answer their questions, telling them, “With the dice we’ve been rolled…here’s the best-case scenario we can put you in….that is my goal as your attorney.” 

Start using Fortify powered by iQualify, and instantly become affordable to every client that wants to hire you. Now that money’s out of the way, it’s about being present and helping them through the most traumatic experience of their lives. 

Get out of the collections business once and for all. Your clients, your staff, your mental health, and your bank account will thank you!

The Psychology of the Middleman 6 months ago

Attorneys need a third party to make the difference.

In what situation does having a middleman make all the difference? As FastCompany explains, Middlemen “are more prevalent–and more important–than ever. Agents, brokers, dealers, and resellers get a bad rap, but they play a crucial role in almost every platform today— As a result, being an effective middleman has become an even more valuable skill than it was in the past.”

Middlemen are particularly useful for attorneys and retainer financing. As our last few blogs have pointed out, a lawyer’s psychology and mindset when entering into their pitch with a client are extremely important. Your belief system enters into any meeting before you do and, when playing a game of retainer-payment-chess with your client, it becomes an immovable force. While you need to focus on (or stubbornly cling to) all of your mental chess pieces, your middleman steps in to get the important work done. 

Think of your belief system as a ladder with five rungs. The bottom rung is your identity, which shapes your beliefs. The next rung is belief, which shapes the next rung, capability. That rung influences behavior and those behaviors shape your environment. This ladder is powerful and cannot easily be dismantled. You carry this ladder into all of your pitches and meetings with clients. It can be very hard to negotiate and work from a place of compromise when you’re hauling around a heavy ladder of belief. 

  • Environment
  • Behavior
  • Capability
  • Belief
  • Identity 

There’s something about having a middleman, someone who is NOT carrying your ladder around, someone who can be the responsible third party, that is essential to making the attorney/client relationship work. While you’re stuck in your mindset, the middleman is free to negotiate. There are very few attorneys who are getting their mindset right, are getting paid fully by their clients, and who aren’t suffering from this issue. Everyone knows it exists and that it sucks but no one wants to talk about the depth of the problem because we’re raised to win trophies. We, especially as attorneys, often believe we can do it (and win it) all ourselves. 

You may think you don’t need a middleman, but chances are you’re already using one. Attorneys push this stuff off on office managers and employees to get rid of that pain. But the one dealing with the pain didn’t create the cost, they’re just collecting. Betty’s job at the front office is not to collect your money! Betty’s job is to do 8 hours of work for your practice….not chase money around. You don’t have the time either. Betty is not the middleman. You cannot be your own middleman.

Fortify, powered by iQualify Lending, is ready to be your middleman. Start using the Fortify software and you’ll have an easy, modern way to get new clients signed up when they come to you, As the attorney, you get paid upfront with both cash and financing options and get paid over a period of time with an in-house payment option. iQualify attorneys get paid their full retainer on most of their cases without ever having to chase their clients for money or call them for payments.

Contact us today and let’s get started making Fortify your middleman, protecting your practice and letting your belief system do what it does best: win cases for your clients.

Want to find out more about the most famous American middlemen? Esquire has a fun article on seven key middlemen in U.S. history.