STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS EXPLAINED
What structured settlements are and how they can be converted to lump sum cash payments
A structured settlement is an arrangement for settling personal injury claims by issuing periodic (usually monthly) payments rather than a lump sum cash settlement. Structured settlements are not taxable. They provide a steady source of income, and court costs and attorney's fees are less, as most of the time these are settled out of court. This results in savings to your settlement and more money for you. For these reasons, structured settlements have become a primary way of settling personal injury lawsuits since 1979. Structured settlements are now part of the statutory tort law of several countries including: Australia, Canada, England and the United States, although the law might be defined and interpreted in different ways in the different countries. Common situations where structured settlements are used include personal or physical injury as a result of car accidents, medical malpractice, injuries received in the course of work-related activities, or environmental claims such as pollution or asbestos exposure.
What if I want all of my money?
There may come a time when people who receive structured settlement payments wish to cash them out and receive a lump sum payment. There are a number of companies available who are willing to buy these settlement(s) and give them a lump sum payment. Before contemplating such a move, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney or financial adviser.
State Laws On Selling Structured Settlements
Most states allow the sale or assignment of your structured settlements, with court approval. Specific laws vary by state, so it is important to find out the restrictions in your state before proceeding.
Why Do People Sell Their Structured Settlements?
There are many reasons people want to convert their structured settlements to a lump sum payment. Usually it's because they need a large amount of cash for a variety of reasons. Taking all or a portion of the settlement in one lump sum can pay for education, down payment on a home, or debt consolidation. And in the event of the death of the recipient, the heirs may want to sell the settlement for the lump sum so it can be divided between them.
Since 1979, Structured Settlements have become the most common way to settle personal injury cases. Payments are non-taxable, and the recipient is assured of a steady source of income. Should the recipient decide that he would like to have all or part of the settlement converted to a lump sum payment, there are many companies who can assist. Approval must be made by the court first, for the protection of the recipient. Lives and circumstances change, and the option to sell or assign the settlement for cash is always available.