A Structured Lawsuit Settlement Seemed Like a Good Idea at One Time
By Jason Rigler
You are receiving payments spread out over months, years, even a lifetime. It's great when the money arrives but the payments are often too small or too spread out to really satisfy your needs. Careful research could yield more of your cash faster. There are some half dozen financial institutions with the knowledge and resources to effectively advance your future lawsuit payments.
While the rewards are obvious, the risks are not so easily understood.
Once you identify an annuity buyout funding source, consult your attorney for an explanation of the legal requirements.
Beware some of the following pitfalls when obtaining an advance on your future lawsuit payments.
It takes time.
In most cases the industry-wide standard is several months. Some companies will tell you they can get your deal processed in weeks. Unfortunately, courts do not operate that quickly. Most people want a set time frame and need the money right away.
You have to go to court.
Most states have passed a Model Act that requires annuitants to obtain a court order prior to reassigning their payments. A federal law levies stiff tax penalties on any advance obtained without a court order. (Unless you are the "owner" of the annuity)
You will receive a discounted value of your future payments.
There are many variables involved. The rating of the insurance company making the payments, the size of your transaction and how far into the future the payments extend all affect the amount you will receive. Often it is less than you would expect.
You do not have to sell all your payments.
You can structure your purchase in multiple ways. For example, you can sell all remaining payments, a partial number of payments or a percentage of your payments.
It is recommended to not sell beyond 14 years of payments.
The freedom to accelerate the payout of your lawsuit annuity is yours, exercise it carefully.
Structured Settlement Counselor