What are structured settlement loans

Reviewed: February 21, 2014
By FinanceWeb

Injured workers, grieving family members and even Powerball winners frequently need to borrow against their annuitized settlements. They do so to achieve some peace of mind and run their lives as they see fit. Structured settlement loans may be the key to money management for anyone getting fixed payments over time.

 

What Is a Structured Settlement?

A structured settlement is a court-ordered award that produces recurring payments over a set amount of time. Instead of awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars at once, the judge authorizes a one-time, immediate disbursement and a string of cash payments. Plaintiffs may receive the residual money monthly, semi-annually or annually. Some common examples of structured settlement funding include

  • Medical malpractice settlements
  • Personal injury settlements
  • Wrongful death settlements
  • High-dollar legal settlements
  • Worker compensation payments
  • Lottery winnings

Because legal battles can drag on for months and even years, getting an annuity settlement is a significant event. For people who need cash now, structured settlement buyers can craft plans for a lump-sum payout.

Can I Get My Settlement Money in a Lump Sum?

After waiting so long for a court decision, many people are disappointed that they won’t be receiving cash when they need it most. They just want to take their money and get on with their lives. They may have racked up medical bills or put their college plans on hold. They may be headed toward eviction or foreclosure.

In these cases, reputable lenders can issue loans for structured settlements. The borrower receives a one-time cash advance now and then forwards all or part of the remaining settlement payments, plus interest, to the lending company. The structured settlement becomes collateral for the agreement. These types of lawsuit settlement contracts may require court approval before funding.

Who Benefits from Structured Settlement Loans?

The main benefit of settlement advance loans is that recipients do not need to wait for their annuity payments. They can use the large cash advance to

  • Pay for medical expenses and surgeries
  • Pay off credit card debts
  • Stop a foreclosure
  • Return to school
  • Train for a new career
  • Make home improvements
  • Buy a new house or condo
  • Buy a new car
  • Start a business
  • Travel around the country or around the world
  • Help with family emergencies

Annuity settlement loans can also help elderly borrowers who would rather enjoy the money now than collect payments over the end of their lives.

How Can I Get Cash for a Structured Settlement?

Selling a structured settlement is a straightforward process. The recipient contacts a legitimate settlement firm and applies for one of their loan programs. If the court-ordered agreement meets state legislative requirements, the settlement company will deliver an offer. Keep in mind that a structured settlement advance loan is a non-recourse debt that must be repaid. Offers can vary based on the size of the loan, the duration of the settlement and the fiscal reputation of insurance company issuing payments. Once you understand the details of a structured settlement loan, you can compare offers before making a decision.