Disadvantages of Structured Settlement Loans

Legal Settlement Loans
December 18, 2008 — 1,381 views  

Structured settlements are a way for a person, company or insurance provider to pay out awards won in a lawsuit over a period of time. This is usually done on a bi-monthly or yearly schedule. This prevents large losses due to the results of a lawsuit again that person, company or insurance provider.

If you do have a structured settlement you can opt to get a large sum payment; this is called a settlement loan. This is when a provider buys out your remaining structured settlement payments for one large sum. You can also get pre-settlement loans before a lawsuit case has even reached a verdict. You should know the disadvantages before deciding if it's right for you.

The main downside is taxes. The money that you would receive from the provider is considered taxable. You would have to pay applicable taxes at the current state and federal rate for that calendar year. You'll also be responsible for self employment tax; this is the tax self employed individuals pay since they are not getting social security and Medicare withheld from their income. You should be aware of all tax responsibilities behind your settlement loan before making any decisions. I'd suggest speaking with a financial adviser that has worked with settlement loans in the past.

Another downside is the loss of money in your total structured settlement. The settlement loan provider will get a portion of the total amount owed over the structured settlements duration. This is different between settlement loan providers and private settlement loan investors. Usually, you can expect them to absorb 20% to 40% of the value of the entire structured settlement or on top of the settlement loan itself. You should make sure it's worth the cost before taking it out in the first place.

Reviewing this few disadvantages of a structured settlement loan it should be noted there are many advantages. First, if you're getting a pre-settlement loan you're not responsible to pay the loan back if you lose your case. Second, if your structured settlement is bought out to protect assets such as a car or home it can out weight the costs of the loan itself. Either way, neither of them require any specific income or credit history; making these available to anyone with a pending lawsuit or structured settlement.

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