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Getting Your Settlement Money

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How do settlements work? I feel so confused. I was involved in a court case that ended before we got to court. My lawyer seemed to know what he was doing, but I’ve felt out of the loop ever since things started moving toward a settlement. It all happened pretty fast, and suddenly it was all wrapped up. We weren’t going to court, and I was going to get a settlement instead.

But the settlement hasn’t given me a bunch of cash at once, like I thought it would. The process seems slow, and I’m not sure I understand it at all. I really need the money now, because I’m behind on bills and have debts to pay off. Experts, can you please help me understand what’s going on? Is there still a way for me to get the money I deserve?

It’s unfortunate that your attorney was not more clear about the nature of your settlement. You may still be able to get answers and an explanation from him, and we encourage you to keep trying. Only an attorney can give you legal advice related to your situation, and while it sounds as if your case has been concluded, it’s still worth making sure that you’ve discussed everything that you can and should with your attorney. Your attorney should be professional enough to sit down with you and set things straight.

Still, we can offer some insights. It sounds as if you have what is called a “structured settlement.” So what’s a structured settlement? Here’s how it works.

When someone loses a court case or agrees to a settlement that will cost them money, they might not feel that they can pay the whole amount all at once. In cases like this, the parties may come together and agree on a payment schedule that will allow the money to be doled out little by little over time. This can be settled after the fact (in the event of a court award) or considered as part of a settlement agreement.

All of that can be pretty frustrating if you find yourself in need of immediate cash. This money is yours, yet you can’t touch it. While structured settlements can be perfectly serviceable in some situations and even provide some advantages (for instance, you may pay less in taxes if you take your money in installments), they don’t lend themselves well to situations like yours, in which time is of the essence.

Fortunately, you do have some options. You can find services that will convert your structured settlement into cash. Companies such as Settlement Giant offer people like you a way to access money that you have every right to, but which may seem inaccessible right now. Essentially, these companies buy your settlement from you. You get the cash, and then you give them the settlement money as it comes in. Depending on your financial situation, this may be the best way to ensure that you get the cash you need to pay your bills and keep your lights on, your credit strong, and your remaining savings intact.

Having the immediate cash could more than outweigh losing the future settlement payments. You could use that money to right your financial ship, which could save you big by helping you avoid the stressful and extremely costly cycle of debt. (You should, of course, make getting your hands on this money a part of a sound broader strategy for getting out of your financial jam).

For more information, you could reach out to a trustworthy company that specializes in this sort of transaction. You can also seek information and advice from personal finance blogs and message boards online, as well as from financial advisers and attorneys who specialize in debt and other financial problems. Turning your structured settlement into cash might be the right move for you, and it could be a part of a larger strategy that helps you escape overdue bills and get back on your feet.

Now that you know a bit more about your options, we hope that you’ll find the right path forward and build a secure financial future. We wish you all the best!


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Getting Your Settlement Money