What’s your current dream? Getting a new addition to your home? Providing a college education for your kids? Finally pay off those medical bills? Relax and take that vacation you’ve been putting off for years?
You may not realize it, but you could be sitting on the money you need to fulfill your dreams.
Where is the Money? How Can I Get It?
Most people have an annuity or a structured settlement from a previous accident or injury. This is money you are paid each month over a period of time. Most people don’t know you can cash it in and get your money out right now. While the process isn’t complicated for experts, it can be overwhelming for people doing it for the first time.
Giving you and your family a hopeful future and a better today.
Call us today to start de-stressing your life.
You will notice the Washington Accord difference almost immediately. Our staff is knowledgable and we walk you through the process step-by-step so you never feel overwhelmed or lost at any time. We are like your next-door neighbor, watching out for you. We understand the confusion and misunderstanding of the world of finance. We make it simple, show you several options and the pros and cons of each so you can make the right decision for your family for either the short term, or the long term.
Washington Accord. Real people helping real people live their dreams. Contact us to find out how we can help you reach your dream.
When did structured settlements start? History states they started in Canada when a routine drug caused widespread birth defects. Structured settlements became very popular in product liability and also personal injury cases. The main goal of the structured settlement is to give the victim more money, but spread out over time to avoid a costly trial.
In the 1970s, the US started to get on board the structured settlement train as lump sum payments were causing quite a few problems. Not just with insurance companies going bankrupt or near bankruptcy, but they were causing social problems too. The IRS became involved as it was ruled that the settlements could not be taxed on the personal income tax level.
One of the reasons the US started to focus more on structured settlements when it came to personal injury and tort cases was the victims were on the government welfare roles prior to the settlement, proceeded to spend the settlement at an alarming rate, and ended back on the welfare rolls.
By spreading the settlement over the next 20-25 years, the victim was guaranteed to have the money they needed to meet their basic expenses, and thus, stay off the government welfare rolls. This led to more stable households and communities.
To further the popularity of structured settlements, Congress got involved and adopted in 1983 special tax rules so those who received serious and life-long injuries would have the financial security for themselves as well as their family. This became known as Section 130 of the IRS code which was officially adopted in 1986 with the sweeping tax code changes which went into effect that year. Amendments 104(a)(2) were added to make tax advantages even better so a structured settlement was the preferred method of receiving a settlement.
Congress saw the good results of structured settlements and in 1997 they decided to extend the tax benefits to settlements of worker’s compensation cases in the Taxpayer Relief Act. What exactly were the benefits of a structured settlement? The IRS made the funds completely free of income tax. This bolstered the settlement amount in the minds of the victims by 30%. Since this was so much more attractive for the victims, trials were avoided which cleared up court rooms across the country.
Then in 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law that under certain circumstances, the structured settlement could be sold for a lump sum. The allows individuals who were having severe financial problems, high medical bills, or repairs which they could otherwise not afford. With this new law, many companies emerged to handle this new influx of business. One of these companies is J.G. Wentworth. Best known for their clever commercials and intoxicating jingles, and the “Opera on the Bus” things haven’t been all that rosy for J.G. Wentworth. They underwent bankruptcy back in 2009 and after getting delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, they are currently traded on the OTCQX marketplace. Today, J.G. Wentworth is going through some serious financial problems which has led to massive layoffs.
One of the biggest benefits of a structured settlements is the plaintiffs in the injury case avoid paying taxes on the agreed upon settlement. Getting the money tax-free is one of the key factors in your settlement agreement.