Tue. May 30th, 2023

Iowa Structured Settlement Protection Act

The Iowa Structured Settlement Protection Act offers legal safeguards for sellers of structured settlements. It was developed based on a model law created by the National Council of Insurance Legislators.

Structured settlements offer a secure, long-term source of income for victims of personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. In physical injury and wrongful death cases, they are 100% tax exempt; while non-physical injury claims are tax deferred.

Legal Protections

Structured settlements are a popular method of compensating those injured or killed in accidents. These agreements may be used for cases of personal injury or wrongful death, as well as workers’ compensation claims.

Insurance companies make periodic payments over an extended period, providing injured people with compensation in a more consistent way than lump sum awards do. The amount of these payments can range from large initial amounts to smaller ones which will help settle debts or fund future purchases like homes and cars.

Some structured settlements even include a death benefit, so money can be passed along to loved ones after the plaintiff passes away. This makes managing money easier since there’s no need to worry about running out of funds or saying no to relatives who want to spend it.

Congress strongly advocates for the use of structured settlements, as they offer long-term financial security to those injured in accidents and keep people from having to rely on public assistance for basic necessities.

Structured settlements differ from lump-sum awards in that they do not count towards gross income for taxation purposes and therefore remain exempt from federal and state taxes. This benefit is especially valuable to those receiving these payments who may have suffered severe injuries or lost loved ones in an accident.

In 1997, the United States Tax Code was amended to encourage structured settlements in workers’ compensation cases. Here, payments were excluded from gross income as a way of providing long-term financial security for those injured on the job.

Furthermore, the law permits plaintiffs to craft structured settlements that are tailored to their individual needs. They can arrange for a large initial payment and smaller amounts as reimbursements for regular expenses or extraordinary costs like college tuition.

See also  Structured Settlement Negotiations

Most states and the District of Columbia have passed Structured Settlement Protection Acts to safeguard those who sell their structured settlement payment rights to third parties. These acts require approval by a judge before any sale can take place, while also requiring full disclosure from any buyer prior to selling said payments.

Court Approval

The Iowa Structured Settlement Protection Act is intended to limit the power of unscrupulous structured settlement buyers who exploit injured victims. Since the 1990s, structured settlements have become a popular alternative to traditional lump sum settlements due to their guaranteed payments, tax-exempt growth and locked-in rate of return that shields injured claimants against market volatility.

Structured settlements are intended to offer injury victims and their dependents a secure, reliable income stream. To guarantee fairness in the process and protect injured parties, many legislatures have passed laws regulating structured settlement transfers.

These laws are usually passed at the state level with federal backing. Illinois was the first to pass a structured settlement protection act, while Kentucky and Connecticut have also followed suit.

However, these laws fail to address the broader issue of the secondary market. This consists of factoring companies and investors who purchase structured settlement payment rights at a discounted lump sum in exchange for future payments rights. The discount serves as their profit margin, enabling them to purchase structured settlement payment rights at lower costs than they would pay upfront to the settlement holder.

Unfortunately, this practice has left tens of thousands of tort victims without the financial security structured settlements are supposed to offer. Unscrupulous buyers have also used high-pressure tactics to pressure settlement holders into selling their payments even when it wasn’t in their best interests.

Legislation has been passed to protect structured settlement holders from abuse of their rights. To ensure fairness, courts must first approve any transfer of a structured settlement payment’s rights, subjecting it to the “best interest” standard that takes into account both the financial situation of the payee and any dependents before approving the sale.

In addition to the best interest analysis, courts must take into account various other factors when approving a transfer. These can include an individual’s age, mental condition and any dependency on family members like spouse or children. Furthermore, they must determine if it is necessary for preventing “true hardship.”

See also  When a Structured Settlement Will Not Be the Right Solution

Disclosure Requirements

Structured settlements were first developed in Canada during the 1960s to give injured parties a way to receive regular payments over an extended period instead of one-time lump sum. This method has become popular with injury victims and their attorneys since it allows claimants to avoid dissipation of settlement funds.

Structured settlements can be complicated to comprehend. Unfortunately, insurance companies often fail to disclose all costs associated with setting up an annuity, leaving injured plaintiffs unable to accurately assess whether their money is worth what they’re being offered.

Most states have passed Structured Settlement Protection Laws, or SSPAs for short. These regulations safeguard the interests of sellers and buyers of structured settlement payment rights by following a model law created by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators.

Structured settlement sales agreements (SSPAs), in addition to regulating structured settlement sales, sometimes require disclosures from buyers or factoring companies. This is done in order to prevent payments that do not adhere to the laws of the state in which they are purchased from being sold illegally.

These laws can also safeguard those receiving a structured settlement from losing essential means-tested benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid, which could be affected by a structured settlement.

Iowa structured settlement protection act has several prerequisites that must be fulfilled before transferring payment rights to another party. The seller must receive independent professional advice, and the transfer can only take place if a court approves it.

Before the transfer, the buyer or factoring company must disclose to the seller both the discounted present value of all payments in a structured settlement as well as its gross advance amount. Furthermore, they should give notice that sellers have the right to seek independent professional advice.

Furthermore, the buyer or factoring company must submit a written statement to the seller at least three days before closing. They also need to list all expenses associated with the transaction.


Structured settlements offer injured people a secure stream of payments that are typically received on specific dates. This provides them with financial security and provides them with long-term, tax-free income.

These payments may be invested as a nontaxable investment for many years, thus avoiding both income tax and the Net Investment Income Tax (NIT). In many states, these payments are also considered to be form of retirement income.

See also  Hawaii Structured Settlement Protection Act

State lawmakers have been encouraged by the federal government to pass laws safeguarding structured settlement holders’ rights, commonly referred to as Structured Settlement Protection Acts, or SSPAs.

These acts are created to ensure that structured settlement payments can only be sold when it is in the best interests of the structured settlement holder and his or her dependents. They must be approved by a judge, who must then determine that this transfer will benefit both parties involved.

Many states have passed SSPAs, with Illinois being the first to do so in 1998 followed by Kentucky and Connecticut.

Most of these laws are modeled after a model law created by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. If structured settlement payments are factored, then they must disclose any difference in value between keeping them as-is and selling them off.

Furthermore, the state must regulate factoring companies to ensure they do not violate statute. Furthermore, they must report any violations to the courts.

Iowa’s Structured Settlement Protection Act is one of the most comprehensive in the nation and its rules are upheld by courts across the state. This law shields structured settlement holders from unfair or abusive practices by factoring companies.

Ultimately, the Iowa Structured Settlement Protection Act is an effort to safeguard the interests of victims and their families who deserve fair and equitable processes in personal injury cases. Its protections come as a direct result of years of battle against predatory practices that have severely damaged trust in this industry.

Jeffrey Augers
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By Jeffrey Augers

Jeffrey Augers is a highly skilled and experienced financial analyst with over 12 years of experience in the finance industry. He has a proven track record of delivering exceptional financial insights and recommendations to clients, empowering them to make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals. Jeffrey holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.