The #1 Reason Consumers Sell Their Structured Settlements Is to Pay Bills, According to Survey by J.G. Wentworth : Current financial environment seen as catalyst for sales of 'illiquid financial assets'

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As many as 60% of consumers selling their legal settlements do so to pay bills, according to a recent customer survey conducted by J.G. Wentworth, a specialty finance company that has been purchasing structured settlements since 1992. Other top reasons for selling include starting a business and using the funds for a home improvement, each one at 8%. The survey also found that almost 75% of respondents said the sale proceeds were sufficient to address their current financial problem or need.

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Unfortunately, the inflexibility of this structure can make it difficult to adapt to life's events. Selling part or all of a structured settlement offers consumers the financial flexibility they may need to deal with a problem or take advantage of an opportunity.

The survey represents some of the most concrete insights on the attitudes of the estimated 2 million Americans who hold some $100 billion in structured settlements. Structured settlements were introduced in the U.S. in the 1970s as an alternative to lump sum settlements of legal claims.

"What these survey findings tell us is that consumers are looking to tap into the value of illiquid financial assets like structured settlements," said Ken Murray, chief marketing officer for J.G. Wentworth. "Approximately 71% of the surveyed consumers selling all or part of their structured settlements have held them for more than 10 years, and we believe that the current financial environment will accelerate that trend."

While structured settlements provide a stream of payments over a defined period, often people find they need access to their funds now, whether to address immediate financial needs like paying bills or to plan for the future by starting a business, financing home improvement or paying for college tuition for themselves or family members, Mr. Murray noted.

"Structured settlements are established for many different reasons, and attempt to take into account the potential future needs of the plaintiff while providing a reliable source of income," Mr. Murray said. "Unfortunately, the inflexibility of this structure can make it difficult to adapt to life's events. Selling part or all of a structured settlement offers consumers the financial flexibility they may need to deal with a problem or take advantage of an opportunity."

About the J.G. Wentworth family of companies

J.G. Wentworth, Inc., based in Bryn Mawr, PA, is the nation's oldest, largest and most respected buyer of deferred payments for illiquid financial assets like structured settlements, annuities and, through dedicated subsidiaries, life insurance policies. Since 1992, J.G. Wentworth has purchased over $3 billion of future payment obligations from consumers and is also the nation's largest securitizer of structured settlement and annuity backed notes. The company's notes are rated AAA by Standard & Poor's Corporation.

For more information about J.G. Wentworth, go to http://www.jgwentworth.com.

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