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What Is a Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?
Charlene Rhinehart is a CPA , CFE, chair of an Illinois CPA Society committee, and has a degree in accounting and finance from DePaul University.
A collateral assignment of life insurance is a conditional assignment appointing a lender as an assignee of a policy. Essentially, the lender has a claim to some or all of the death benefit until the loan is repaid. The death benefit is used as collateral for a loan.
The advantage to using a collateral assignee over naming the lender as a beneficiary is that you can specify that the lender is only entitled to a certain amount, namely the amount of the outstanding loan. That would allow your beneficiaries still be entitled to any remaining death benefit.
Lenders commonly require that life insurance serve as collateral for a business loan to guarantee repayment if the borrower dies or defaults. They may even require you to get a life insurance policy to be approved for a business loan.
- The borrower of a business loan using life insurance as collateral must be the policy owner, who may or may not be the insured.
- The collateral assignment helps you avoid naming a lender as a beneficiary.
- The collateral assignment may be against all or part of the policy's value.
- If any amount of the death benefit remains after the lender is paid, it is distributed to beneficiaries.
- Once the loan is fully repaid, the life insurance policy is no longer used as collateral.
How a Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance Works
Collateral assignments make sure the lender gets paid only what they are due. The borrower must be the owner of the policy, but they do not have to be the insured person. And the policy must remain current for the life of the loan, with the policy owner continuing to pay all premiums . You can use either term or whole life insurance policy as collateral, but the death benefit must meet the lender's terms.
A permanent life insurance policy with a cash value allows the lender access to the cash value to use as loan payment if the borrower defaults. Many lenders don't accept term life insurance policies as collateral because they do not accumulate cash value.
Alternately, the policy owner's access to the cash value is restricted to protect the collateral. If the loan is repaid before the borrower's death, the assignment is removed, and the lender is no longer the beneficiary of the death benefit.
Insurance companies must be notified of the collateral assignment of a policy. However, other than their obligation to meet the terms of the contract, they are not involved in the agreement.
Example of Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance
For example, say you have a business plan for a floral shop and need a $50,000 loan to get started. When you apply for the loan, the bank says you must have collateral in the form of a life insurance policy to back it up. You have a whole life insurance policy with a cash value of $65,000 and a death benefit of $300,000, which the bank accepts as collateral.
So, you then designate the bank as the policy's assignee until you repay the $50,000 loan. That way, the bank can ensure it will be repaid the funds it lent you, even if you died. In this case, because the cash value and death benefit is more than what you owe the lender, your beneficiaries would still inherit money.
Alternatives to Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance
Using a collateral assignment to secure a business loan can help you access the funds you need to start or grow your business. However, you would be at risk of losing your life insurance policy if you defaulted on the loan, meaning your beneficiaries may not receive the money you'd planned for them to inherit.
Consult with a financial advisor to discuss whether a collateral assignment or one of these alternatives may be most appropriate for your financial situation.
Life insurance loan (policy loan) : If you already have a life insurance policy with a cash value, you can likely borrow against it. Policy loans are not taxed and have less stringent requirements such as no credit or income checks. However, this option would not work if you do not already have a permanent life insurance policy because the cash value component takes time to build.
Surrendering your policy : You can also surrender your policy to access any cash value you've built up. However, your beneficiaries would no longer receive a death benefit.
Other loan types : Finally, you can apply for other loans, such as a personal loan, that do not require life insurance as collateral. You could use loans that rely on other types of collateral, such as a home equity loan that uses your home equity.
What Are the Benefits of Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?
A collateral assignment of a life insurance policy may be required if you need a business loan. Lenders typically require life insurance as collateral for business loans because they guarantee repayment if the borrower dies. A policy with cash value can guarantee repayment if the borrower defaults.
What Kind of Life Insurance Can Be Used for Collateral?
You can typically use any type of life insurance policy as collateral for a business loan, depending on the lender's requirements. A permanent life insurance policy with a cash value allows the lender a source of funds to use if the borrower defaults. Some lenders may not accept term life insurance policies, which have no cash value. The lender will typically require the death benefit be a certain amount, depending on your loan size.
Is Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance Irrevocable?
A collateral assignment of life insurance is irrevocable. So, the policyholder may not use the cash value of a life insurance policy dedicated toward collateral for a loan until that loan has been repaid.
What is the Difference Between an Assignment and a Collateral Assignment?
With an absolute assignment , the entire ownership of the policy would be transferred to the assignee, or the lender. Then, the lender would be entitled to the full death benefit. With a collateral assignment, the lender is only entitled to the balance of the outstanding loan.
The Bottom Line
If you are applying for life insurance to secure your own business loan, remember you do not need to make the lender the beneficiary. Instead you can use a collateral assignment. Consult a financial advisor or insurance broker who can walk you through the process and explain its pros and cons as they apply to your situation.
Progressive. " Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance ."
Fidelity Life. " What Is a Collateral Assignment of a Life Insurance Policy? "
Kansas Legislative Research Department. " Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance Proceeds ."
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What Is Collateral Assignment (of a Life Insurance Policy)?
Meredith Mangan is a senior editor for The Balance, focusing on insurance product reviews. She brings to the job 15 years of experience in finance, media, and financial markets. Prior to her editing career, Meredith was a licensed financial advisor and a licensed insurance agent in accident and health, variable, and life contracts. Meredith also spent five years as the managing editor for Money Crashers.
Definition and Examples of Collateral Assignment
How collateral assignment works, alternatives to collateral assignment.
Kilito Chan / Getty Images
If you assign your life insurance contract as collateral for a loan, you give the lender the right to collect from the policy’s cash value or death benefit in two circumstances. One is if you stop making payments; the other is if you die before the loan is repaid. Securing a loan with life insurance reduces the lender’s risk, which improves your chances of qualifying for the loan.
Before moving forward with a collateral assignment, learn how the process works, how it impacts your policy, and possible alternatives.
Collateral assignment is the practice of using a life insurance policy as collateral for a loan . Collateral is any asset that your lender can take if you default on the loan.
For example, you might apply for a $25,000 loan to start a business. But your lender is unwilling to approve the loan without sufficient collateral. If you have a permanent life insurance policy with a cash value of $40,000 and a death benefit of $300,000, you could use that life insurance policy to collateralize the loan. Via collateral assignment of your policy, you authorize the insurance company to give the lender the amount you owe if you’re unable to keep up with payments (or if you die before repaying the loan).
Lenders have two ways to collect under a collateral assignment arrangement:
- If you die, the lender gets a portion of the death benefit—up to your remaining loan balance.
- With permanent insurance policies, the lender can surrender your life insurance policy in order to access the cash value if you stop making payments.
Lenders are only entitled to the amount you owe, and are not generally named as beneficiaries on the policy. If your cash value or the death benefit exceeds your outstanding loan balance, the remaining money belongs to you or your beneficiaries.
Whenever lenders approve a loan, they can’t be certain that you’ll repay. Your credit history is an indicator, but sometimes lenders want additional security. Plus, surprises happen, and even those with the strongest credit profiles can die unexpectedly.
Assigning a life insurance policy as collateral gives lenders yet another way to secure their interests and can make approval easier for borrowers.
Types of Life Insurance Collateral
Life insurance falls into two broad categories: permanent insurance and term insurance . You can use both types of insurance for a collateral assignment, but lenders may prefer that you use permanent insurance.
- Permanent insurance : Permanent insurance, such as universal and whole life insurance, is lifelong insurance coverage that contains a cash value. If you default on the loan, lenders can surrender your policy and use that cash value to pay down the balance. If you die, the lender has a right to the death benefit, up to the amount you still owe.
- Term insurance : Term insurance provides a death benefit, but coverage is limited to a certain number of years (20 or 30, for example). Since there’s no cash value in these policies, they only protect your lender if you die before the debt is repaid. The duration of a term policy used as collateral needs to be at least as long as your loan term.
A Note on Annuities
You may also be able to use an annuity as collateral for a bank loan. The process is similar to using a life insurance policy, but there is one key difference to be aware of. Any amount assigned as collateral in an annuity is treated as a distribution for tax purposes. In other words, the amount assigned will be taxed as income up to the amount of any gain in the contract, and may be subject to an additional 10% tax if you’re under 59 ½.
A collateral assignment is similar to a lien on your home . Somebody else has a financial interest in your property, but you keep ownership of it.
To use life insurance as collateral, the lender must be willing to accept a collateral assignment. When that’s the case, the policy owner, or “assignor,” submits a form to the insurance company to establish the arrangement. That form includes information about the lender, or “assignee,” and details about the lender’s and borrower’s rights.
Policy owners generally have control over policies. They may cancel or surrender coverage, change beneficiaries, or assign the contract as collateral. But if the policy has an irrevocable beneficiary, that beneficiary will need to approve any collateral assignment.
State laws typically require you to notify the insurer that you intend to pledge your insurance policy as collateral, and you must do so in writing. In practice, most insurers have specific forms that detail the terms of your assignment.
Some lenders might require you to get a new policy to secure a loan, but others allow you to add a collateral assignment to an existing policy. After submitting your form, it can take 24 to 48 hours for the assignment to go into effect.
Lenders Get Paid First
If you die and the policy pays a death benefit , the lender receives the amount you owe first. Your beneficiaries get any remaining funds once the lender is paid. In other words, your lender takes priority over your beneficiaries when you use this strategy. Be sure to consider the impact on your beneficiaries before you complete a collateral assignment.
After you repay your loan, your lender does not have any right to your life insurance policy, and you can request that the lender release the assignment. Your life insurance company should have a form for that. However, if a lender pays premiums to keep your policy in force, the lender may add those premium payments (plus interest) to your total debt—and collect that extra money.
There may be several other ways for you to get approved for a loan—with or without life insurance:
- Surrender a policy : If you have a cash value life insurance policy that you no longer need, you could potentially surrender the policy and use the cash value. Doing so might prevent the need to borrow, or you might borrow substantially less. However, surrendering a policy ends your coverage, meaning your beneficiaries will not get a death benefit. Also, you’ll likely owe taxes on any gains.
- Borrow from your policy : You may be able to borrow against the cash value in your permanent life insurance policy to get the funds you need. This approach could eliminate the need to work with a traditional lender, and creditworthiness would not be an issue. But borrowing can be risky, as any unpaid loan balance reduces the amount your beneficiaries receive. Plus, over time, deductions for the cost of insurance and compounding loan interest may negate your cash value and the policy could lapse, so it’s critical to monitor.
- Consider other solutions : You may have other options unrelated to a life insurance policy. For example, you could use the equity in your home as collateral for a loan, but you could lose your home in foreclosure if you can’t make the payments. A co-signer could also help you qualify, although the co-signer takes a significant risk by guaranteeing your loan.
- Life insurance can help you get approved for a loan when you use a collateral assignment.
- If you die, your lender receives the amount you owe, and your beneficiaries get any remaining death benefit.
- With permanent insurance, your lender can cash out your policy to pay down your loan balance.
- An annuity can be used as collateral for a loan but may not be a good idea because of tax consequences.
- Other strategies can help you get approved without putting your life insurance coverage at risk.
NYSBA. " Life Insurance and Annuity Contracts Within and Without Tax Qualified Retirement Plans and Life Insurance Trusts ." Accessed April 12, 2021.
IRS. " Publication 575 (2020), Pension and Annuity Income ." Accessed April 12, 2021.
Practical Law. " Security Interests: Life Insurance Policies ." Accessed April 12, 2021.
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Assignment of Life Insurance Policy as Collateral
Transfer a life insurance policy to a lender as collateral for a loan with this Assignment of Life Insurance Policy form.
- The lender has the sole right to collect any proceeds payable under the policy.
- The lender is at liberty to surrender the policy and receive any distributions, dividends or surplus.
- The assignor retains the right to collect disability benefits, designate or change beneficiaries, and elect for optional settlement.
- The Assignment of Life Insurance Policy form is a generic legal template that makes no specific references to the laws of any country.
Assignment of Fire Insurance Policy
Balloon Promissory Note with Collateral Provisions
Use this balloon promissory note form in situations where the borrower is required to provide additional collateral besides the property being mortgaged..
- The borrower agrees to make monthly payments against the amount secured by the Note, until the date of the final payment.
- The final payment will be a balloon payment (in other words, a payment in full of the entire balance of principal and interest outstanding at that date).
- The note has an additional provision requiring the borrower to put up personal property or real estate as additional collateral security.
- This is a generic legal form which is not specific to any country, state or province.
Notice of Interest in Collateral | Canada
Notice of Transfer of Collateral by Debtor | Canada
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What Is A Collateral Assignment Of Life Insurance?
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A collateral assignment is sometimes a necessity if you’re applying for larger financing amounts such as a mortgage or business loan.
But what is a collateral assignment and how do you go about getting it on your life insurance policy?
In this article, we’ll cover what collateral assignment is, how you can add it to your life insurance, and what alternatives there are out there.
What Is Collateral Assignment?
A collateral assignment is a process by which a person uses their life insurance policy as collateral for a secured loan.
In simple terms, collateral assignment is reassigning priorities for who gets paid the death benefit of your life insurance policy.
What Is a death benefit?
A death benefit or face value of a life insurance contract is the amount of money that your beneficiaries will receive from your policy when you die.
Once you apply for collateral assignment and it’s approved, your specified debtor (the loan provider) will be paid first and then your beneficiaries will receive what is left over in your life insurance policy.
This is different from using your cash value to loan money as you are taking out a loan from another financial institution and using your policy as a guarantee that you’ll cover any debt when you die.
For example, let’s say you want to take out a secured loan from your local bank and want to use your life insurance policy as a collateral assignment.
In this situation, you’d still have to pay back any debt you have with interest during the loan period.
However, the life insurance policy would be used if the borrower dies and there was an outstanding loan balance remaining.
Secured Loans vs. Unsecured Loans
Secured loans are debts that are backed by assets that a lender can claim if the debt isn’t repaid. These types of loans often offer better interest rates and more generous payment terms.
Unsecured loans are debts that don’t have collateral. These types of loans are more expensive to repay and considered riskier than secured loans.
How Does Applying for Collateral Assignment Work?
The process for getting collateral assignments for life insurance is the same as when you apply for new life insurance coverage.
All you’ll be doing is indicating to your life insurance provider that your lender will be given priority for the amount of money you have borrowed through them.
There is an:
Offer that you’ll receive.
You’ll be required to name beneficiaries as well as indicate ownership of the life insurance policy in the collateral assignment form which will be provided by your life insurance company.
This is because you’re changing the terms of your payout and your life insurance provider will need to follow these instructions once you die.
NB Some insurance companies don’t offer collateral assignment on new loans and generally only provide this feature to an existing life insurance policy.
You should check beforehand to see what will be required to apply for a collateral assignment. If you need help finding plans that offer this, send an email to a licensed insurance agent today.
Once you’ve assigned a new collateral assignee to your life insurance policy, they will be entitled to lay a claim on your death benefit for any debt you have with them.
For example, let’s say you take out a collateral assignment life insurance policy worth $200,000 for a loan of $75,000 over 7 years at an interest rate of 18%.
If you die after five years, based on these figures, you’ll still have $41,231.02 owed on your loan.
Your $200,000 life insurance plan will be used to cover this and your beneficiaries will receive the remaining $158 768.98 from your life insurance policy.
Your lender is only allowed to take the amount outstanding on the debt owed and cannot take more.
What about Missed Payments and Cash Value Life Insurance?
If you have a permanent life policy with a cash value account, sometimes called cash value life insurance, your lender will have access to it to cover missed payments on your loan.
For example, let’s say you miss a payment on your loan and have a collateral assignment. Your lender will be able to access your cash value account and withdraw that month’s payment to cover your debt.
Who Can You Add as a Collateral Assignee?
You can add any person or institution as a collateral assignee to your life insurance policy if you owe them money.
This can include banks, lenders, private individuals, businesses, or credit card companies.
The most common collateral assignments are for business loans and mortgages. This is because they are loans for high amounts that are paid off over several years.
In fact, some banks and financial lenders may require that you add them as collateral assignees when you apply for any of the financing options mentioned below.
Common Collateral Assignees Include:
💵 Bank loans
💳 Credit cards
💼 Business loans
What Do I Do If I’ve Paid Off My Debt?
If you’ve managed to pay off your debt - firstly, congratulations! Secondly, you’ll want to notify your life insurance company that you’ll be changing your collateral assignments on your life policy.
While there is no legal claim that a company can make to debts that aren’t owed anymore, there may be a hold up in paying out the death benefit to your beneficiaries and other collateral assignees.
Life insurance companies will have to figure out who must be paid first, according to the order stated in your collateral assignment terms.
In general, life insurance policies will settle claims within 24 hours of being notified of a policyholder’s death.
The process can be delayed if you do not release your collateral assignees from your life insurance contract.
Tips to Make Sure Your Life Policy Is Paid Out Quickly
Here are some tips if you want your beneficiary claims to be handled as fast as possible:
1) Keep a copy of your life insurance policy and policy number in a safe place or with your lawyer, financial advisor, or estate planner.
2) Speak to your beneficiaries about your policies and give them the contact details of the relevant life insurance company.
3) Make sure your life insurance contract is updated to reflect your latest list of beneficiaries.
4) Make sure you have your beneficiaries' details listed in the contract or with your lawyer.
The Benefits of Using Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance
While adding a collateral assignment to your current life insurance policy may require an application, paperwork, and time, there are benefits:
Many lenders like it: Banks and financial institutions sometimes prefer it when applicants use their life insurance policy as collateral for a loan. This is because they know that their debt will be serviced long-term by your insurance company which makes their loan to you a lower risk.
Your private property won’t be jeopardized: The last thing you want when you go into debt is to put your personal items, such as your car, investments, or home on the line as collateral. Using collateral assignment is an alternative to this and can protect you in the event that you can’t service your debt.
It can be affordable for some people: If you’re in good health and young, you may be paying affordable rates for permanent life cover. In situations like this, it can make sense to use your life cover as collateral for debts you’ve incurred.
What Are Some Alternatives to Collateral Assignment?
Term Life Insurance: Getting a term life insurance contract to cover specific debts is one way of ensuring your estate and family are protected when you die.
There are multiple types of term life insurance plans and they are more affordable than permanent life insurance. This makes options like level term life insurance and decreasing term life insurance ideal for different types of debts you may have over your lifetime.
What Is Term Life?
Term life is a temporary life coverage option that lasts for a specific period of time. It is different from permanent life insurance which lasts until you die or you stop paying premiums.
Term life contracts are typically between 5 to 20 years, however, you can get renewable term life plans and even a forty-year term life plan .
Borrow from your life insurance: If you have a permanent life insurance policy, such as universal, whole, or indexed life cover, you can borrow money from your cash value account.
However, keep in mind that you’ll be required to pay interest on any amount that you borrow and any amount of debt incurred will be deducted from your policy’s death benefit when you die.
What Is Cash Value?
Cash value is a feature of permanent life insurance plans that policyholders can contribute additional money toward while they have a policy in force.
This money is set aside in a cash value account which is tax-deferred and can be used in a number of ways.
In some cases, if your policy allows it, you can end your contract and get the cash surrender value of it. This amount is usually much less than the value of your total life insurance contract.
Our Verdict on Collateral Assignment
Many banks, lenders, and financial institutions want long-term guarantees that you’ll be able to service your debt if anything happens to you.
In some situations, getting collateral assignments on your life insurance to cover these debts is a good option for people who are trying to access finance from these institutions.
However, there is a risk that your death benefit payout may be delayed for your beneficiaries if you don’t keep your different collateral assignees up to date.
If you already have a life insurance policy, you should contact your provider to find out what the process is and what you’ll need to do to change the collateral assignees on your policy.
If you don’t have a policy yet, our advice is to look at all of your options before you decide to take a permanent life insurance contract with a collateral assignment.
There are alternatives out there that are more affordable if you’re looking to protect your family and estate from debt.
Term life is one such option that is adaptable to your life and easy to get.
For example, a decreasing term life insurance policy might be the right choice for someone who has recently bought a home and wants to cover their mortgage while they pay it back.
Another option is final expense insurance, which is a permanent life policy for smaller amounts, usually under $50,000.
With final expense insurance, your beneficiaries can pay for anything they want, including any debts you may have had in your life.
The process for applying is simple and you won't have to go through a medical exam or intensive underwriting as you would with traditional permanent life insurance.
If you need any assistance with finding, comparing, or learning about the different life insurance options to cover your debts, speak to one of our expert advisors today at 1-888-912-2132 or [email protected] .
Where Can I Learn More about Life Insurance?
If you’re looking to learn more about life insurance, different kinds of coverage, or costs, visit our life insurance hub to find our latest articles.
We do the research so that you don’t have to and our articles cover complicated topics like what is a cash value account, what is key person insurance, or how long life insurance takes to pay out a death benefit.
If you need help with quotes, try out a life insurance quote finder or reach out to us via email at [email protected] to get in touch with a licensed life insurance agent for your state.
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About Nathan Paulus
Nathan Paulus is the director of content marketing at MoneyGeek. Nathan has been creating content for nearly 10 years and is particularly engaged in personal finance, investing, and property management. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of St. Thomas Houston.
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- Beneficiary Change Form
- Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - Premium Renewal
Address, name and third party changes Submit address or name changes for yourself or other parties on your policy, or to add, change or delete a third party listed on your policy to receive billing notices (for use with Life Insurance policies only). Login to submit your address change online.
Agent Change Request Use to request a change to the Servicing agent on your policy(ies).
Allocation and Transfer Change Form for Index UL Products Information must be completed and received by the 1st of the month to process allocation changes on the 15th of the month. Available for Index UL products only.
Authorization to receive information Use when authorizing a third party to receive information about your policy. The authorized person will be required to provide appropriate security verification for any phone requests for information.
Beneficiary Change Form Request beneficiary changes on any life insurance policy. If change of ownership and beneficiary is needed please use the Ownership and beneficiary designation request form applicable for your state (listed below).
Cancellation Authorization for Term Life Insurance Use this form to authorize cancellation of your policy.
Certification of trustee powers Required to show signing authority for contracts owned by a Trust for Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Genworth Life Insurance Company and Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York.
Collateral Assignment Use when assigning policy proceeds to cover a loan (i.e. bank loan).
Declaration of attorney-in-fact (for use with Life Insurance and Annuities only) Required to show signing authority for an Attorney-in-Fact acting under a Power of Attorney for the policy or contract owner. For use with Life Insurance and Annuities only.
Duplicate contract authorization Request a duplicate copy of a lost or destroyed policy or contract.
Electronic funds transfer (EFT) - Premium Renewal Request automatic withdrawals from your bank account to pay premiums on life or long term care insurance policies, or to update bank account information for policies already drafting premiums. Login to submit your electronic funds transfer online .
Index Universal Life withdrawal, loan or surrender request Used to request the following transactions on your Index Universal Life insurance policy: one-time withdrawal or loan, recurring withdrawals or loans, loan type switching, or full surrender.
Linked Benefits - Total Living Coverage (TLC) Sample Policy (California Only) This sample copy of Genworth Life Insurance Company's Universal Life Insurance policy is being provided for informational purposes only. THIS SAMPLE POLICY IS NEITHER A CONTRACT OF INSURANCE NOR AN OFFER TO CONTRACT.
Loan Authorization for Life Insurance Use to request a loan on your life insurance policy.
Minnesota Questionnaire A completed supplement is required if a beneficiary change request is received AND the policy was issued within the past 4 years AND the new proposed beneficiary is anyone other than a family member AND any of the following are true:
- The existing owner is a MN resident
- The new beneficiary is a MN resident (including the viatical company is a resident company)
- Any assignee is a MN resident or company
- The policy was issued in MN
Ownership and beneficiary designation request form (Use this form for policies delivered in LA, MD, ME, NH, OH, VA, VT & WA) Request owner and beneficiary changes on any life insurance policy.
Ownership and beneficiary designation request form (Use this form for policies delivered in all states except LA, MD, ME, NH, NY, OH, VA, VT & WA) Request owner and beneficiary changes on any life insurance policy.
Ownership and beneficiary designation request form (Use this form for policies delivered in NY) Request owner and beneficiary changes on any life insurance policy.
Release of Collateral Assignment Use when assignment of policy is relinquished or released.
Surrender Authorization Use to request a full surrender of a life insurance policy.
Universal Life Planned Premium Change Use to make a change in planned premium amount or frequency of payment on a universal life policy.
Variable Life Loan form Use to request a loan from your variable life insurance policy.
Variable Life Surrender form Use to request a full surrender of your variable life insurance policy.
Variable Life Trade form Use to request a transfer of current investments in your variable life insurance policy.
Variable Life Withdrawal form Use to request a partial withdrawal from your variable life insurance policy.
Withdrawal Authorization for Life Insurance Use to request a withdrawal on your life insurance policy.
Jump to section.
A collateral assignment involves granting a security interest in the asset or property to a lender. It is a lawful arrangement where the borrower promises an asset or property to the lender to guarantee the debt repayment or meet a financial obligation. Moreover, in a collateral assignment, the borrower maintains asset ownership, the lender holds the security interest, and the lender has the right to seize and sell the asset in event of default. This blog post will discuss a collateral assignment, its purpose, essential considerations, and more.
Key Purposes of a Collateral Assignment
Collateral assignment concerns allocating a property's ownership privileges, or a specific interest, to a lender as loan collateral. The lender retains a security interest in the asset until the borrower entirely settles the loan. If the borrower defaults on loan settlement, the lender can seize and market the collateral to recover the unpaid debt. Below are the key purposes of a collateral assignment.
- Enhanced Lender Protection: The primary purpose of the collateral assignment is to provide lenders with an added layer of security and assurance. Also, by maintaining a claim on the borrower's properties, lenders lower their risk and improve the probability of loan settlement. In case of default, the lender can sell the collateral to recover the unpaid balance. This security authorizes lenders to offer loans with lower interest rates, as the threat associated with the loan is reduced.
- Favorable Loan Terms: Collateral assignment allows borrowers to access financing on more favorable terms than unsecured loans . However, the terms of the loan will vary depending on the borrower’s creditworthiness and the value of the collateral. Generally, lenders are more willing to extend larger loan amounts and lower interest rates when they have collateral to fall back on. The presence of collateral reassures lenders that they have a viable means of recouping their investment, even in case of default. This increased confidence often leads to more competitive loan offers for borrowers.
- Unlocking Asset Value: Collateral assignment enables borrowers to leverage the value of their assets, even if those assets are not readily convertible into cash. For instance, a business owner with valuable machinery can assign it as collateral to secure a business loan. This arrangement allows the borrower to continue utilizing the asset for operational purposes while accessing the necessary funds for expansion or working capital. Collateral assignment, thus, enables the efficient allocation of resources. However, the collateral will still be considered in determining the loan amount and terms.
- Access to Higher Loan Amounts: When borrowers promise collateral against a loan, lenders can present greater loan amounts than for other unsecured loans. The worth of the collateral serves as a reassurance to lenders that they can recover their investment even if the borrower fails to settle the loan. Therefore, borrowers can obtain higher loans to finance important endeavors such as purchasing property, starting a business, or funding major projects.
- Diversification of Collateral: Collateral assignment offers flexibility for borrowers by allowing them to diversify their collateral base. While real estate is commonly used as collateral, borrowers can utilize other valuable assets such as investment portfolios, life insurance policies, or valuable personal belongings. This diversification allows borrowers to access financing without limiting themselves to a single asset, thereby preserving their financial flexibility.
Steps to Execute a Collateral Assignment
A collateral assignment is a financial procedure that involves utilizing an asset as security for a loan or other responsibilities. Below are the essential steps involved in the collateral assignment process.
- Assess the Need for Collateral Assignment. The initial step in collateral assignment is determining whether collateral is necessary. Lenders or creditors may require collateral to mitigate the risk of default or ensure repayment. Evaluating the value and marketability of the proposed collateral is crucial to ascertain if it meets the lender's requirements.
- Select Appropriate Collateral. The next step involves choosing a suitable asset for collateral assignment. Common classifications of collateral comprise stocks, real estate, bonds, cash deposits, and other valuable assets. The collateral's value should be sufficient to cover the loan amount or the obligation being secured.
- Understand Lawful and Regulatory Requirements. Before proceeding with collateral assignment, it is essential to comprehend the lawful and regulatory provisions specific to the jurisdiction where the transaction happens. Collateral assignment laws can vary, so seeking advice from legal professionals experienced in this area is advisable to ensure compliance.
- Negotiate Provisions. Once the collateral is recognized, the collateral assignment provisions must be negotiated among the concerned parties. It includes specifying the loan amount, interest rates, repayment terms, and any further duties or limitations associated with the collateral assignment.
- Prepare the Collateral Assignment Agreement. The collateral assignment agreement is a lawful document that typically includes details about the collateral, the loan or obligation being secured, and the rights and responsibilities of both parties. It is highly advised to engage the services of a legal specialist to prepare or review the contract.
- Enforce the Collateral Assignment Agreement. After completing the collateral assignment agreement, it must be executed by all involved parties. This step ensures that all necessary signatures are obtained and copies of the agreement are distributed to each individual for record-keeping objectives.
- Notify Relevant Parties. To ensure proper recognition and recording of the collateral assignment, it is important to notify all relevant parties. It may involve informing the lender or creditor, the custodian or holder of the collateral, and any other pertinent stakeholders. Sufficient documentation and communication will help prevent potential disputes or misunderstandings.
- Record the Collateral Assignment. Depending on the nature of the collateral, it may be necessary to record the collateral assignment with the appropriate government authority or registry. This step provides public notice of the assignment and establishes priority rights in case of multiple claims on the same collateral. Seeking guidance from legal professionals or relevant authorities can determine if recording the collateral assignment is required.
- Monitor and Maintain the Collateral. Throughout the collateral assignment term, it is crucial to monitor and maintain the value and condition of the collateral. This includes ensuring insurance coverage, property maintenance, and compliance with any ongoing obligations associated with the collateral. Regular communication between all parties involved is essential to address concerns or issues promptly.
- Terminate the Collateral Assignment. Once the loan or obligation secured by the collateral is fully satisfied, the collateral assignment can be terminated. This involves releasing the collateral from the assignment, updating relevant records, and notifying all parties involved. It is important to follow proper procedures to ensure the appropriate handling of the legal and financial aspects of the termination.
Key Terms for Collateral Assignments
- Security Interest: It is the legal right granted to a lender over the assigned collateral to protect their interests in case of borrower default.
- Collateral Valuation: The process of determining the worth or market value of the assigned collateral to assess its adequacy in securing the loan.
- Release of Collateral: The action taken by a lender to relinquish its claim over the assigned collateral after the borrower has fulfilled the loan obligations.
- Subordination Agreement : A legal document that establishes the priority of multiple creditors' claims over the same collateral, typically in the case of refinancing or additional loans.
- Lien : A legal claim or encumbrance on a property or asset, typically created through a collateral assignment, that allows a lender to seize and sell the collateral to recover the loan amount.
Final Thoughts on Collateral Assignments
A collateral assignment is a valuable instrument for borrowers and lenders in securing loans or obligations. It offers borrowers access to profitable terms and more extensive loan amounts while reducing the risk for lenders. Nevertheless, it is essential for borrowers to thoughtfully assess the terms and threats associated with collateral assignment before proceeding. Seeking professional guidance and understanding the contract can help ensure a successful and beneficial financial arrangement for all parties involved.
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Meet some of our Collateral Assignment Lawyers
Transactional and Employment Attorney and Small Business Owner. I do inside counsel work from the outside. I demystify the law for my clients.
Meghan Thomas is an accomplished transactional attorney. She specializes in real estate transactional matters, property disputes, IP, tech and business contracts. Meghan's innovative leadership style has attributed to the firm's rapid development and presence in the metro-Atlanta market. She obtained her Doctor of Law from Emory University where she worked with the State Attorney General and litigated property disputes for disadvantaged clients. Prior to practicing, Meghan negotiated complex transactions for Fortune 500 tech and healthcare companies. She lives with her family in Southwest Atlanta, enjoys cooking, travel, dance and continues to develop her research in the areas of transactional law and legal sustainability.
Ms. Leavens is a corporate attorney with 10 years of experience as the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary of a Congressionally chartered, non-profit corporation, and more than 20 years of experience as an advisor to executive officers and boards of directors in for-profit and non-profit organizations. She has substantial experience within in-house legal departments managing cross-functional teams comprised of multiple business units and attorneys on large-scale mission critical projects, and within a global law firm as a manager of public and private, domestic and international, multi-party business transactions. She has unique experience implementing government-sponsored business initiatives. Ms. Leavens was honored in 2015 as one of Washington, D.C.’s Top Corporate Counsel by Bisnow and the Association of Corporate Counsel; nominated in 2014 for the Association of Corporate Counsel (WMACCA) Outstanding Chief Legal Officer Award; and the recipient in 2014 of WMACCA’s Community Service Award.
Most of my career has been as in-house counsel for technology companies. My responsibilities included managing all vendor/procurement contracts and compliance, customer/partner/reseller contracts and compliance, data security/privacy compliance and incident responses, HR/employment issues, and legal operations. I am very comfortable negotiating Commercial Contracts, Vendor Agreements, and Procurement Contracts for goods, services, and licensing, as well as addressing Employment & Labor, Intellectual Property, and Data Privacy issues and compliance. I specialized and have a certificate in IP in law school and continued to develop in that area as in-house counsel for Interactive Intelligence, Genesys, which are unified communication companies, and KAR Global in the automobile digital services lines of business.
Since 2008, I have worked to assist clients in solving problems and addressing challenges that inevitably arise as a business grows - both anticipated and unexpected. My experience in Georgia and Tennessee in both drafting contracts and enforcing them via litigation and/or arbitration has provided clients with unique insights that help them anticipate problems and inform their decisions from start to finish.
I am an attorney licensed in Alabama and have been in solo practice for 7 years. I have experience in Contracts drafting and review, Litigation and Immigration practice areas. I am available for new projects.
With 15 years of extensive transactional/contracts experience reviewing and negotiating commercial contracts including a wide variety of purchase orders and contracts and non-disclosure agreements (NDA), I believe I can immediately contribute to the continued success of your team. I have been commended for a range of valuable skills—excellent contract management and contract administration, legal research, risk analysis, drafting and negotiations, and strategic thinking. I have worked as a legal consultant for 10+ years and I have reviewed over 7,500 contracts through this position. Contracts I have reviewed include but not limited to purchase orders, commercial and construction contracts, equipment rental agreements, non-disclosure, confidentiality, vendor agreements, service agreements, site access agreements, international agreements, request for proposals (RFP), bids and government contracts. These experiences have enabled me to master the ability to work independently and expeditiously to identify and assess issues and provide legally sound recommendations, consistent with good business practices. I have led teams (sales, insurance and management) to successfully negotiate contract terms with customers. Effective Communicator and Negotiator. I am a people person, and for the past 13 years, I have acquired excellent oral and written communication skills that enable me to interact and negotiate effectively with stakeholders at all levels. I am a self-starter with a strong work ethic. I have a high degree of resourcefulness, diligence, and dependability. Most important, I adapt to changing priorities quickly, thriving in an environment with high volume and short turnaround deadlines. My experience over the years allows me to transfer my skills to all types of contracts to meet the client’s needs. I am hopeful to provide similar legal expertise, effective contract administration and leadership to your organization. It would be a pleasure to meet within the next few weeks and discuss how my qualifications, experience, and capabilities will best fit the needs of your outfit.
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