A defendant will often find itself unable to pay in a lump sum the amount needed to settle. Happily, to obtain a sufficient settlement a plaintiff will often agree to accept payments spread over a period of months or even years. If your defendant client will require payment terms be sure to ask for them as soon as the need becomes apparent. When a defendant makes a lump sum offer that it cannot currently fund and only later asks for payment terms that include an initial downstroke payment smaller than its previous lump sum offer, a plaintiff will usually view this as a backward move. So, a defendant should cease making lump sum offers and ask for extended payment terms as soon as it knows it will need them.