A structured settlement is a payment agreement arrangement that allows a plaintiff to be paid money over a period of time or for the rest of their lives rather than being paid a one-off lump sum. The payments are usually for personal injury, especially accidents. In most cases, the payments can either be paid by an insurance company or individual, and such cases never go to trial.
Structured settlements are a highly favored mode of compensation in situations where a plaintiff suffers a severe and permanent injury. When this happens, a defendant makes arrangements with his/her insurance company so that the plaintiff is covered by an annuity policy and receives payments over an agreed period, as stipulated in a signed agreement by both parties. This ensures that no lawsuit is filed and the defendant receives a steady stream of money for the duration they will be unable to fend for themselves.
Selling a structured settlement
Some people prefer to sell their structured settlements for various reasons some of which may be buying or repairing a home, paying for your children’s college fees, to invest in a business, to pay off debt, to assist a friend of family member financially or after sustaining an injury among a host of other reasons. The process of selling one’s structured settlement is not a complicated affair and entails the seller making the decision to sell, putting a price tag on the sale and appearing before a judge to get approval on the sale. After the sale is approved, then one can get their money in the form of a lump sum payment. There are three main ways to sell your structured settlements;
Partial- In this case, only a portion of your payments is all you will sell. You will continue receiving money periodically without losing your tax benefits. The structural settlement will continue to carry those benefits and extend them to your heirs in case of your demise.
Entirety- This is selling the entire structured settlement and preceding the periodic payments. A lump sum is offered which you can then invest.
Lump sum- This is done over time and guarantees and a steady stream of income in addition to the tax benefits for the term of the contract. It also gives significant money increments.
How to choose the best structured settlement company
The enterprises that buy structured settlements are not the same and have different modes of operation. Due diligence should be observed when choosing one of these structured settlement buyers. One of the best points of reference is the Better Business Bureau where companies are rated according to their performance. A company rated ‘C’ most probably does not give good service. Going through all the companies though can be a daunting task. Here are some pointers to head you in the right direction.
- How long the company has been in business- Experience in any field is key to service delivery. It also comes with a wealth of knowledge and a track record a seller can be able to peruse through. While there is nothing wrong with dealing with a new company, one that has been around for some time would be a sure bet, and one can check out its service record, payment duration and any other information one would want to know.
- A company that responds fast- Time is money, and the ability of a company to respond quickly to questions and queries tells a lot about the kind of service that you will receive.
- The best terms- It is always a good idea to go through the terms of the agreement with a fine tooth comb to get the best deal. Some unscrupulous companies have hidden charges in their offers. Those charges are then sneaked in and set you back cash wise. If you are not sure about a deal or an absolute clause, it is always good to consult with an attorney for clarification. It is also advisable to shop around, get various offers to be able to make an informed decision.
Here are some of the companies that are available for structured settlements;
- JG Wentworth: With 20 years experience, this is a corporation that prides itself on putting smiles on thousands of customer’s faces. According to its website, it is the number one company that buys structured settlements and worth checking out.
- Olive Branch Funding: This Company also prides itself in fast payments and a wealth of experience when it comes to structured settlements. A great customer experience is promised and hearing them out would be worthwhile.
- SenecaOne: With a rating of between 3.4 to 4.4, which is relatively safe, this company promises fast payments and a quick process for your structural settlement.
So when going about the process of selling your structural settlement, this should act as a guide towards doing it right, in order to enjoy your cash.