Structured Settlement Cash and Working With a Broker

If you were a claimant in a lawsuit and were awarded monetary damages, you may have agreed to a structure settlement instead of one large lump sum payment. This payment provides regular installment payments to you over time. This type of financial agreement has many advantages and was beneficial to you at the time that it was set up. However, it is possible that circumstances changed, and you need a large lump sum payment to meet new financial obligations. It is possible to sell your settlement amount and the best way to do that is through a broker.

If you are currently receiving installment payments because you agreed to a settlement, and now you are in need of a greater sum of cash, you can sell your structured settlement and receive structured settlement cash. You can choose to sell the entire structured settlement for one lump sum minus the fee that will be charged to complete the deal by a structured settlement broker, or you can sell only a portion of the structured settlement. In that case, you will continue to receive installment payments for the monetary amount that remains part of the structured settlement. You will receive a lump sum payment for the part of the structured settlement that you sell.

When you get structured settlement cash, it is like getting an advance on the money that is owed to you. The broker charges a fee for his services that can range from 10% to 50% of the money you want advanced. However, even though you are receiving your money at a discounted rate, you now have the use of that money immediately.

Personal injury lawsuits often involve settlements for very large sums of cash. Cases involving medical malpractice and wrongful death can often have settlements that range in amount from six to seven figures. These large settlements can have major tax ramifications so it is beneficial to the claimant to receive these funds in installment payments over time. Structured settlement payments spread over time involve little or no tax at all. In addition, installment payments guarantee a steady flow of income on a regular basis. Many individuals find it easier to manage money in installments rather than receiving a large lump sum all at once.

Circumstances in your life can change, and you may find that the amount of money you receive on a regular basis from the structured settlement does not allow you to meet your obligations on larger bills such as the purchase of a new house or education expenses. If you receive structured settlement cash in a large lump sum, it will make it possible for you to meet these new financial obligations. In addition, you may notice that the installment payment amount is not keeping up with inflation, and you may decide that receiving cash now is better than receiving installment payments in the future.

If you decide that selling your settlement money is in your best interest, you need to find a reputable broker who can help you through the process. A broker acts as a consultant, provides an assessment, prepares calculations and plays an active role during negotiations to sell the structured settlement. The information that a good broker provides during negotiations helps both sides reach an equitable agreement.

To help the claimant, the broker prepares a financial analysis and then determines the present value cost of the settlement. He or She provides expert support and information in calculations involving Medicaid and SSI as well as issues involving income tax. Because a great deal of financial expertise is required, apart from the brokers help your accountant or bank would be a good source for a recommendation.

As you work with a structured settlement broker, you should find out what the total cost of selling the settlement payment will be and how long it will take to sell the same. It is important for you to have multiple deals to choose from so make sure your broker can provide details about multiple opportunities. This will help insure that you are getting the best deal possible. Throughout this selling process, it is vitally important that the channels of communication between you and your broker be open. You should be able to communicate with your broker easily and often, if necessary.

You should retain the services of a qualified broker who is registered with the United States Department of Justice. These settlements are set up by the courts and each state has its own laws. In addition, there are federal guidelines that must be followed under the tax code. You can receive structured settlement cash when you sell your structured settlement, but the process requires court approval. Complicated transactions like selling a structured settlement should always be reviewed by an attorney who will represent your best interests.

It is important to research the broker’s qualifications and experience. The broker you choose should be registered with the United States Department of Justice and be affiliated with at least one insurance company. The Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice actually publishes a “List of Annuity Brokers Who Meet Minimum Qualifications for Providing Annuity Brokerage Services in Connection with these settlements. The list for any specified year is in effect until it is replaced by another update. This list of brokers is alphabetical by their last name and provides the city and state where they are located.

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When to Sell Your Structured Settlement

A structured settlement often follows a life changing incident, whether it be positive or negative. Due to these circumstances, you may be faced with the need for a large lump sum payment rather than small monthly payments over a number of years. So, where do you turn? To a company that can buy your structured settlement from you and turn it into an immediate payment that you may use on whatever you see fit.

Each individual has different reasons for wanting to sell their structured settlement, however, first you must decide if it is the right decision for you.

The Benefits of Selling Your Structured Settlement

A large portion of those who receive a structured settlement can benefit from selling it for a lump sum payment. The situations listed in this section represent possible circumstances of individuals that may get the most rewards from selling their structured settlement.

· If you cannot wait to receive small, spread-out payments over a long period of time due to a dire financial situation or hefty medical bills and/or lawyer fees. Many of the situations that can bring about a structured settlement can also stick the individual with such obligations.

· If you and your family decide that this is the time to finally make that large purchase that you have had your eye on. For example, if you have previously been denied mortgages or loans and would like to take this opportunity to buy that dream home you have always wanted. Or if you have a child or children who are preparing to go off to college and you fear you may not have the financial means to support that dream otherwise.

· If you have talked with a financial advisor and both of you feel that you could profit more by investing a lump sum payment, rather than waiting on monthly payments. If the money is invested properly, there is a chance that you could end up with more money in the end than your settlement was ever worth. However, this should not be a plan that is entered into lightly. You should work closely with a financial specialist and feel confident that you have found a great opportunity to invest in.

· If you are of older age and feel that you may not be around long enough to receive a fair amount of your structured settlement. You may want to the chance to enjoy the benefits of your settlement or may want to secure part of it for your family after your passing. This way you can distribute the funds as you see fit instead of relying on lawyers or courts.

· If you don’t plan to use the money right away, but would rather put it into a savings or money market account to draw interest. This would be best suited for someone who has a very hefty settlement, can find an account with large payoff terms, and plans to keep the majority of the money in the account for many years.

No matter what your reason for wanting to sell your structured settlement, choosing this option puts you back in control of money that is rightly yours. The problem that many individuals have with their structured settlements is that the control over their money is left to lawyers, courts, and the company or persons paying out the settlement. You are now able to say where, how, and – most importantly – when you spend your money.

The Drawbacks of Selling Your Structured Settlement

For a few individuals, selling their structured settlement and receiving a lump sum payment may not be in their best interest. One must also evaluate these situations and determine if they outweigh the reasons you are considering selling your settlement.

· First and foremost, selling you structured settlement means that you will receive less money than you would if you were to keep it. However, for many people considering this option, this seems like a win-win situation – they will get one large lump sum payment and the company they sold it to will make a profit in the end. The good news is that since you have several companies competing for your settlement, you can choose the one that will give you the a portion of the full settlement that you can live with.

· Because you may lose out on a substantial portion of your settlement by selling it, if you are in a financial situation where regular monthly payments will only be a bonus on top of what you already make, waiting out your settlement may be in your best interest. However, if you’re a senior, then you should also take your age and the length of your structured settlement into consideration. This would be the ideal situation for someone who is young enough that they have a great chance of living out the life of their settlement.

· If you are a person who is poor at managing large sums of money, then selling your structured settlement may not be right for you. For example, if you are the kind of person who gets a large paycheck every two weeks and finds themselves running low on available cash at the end of those two weeks, then that may be an indication that needs to be closely looked at. In this type of circumstance, having your settlement portioned out to you on a monthly basis may keep you from spending it too quickly. Once your settlement is gone, you will be back at square one.

· For those reasons, you should also not consider selling your structured settlement if you have an addiction to gambling, shopping, or drugs.

· If your settlement was due to an accident that has put you out of work and the funds from it will replace your monthly income, then keeping the payments on a monthly basis may help your family keep your finances in order. However, even in this situation selling your settlement may be best for you if you would like to renegotiate your payments into a larger sum each month to shorten the life of the settlement.

Most individuals receiving a structured settlement can benefit from selling it to a company that can give them a large lump sum payment or shorten the life of the settlement, especially if they are older persons, an individual who has enormous expenses due to an accident or court case, someone in a critical financial position, or one who wishes to make a large purchase for themselves and their family. Finding the right company with terms that fit your needs is a key component of making your experience with selling your structured settlement a positive one.

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