News and Tips on structured settlement transfers.


April, 2011

Apr 11

Why You Need Objective Advice Before Selling Your Structured Settlement

Structured settlement factoring companies – the buyers who take your payment stream in exchange for a lump sum – are in business to make money.  They are not in existence to help you, and they are not on your side.  This doesn’t mean they are evil; it simply means they are in business.  As a result, it’s important that you look out for your best interests before you agree to sell your structured settlement.

Get Advice

First, if you can, tell a trusted friend or a financial advisor that you are considering selling your structured settlement.  Another person may be able to give you objective suggestions for other ways that you can get the cash you need, or meet your financial obligations, without selling.  A financial advisor may also be able to help you get alternative financing, or work with you to restructure your debts to something more manageable.  Even though financial advisors charge a fee, it may be well worth it, considering how much you will give up if you sell your structured settlement.

Watch Out For Pressure Tactics

While selling a structured settlement is new for you, it is just another day for the structured settlement buyer.  They know the hopes and fears of structured settlement holders, and may try to play on your emotions to get you to sign on for a deal in a hurry, or agree to a deal that is not the best for you.  Avoid this kind of pressure.  If possible, get a friend to be with you whenever you are dealing with the structured settlement companies to give you a second opinion, and get you to hold off before signing in a hurry.  If you don’t have anyone who can serve in this role, promise to wait at least 24 hours before making a decision – write it down and post it prominently if you need to.  Tell the company that you have a financial advisor who must look over every aspect of the deal, even if you don’t really have such a person.  A company may try to convince you that the deal will be off the table if you wait; this is even a greater red flag to back away. 

Get Legal Advice

Most states require structured settlement holders to get legal advice before selling their structured settlements.  Choose an attorney who is independent (avoid any attorney who is “preferred” or “recommended” by the structured settlement buyer) and who has experience with structured settlement factoring transactions.  Listen carefully to his or her advice.  If s/he tells you that selling is a bad idea, reconsider your decision to sell.

If you need help selling your structured settlement, annuity or lottery payments,
contact us today. We are here to answer your questions and help you obtain the
highest possible price for your payments.

Apr 11

Before You Sell Your Structured Settlement, Read This!

If you’re desperate for cash, the ads promising quick cash for your structured settlement can be really tempting.  But keep a few things in mind before you decide to go ahead.

Think of What You’re Giving Up

All structured settlement factoring companies use a discount rate to figure up what they will pay you for your settlement.  That means that the lump sum you will get in exchange for the payment stream you’re selling will be less than the total amount of the payments – sometimes a lot less.  The discount rate ensures that the structured settlement buyer’s costs will be covered, and also that he will make a profit on the purchase of your settlement.

What Will You Do When It’s Gone?

Once you sell your structured settlement, it’s gone.  Structured settlements are intended to provide for your living and medical expenses, so without it, how will you cover your needs?  If you have no other income and are not able to work, seriously reconsider how you will survive without your structured settlement payments.

Do You Really Need To Sell?

It’s easy to become convinced that you are desperate for cash when a large expense pops up.  But really consider what those expenses are.  Is there some other way to get what you need, or pay the bills?  If it’s a debt you wish to pay, try restructuring it or working out a payment plan.  If it’s something you think you need to buy, reconsider whether you really need that new car or vacation.  Even if you really need money, if selling your structured settlement won’t take care of the need once and for all (for example, if it’s only enough to pay some of your debts), don’t bother – you’ll be no better off and your structured settlement will be gone.

Not As Easy As You Think

Beware structured settlement buyers who make the process sound fast and easy.  Even if everything goes smoothly, you won’t complete your sell in less than 30-45 days.  If you need cash faster than that, you are out of luck – no matter what the settlement buyer promises you.

The most important thing to remember is that a structured settlement is intended to protect and provide for you.  Structured settlement buyers are in business to make a profit, not to help you.  Before you sell, really give some hard thought to what your life will be like without the settlement payments.

If you need help selling your structured settlement, annuity or lottery payments,
contact us today. We are here to answer your questions and help you obtain the
highest possible price for your payments.

Apr 11

Cashing Out Your Structured Settlement – The Essentials

While the ads featuring everyday joes and janes singing about getting cash now seem whimsical and appealing, selling your structured settlement is a serious decision, nor is it as fast and easy as some companies make it out to be.

Selling your structured settlement is, in legal terms, called a structured settlement factoring transaction.  By factoring, it means that you are giving up a future stream of payments for a lump sum today which will be less – possibly significantly less – than the total amount of those payments.

Every state has laws that govern structured settlement factoring transactions.  These laws are meant to protect sellers from unscrupulous buyers.  As a result, there is a controlled process that must be followed for every structured settlement sale. 

Before you choose a buyer for your structured settlement, be sure that you’ve shopped around ( makes this easy by allowing you to post the details of your settlement and get competing bids), and be sure that you’ve checked out the prospective buyer through the Better Business Bureau.  If the buyer you’ve selected has lots of unresolved complaints, you might want to reconsider selling.

Most states require structured settlement sellers to seek out the advice of a lawyer to see if selling your settlement is right for you.  Make sure to choose a lawyer who has seen structured settlement sales before.  Make sure the lawyer is independent, too; don’t use a lawyer who is recommended or “preferred” by your structured settlement buyer, because s/he may not have your best interests at heart.

Depending on the state in which you live, you may also have to seek out a financial advisor for his opinion on the sale.  Even if it isn’t required, you might want to talk to one anyway – s/he can tell you what to expect from the sale of your structured settlement, and may be able to point out other options to get the cash you need, rather than selling your settlement.  As with the lawyer, make sure your financial advisor is independent of the buyer of your settlement.

If you decide to go ahead and cash out your structured settlement, it will have to be court-approved.  You may even have to appear in front of the judge yourself.  The judge will review the details of the sale, as well as the reason you’re cashing out, and will pay particular attention to the discount rate.  If the judge believes the sale is not in your best interest, s/he can deny it.

The final step is the cooling-off period.  This is usually a few days after the sale is approved by a court where you can decided to back out of the deal altogether.  Use this time to consider seriously if selling your structured settlement is truly your best option.

If you need help selling your structured settlement, annuity or lottery payments,
contact us today. We are here to answer your questions and help you obtain the
highest possible price for your payments.

Apr 11

What Can Derail Your Structured Settlement Sale

Plenty of things can go wrong when you’ve decided to sell your structured settlement, and may even cause the sale to be cancelled altogether.

Change to the Deal.  Once you’ve chosen a buyer (hopefully you’ve shopped around on a site like and decided on a lump sum you will receive for the sale of your structured settlement, the buyer may try to change the deal.  This is a common complaint against structured settlement buyers, and should be a red flag to you to walk away.  Same goes if the buyer tries to introduce new fees that weren’t part of the deal to begin with.

Advice.  Your state’s laws will likely require you to get legal and possibly also financial advice from a professional.  This is meant to be an objective opinion as to whether the sale of your settlement is in your best interests.  If the lawyer or financial advisor counsels you against selling your structured settlement, they can’t stop you from proceeding, but you should seriously consider their advice.  They may be able to help you resolve whatever financial problems have caused you to consider selling, or help you come up with other options for raising money.

Foot-Dragging.  Structured settlement buyers are frequently accused of intentionally slowing down the sales process.  They may do this if they are trying to time their investments, if they’re trying to secure the cash that they will use to pay you, or if they are considering other deals. 

Naysaying Judge.  One of the final steps in the structured settlement factoring process involves putting your proposed sale in front of a judge for his or her approval.  The judge may review the sale and conclude it is not in your best interest to sell, especially if the buyer is charging a discount rate that the judge believes to be excessive. 

Cool It Down.  Even after the entire process is completed, you will still have a “cooling off” period during which you can choose to nix the entire deal.  This is your last chance to think hard about whether selling is right for you.

No Payment.  As terrible as it may seem, there have been instances in the past where a structured settlement factoring transaction was completed, but the buyer was short on funds and did not pay the seller.  If this happens, a reputable company should cancel the agreement, but there have been companies that have refused to cancel the agreement.  The end result is, the seller gave up his settlement and got nothing in return.  Your best defense against this is to do due diligence – thoroughly check out any prospective buyers to see if they’ve done this in the past.

If you need help selling your structured settlement, annuity or lottery payments,
contact us today. We are here to answer your questions and help you obtain the
highest possible price for your payments.

Apr 11

Why Selling a Structured Settlement Takes Longer than You Think

The ads all promise “cash now!” but the truth is, the sale of your structured settlement is going to take quite a bit longer than that.

The process of selling your structured settlement will take, on average, 45-60 days to complete, depending on which state you live in.

Why the delay?  After all, isn’t it your money?  Aren’t you giving permission to sell it?

The answer is, it’s the law.  All states have statutes governing structured settlement factoring transactions.  As a result, there is a strict process that must be followed, and specific steps, often with specific waiting periods.

After you choose a buyer for your structured settlement (and hopefully you’ve used a site like to shop around for the best deal), there will be paperwork for you to review and sign, and send back to the seller.  This is one reason for the delay.  Your state may also require you to get legal and possibly financial advice regarding the transaction, so you will need even more time to find these professionals and sit down with them to review your sale.  State processes require this so that you will get independent advice as to whether the transaction is suitable for you, and in your best interests.  Even if your state doesn’t require you to get this advice, you should do it anyway. 

Once all the contracts and agreements have been signed, and you’ve gotten professional advice, your structured settlement sale will need to be approved by a judge.  Depending on your state’s law, you may even have to appear in court.  So, this takes more time to get your court date on a docket. 

Once all this is done, most states grant a “cooling off” period during which you can change your mind and cancel the entire deal if you want to. 

While this may seem frustrating, especially if you need cash in a hurry, the entire process is designed to protect you.  Structured settlements are intended to provide for your needs over a period of time, so selling it should not be a light decision.  State processes are also designed to ensure that you get objective opinions (lawyer, financial advisor, and judge) as to whether selling your settlement is a good idea, and giving you the opportunity to think it through one last time.  So, no matter what a buyer promises, don’t expect to get cash at light speed.

If you need help selling your structured settlement, annuity or lottery payments,
contact us today. We are here to answer your questions and help you obtain the
highest possible price for your payments.

Apr 11

Common Complaints Against Structured Settlement Buyers

With all the ads featuring happy people singing about getting cash now, you could easily come to believe that the process of selling your structured settlement is easy and worry-free.

You need to protect yourself, however, because people who have gone through the process have complained of potential pitfalls.

Going Back on the Deal.  A typical complaint that is levied against structured settlement buyers is that the buyer changed the amount of the offer through the purchase process.  Many buyers will float a low offer first, just to see if you’ll bite.  Don’t jump at the first offer, and you might just get something better later on.  Buyers will sometimes back out of a deal altogether, presumably if they’ve found something they think is a better investment, or if they’ve run the numbers and decided their offer to you was too high.  If the company does go ahead with the deal, always read all documents and agreements carefully to make sure the buyer doesn’t change the amount of the lump sum payment he originally offered.  If the buyer starts playing tricks with the numbers, walk away from the deal.

Promises Not Kept.  Don’t be lured in by the happy promises made by structured settlement buyers in their ads.  Many buyers will promise to give you the best deal, but the only way to know for sure is to shop around.  A site like makes this easy, so that you can post the details of your settlement and let buyers compete for your business.  Also beware any company that promises a settlement in fewer than 45-60 days.  No matter what state you are in, and no matter how easy the process, a structured settlement sale will always take at least that much time.  Remember that there are agreements to sign, a court process to follow, and legally-mandated “cooling off” periods.  It will take time.

Where’s My Money?  Unfortunately, some companies enter into agreements to buy a structured settlement, but come up short on cash and don’t pay the seller.  A reputable company will release the seller from this agreement, but some companies have actually refused to do this – so the seller not only was out of his structured settlement, he was never paid for it.  Sneaky Fees.  You shouldn’t have to pay court fees or processing fees to sell your structured settlement, so beware any company that tries to pass these on to you.  Again, read all contracts and documents carefully, and have an idea of the fees prohibited by your state’s structured settlement statute.

The best way to make sure your prospective structured settlement buyer won’t pull any of these dirty tricks is to check them out at the Better Business Bureau.  You can see what other sellers have to say about these companies.  If you find that some of them have pulled dirty tricks, think carefully about using them.

If you need help selling your structured settlement, annuity or lottery payments,
contact us today. We are here to answer your questions and help you obtain the
highest possible price for your payments.

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