News and Tips on structured settlement transfers.


June, 2011

Jun 11

Structured Settlement Sales: Getting the Most From Your Money

Within the structured settlement sales industry, every company is not alike. If you are in need of a large lump sum of cash as soon as possible and have exhausted all other options, getting a lump sum of money in exchange for your future structured settlement payment rights may be the option for you. . Here are a few tips to help you get the most money out of your structured settlement sale:

1) Research Companies

* Check the company’s Better Business Bureau record. Ask yourself- Is the number of complaints reasonable? Do any complaints raise red flags that this company may be operating in an unethical fashion? Make decisions whether the company uses ethical business practices before you consider going any further with that company.
* Do a Google search on the company. Do you see any complaints? Have the ever gone through any bankruptcies?
* Get the opinion of outside sources and provide the sources with the information you have uncovered. Sometimes a different opinion can be a better opinion, or at the least, may provide you with a different point of view.

2) Get Several Quotes

* Don’t jump at the first offer you receive. Many times companies will lowball a quote to make more profit. After all, these companies are in business to make money and it’s YOUR job to make sure you get the best deal.
* Don’t disclose the quote amounts that you have received from the other companies or the names of the companies you have received quotes from. Use open ended questions to help you find out if the company is going to try and take advantage of you or if they are going to provide a great quote from the start. You will know who is looking out for your best interest once you use this tactic.

3) Closing Date Guarantee

In order to secure more transactions and higher profits, companies will use tactics such as “interest drag” to delay the closing on your structured settlement factoring transaction. Interest drag is the process of prolonging a structured settlement sale transaction to earn interest off the delayed time before the transaction is funded. Sometimes this can lead to thousands of dollars lost on your end.

* Get a guarantee that the closing will be within a reasonable time period. In most states an 8 week guarantee is usually sufficient.
* In the guarantee, demand that any delays will award the a per day amount be paid to you upon closing. This way you will know the company is not profiting by delaying you case.

By using these three tips, you can be sure you will receive the most money for your structured settlement.

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.

Jun 11

Structured Settlement Sales: Freeing Your Money

A structured settlement is an arrangement in which an award, often from a lawsuit or claim, is paid out over time. This type of arrangement was originally designed to keep people from squandering away their wealth or fortunes quickly. they are meant to meet the long term financial needs of the person awarded the sum. Why, then, would anyone want to sell a structured settlement?

The truth is that your money is somewhat held hostage in a structured settlement – you do not have access to it except for the periodic checks that are sent to you. If something should occur that would necessitate getting your money earlier than expected or a larger amount, there is little that can be done to accomplish such a feat. With a structured settlement, you have the right to sit and wait for a check and little else. the reason many people wish to sell their structured settlement is to take control of their money.

There are numerous reasons someone may wish to sell a structured settlement. they may need the money to meet their basic living expenses or they may simply wish to invest the money for themselves and their future. However, the primary motivating factor is that they want to have access to their money, regardless of their intentions of spending it.

It seems in the shuffle of deciding what is best for those being awarded, no one bothered to ask the very people that are really affected. For the most part, people do not want to be censored in their spending, even if it turns out to be frivolous – shouldn’t someone have that option to do what they choose with their own money? Selling structured settlements is simply about regaining that freedom and taking back the control of your money.

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.

Jun 11

Structured Settlement Sales: Hunting for the Right Buyer

As you may know from TV commercials, financial news, and from millions for ads on the internet. Sure, lots of buyers will respond to you. But beware: some buyers will make promises they realistically can’t fulfill when they try to tempt you to work with them.

What seemed like an ideal amount at the time of your structured settlement may no longer seem as beneficial now. Whether or medical expenses, a child’s college education, or to settle high interest credit card debt, more and more people are choosing to sell their structured settlement payments now than ever before. Here are a few things to consider before selling to make sure you’re on the right track.

1. Don’t fall for the smoke and mirrors.

Slick buyers will try to impress you with all sorts of “facts”-which may or may not be relevant to your situation. They may tell you great things they’ve done for their great customers, the size of their business, and annual revenues. This is all well and good, but these statistics don’t guarantee the buyer will treat you fairly and find the best solution for both your short-term and long-term goals. So how do you know if a potential buyer delivers on what they say, or are they just blowing smoke?

When the buyer talks, consider whether he or she has:

* Listened to your current and future cash needs.
* Gathered a firm idea of why you are selling structured settlements.
* Offered suggestions to help you reach your current needs without selling
your settlement.

When the buyer listens, consider whether he or she has:

* Actively listened to you explain your problems before giving you any answers.
* Focused intently on you as if you were the center of the universe.

2. Only sell what you need and not a penny more. Of course you want to sell your structured settlement because you need cash and you need it now. Right? Maybe not. Before you sell, ask yourself why are you really selling?

Just because you need money now doesn’t mean you have to sell your entire settlement or annuity. Maybe you need to:

* Buy a house or save one from foreclosure.
* Consolidate credit card debt.
* Finance education.
* Pay an immediate medical expense.

If you don’t have solid reasons to sell structured settlement payments, proceed with caution. A good buyer will tell you this and will offer options that meet your current need for cash, but also provide long-term security. There is no good reason to sell your entire annuity if you only need a portion of it for your immediate needs.

3. Ask questions

There are some things you should know before you sign a contract. Here’s one: ask your buyer what he or she doesn’t do well. A good buyer understands that limitations create focus and focus creates value. Admitting mistakes is a good sign of honesty, integrity, and intelligence. Here’s something else you should know: are there any alternatives to just selling your settlement outright? A good buyer will give you options-and alternatives may mean more money for you. Bottom line: the only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask.

4. Know the danger signs

Beware of a buyer who:

* Calls you three or more times a day
* Has you speak with someone different each time you call their office
* Doesn’t argue with you ( in a positive way )
* Doesn’t return your calls
* Makes promises about when you will get your money
* Says: “don’t worry about it” or “trust us, we do this all the time”
* Knows less about structured settlements and annuities than you
* Sends you all the paperwork at once

Selling your structured settlement payments doesn’t happen overnight.  So watch out for companies that claim: “we can put cash in your pocket in a few days.” Don’t believe it. Find out how long you will realistically have to wait for your money before you sell. If it sounds too good to be true: it is. Luckily, there are many companies to chose from. So find the one that fits your needs- not theirs.

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.

Jun 11

Selling Your Structured Settlement: Don’t Panic!!!

If you have been receiving payments from a structured settlement, you may have noticed that these regular payments, at times, do not cover all your expenses. This is especially the case if the victim experiences a secondary complication related to the original injury. This potentially very serious complication could be directly related to the original accident that required legal action in the first place. However, since the lawsuit is over and the settlement amount agreed upon, now you will be forced to make some extremely important financial decisions.

Unfortunately, financial emergencies have a strong tendency to send most individuals into an immediate and extreme mental panic. In this heightened state of anxiety many individuals make very quick and often uninformed financial decisions. This is financially dangerous because, frequently, choices made in this “What-am-I-going-to-do-now?!?!” mental state end up being one of those moments you look back on and think “what was I thinking?!”

Another common problem with making decisions when in a stressful “I need money now”  mental state is that many dishonest and self interested entities actually attempt to target those with that precise confusion condition for their own benefit. Scams often use this “trick” to create urgency in the consumer and increase the potential that each particular customer will release their financial information, ultimately leaving themselves wide open to many potentially devastating scam operations.

Simply verifying the credibility of any company, especially those with only an online presence, will be sufficient effort to protect you from majority of the scams present on the web. However, in this “I need my money now” mental state you are also opening yourself up to taking the first bid you can find from a reputable buyer. Reputable alone does not mean they have the best rate.

Approximately 50% of  those who have made the decision to sell their structured settlements, have said after the sale that they feel they could have obtained more money by simply comparing structured settlement offers from different funding providers. Your goal when trading in your structured settlement account for a lump sum of money is to get the highest offer. So, it’s time to shop around.

The most successful way to locate the highest offer for your structured settlement is to put some time into researching and contacting multiple funding companies and simply comparing the quotes. This can certainly prove to be a painstaking, tedious, and frustrating process. However, in the end, considering the sale process can take 45 – 90 days before you are approved anyway- why not spend a week or two doing your homework?

Unfortunately, lawsuit funding companies vary widely in levels of professionalism, honesty, and keeping the victims’ best interests at heart. It is highly recommended that you research each litigation funding provider you are considering working with before signing any legal binding contracts or providing any sensitive personal information. It would certainly be considered beneficial to choose a lawsuit funding provider that you feel confident trusting.

And, for our final tidbit of advice today, remember you can always slam the brakes on any deal you may be working on if you feel uncomfortable. Don’t put up with pressure. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent 100 hours on the phone with the provider representative.. If you want out, get out before you sign and find another provider.

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.

Jun 11

Structured Settlements: To Sell or Not to Sell, That is the Question

When talking about selling structured settlements it can be a confusing and complex topic. Especially when so many companies are not accurately communicating information. The concept itself is simple, but the choices and legal process surrounding the sale can seem so complicated that your left with your head spinning. So when you have a structured settlement do you sell or not sell? That is the question (for today).

Some times the tax properties of a structured settlement are enough reason to not sell all on their own. All such payments are completely exempt from state and federal income taxation, while if you sell for a lump sum you’ll be paying Uncle Sam. Knowing you’ll receive an income at regular intervals for often a large length of time completely tax free sounds like a rather good reason to hold off on selling.

Then again, one of the most misunderstood concepts of those with settlements to sell is the idea of “present value of future money”. I have previously gone into detail on this concept, so I’ll just offer a brief summary here. A dollar today is, most likely, not going to be worth as much as a dollar will be five years from now. And when you are talking about set settlement payments lasting a decade or longer that value becomes even less. So then it does make sense to get the higher value from your settlement now even if it will cost you a portion right?

But then again, we’ve all heard stories about people who “hit the jackpot” with a single big payment, only to end up losing it due to mismanagement. The finance world calls it dissipating those funds. This is often cited as the single most important benefit to staying with a structured settlement payment arrangement. The idea being that since these funds are free of market volatility, which as we’ve recently seen can be quite brutal, those people who often have a reduced ability to generate income but are collecting on structured settlements have built in spend-thrift protection. So now we’re back to not selling?

Wait a minute. That sounds good in a perfect world, but in this world things happen. When someone is facing foreclosure on a home or are in need of some medical treatment that isn’t covered by insurance they should let the house go or live with sickness just to protect future income? That sounds senseless if you have the ability to ease your life by selling your settlement. Okay. So now we’ve gone back to selling our structured settlement. Is your head spinning yet? Because mine sure is!

If we are going to sell, at least all we have to do is pick the company from whatever “get cash now” commercial we see next on TV. How different can these companies be anyway? The answer is: Very different. If you are going to sell, the single most important thing to do is shop around. The ability to get a lump some of money does come at a cost. There is no question that based on industry averages people will typically lose somewhere between 8 percent and 18 percent of the present value of their remaining payments. But what does the difference of 8% to 18% really mean? Say you shopped around and found that 8% agreement and received $125,000. If you had taken another offer at 18% you only would be receiving $85,000. That’s a $40,000 difference just because you put in some phone time to shop around. And when you consider that some of the companies that spend the most on advertising offer the most disadvantageous deals to their clients.. You could possibly end up with a company that you’ve never heard of if you want the most out of your money.

So are we selling or not? Well, the answer to that question won’t be found in any article online, in a magazine, or some “I know everything about settlements” do it yourself book. I’ve just shown how that choice can waffle back and forth based on many factors and really- the decision is whatever works best for you.

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.

Jun 11

Dare to Say No to Structured Settlement Advances

In my last article we discussed the option of taking a cash advance on your structured settlement while your case is still open. This can be an attractive offer when you are facing some sort of financial crisis  and are “expecting” to win a structured settlement, but haven’t finished the court or settlement process yet. As I said before; You do have the option of applying to various companies to take an advance out on the estimated value of your settlement. Sounds easy. It is. Sounds quick. It is. What it isn’t.. is cheap or necessarily wise. Last time we went over the “Pro’s” of such an advance, and they are many. However, this time we will be focusing on the “Con’s” of such an arrangement.

Expense. While it is true that getting an advance may allow you to hold off on settling to a point where you come out with a larger lump sum, the reverse is also true.. You may come out with much less. As a rough example of costs you can expect to pay $1500- $2500 per $10,000 advanced to you. Also, while you are waiting for your case to settle, your cash advance on your future structured settlement payments will accumulate interest until settlement is made. This can be as low as 2% or as high as 25% depending on the lender you have chosen. Here you must remember that the longer your case takes to settle, the more interest you will have to pay.

Scams. This is a prime time for unscrupulous individuals, businesses, or agencies to take advantage of your need and get you to sign a contract containing many hidden fees leaving you with little to nothing after your settlement is done. If you are considering taking an advance I can not stress enough the importance of reading all the fine print, having everything verbally explained to you, and possibly having any contracts reviewed by an outside attorney.

Can take only days or it could take several months. In many cases you can receive your advance in a matter of days, however it is also possible that after signing for your advance that these companies will include delaying clauses resulting in a situation where you would have received your cash sooner had you never done the advance.

When taking a loan or an advance, take time to calculate what you need – don’t ask for what you want, but ask for what you need. Many people make the mistake of asking for more than they need. If you have other money sources that cost more, then you can justify asking for more, but try to keep within reason – you don’t want to be dinged in high interest rates and fees unless absolutely necessary. Anytime you get a loan or advance, the cash you get costs something.

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.

Jun 11

Cashing in on your Structured Settlement Before you Settle

So, what do you do when you are facing some sort of financial crisis  and are “expecting” to win a structured settlement, but haven’t finished the court or settlement process yet? Many people would answer that you’ll just have to try and hold off those creditors, wait on that medical procedure, or pass on that business venture until after you’ve won your settlement. To put it simply, that’s just not true. You do have the option of applying to various companies to take an advance out on the estimated value of your settlement. Sounds easy. It is. Sounds quick. It is. What it isn’t.. is cheap.

For this article we are going to be looking at the “Pro’s” of advance funding on your future structured settlement payments.

Low to no risk to you. If you do elect to apply for an advance on your payments but, for one reason or another, you don’t win your case you have no obligation to repay the amount of the advance.

Cash as fast as possible. If you were to choose to sell your payments after the settlement has been made it can take between 45 – 90 days to go through the court process. However, with an advance prior to the settlement you can often find a lender able to put cash in your pocket in as little as 72 hours.

Easier than a bank loan. If you are in need of money immediately and are thinking that your trusted bank will be there to help you out.. You’re often mistaken. But one thing to think of when considering an advance on your payments is that your credit has absolutely nothing to do with your application.

Buys you time. Often people will settle for a lesser amount simply because they need the cash immediately. With an advance you have the cash to wait it out for the largest settlement possible. This could easily surpass all payments and fees from the advance while leaving you with a nice extra lump of cash.

Take care of medical problems now. With an advance on your future settlement you can have peace of mind when it comes to medical procedures and bills. Why wait for something that may not be covered by your insurance when you can get cash now to take care of your medical problems?

Remember, when taking a loan or advance you should always take the time to calculate the amount you need- not the amount you want. Many people make the mistake of asking for more than they need for some luxury item and end up paying much more than they needed to in fees, costs, and interest. Keep in mind that anytime you get loan or advance, the cash you get will cost you something. And the more you get, the more it costs.

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.

Jun 11

Selling Structured Settlements: Why Sell Now Vs. Later?

Today we will consider some of the positive reasons you may wish to sell your structured settlement payments for a lump sum now regardless of whether you have an immediate financial need or not.

1) Long Term Decrease in Value

The value of money over a short period of time often makes little difference. For example, a dollar today will most likely get you just as much value as a dollar tomorrow. However, the value of money becomes something to be considered when thinking about collecting the same amount from your structured settlement payments. Most payments last over a decade, some take over twenty years or more to completely pay out your collection amount. The value of money will, most definitely, fluctuate over such a period of time, while most structured settlement payments are not adjusted for inflation. That regular payment you are getting now may only pay for 10% of what it will today in 20 years.

2) Gaining Interest Income

If you collect annuity payments in a lump sum, you might get the even payments to space out your income, but if you invest the money in a smart and safe way you can live off the substantial interest. The problem words here are “smart” and “safe”. This would require substantial research on your part to find an opportunity to use your money where you will still be receiving as much, if not more, per month than if had not sold your settlement payments.

3) Investing

If investing safely is not something you are interested in, you might be more interested in investing the money in some sort of venture capital. Now, while this is considered to be more risky the potential for gain is that much greater. You may want to contribute to the growing business of a friend or family member with your new-found wealth and this would be possible to do if you chose to collect your structured settlement payments in a lump sum.

4) Life Span

While this is something that people might shy away from thinking about, the realities of collecting a twenty year structured settlement payment is that you might not live long enough to collect the entire sum. When you die, usually the remaining uncollected payments are returned to the party issuing your payments. While it is possible in some rare situations to “pass down” your payments, it is quite uncommon. This, then becomes money that neither you nor your inheritors will ever see. Though, if you had received a lump sum and set up some sort of interest account, a personal investment in a business or venture, or even kept your money as savings; then in the advent of an untimely death you could simply will any of these to your inheritors.

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.

Jun 11

Selling your Structured Settlement: Basic Q & A

Here, in this article, we are going to go back to some basic questions and answers people often have when thinking about selling their structured settlement payments.

Q) Can I legally sell my payments?

A) Yes. However, most states have a Structured Settlement Protection Act which outlines the requirements that need to be met in order to sell future payments. Some of those requirements are as follows:

1. The company purchasing structured settlement payments must provide full disclosure about the financial terms of the transaction.
2. A hearing is held where a judge decides whether the transaction is in the best interest of the structured settlement recipient. Such factors such as the discount rate of the transaction, reason for selling the payments, and other income sources are taken into consideration before approving such a transaction.
3. The judge must issue a court order approving the sale of the transaction.

The list above does not stipulate all of the requirements of a structured settlement factoring transaction.

Q) What happens if the Settlement Agreement has anti-sale or anti-assignment language?

A) First of all, anti-assignment or anti-sale language means that the annuity payments cannot be sold or transferred. However, as mentioned above, most states have a Structured Settlement Protection Act which states that a judge must approve the transfer of such payments. A judge has the power to approve the sale even if anti-assignment language exists in the Settlement Agreement or Annuity Policy.

Q) Can an annuitant sell a portion of their structured settlement payments?

A) Yes, Yes, Yes!  I can not stress this fact enough. Considering that on one hand you do need to solve a financial problem immediately or you wouldn’t be looking to sell your settlement payments, but on the other hand you want to protect a portion of your future earnings; this is often thought of as having the best of both worlds. You have the option to sell all or some of their structured settlement payments. Some companies will purchase the rights to a portion of  your structured settlement payments, but instead of allowing the insurance company to continue to service the rest of their payments, the funding company will service the payments to the annuitant taking control of future sales of that annuity policy.

Q) Is the Lump Sum Payment received from the sale of a structured settlement tax free?

A) In most cases the lump sum payment received from selling the rights of a structured settlement are tax free. The same tax treatment is applied to the lump sum payment that was given to the previous structured settlement payments. If an annuitant’s previous payments were tax free, then the money received from the sale of future payments will be tax free as well.

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.

Jun 11

Structured Settlement Sales: Finding Quality

No matter if the buyer of your structured settlement payments is a large corporation, a smaller group of investors focusing on such purchases, or even a single individual they will all share some basic qualifications and characteristics that are beyond doubt.

The company you choose to buy structured settlements from you should be a company with a legally recognized structure, should have a good track record, including success with court approvals (which indicates fair disclosure practices and fair dealings), and should be able to provide enough proof to show that they have the means to fund your transaction. Beyond these basic qualities, there are others things that you should look for when choosing a partner to buy structured settlements, and legal responsibilities that all buyers are obligated to by law (although the laws do vary from state to state and country to country).

If you are skeptical of the idea of selling structured settlement payments, you are not alone; and you do have cause to be. Selling your annuity payments is serious and will have several financial consequences which could be either good or bad, depending on your situation. Notably, selling structured settlements is not the right choice for all annuity beneficiaries, but it is a very good opportunity to access needed cash in many circumstances. It should also be noted that certain organizations, such as the National Structured Settlements Trade Association, have publicized the fact that a number of media and organizations have called attention to the practices of some sellers. The Association is not necessarily saying that it is a bad idea to sell your annuity payments, but that the process does certainly require that buyer (or in this case seller) beware.

The option to have a third party buy structured settlements presents a very useful financial opportunity for many annuity recipients. This is a practice that can be put to very good use when handled properly with a reputable annuity payment buyer; but it is also one with the potential for problems. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly or gone into in haste. Selling structured settlement payments requires patience, due diligence, and most of all the choice of an upstanding annuity buyer. The path to finding that elusive person or company who will buy structured settlements starts with learning the real first stage basics about who will buy structured settlements, and continues with learning what your options are and how to find the right funding partner for you.

While I am not endorsing any specific company, nor am I even advocating the sale of your structured settlement- These groups have been listed in the top 10 buyers in relation to the qualities I have written about here today.

1. J.G.  Wentworth
2. Peachtree
3. Settlement Quotes, LLC
4. Sovereign Funding
5. Solid Funding
6. Singer Asset
7. Woodbridge
8. Genex Capital
9. Quote Me a Price
10. Stone Street

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.

Let Companies Compete to Buy your Structured Settlement!

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