News and Tips on structured settlement transfers.

Cash

December, 2013


30
Dec 13

What Are the Duties of a Structured Settlement Broker in a Personal Injury Case

An annuity broker, or structured settlement broker, negotiates the buyout of structured settlement annuities to determine the payout schedule after an individual has won their lawsuit. Usually, the annuity was awarded in a lawsuit concerning a personal injury often due to willful misconduct or negligence of the defendant. The compensation for the injury is an amount paid out as the settlement in the case, which is not usually determined through a jury trial.

Many times, a structured settlement broker will provide an alternative to a lump sum payment. The annuity will be provided by an insurance or annuity company that has a payment schedule that provides money every month, quarter or year. To acquire an annuity, the defendant (losing party) will make a one-time premium payment to the insurance company in exchange for a payout schedule for the awarded party.

Determining the Settlement Value

One of the most critical duties completed by the structured settlement broker is determining the value of the settlement. By calculating medical costs (past and future), incurred by the injured party along with all the associated needs including a home nurse, physical therapy, medicines, and any needed surgery in the future, the broker can determine the economic costs of the case.

The structured settlement broker will also determine non-economic costs including mental anguish, disfigurement, pain and suffering, inconvenience, well-being, mental health, and any loss of consortium – the diminished affection, cooperation, aid and intimacy between wife and husband. Determining the past, present and future burden placed on the injured party helps the broker calculate a rough estimate of the current loss, and any expected future loss.

The projections made by a structured settlement broker are a key component to being able to construct a settlement in the court case. The functions and responsibility of a broker are crucial in many personal injury cases where damages are challenging to calculate.


23
Dec 13

The Possible Problems of Selling Your Structured Settlement

After suffering injuries or damages, you may be awarded a structured settlement to ease financial difficulties and help relieve any pain or inconvenience you might have endured.  Although, you may discover that your structured settlement payments aren’t meeting your needs and may considering selling them. While you can sell your settlement in part or in whole, it isn’t a simple process. Some problems can arise, but if you know what to do, you can avoid them.

Appearing before the Judge

Many people don’t realize that in order to sell their payments, or “transfer” them, they must go back before a judge. Deciding whether or not the sale is actually in your best interest is the judge’s job, and they will consider many criteria when making this decision. The judge will look at your financial situation or circumstances and base their decision on that. And, he will deny your transfer if your immediate need isn’t proven to their satisfaction.

Examining your Offer

The company making your offer can also be a factor the judge looks at when determining your best interests. Your transfer will be denied if the judge decides the terms they are offering are not fair to you. What terms will the judge consider to be fair and in your best interest? In this case, the judge’s job is to make sure you aren’t ripped off, and that most of the funds awarded to you actually go to you and aren’t lost to the buying company. The amount varies from company to company (which is why it pays to comparison shop when looking for a buyer), but many times you can get up to 90% of the money you are owed.

Hire a Professional

You may not realize it, but having a competent lawyer on your side can be important if you are considering selling your structured payments.  Competent counsel from a lawyer can give you an idea of whether your offer will be approved or denied by a judge. They can also stop a predatory company from taking advantage of your situation and ripping you off.

Compare Companies

Comparing offers from competing companies is the best way to ensure you get the best deal, and an expert settlement broker can get you offers from many companies in a short amount of time, allowing you to choose the best company for your financial needs.


16
Dec 13

An Alternative to Receiving Monthly Structured Settlement Payments

Many people receive structured settlement payments as part of an agreement from an insurance company as a result of an accident or medical malpractice. Usually, the cash payments are received for a specific period of time, on an installment plan. Typically the claimant will receive monthly payments instead of as a lump sum or flat rate.

Often considered a long-term contract, structured settlement payments are designed to offer financial security for the long haul. It provides a source of funds to pay medical bills, living expenses and/or medications. The logic behind issuing structured settlement payments is the assurance that it provides the receiver that they will have the money they need in the future. Often times, the insurance company will provide an annuity with a specific dollar amount paid up front that will produce monthly payments to the beneficiary.

Payment Options

There are numerous options for structured settlement payments other than just receiving a monthly check. The payment schedule can be set as a single annual amount provided to the beneficiary, or a more complex arrangement with special provisions or deferred payments.

The downside of agreeing to structured settlement payments is the limitations and restrictions placed on the beneficiary. Once the court order agreement has been accepted, the terms cannot be changed at a future date. Because of that, it is imperative that the claimant uses the skills of a competent attorney to negotiate terms that meet his or her needs.

Selling the Structured Settlement

Once the beneficiary begins receiving structured settlement payments, he or she can sell the annuity for a lump sum cash amount. The agreement to sell the structured settlement can be designed to only sell a portion of the annuity and allow the beneficiary to continue to receive reduced monthly payments. This option is usually preferable to individuals that require more income than what is provided by the structured settlement.


9
Dec 13

Use a Settlement Calculator to Determine Value of Your Settlement

Those who are in structured settlements are going to be receiving installment payments over the course of a certain period. The length of time of the settlement can vary, as can the amount of the payments. Many factors contribute to this, and the actual value of that settlement can even vary over time due to things such as inflation. Those who are trying to get a better idea of how much their settlement is worth should use a settlement calculator to get started. This can give them a better idea of the value of the settlement, and it can help them to determine if selling the annuities is the right thing to do.

Finding a settlement calculator online should not be much of a challenge today. Plugging in the numbers, including the number of payments left on the plan and the amount of those payments, can help to give you a better idea of what it is worth. Of course, you have to consider other things as well, such as any applicable discount rate. It might be a good idea to input your numbers into several calculators just to make sure that you are getting the actual value.

Knowing the amount that you have remaining can help you determine whether you might want to sell for a lump sum. Try to find a firm that is going to be able to offer you the best deal possible on the amount of money that you have remaining. Always take the time to consider just how much money you need right now to take care of your financial problem. Instead of liquidating all of the payments that you have coming, you might find that you only need to liquidate a portion of them. Use the calculator to determine how much this would be.


2
Dec 13

Why Should You Cash in Your Annuity

Getting an annual annuity payment makes a lot of sense for some people. An annuity can afford you the security and reliability of a regular income, regardless of whether it is from an insurance policy or from winning the lottery. Or at least, that’s what it is supposed to do. Annuity payments can guarantee you a regular income over a specific time-frame that allows you to live a normal life and plan for your future. Things don’t always work out like we want, however, and sometimes annuity payments aren’t as beneficial as we would have thought.

Growing Expenses

Some people may need to cash out their annuity to pay off unforeseen expenses, like emergency medical bills, that can arise suddenly through no fault of your own. Annuity payments may be great for the average person’s everyday life, but a medical emergency can quickly become too expensive for your payments to cover and leave you owing a lot of money. Annuity payments are nice for what they are, but if you find yourself in an unfortunate situation, then you may find yourself facing mounting bills and calls from collectors when your income simply can’t cover all your expenses.

Where to Look

When looking to cash in your annuity, there are things you can and can’t do. You can’t simply go ask for the rest of your money at the bank, for example, even though technically all the money is yours to begin with. They don’t have to give you anything until time for one of your payments, and then they will give you that, and only that, which you agreed upon when setting up your payments. However, you can sell your annuity to a company that specializes in buying annuities and structured settlements. This will let you get a lump sum of cash to take care of any needs or circumstances you might have found yourself in. Paying for education, repairing your home or car, paying bills, whatever you need to do. Not all buyers are the same, though, and different companies may offer differing amounts for your annuity. That’s why it is always a good idea to shop around and compare offers to make certain you get the right offer for you. That is why working with a broker is a great idea. By using their knowledge and expertise, you can get the offers you need in a timely manner, and be able to choose the option that is right for you and your family.