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The Structured Settlement Seller’s Decision Guide

So you’ve got a structured settlement…and a need for cash.  Sure, selling is one way to get money, but is it the right choice for you?  Here are a few tips to help you decide, and help you through the process.

How Much Money do You Need?  You don’t have to sell your entire settlement – buyers will happily take one or a few payments. 

Do You Really Need the Money Now?  Is your “emergency” for real?  Is it your emergency, or is it just a family member or friend trying to get a loan?   

Do You Have Other Options?  If you are looking to pay off medical bills or credit cards, can these debts be negotiated or cut down some other way?  What about other sources of funds for the money you need, such as a bank loan, drawing from retirement or investment accounts, or borrowing from friends and family? 

How Do You Plan to Spend the Money?  Will this cash solve a problem – such as medical bills – completely?  If so, selling your settlement might be a good idea.  But if it will pay only some of your medical bills or credit cards, and the debts are going to keep coming, selling your settlement may well be a waste of time.  And if you’re selling because there’s some great new investment that you want to make, really think twice; it’s rarely a good idea.

What Are You Giving Up?  Any structured settlement buyer is going to pay you far less for your structured settlement than you would have received over time.  The buyer applies a discount rate to the stream of payments you are selling to determine how much he’s going to give you.  Consider whether you really can give it up, and whether you really want to.

How Will You Survive?  One of the reasons structured settlements are created incident to a personal injury lawsuit is to provide the injured party a means of income.  This is especially important if the injury has left you unable to work for an extended period of time, or permanently.  If you sell your structured settlement, how do you plan to provide for yourself without those payments?  How will you pay your medical bills?  If you don’t have a good backup plan, explore other options.

This is a big decision, so think long and hard about whether selling is your best option.  Most states will require you to get legal and/or financial advice, and you should definitely do it – these folks can give you an objective opinion on whether selling is right 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.

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