News and Tips on structured settlement transfers.


Posts Tagged: Annuity Payments

Mar 14

Is Legal Assistance Required to Sell Annuity Payments?

You won’t need a lawyer to sell your car, nor will you need one to sell a radio or a camera. But the sale of something like annuities raises issues that have no easy answers. Do you really need a legal representation in order to sell your annuities? The answer to that is fuzzy at best, but you should learn a little about the process and the need for experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel when deciding to sell annuity payments.

Making the Case for Counsel

There are currently only eight states in America where legal counsel is required for people who are considering the sale of annuity payments: Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio. While only these states require competent legal help for those attempting to sell annuities, all other states heavily recommend it. The advice you should seek out in order to sell your annuity payments will cover tax, legal and financial questions, and a lawyer with experience in these matters can be of great help to anyone attempting to transfer payments.

A Wise Choice for You

Although only a handful of states make you seek advice from a competent adviser, it’s really not a bad idea to speak with an attorney or a financial planner before making the decision to sell annuity payments. A financial planner can guide you toward making the right financial decision, and a lawyer can help you ascertain whether or not your annuity payments can be legally sold or transferred, as there are cases where sales of annuity payments are prohibited, including but not limited to inheritances or where sale is blocked by a trust. In any case, it is always a good idea to seek out counsel from a competent lawyer or financial planner if such counsel is not required by law in your area.

Seek Out Your Own Legal Advice

You may consider using the attorney working for the transfer company you’ve decided to sell your payments to. This might seem like a good idea to you, because you assume you both have the same goals, though this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you decide to seek counsel, then hire a lawyer or adviser of your own choosing. The attorney working for the transfer company has their best interests in mind, which don’t necessarily coincide with your own.

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.

Mar 13

How to Sell Your Annuity Payments

In the long run, annuity payments can provide a reliable and stable source of income. However, many annuities will be paid over a considerable amount of time, such as lifetime payments, which can go a long way toward providing for those with limited income potential. As ideal as structured payments are, however, they might not be perfect for every situation or instance. They may not be right for you as well, if you are considering selling your annuity payments.

What are Your Needs?

You can’t sell your payments for something trivial, like an RV or a vacation. Any planned structured settlement transfers – such as your annuity – go before a judge who will look at all the facts of your case. Once there, you will have to demonstrate your actual need to his satisfaction – your need for a transfer must be vital or urgent before it will be approved.

Look for Buyers

If the judge determines your need warrants a sale or transfer of your structured settlement payments, you will need to find companies who buy settlements and annuity payments. There are many companies to choose from, but it can be hard to locate and contact a reputable and trustworthy company. You will need to put in a lot of time and effort to find a company that can satisfy your needs. After locating a few possible companies, you’ll need look over and compare the offers they will make to you.

Choosing the Right Company for You

Researching companies and entertaining offers can be a daunting task to take on by yourself, but there are alternatives to making a go of it alone. Many experienced structured settlement companies have contact with some of the most reputable and trustworthy buyers of settlements and annuities. Using a competent broker can be invaluable when selling your annuities. With the right structured settlement broker, you could start receiving offers shortly after completing and turning in your information to them.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to using a settlement broker is having a competent and skilled advisor working on your behalf to ensure you receive offers from the most reliable and trustworthy companies, eliminating the fear of finding yourself trapped by an underhanded, predatory company who only care about getting your money. A helping hand can provide some significant peace of mind, and a competent structured payment settlement broker can provide this, and more, when you choose to let them help your sell your annuity.

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.

Mar 13

Facts You Need to Know Before Selling Your Annuity

An annuity payment may provide you with a steady and reliable source of income, but this may not be enough if the need for a large lump sum of money arises. But there is a way you can receive a large sum of cash instead of scraping by on smaller payments. Selling your annuity might be a viable choice for you if the situation does come up, but there are things you should know in order to determine if this is the right option for your needs.

Laws and Regulations

Before attempting to sell your annuity, you should find out what the state and federal laws are that could affect your sale. Each state is different, so you need to be sure any offer falls within the guidelines set forth by lawmakers to ensure a sale is both fair and warranted in your situation. Legal counsel can be invaluable, and help guide you through the murky and often complicated process of selling your annuity.

Check the Percentages

Another important factor to consider is how much money you would receive from a proposed sale. Naturally, you won’t get 100% of the money owed to you through the annuity, as companies are in business to make money. Companies generally pay a percentage of your total annuity, based on your total amount, your payment terms and other factors. Companies vary in the way they make offers and do business, so careful comparative shopping is a must. Carefully considering each company and comparing offers will guarantee you will get the best deal you possibly can.

Get Multiple Offers

You should get as many offers as you can when deciding to sell your annuity. That way, you will have many different options and offers to compare, giving you the best set of choices to help you in your time of need. A broker can help streamline this process, enabling you to get many offers quickly and help you to make the best decision when it comes to complicated financial matters such as those involved with selling your annuity.

By using the information supplied to you, making the decision to sell or not to sell becomes considerably less difficult. There is a lot to consider before making your decision, however, and a competent and knowledgeable broker can help you make the best choice for your financial future.

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.

Jan 12

How to Sell Annuities?

How to sell annuities? There are numerous reasons why a person would want to sell their structured settlement annuity payments. The main reason is a large unexpected expense that arises, or a drastic change in the personal financial circumstances of an individual. The purpose of selling the structured settlement annuity is to get a lump sum of cash.

Another reason is that some people are just not satisfied with their settlement payment. Whatever your reason, there is a solution for you. You can sell your annuity for a large cash payment.

There are three options available to you;

-You can sell your entire annuity.
-You can sell also sell a few of your payments.
-You can sell a percentage of your payments.

By selling your structured settlement annuity you can receive the money you need immediately, instead of having to wait for monthly installments. And if you sell a percentage or just a portion of your annuities you can still rely on the security of your future annuity payments.

Another reason is that even though your annuity is a decent amount right now, it may not have the same value in the future. Inflation is a constant economic problem. A $1,000 annuity right now may be a decent amount, but in 10 years the same amount of money will not have the same value. And this is where selling your entire structured settlement annuity may be beneficial. But, if you do not want to lose out on the security and reliability of receiving regular payments, you could just sell a portion of the annuity to receive a lump sum that will help you in an emergency situation.

When you first receive a structured settlement annuity, it may be the perfect plan for you. It may be very financial comforting for a period of time. But, circumstances never stay the same. You could be facing unexpected expenses, or you could be drowning in debts, and the monthly installments may not be sufficient anymore. If you need a lump cash payment then selling your annuity may be the perfect solution for you.

There are plenty of buyers who are interested in purchasing settlement annuities and are able to pay cash for them, so it will not be difficult to find a buyer. The problem is finding a buyer who will offer you the amount that you need.

The only drawback to such a solution is the loss that you will be making. Obviously, you will not receive a full cash payment for the entire value of the annuity. The buyers are not making the purchase out of charity. They need to make a profit too. But, you will be able to find a buyer who will be able to offer you a fair amount for your annuity. Make sure that you get as many quotes as you can before you settle on an offer.

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.

Dec 11

Buy My Annuity Payments

There are lots of different ways to fall into an annuity. Some people receive them as compensation for years of work. Others receive them through settlement plans from some lawsuit or potential lawsuit. Others still purchase annuities as a means of investment. When you get the annuity, you almost always think that you will be fine with collecting the money slowly over time. But circumstances can change. Life is such that things are almost always changing and you might need the money right away instead of over the course of time. If I wanted someone to buy my annuity payments, I would need to weigh the decision and make a proper determination first and foremost.

Should I get someone to buy my annuity payments?

This is largely a loaded question. My situation and your situation are likely to be different. If you find yourself in a place where a lump sum of cash would do a great amount of good, then it can make sense to sell your annuity payments to a company that is willing to offer an acceptable lump sum. If you have some investment idea or some pressing need for the money, then you would be wise to get someone to buy your annuity payments for cash right now. Before you make this decision, you need to analyze whether or not it makes sense to you.

In order to do that, one must first understand the time value of money. The basic fundamentals of economics tell us that money right now is better than money in the future if the amount is the same. This is because of all the things that you can do with the money. Inflation is such that the same amount of money now will be worth less in the future. Likewise, if you have investment possibilities, then you could potentially make the money grow at a rate that makes sense. These are things that you will need to think about as you decide whether or not to sell your annuity payments.

Selling your annuity payment rights

You might have guessed by this point that the company that buys your annuity payments will pay a discounted price for them. That is how they make money. Whether or not it makes sense to make this sacrifice ultimately depends upon the price you are getting. You will have to sacrifice something to get the money up front, but you shouldn’t give up too much value. A smart consumer will shop around and settle on the best possible annuity buyer. Some companies are very good at giving you a lump sum quickly. Do your research and work with a reliable, reputable company if you are going to sell your payment rights.

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.

Jan 11

Who Wants Your Annuity?

Someone who has a structured settlement and is considering a sale of it may wonder who would want to buy.  And why? 

The purchase of structured settlements as an investment opportunity is getting more play in the media.  It’s new (not really)!  It’s different (well, OK)!  It gives a great return (correct)!  The allure is understandable:  for an up-front infusion of cash, an investor can take over an existing stream of payments.  Because structured settlement buyers use a discount rate to figure how much they’ll pay, they can control their profits – and rate of return.  With discount rates often in the double digits, the return on a structured settlement can easily beat any stock or bond available in today’s markets.

The current recessionary economy has also created a boon for settlement buyers.  With the economic downturn, structured settlement annuitants are highly motivated to sell.  They need cash to pay medical bills, to survive unemployment, or to hold off foreclosure.  The more desperate the seller, the more likely they’ll accept a highly discounted settlement, and take the deal fast.

Another reason investors love structured settlements:  security.  Most annuities are created when a lawsuit defendant takes a lump sum to an insurance company and purchases it.  The insurance company is able to invest that cash and earn enough interest to make the payment stream to the plaintiff.  These investments are locked in, and usually protected.  As a result, the payment stream is relatively secure.  As long as the insurer stays in business, the payment stream is a certainty.  The only thing the buyer has to do is sit and wait.

But getting into this business can be tough.  Of course, you’ll need access to cash in order to make those initial purchases.  You’ll also need a reserve of cash to meet operating expenses while you’re waiting for those first settlement payments to come in.  You’ll need help navigating the regulatory environment surrounding the sales of structured settlements.  All states have a strict process and timeline for sales, and all of them include a “cooling off” period in which the seller could change his mind.  You might invest a lot of time and resources into a purchase, only to have the seller back out at the last minute. 

Finally, there are a number of very big players in the market who do a high volume of structured settlement buys.  In order to get noticed in a bidding environment like QMAP, you’ll have to make your bid stand out – this may mean taking a lower profit.

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.

Jan 11

Why a FA is an Annuitant’s Best Friend

So, you’re thinking about selling that structured settlement.  Hoping to get a big cash payout.  Got big plans for that money.  So, what next?

Your state may require you to consult with an attorney and/or financial advisor (FA) before you finalize the sale of your settlement.  Even if it doesn’t, finding some good advice is a great idea, even if it costs you a few bucks.

What am I really getting?  A good financial advisor can look at the details of the deals being offered to your by competing buyers (if you haven’t shopped your annuity to more than one buyer, do it now – QMAP offers a free and easy way to get competing bids) to give you a good idea which one is best for you.

Should I Sell at All?  A financial advisor will ask you about the reasons why you’re looking to sell your settlement.  A good FA will try to find alternatives to selling.  Remember that an annuity is designed to ensure you can cover your expenses for a fixed period of time, so you should be sure you’ve exhausted all other possibilities before you sell.   A good FA might find something that you haven’t yet considered. 

Dirty Tricks.  When you seek out a financial advisor for help, find one who’s had recent experience in selling structured settlements.  Chances are, he’s seen what buyers try to do to bump up their profits:  change the deal midstream; introduce new “processing,” “legal,” “administrative” fees; or something similar.  The buyer’s costs should be met as part of the deal, so if you’re asked to pay in additional fees, consider this a red flag.

Details of the Deal.  A financial advisor can look at what’s being offered to you, and figure out how you’ll really come out in the end.  The discount rate is what buyers use to scale back the total amount of your annuity and figure out what they’re willing to pay.  A good FA can figure competing discount rates.  The lowest discount rate – although it means the best lump sum payment for your annuity – can be a sign of trouble if the prospective buyer tends to float a favorable offer, only to pull it back later.

Who Are You?  Still, don’t just trust anyone who hangs a “Financial Advisor” shingle outside his door.  All those letters after his name should mean something, and a few quick Internet searches will tell you what.  Ask him specifically about his experience with structured settlements, and find out how recently he’s handled one.

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.

Jan 11

Structured Settlement Concepts – Annuities

If you’re the owner of a structured settlement, you may hear the term annuity a lot in connection with your settlement.  What does it mean, anyway?

An annuity is defined as a financial product sold by financial institutions that is designed to accept funds and then pay out a stream of payments to the individual at a later point in time.  Annuities have lots of uses, but in the case of a structured settlement, they allow a defendant in a lawsuit to set aside an amount of cash less than the court-ordered amount.  The amount that goes into the annuity is invested, allowing the amount to grow until it is sufficient to make payments to the plaintiff over the course of several months or years. 

So why would a settlement be arranged like this?  Why doesn’t the defendant just pay you what he owes?  Most likely, the defendant doesn’t have that kind of cash on hand to pay the total lawsuit award, so the structured settlement allows him to satisfy your claim with the cash he has.  Typically the defendant will purchase the annuity through an insurance company.  The defendant pays in enough to be invested and make the future payments, and he’s done.

But there’s another purpose to the structured settlement annuity, and it’s meant to protect you.  If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be disabled and unable to work.  The structured settlement ensures that you will have a steady stream of cash to pay your living expenses for a fixed amount of time.  It prevents you from spending everything right away, and because the payments come in intervals, there’s no chance the money will burn a hole in your pocket.  The structured settlement protects you from you.

However, you may be facing unforeseen circumstances, such as medical or legal expenses, or tuition, and need access to the full amount of your settlement now.  So, you may sell all or part of the structured settlement payment stream for a lump sum of cash.  Just remember:

  1.  You will get less in a lump sum than you would have received over time.  The buyer of your settlement will use a discount rate to reduce the amount of your total settlement to today’s dollars.
  2. Structured settlement buyers are companies looking to make an investment and turn a profit.  They are not in business to help you, so make sure that selling is your best and only option.
  3. The sale of a structured settlement will take some 45-60 days, or even longer depending on your state.  If you need money sooner than that, selling your settlement won’t help.
  4. Selling is forever.  Once the payment stream is sold, you will never have access to it again.  If living without your annuity is an unpleasant thought, don’t 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.

Dec 10

The Downside of Annuities (part 2)

This is the second post in a series discussing the pitfalls of annuities, specifically variable annuities.  Regulators and the media have given increased attention to these products in recent years, as more cases have surfaced showing they have been sold to people who were unaware of the terms and risks involved. 

Risk.  A fixed annuity pays a fixed, and stated, rate of return throughout the annuity term, and so is likely invested in very safe, low-return investments.  A variable annuity, by contrast, is usually invested in mutual funds or other products that have a higher return but are definitely riskier.  While there is certainly a place for higher-return investments as part of an overall financial planning strategy, this could be disastrous if a substantial portion of your retirement savings – money you can’t afford to lose – is parked there.  Take a hard look at the underlying investments for any annuity.  A sales rep will emphasize attractive returns, but don’t stop there.  Find out where, exactly, your money will be invested.  Will it be invested in mutual funds based on untested industries or uncertain emerging markets?  Will it be invested in high-risk, high-return “junk” bonds? 

Death Benefit.  Variable annuities often feature a death benefit that guarantees your heirs will receive the full value of the annuity in the event of your death, even if the annuity has lost value.  This may sound like a good deal, but it isn’t free.  Usually, there is a charge, perhaps one or two percent per year, for this benefit.  That doesn’t sound like much, but calculate what this percentage means in real dollars, and then compare this amount to going rates for life insurance.  You might be able to buy a life insurance policy outright for the same amount or less, providing exactly the same benefit to your heirs.

Hefty Fees.  Variable annuities have notoriously high fees.  Why?  Because everyone involved needs to make their money.  The mutual funds underlying your investment have fees, and those fees have to be passed on to you.  The insurance companies want to cover their costs – particularly the commissions they pay on the sale of variable annuities – and so they pass on fees to you, as well.  Unless you’re earning above-average returns that cover all of these fees, you would almost assuredly be better off investing your money outright and managing it yourself.

Other than keeping a large sum of money that you could spend too quickly out of your hands, most of what a variable annuity offers could be done on your own.  Consider any variable annuity with a skeptical eye.

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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