Selling Your Structured Settlement for Immediate Cash

Selling your structured settlement provides you with money today for money that’s forthcoming to you in the future through your structured settlement. Essentially when you sell some or all of your structured settlement, it enables you to receive the funds you require right away.

A structured settlement is a payment made to an injured person on a regular basis, either monthly or yearly, over a period of years rather than a one-time payment when a lawsuit gets settled. Settlements like this usually result from wrongful death, personal injury, or medical malpractice claims. The drawback of a structured settlement or annuity is that you are locked into it in terms of the schedule – you cannot alter the payment structure in any way once you agree to it. While a structured settlement may work in the short-term, it does not take into consideration that you life probably changes over time, as do your financial needs.

Receiving an immediate lump sum payment of cash for your some or all of your settlement or annuity may be an option to consider. For example you may need money now to buy a house, pay off credit card debit, purchase a car, save your house from foreclosure, pay college tuition, take advantage of an investment opportunity, start a business or pay unforeseen medical expenses. Companies that purchase settlements can help you in this circumstance by providing immediate cash for dealing.

When you are ready to arrange for a lump sum payment of immediate cash for some or all of your settlement, it is very helpful if you have at your fingertips all of the documents concerning your structured settlement. Remember that if you take a one-time payment you no longer hold the legal rights to your settlement but the benefits of getting that lump sum for your immediate needs may very well outweigh waiting for years or even decades to get your annuity payments

When looking to sell your settlement, make sure that the staff has experience and knowledge in this area. It could make all the difference in how much money you get and how fast you get that money. It’s critical to note that structured settlement transactions don’t require your credit history or information about your income – the only qualification is the structured settlement itself. The company you chose to get your immediate lump sum payment of cash from should have the necessary resources to help you determine the best plan to fit your financial needs – be it selling all or part of your settlement. You should never be pressured into selling more of the structured settlement than you need to sell in order to raise the money for your current need. An experienced, knowledgeable company should be able to set something up that gives you the peace of mind you are looking for.

The process of getting the lump sum payment for your settlement requires a special court order to protect you. A company with experience in this area will have deep knowledge of the process and can easily handle the entire transaction for you, in the shortest possible time.

Once you have your cash, you can use it to pay bills, buy a house, or use it to invest.

Structured Settlement Company – Approved Lists And Why They Are Bad For The Plaintiff

Structured Settlement Approved Lists can be a very bad thing for the plaintiff and the plaintiff attorney. Often times a settlement will near the end, the plaintiff will agree on a settlement, and everything seems fine.

Then, the defense unveils that there are limitations placed on the plaintiff that will reduce the plaintiff’s choices when it comes to choosing the company they work with for their Structured Settlement.

There are two types of structured settlement approved lists that you need to be aware of. In this article I will go over the first type.

The first structured settlement approved list is an:

Approved List of Annuity Brokers.

The approved list of brokers is bad for plaintiff attorneys and their client because it sets up a situation where the defense broker has perhaps an exclusive arrangement, or to make the approved list with the casualty company, has had to agree to help push that casualty companies agenda.

—> What agenda is that?

Casualty companies often like to try to turn this into a profit center. As a structured settlement works its way through a case, the casualty company would like to find some way to benefit from that.

—> How do they benefit?

It could be a direct kick-back or rebate, which is legal in California and Florida I believe, as long as the defense broker is offering the same rebate to all of his clients.

The other way they can benefit is if they have an internal program that says, “We have a wholly owned affiliate, life insurance company that issues annuities and we want the claimant to place their structured settlement annuity with our wholly owned affiliate or a very limited list of other carriers.”

I’ll give you some examples shortly, but going back to the approved list of brokers, when a defense-oriented structured settlement broker has agreed to represent the casualty company’s interests, he’s agreed to their agenda whatever it may be. If their agenda includes a rebate or kick-back, whether disclosed or not, the broker is essentially agreeing to that agenda.

Many of you that work with me know that I’m big on getting the defense brokers, that I’m asked to work with in putting a structure together for a client, to disclose to us whether there is a rebate or kick-back.

—> Why do I think that’s important?

Because no one likes to give money away and I don’t think these defense brokers are any different than I am. They don’t like the fact that they’ve got to give whatever percentage of earnings off the placement of the funding vehicles in one of these cases, they’re not happy to give that money to a casualty company. I think it sets up a situation potentially for a defense broker to look for a way that he can get that rebate or kick-back back to the client without it coming out of his commission.

—> How can he do that?

He might be able to do it by creating a savings on the annuity through an interest rate arbitrage. In other words, committing the annuity with the personal injury claimant before they’ve actually locked in the price, and in the interim of time that occurs between the date the plaintiff agrees to a set of payments and the dates that this other agreement is executed, there might be interest rate changes.

If there are interest rate changes that are interest rate improvements, which would lower the cost of the annuity… meaning instead of requesting $100,000 or $1,000,000 to fund an annuity package, maybe the defense broker only needs to request $90,000, $900,000 or $950,000.

Those are probably extreme examples, but you get the picture.

I’m maintaining that it is possible that the defense broker could point to that savings to the client and say, “there’s your rebate or kick-back”.

We maintain at SPI that those types of savings should adhere to the benefit of the injured party. After all, the tax code that creates this exemption for these payments doesn’t mention casualty companies. It mentions us, the taxpayers.

When we get injured we get an exemption from income for these payments, and I believe rightfully so it should benefit the injured party.

So, how do you navigate around approved broker lists in Structured Settlements?

As a plaintiff attorney, you should have an experienced Plaintiff Loyal Structured Settlement Planner on your side who has vast experience in protecting the rights of the plaintiff and attorney.

Plaintiff Loyal Structured Settlement Planners are just like they sound… they work ONLY for the plaintiff side… and do not represent the defense in any case. Having a Plaintiff Loyal Structured Settlement Planner on your team is important because we have been through hundreds… if not thousands or negotiations and mediations for injury victims. These types of Plaintiff Loyal planners know the sticking points in these transactions and know how to turn the tides from the defense to the plaintiff.

Clause Work Required

There is a certain set of clause work that should be included in the negotiations of a settlement. This clause work sets the stage so you can take more control of the financial aspects of the settlement.

The clause work should outline specific actions that need to be taken and outline certain conditions. Among the conditions are that the defense will not limit the companies which the plaintiff can work with to seek structured settlement bids.

Other extremely important clauses should also be included, which can be obtained by calling us at 800-666-5584 or emailing us through our email address on our website www.settlepro.com

Summary

The aim of this article was simply to make you as a plaintiff or plaintiff attorney that approved lists exist, and they are meant to limit your choices during settlement. Of course, anytime ones choices are limited… it can result in negative effects on your settlement.

So, if you are a plaintiff or plaintiff attorney in a personal injury case, be sure to have a strategy outlined… and a Structured Settlement Company who is a qualified Settlement Planning Expert on your side.