What’s a Structured Settlement?
A structured settlement is an officially scheduled insurance or financial benefit paid periodically over the course of time to a plaintiff in order to compensate for their personal injury, instead of a lump sum payment. This kind of compensation becomes especially preferable when the plaintiff files a lawsuit for a permanent or serious injury that adversely affects their income stream. The amounts of money paid periodically to the injured person serve as their new income stream, especially in cases where the injury incapacitates the person and results in their loss of a regular source of income. Usually, both the plaintiff and defendant would reach an agreement on the terms of their settlement before payments take effect. This kind of compensation was first used in Canada as a means of settlement in cases of children who were affected by Thalidomide (a drug that resulted in the congenital deformity of the children). A structured settlement is often a means of minimizing legal costs and other related expenses.
Selling a Structured Settlement
About one out of ten recipients of structured settlements would like to sell their structured settlement in part or completely. Some of the reasons are:
1. The need to make a business investment. Some beneficiaries of structured settlement think selling it and investing the proceeds would help secure their future even better with greater levels of periodic, financial returns than the settlements.
2. Some structured settlement owners feel the need to sell their settlement in order to be able to reach out to others in acts of charity.
3. Others want to sell theirs to enable them to raise enough money to pay off their debts.
4. Others also feel the need to sell their settlement in order to be able to afford an education.
5. Some others prefer selling their structured settlements to taking a loan in the event of an emergency that requires funds. The list of reasons to sell a structured settlement is endless.
If you desire to sell yours, follow the steps below:
1. First off, you have to set your priorities straight and make a firm decision to sell your structured settlement with valid reasons. If after carefully evaluating your decision, you’re convinced that the sale of your structured settlement to get a lump sum, instead of periodic, regular payments, won’t adversely affect your financial needs in future, then, you’re on track.
2. Next, look around for a reputable funding company to work with on this. The importance of working with a reputable funding company that’s in the business of helping people cannot be overemphasized because this will save you a lot of hassle and will keep you from the companies that are ready to take advantage of you. A reputable funding company shouldn’t be a mere broker and should be able to make a payment with its own money. Such a company should also be acquainted with the process of court order transfer and should be vetted by the BBB (Better Business Bureau) with an A+ rating.
3. Start the paperwork. This includes the submission of your structured settlement policy, settlement agreement, application, and ID to enable the transacting company to make the necessary verifications. Make sure to double-check the documents to avoid omissions.
4. Get a judge to approve the sale of your structured settlement. This can be done with the aid of a local attorney who can also assist with the prepping of your papers for the hearing. After the attorney schedules a court hearing, you’ll have to wait for the date of the hearing. Bear in mind that the court will require a valid reason for your decision to sell your structured settlement.
5. After the judge approves the transaction, you should expect your money.
Some Structured Settlement Companies
J. G. Wentworth
J. G. Wentworth has been in the structured settlement business since 1991, which is a good record as years of experience count for something among companies in the business of structured settlements. However, this structured settlement veteran has its upsides and downsides. J. G. Wentworth may be able to help with your need to sell your structured settlement for instant cash, but you’ll lose a part of your money to them, which they label the “effective discount rate.” It’s a total of J. G. Wentworth’s surcharges and can be as much as 9 to 15 percent of your money. Still, J. G. Wentworth is a considerable option if you have to deal with a credit card debt that sets you back by 30 percent interest, for instance. The BBB rating for J. G. Wentworth is an A+.
The steps to having a structured settlement deal with J. G. Wentworth are basically as follows:
1. The company representative will study your payment record and discuss your situation.
2. After that, you’ll be offered some options to pick from, whether you wish to sell all or part of your structured settlement.
3. Then, you’ll have to sign the required documents and send them to the organization to finalize your agreement.
4. Then, a judge gets it approved in court and you cash out.
Olive Branch Funding
Olive Branch Funding is relatively younger than J. G. Wentworth. But they have a good reputation for helping with the sale of structured settlements. This may be partly because of their young age in the structured settlement business. Furthermore, their website doesn’t tell site visitors much about their fees and discounts. So you’ll have to call them to get the necessary information before proceeding to do business with them. BBB rates Olive Branch Funding with an A+.
Seneca One is another well-known structured settlement transactions company. However, it has a couple of disturbing reviews that indicate that if you don’t do your due diligence, you’ll be taken advantage of. The BBB rating for Seneca One is an A-.