What is a Structured Settlement

In civil cases, one party typically must pay a sum of money to atone for some wrong doing against the other party. Civil cases include personal injury lawsuits where a party is seeking money over a bodily damage, wrongful death where a family is amended through cash, and worker’s compensation for being injured on the job. Though many of these types of settlements end in lump sum pay outs, another option is a structured settlement. In a structured settlement, the at-fault party creates an annuity, agrees to pay the amount owed over a certain period of time, and creates a stream of income for the recipient. The payments can be all equal amounts, start high and end low, or can start low and end high, but are always tax free. In certain plans, if the receiver of the payment passes away, a beneficiary will continue to collect the payments for them. Other plans are Life Only and will not go to a beneficiary upon the receiver’s passing. There are many options to make the structured settlement fit the particular case.

Selling Structured Settlements

Since the terms of structured settlements are not negotiable once they have been set, to receive a lump sum payment, the decision to sell future payments can be made. Selling options include partial payments, the entirety of the annuity, and lump sums of the annuity. With partial and lump sum sales, only certain payments or amounts of the payments being made are sold, so the recipient of the settlement will eventually receive the premiums of the settlement again once those payments or amounts have been met. If the entirety of the annuity is sold, the investment will be completely empty and no payments will be received from it again. When the decision to sell has been made, a court date must be set and the court must approve the sale. This process, on average, can take anywhere from 45-60 days, and varies from state to state. Due to these circumstances, the decision to sell should be made well in advance of needing the cash. Selling a structured settlement may be beneficial if a large amount of cash is needed all at once. Buying or repairing a home, starting a business, investing in a retirement fund, or paying for school are all common reasons why someone would choose to sell. Reinvesting the money into areas such as these can lead to larger amounts of income over time. People, often times, choose to sell their annuities due to this reason.

structured settlement

Choosing a Structured Settlement Company

After deciding to sell a structured settlement, choosing a company that will help you receive the most money for settlement is very important. There are many companies out there that will help you sell, and some will be better than others depending on the unique situation, but there are some general guidelines that will aid in picking a company. When searching, find a company that legitimately values your time with them. If the representative for the company shows real interest in your case, then they are more likely to extend the most aid to get a judge’s approval on your sale. Getting quotes from the company is also something that should be taken into consideration. Your situation will not be helped if the company takes weeks or months to get you a quote. The company should also have a reputable history; if the company has won cases similar to yours before, then they have a better chance of getting your sale approved in court and getting the most cash possible for it. A company should never ask for you to put down false information when signing forms, or make you hurry to sign an agreement with them before fully understanding it. A company lying or giving untrue statements to you is a large red flag that they do not have your best interest in mind.
Today, there are three larger companies, JG Wentworth, Olive Branch Funding, and SenecaOne, that are highly reputable and have helped many customers with their case. Check this site for a full list of structured settlement companies and helps you choose the one you should sell your structured settlement for.

  1. JG Wentworth offers free quotes, a best price guarantee, signing bonuses, cash advances, and provides excellent customer service. They have helped thousands of customers over the past 20 years and is considered the purchaser of future structured settlements.
  2. Olive Branch Funding tailors a unique solution for each customer that approaches them. They offer an online document system that creates ease of access to needed forms as well as free online quotes. Olive Branch Funding also offers cash advances and is best for those who are in need of getting their funds fast. They often represent individuals who have won the lottery or some other sort of contest.
  3. SenecaOne is known for its customer service. They offer one-on-one services, reply quickly to questions, and offer no pressure sales tactics. SenecaOne offers a service that can provide a wire transfer or check for a cash advancement in as little as 24 hours. They also offer a prepaid MasterCard option rather than depositing the funds into a bank. SenecaOne separates their structured settlement cases from their lottery and contest winning cases. They have individual phone numbers for each type of case that caters to the individual needs.


What You need to know before selling your annuity

Annuity refers to regular and equal payments that are made to a person from a given investment. The payments in most cases are handed out on monthly, quarterly, annual, or other dates depending on the contractual terms of the particular investment. Annuities are popular among the retiring ages, and that is because they offer continuous and steady income flow. Annuities are categorized depending on how payments are received, that is, immediate or deferred annuity payments. An immediate annuity enables payments to be received as soon as a person ventures into the investment that guarantees the annuity payments. Under deferred annuities, payments can only be received after the initial investment has been allowed to accumulate for a certain period, and this mostly applies for persons who are investing in annuities to take care of their retirement ages.

Annuity selling – partial, and entirety selling options

Any annuity sales option picked by a seller must represent financial sobriety both at the present and future. The contractual options for selling annuities are in many instances straightforward. You just have to be clear on how urgently need the lump sum cash, and also have some considerations for the value of money you that you may receive. Annuity selling options fall under two categories, namely – partial and entirety annuity sales. Under the partial annuity sales agreement, the seller must contractually pick a certain period for which he/she will forego receiving of annuity payments. Payments to the seller can only resume once the agreed annuity deferment period is over. Under the entirety annuity sales agreement, the seller foregoes any future annuity payment, and in return receives lump sum cash for the transaction – that means the end of any scheduled annuity payments. It is important for the seller to assess whether the annuity investment may still have some financial relevance in the future, and if this is not the case, then it can be considered right to sell the annuity payments under the entirety options.

How to sell annuity payments

cash in annuityAnnuities are considered a good form of financial investment, and for this reason, it is rare to have a situation where it is taking too long before you strike a favorable annuity sales agreement. However, you have to be careful with the rates you are offered, and that means taking care of the value of money you may be about to receive. There are usually two main reasons that drive people into selling their annuity payments. First, it may be possible that the given investment strategy may not live up to the expectations, and secondly, a person may be in urgent need of cash, and it happens that the way to arrive at that cash is by selling annuity stakes. The easiest and perhaps the quickest way to sell your annuity stakes is by consulting a broker.

While trying to sell your annuity stakes at an individual level, you may find it difficult to meet the right buyers who can offer rates that can offer you the right profits. For brokers, it is easy for them to meet many potential annuity buyers, and that is why this option is highly preferred for anybody who would love to dispose of annuity stakes. Brokers do charge an agreed percentage fee for any annuity stake they sell, and it is therefore upon you the seller to negotiate for rates that represent the true value of your annuity investment. The advantage of consulting brokers is that they are quick when it comes to handling the paperwork that revolves around annuity sales. If you try selling your annuities by meeting the individual buyers, it may even take you over a month to clear up the process, and that may not be a good idea for somebody who is in urgent need for lump sum cash.

Reasons for selling annuity

Your decision to sell your annuity stakes should rise out of an urgent need you have for cash. Therefore, it is advised that serious thoughts and judgment should apply before the final decision of selling annuity payments is made. Selling your annuities for lump sum cash can give you the financial freedom which you can use to take care of your financial needs. The instances which are regarded safe to sell annuity payments are when there is a serious debt that needs to be settled if you want to scale down your mortgage commitments or settle medical bills that are spiraling out of control.

Keeping a Track of Your Spending – Why and How To Do It

How much you spend determines a lot about your lifestyle. A major reason for most financial worries and problems is that people do not have much control over their spending. Most end up spending way more than they can and despite having a decent income , they are still in situations which are uncomfortable and just not right. Empty bank accounts are not always a symptom of low income but a symptom of poor money management in many cases. People with relatively high income including those who have annuity payments (learn more about annuities) also suffer from this which is the reason why it is important for everyone to wake up to their financial condition.

Tracking your spending will give you more control over your finances, it will keep you in light of how much you spend and enable you to walk on the right path. It is possible that you feel appalled at what you see when you first start to track your spending. For most of us, the amount we spend and never notice is usually on things which are not so important. For instance, many people love dining out and this is what they spend most of their money on. You might find thousands of dollars spent on eating in restaurants in a matter of just 30 days when you first start tracking your spending.

Such realizations may force you to move away from the tracking deal altogether and just keep going with the flow. Ignorance is sweet while truth tends to be bitter. Also, if you are surviving well without caring so much, why worry? Despite the truth hurting you and making you look in a direction where you no longer have access to the useless luxuries you were spending thousands on till now, it should also act as a wake up call. When you see something which needs to be improved, you shouldn’t turn your head away from it. In fact, you should address the issue and act on it. You should start considering your financial priorities and create a budget to keep a check on yourself. You will have to want it for yourself and understand the importance of keeping a track of your spending if you really want to make a difference.

You don’t have to live the way you are at present forever. If you are ready for a change and want to bring it to your life, you can get started right away. Here are some ways you can track your spending and do so easily.

  • Make a commitment to the task – you have to commit yourself to the task of maintaining a record of your spending. It is an experience which will enlighten you on your behavior, how you can change it, and what all you need to do to bring a positive change. Show your commitment towards the cause and ask your family members to support you in it. Don’t judge yourself when you do slip up and keep trying to improve each month.
  • Always keep your receipts – it is important that you always keep your receipts around. Later, when you become a more thoughtful spender, you may not need to save all the receipts for a long period of time. Despite this, in the beginning, it is a good idea to keep these records around for review and understanding.
  • Keep a record of online spending – Keep a track of how much you are spending online, what you are paying for the most, which bills you paid, and so on. Keep track of every single transaction you made online so you always have a clear idea of how and where you’re spending most.
  • Check everything is all right – after putting all your receipts and online transaction records in one place, you should tally your purchases. List similar purchases under a common category. For instance, if you bought a jeans online and purchased two dresses from the mall this month, sum up the amount spent and list them under the clothes category.
  • Maintain an honest record – it is very important for you to be honest with yourself and list everything correctly. Don’t make excuses for your recklessness and track it all with honesty. The whole experience should be an eye opener for you and a way to gain control. You cannot gain control and bring a change if you are dishonest with yourself. It is very dangerous to retreat to a fantasy world where everything is fine.

It is always a hard realization that you were reckless and spent your money on unimportant things. However, after the initial hurt and guilt, you will actually start working towards improving your spending. You will stop making excuses and start acknowledging the importance of planning and keeping track of everything. Little by little, you will improve your financial condition and life. You will save money and also realize that happiness is not based on meaningless transactions.

However, if you refuse to work towards this and refuse to accept the truth. Don’t let laziness rule you and start tracking every penny you spend so you become a master of your financial condition and not let your spending habits rule you.