A structured settlement is an agreement made between the plaintiff(s) and the defendant(s) so that a lawsuit never makes it to trial. It requires the defendant (or the party’s insurance company) to pay settlements to the plaintiff in installments over a period of time. This usually happens in divorce and personal injury suits, though it is also used in settling other big cases.
The structured settlement works by the defendant paying up an annuity policy for the other party. This is usually set up with an assignment company, which is often a subsidiary of the defendant’s life insurance company. The annuity policy will not be owned by the plaintiff; otherwise, the fund will not enjoy the tax benefits. Basically, the petitioner will only be a recipient in this arrangement. The compensation that is brought about by the structured settlement brings a steady stream of income and/or money to the plaintiff.
Advantages of Structured Settlements
So what makes structured settlements advantageous over lump sum amounts? Firstly, generally speaking, structured settlements are exempted from taxes under the U.S. Tax Code. While there are a few exceptions such as the interest that accrues, structured settlements are still the best tax efficient way of settling. Secondly, these arrangements are always assured so think of it as your regular salary. Thirdly, the structured settlements can be customized in a way that would fit the accuser’s situation. For example, it can be combined with a lump sum payment for immediate financial needs like medical bills.
How to Sell Structured Settlements
Yes, you can actually sell the structured settlement that was promised to you. This usually happens when the legal arrangement was already finalized and you are already almost a year into receiving the installment payments. When you have a pressing need for a large lump sum and all you have is your settlement, selling it is usually the best idea.
The process of having your structured settlement sold is relatively easy. Once you have chosen the company that you want to work with, submit the paperwork needed such as the annuity policy and settlement agreement. These documents will be counter checked and signed. A local attorney will then file and be heard in court. Most of the time, the judges approve the request of transfer especially if the action was justified well in the hearing. The judge then sends his decision to the insurance company to process the transaction. It usually takes more or less 45 days before you get the money wired to your account.
How to Choose the Right Structured Settlement Companies
There are a lot of structured settlement companies in the market right now. It is important that the company you will be working with is reputable and is not just a broker. For one, it should be thoroughly experienced in working with the appropriate judge and the completion of the court ordered process in transferring ownership of the agreement. Talk to their representatives and ask questions so that you will be enlightened. Look at reviews online. If there are a lot of negative complaints, that is a red flag. You may also check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.
The following are a few of the top structured settlement companies right now:
Not only has JG Wentworth have one of the best customer service out there, it is also incredibly popular among those who sell structured settlements because of its personalized solutions and free, no-obligation quotes.
Clients have praised SenecaOne for its customer services and its quick processing of the needed documents for court. It has a cash advance policy, which can be made even more efficient through its SimplyPaid™ Visa prepaid card.
Olive Branch Funding
This multi-branch structured settlement company, which has offices in New York, Nevada and Pennsylvania, has a vast experience in this particular niche in the legal/financial industry as it is its specialty. It is also unique as clients can request for a cash advance of up to 20 percent of the entire amount even while the court is still processing the transfer of ownership.
Those with structured settlements who need a big amount of cash immediately will find that selling it will be a great solution. So next time you have financial problems, you may want to pick up your phone and talk to the representative of your company.