What a Structured Settlement Is and Why Some Plaintiffs Opt to Sell Their Future Payments?
|Senior couple signing financial contract (Photo credit: SalFalko)|
As you probably know, people who get injured in various accidents usually receive a structured settlement. This is actually a monetary compensation paid by the insurance company in a stream of fixed installments over time. Such financial agreements typically arise as the result of a lawsuit from various personal injury cases, like traffic accidents, medical malpractice, work related injuries, wrongful death and some others. There may be also cases with no relation to personal injuries, like legal malpractice, worker's compensation, commercial cases, etc. However, in any of these circumstances the entire amount of monetary award assigned to a plaintiff is spread out over some time period and distributed in the form of monthly, quarterly or annual payments, rather than in a single lump sum.
Of course, any structured settlement owned may become an excellent source of substantial additional income. Though many structured settlement holders who face sudden life circumstances change and unforeseen financial burdens, find that they need pretty much more cash than their periodic payments provide. There is also a group of plaintiffs who consider it rather stressful and inconvenient to be tied up to the inflexible schedule of small periodic payments and, therefore, wish to unlock their future payments and get access to their legal money in full now to use it however they need: either to eliminate current financial obligations or meet some short-term or long-term goals.
For both groups of structured settlement recipients turning their future payments into a lump sum of cash is definitely the most deliberate choice. Since 1988, it has become legal to sell structured settlements, annuities, insurance policies and some other related financial agreements in US in return for a lump sum of cash. In such a way, funding companies, also known as settlement funders, have quickly emerged on the asset-backed market. They are dedicated to accomplish such transactions allowing payment recipients to gain absolute control over their finances.
The truth is that many plaintiffs hesitate to sell their structured settlements, even when facing the dire need in cash, mainly influenced by a rather widespread opinion that a settlement sale transaction may dramatically reduce their monetary reward. But what actually happens with your money when you sell your future payments to a funding company? How much is your structured settlement worth in fact? What should you do in order to get most cash for your settlement or is it still wiser to keep to the initial payment schedule with small periodic installments coming over time? Let's clean the air on these rather crucial questions for each and every plaintiff.
Roots of the Misconception
Indeed, there is a strong belief that getting maximum cash after selling a structured settlement is no more than a myth and a plaintiff would get a dramatically reduced amount of his/her money. In fact, settlement sale transactions owe their bad reputation to non-direct funders. Unfortunately, there are some funding companies on the asset-backed market that partner with intermediate brokers and use some third-party assistance.
They typically require certain fees for their services, and it is rather obvious, that every broker in this chain will cut off a piece of your monetary award. As longer this chain is, as less money you may expect to get. And like many other promises and guarantees connected with third-party companies, adequate settlement cash payouts may also turn to be just an illusion.
When Getting Maximum Cash is Real
But the situation may go the whole different way, if you are dealing with a direct funder. Established and reputable funding companies operate typically as direct funders avoiding any intermediate brokers during the whole transaction process. While applying various solid financial and legal instruments, they are able to provide plaintiffs with maximum cash advances for their structured or annuity settlements. When you hand in all related papers, their financial consultants will determine the value of your settlement and tailor a package meeting all your specific needs and goals.
It's also worth to point out that an established settlement funding company imperatively submits every single transfer agreement directly to the local court for review to ensure that the proposed cash payout option is in the best possible interest of a plaintiff and a purchasing company works in the fullest compliance with both state and federal laws.
In such a way, whether getting maximum cash for your structured settlement is an illusion or reality is the matter of your deliberate choice only. If you would like to share your personal experience of cashing out future settlement payouts, feel free to do that in the comments below.
Derek Wrend is a PR manager at OzarkFunding - a settlement funding company offering the maximum lumpsum of cash for structured settlements.