If you were a claimant in a lawsuit and were awarded monetary damages, you may have agreed to a structure settlement instead of one large lump sum payment. This payment provides regular installment payments to you over time. This type of financial agreement has many advantages and was beneficial to you at the time that it was set up. However, it is possible that circumstances changed, and you need a large lump sum payment to meet new financial obligations. It is possible to sell your settlement amount and the best way to do that is through a broker.
If you are currently receiving installment payments because you agreed to a settlement, and now you are in need of a greater sum of cash, you can sell your structured settlement and receive structured settlement cash. You can choose to sell the entire structured settlement for one lump sum minus the fee that will be charged to complete the deal by a structured settlement broker, or you can sell only a portion of the structured settlement. In that case, you will continue to receive installment payments for the monetary amount that remains part of the structured settlement. You will receive a lump sum payment for the part of the structured settlement that you sell.
When you get structured settlement cash, it is like getting an advance on the money that is owed to you. The broker charges a fee for his services that can range from 10% to 50% of the money you want advanced. However, even though you are receiving your money at a discounted rate, you now have the use of that money immediately.
Personal injury lawsuits often involve settlements for very large sums of cash. Cases involving medical malpractice and wrongful death can often have settlements that range in amount from six to seven figures. These large settlements can have major tax ramifications so it is beneficial to the claimant to receive these funds in installment payments over time. Structured settlement payments spread over time involve little or no tax at all. In addition, installment payments guarantee a steady flow of income on a regular basis. Many individuals find it easier to manage money in installments rather than receiving a large lump sum all at once.
Circumstances in your life can change, and you may find that the amount of money you receive on a regular basis from the structured settlement does not allow you to meet your obligations on larger bills such as the purchase of a new house or education expenses. If you receive structured settlement cash in a large lump sum, it will make it possible for you to meet these new financial obligations. In addition, you may notice that the installment payment amount is not keeping up with inflation, and you may decide that receiving cash now is better than receiving installment payments in the future.
If you decide that selling your settlement money is in your best interest, you need to find a reputable broker who can help you through the process. A broker acts as a consultant, provides an assessment, prepares calculations and plays an active role during negotiations to sell the structured settlement. The information that a good broker provides during negotiations helps both sides reach an equitable agreement.
To help the claimant, the broker prepares a financial analysis and then determines the present value cost of the settlement. He or She provides expert support and information in calculations involving Medicaid and SSI as well as issues involving income tax. Because a great deal of financial expertise is required, apart from the brokers help your accountant or bank would be a good source for a recommendation.
As you work with a structured settlement broker, you should find out what the total cost of selling the settlement payment will be and how long it will take to sell the same. It is important for you to have multiple deals to choose from so make sure your broker can provide details about multiple opportunities. This will help insure that you are getting the best deal possible. Throughout this selling process, it is vitally important that the channels of communication between you and your broker be open. You should be able to communicate with your broker easily and often, if necessary.
You should retain the services of a qualified broker who is registered with the United States Department of Justice. These settlements are set up by the courts and each state has its own laws. In addition, there are federal guidelines that must be followed under the tax code. You can receive structured settlement cash when you sell your structured settlement, but the process requires court approval. Complicated transactions like selling a structured settlement should always be reviewed by an attorney who will represent your best interests.
It is important to research the broker’s qualifications and experience. The broker you choose should be registered with the United States Department of Justice and be affiliated with at least one insurance company. The Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice actually publishes a “List of Annuity Brokers Who Meet Minimum Qualifications for Providing Annuity Brokerage Services in Connection with these settlements. The list for any specified year is in effect until it is replaced by another update. This list of brokers is alphabetical by their last name and provides the city and state where they are located.