Selling Structured Settlements

When you're looking into selling structured settlements there are a few things that you have to ask yourself.  You need to decide if it's a good long term decision to sell them, if you'll be financially stable later on without them, and who you're going to sell your structured settlement payments to.

Most importantly, you must decide whether or not you should sell all of your annuity payments, or just a few.  The easiest way to decide this is when you are facing a large expense or investment that has a fixed price.  It's totally understandable if you want to get a little bit more money than the cost of the investment, but it's usually not a good idea to cash the entire thing out.  Selling the entire structured settlement will jeopardize your financial future, unless you have a solid plan that will allow you keep getting paid for years to come.  If not, you may have to *gasp!* go get a job!!

Image courtesy AMagill via flickr.com
Image courtesy AMagill via flickr.com

When you are looking to get cash for your structured settlement annuity payments, it's extremely important to find a reputable buyer.  The buyers are usually firms dedicated to buying structured settlements or investment companies.  Either way, do a good amount of research before choosing a buyer.  There are measures in place that will help keep you from getting scammed, but in order to get the best rate you have to shop around.  It's a lot like car insurance, if you sign on with the first one you see you probably aren't getting the best deal.

Each structured settlement buyer has their own terms and rates, and it's very common for one to give you a much better deal than the next.  It's difficult to say what their rates are going to be because they fluctuate depending on the size of your annuity, how many payments you want to sell, and the number of payments left.  If you have a very long term annuity, you should expect to be charged a higher rate due to inflation of the dollar over time.  The payments toward the end of your term are going to be worth less than your current payment, even if the dollar amount remains the same.  Short terms and partial sales will result in a lower fee and faster processing.

When researching your structured settlement company be aware that not all websites are brokers and investors.  Many websites that you come across will be put up by people who will sell your information to the brokers and investors as "leads."  This is a common practice in the selling structured settlements industry.  The easy way to spot these sites is when the biggest thing on their home page is a contact form that is bigger than everything else on the site.  If you fill these out, expect lots of phone calls from investment companies.

Selling Your Structured Settlement

After you decide which company you want to work with and the number of payments you wish to sell, they will make you an offer for your annuity payments. After you agree on a price for your structured settlement payments you will go before a judge to get the deal approved. This helps prevent you from getting scammed on your structured settlement. Although, it's still your job to find a good deal to begin with. If the judge does not approve the deal, it's normally the broker's responsibility to draft a new deal, at their expense.

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