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Structured Settlements: Who Will Buy Structured Settlements?

Updated on June 2, 2011

As a structured settlement payment recipient interested in the possibility of selling those payments for a large lump sum of cash, one of the first questions you'll be faced with is:

  • Who will buy structured settlements?
  • Who are the companies who buy structured settlements who pay cash in exchange for annuity payments?
  • And how can you feel confident about the structured settlement buyer that you choose?

These are all very important questions to consider; and you are right to think about them now, and not simply deal with the first structured settlement buyer that comes along. By doing your due diligence from the start, you assure yourself of a positive outcome—one that considers your needs and gives you a level of confidence and security, knowing that you are dealing with a forthright structured settlement company.

Parties Who Buy Structured Settlements

There are many companies who buy structured settlements in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and in other countries of the world where the practice of restitution via annuity payments has been adopted. Around the world these structured settlement companies go by many names.

You may find them describing themselves by such names as settlement funders, settlement investors, settlement capital corporations, funding partners, annuity purchasers, or any other number of names. You will also find them as divisions of larger investment and funding houses, such as those who may offer stock-market investing and the like. What's in the name is of less concern than what is behind it—the company behind the pretty title that will actually buy structured settlements.

What is behind the title of the structured settlement buyer is a third-party investor. This should be a legal entity who will buy structured settlement payments and deliver to you a set amount of money, usually in one large lump sum, but sometimes dispersed in a few or several larger timed payments (how you receive structured settlement buyout monies depends on the plan that you negotiate with the funder). As mentioned, this third-party may be a large and recognizable investment house, or it may be a smaller corporation, wealthy investor, or group of capital funders who have come together for the express purpose of investing their monies by buying annuity payments. This party will not be an insurance company or annuity fund such as that which settled with you or is responsible for your payments—this is a new party who will work with you and will receive your payments later on.

Qualities Of A Good Buyer Who Will Buy Structured Settlement Payments

Whether a buyer of structured settlement payments is a single individual funding the sale or a large corporation, there should be some characteristics and qualifications that are beyond repute. The company you choose to buy structured settlements from you should be a company with a legally recognized structure, should have a good track record, including success with court approvals (which indicates fair disclosure practices and fair dealings), and should be able to provide enough proof to show that they have the means to fund your transaction. Beyond these basic qualities, there are others things that you should look for when choosing a partner to buy structured settlements, and legal responsibilities that all buyers are obligated to by law (although the laws do vary from state to state and country to country).

Two Sides To Consider When Looking For Someone to Buy Structured Settlements

If you are skeptical of the idea of selling structured settlement payments, you are not alone; and you do have cause to be. Selling your annuity payments is serious and will have several financial consequences which could be either good or bad, depending on your situation. Notably, selling structured settlements is not the right choice for all annuity beneficiaries, but it is a very good opportunity to access needed cash in many circumstances. It should also be noted that certain organizations, such as the National Structured Settlements Trade Association, have publicized the fact that a number of media and organizations have called attention to the practices of some sellers. The Association is not necessarily saying that it is a bad idea to sell your annuity payments, but that the process does certainly require that buyer (or in this case seller) beware.

The option to have a third party buy structured settlements presents a very useful financial opportunity for many annuity recipients. This is a practice that can be put to very good use when handled properly with a reputable annuity payment buyer; but it is also one with the potential for problems. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly or gone into in haste. Selling structured settlement payments requires patience, due diligence, and most of all the choice of an upstanding annuity buyer. The path to finding that elusive person or company who will buy structured settlements starts with learning the real first stage basics about who will buy structured settlements, and continues with learning what your options are and how to find the right funding partner for you.

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      Tiffany 5 years ago

      Nice write up. This is like you stated not something everyone should be doing. NSSTA and courts have been cracking down on unfairs rates and too many people selling something that they should have kept or gotten better rates on. Selling is not for everyone but there are cases were you selling might help your situation. You need to review your particular situation very carefully and get help if you need to. There are a lot of companies out there that will buy them from JG Wentworth, Peachtree, and

    • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

      Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

      rb11 - I've never come across that, never seen a percentage cap mentioned in any of the research.  What I do know, at least in the US, is that most states require that the package be approved by a court, and that is where the protection comes in--a high percentage would probably flag the court to something amiss.  The courts and laws also protect consumer rights by requiring settlement buyers to allow the seller to take their offer to a third party for an unbiased, third-party evaluation.  That could be an attorney, accountant, other buyer, etc, or even more than one of those.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Informative thanks

    • rb11 profile image

      rb11 8 years ago from Las Vegas

      Interesting increase in advertising seen in this area. Is there a legal limit on the settlement percentage the company can offer a person? Some sort of protection for the client? Regards..