If you receive a structured settlement, you will be receiving a specific amount of money that is stretched out over a certain period of time. From a long-term perspective, this can be a good thing, as its presence will guarantee that you have some type of money coming in every month for the duration of that settlement. However, there may be times where that laid out time frame is simply not good enough. These times are typically ruled by somewhat harrowing financial troubles that may overwhelm you. Some of these unpleasant scenarios include:
- Unpaid medical bills
- Massive credit card debt
- Massive student loan debt
Fortunately, if you are in this situation, your structured settlement payments can be sold to a secondary buyer in exchange for a lump sum amount. This amount in turn can be used in order to climb out of a serious financial hole. In order to maximize the effectiveness of this kind of transaction, you must be willing to take a few steps.
The Process of Selling Before the Sale
The first step that you should take in selling your structured settlement payments is to learn all the odds and ends about your structured settlement as well as the overall structured settlement selling process. Get familiar with every detail regarding your structured settlement great and small; if something confuses you, seek the counsel of a financial advisor or an attorney rather than play a guessing game. Also, prepare yourself for legislation to get involved at one point. All but six states in the country have what is known as a Structured Settlement Protection Act on their books; this law dictates that any transaction that is made between you and a secondary buyer in relation to selling structured settlement payments is to be approved by a state court before the transaction can be finalized.
Research, Research, Research
Once you have a firm grasp on the ins and outs of your structured settlement, you should be prepared to hunker down and do plenty of research on secondary buyers. The industry that buys up structured settlements has grown exponentially in the last several years, meaning that there are an abundance of choices for you to make. Your best bet to navigate through all the selections is to treat the research like you would with any other non-retail business. Hit the internet to see what their reputation is on various review sites. Check out what their standing is with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau. Talk to friends and family members about the services that they may have used in the past (or are currently using). This process may take some time, but it is time well spent, considering that your money and your livelihood are the prime mover behind this decision.
Finally, once you do find a structured settlement buyer that is right for you and the transaction is approved by the courts, be prepared to play the waiting game. You will not receive your lump sum payment for at least thirty days, if not longer, so prepare and arrange your finances accordingly. That said, considering the financial relief that a lump sum payment may bring to you, it’s safe to say that it would be worth the wait.
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