Have you been injured recently? Wondering how to sell a structured settlement? Many people happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And worse, they end up injured in all kinds of ways. Fortunately, American law allows you to go on trial and exercise your rights.
Did you sue, and win? If so, you may have agreed to a structured settlement. Structured settlements are used in the United States, as well as other countries such as England, Canada, and Australia. Money is paid over time, and under agreed-upon conditions by both parties. Indeed, this type of settlement comes with many advantages. One of these is that it speeds up the entire lawsuit and it helps both parties reach the conclusion faster and easier. Structured settlements are used in a variety of cases, from personal injury lawsuits to mass torts and others.
But what exactly is a structured settlement and how to sell one? Read on to discover key facts and information about a topic of high interest nowadays.
What Is a Structured Settlement?
In a civil lawsuit, there’s a defendant, the one that is being sued, and a plaintiff, the one that is filing the lawsuit. The defendant might have injured or hurt the plaintiff, the person who started the court proceeding. Lawsuits can sometimes take years to interrogate the witnesses, review proof, and so on. As a result, many civil lawsuits reach a structured settlement.
This means that there’s a negotiation between both parties that, together, agree on the terms of a structured settlement. The defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff a sum of money over a few months or years. The greatest advantage of a structured settlement is that it provides financial security over a while. On top of that, the tax liability is usually negligible. As a result, you get to keep almost the entire settlement. So, for the injured party, structured settlements come with the financial security they need.
But what if you need a large sum of cash right now? As surprising as it may sound, you can sell your structured settlement to a factoring company and get immediate cash. Below you will find some key information about the selling of structured settlement payments and what things you need to consider when you do this.
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The Process of Selling a Structured Settlement
Selling a structured settlement can seem a challenging process to go through, especially because there are many milestones to meet. The most important thing that one should keep in mind when someone decides to sell a structured payment is that the judge needs to approve it. Usually, the judge will consider a few key details about the one that wants to sell a structured settlement.
For example, future financial obligations, life expectancy, or living expenses are among the criteria a judge will analyze. Usually, it grants permission for selling but in case someone does not have really good reasons for selling the structured settlement, they will reject it.
Different state laws apply, so depending on them, the process could take longer. Moreover, some states do not allow for selling a structured settlement. As a result, you will need to review your state law before starting the process.
Choose an attorney or financial advisor (i.e. a CPA) that offers experience in the structured settlement market with the whole process. This way, your rights are protected the whole time.
So, what are the steps someone needs to go through to sell a structured settlement? How exactly can someone do this?
How to Sell a Structured Settlement – 5 Steps
There is no right or wrong way in this process, but there are a few steps one could consider and go through that will make it easier.
Good Reasons for Selling
The first and most important step is to decide whether you have a good enough reason to sell. The judge will review the criteria when deciding whether to grant someone permission to sell a structured payment or not. Remeber, a structured settlement was negotiated, it was for good of the plaintiff. Because of the injury or harm, the plaintiff requires financial stability over time as they may not be able to perform the duties, or work that they used to.
For a judge to grant someone permission to sell their structured settlement, they need to come up with good enough reasons. Indeed, selling a structured settlement should not impact the sellers’ future financial security.
Finding a Factoring Company
The next step is to find a factoring company or settlement buyer that is reputable. Search for “factoring companies” for prospective buyers. Then, choose one that understands the situation you’re in, and can commit to protecting your best interests. One tip that would help someone sell their structured settlement to someone they trust is to contact the BBB.org to see if the factoring company has any complaints.
Contacting the Company or Buyer
Many factoring companies buy structured settlements. However, finding the best one can be hard. But for sure there will be one or two that stand out from the crowd. So, the next step would be to contact the factoring company with your request. You can expect to submit paperwork, such as the settlement agreement, at the very least. The factoring company will check the documents. And then, they may agree to buy the structured settlement – or not.
Once you find a factoring company that agrees to buy your structured settlement, then the next step is to get the judge’s approval. Your attorney would file the paperwork, which all parties will sign. Depending on the schedule and availability of the judge, you will get a hearing date. The judge will want to know the reasons for selling and will examine all the paperwork to understand the terms of the agreement. Moreover, the judge will also analyze the financial stability of the seller and the prospective impact selling could have on the financial security of both the seller and their family.
Obtaining the Money
If the judge approves the application, (you) the plaintiff will then send the order to the factoring company. And then, there is just a matter of time until the funds arrive in your account. The entire process of selling a structured settlement could take from 45 to 60 days at least, so it is important to be patient.
Selling a structured settlement might seem a complicated process. But, by following these steps, anyone can do it successfully. The key is getting the judge’s approval to sell your structured settlement.