This is a guest article by Evan McTavish. If you are interested in contributing to Debt RoundUp, please follow our guidelines.
There are a number of reasons someone might consider selling their structured settlement for cash, including to get out of debt, reinvest for a larger payback, or to help pay for a medical emergency. However, once you have done the necessary due diligence to know if selling is right for you, the next step is seeking a buyer. The most common investors who deal with the purchase of your settlement or annuity are known as structural settlement companies, and these are the seven most important things they should be and do for you.
- Has Proven Qualifications- Every qualified settlement company will be licensed, bonded, and insured against loss. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is always a good place to start looking up specific information. In addition, any company that has been in business for ten years or longer, should be instantly boosted towards the top of your list.
- Comes Highly Recommended- Consumer reviews are a quick way to get an overview of how satisfied their clients have been with their level of service. Read these carefully, however, to see if the negative reviews are due to unrelated issues beyond the companies control (misused money, judge would not agree to their request, etc.) One place to seek a recommendation is through a local lawyer who is knowledgeable about the industry.
- Has a Competitive Quote- Seeking a quote from several sources will give you a better idea of the value of your particular structured settlement. You may also receive a lot of “free” advice during the preliminary discussions, which may prove helpful down the road. Keep in mind, these quotes are not always set in stone. Some companies start high, and leave room for negotiating in the future.
- Offers More Than Just a Low Quote- There is more at stake then just getting the lowest rate when it comes to your structured settlement. A high quality company will want to give you the best deal, but also make sure that their efforts are rewarded appropriately. What you want to pay particular attention to, is not just how much money the company promises to get you, but also the fees they will be charging throughout the process.
- Gives Personal Attention- One structured settlement plan will not fit all. A qualified settlement company will take the time to get to know your situation before throwing out a number and/or promise. They will explain the process, listen to your expectations, answer any questions you may have, and customize a plan that meets your requirements as closely as possible.
- Features a Turn-key Process- A structured settlement should have the capability to not only advise you, but also purchase your settlement. In other words, you should be paying for a turnkey process, in which they will be and do everything that you need. Avoid ‘marketing’ companies who merely collect your information, and then sell your case over to the highest bidder.
- Deal Includes a Closing Date Guarantee- A lot of structured settlements try to set themselves apart by advertising they offer the “fastest payments.” Unfortunately, all companies are regulated by the same state and federal laws, which means they are limited to how fast they can move things along. With that said, a qualified company will give you a time frame (closing date guarantee) as to when to expect payment, and will have the staff to get it done (won’t be outsourced to another company). Beware of “interest drag,” in which a company purposely delays closing, in order to leverage interest rates to their favor.
Author Bio: Evan McTavish is a client manager at My Structured Settlement Cash.
Main photo via buddawiggi