Structured settlement advances are a common topic among former plaintiffs who had accepted a structured settlement in lieu of a lump sum following a successful court case.
Before we answer this question, it is important you are clear about your current situation because how the detailed answer applies to you depends upon this.
• Someone not looking to sell your structured settlement at all?
• Someone considering selling part or all of their structured settlement (but not yet committed)?
• Someone committed to selling and ready to research structured settlement buyers?
Be aware that the answer that follows only applies to those people at least open to the idea of selling their future payments. The terms of these legal agreements are set in stone and you cannot renegotiate them. If you don’t sell your structured settlement, a cash advance will only be possible if it was actually written into the original agreement.
So, presuming you are open to the idea of selling your structured settlement to a buyer…
The short answer is yes!
The good news for anyone interested in selling their structured settlements on the secondary market is that, thanks to the Structured Settlement Protection Act, their rights to obtain cash for structured settlements are upheld in law. Even in states which do not have their own protection act (and the vast majority do), structured settlement recipients are protected by the laws of the state where the insuring company is located.
There are plenty of structured settlement buyers, including New Leaf Structured Settlements, who offer cash advances so it is just a case of finding one that meets your needs.
Later in this article we will cover the seven precautions you should always take before signing a contract with a buyer. However, before that you should think hard about whether selling your structured settlement is the right course of action for you in the first place.
Should you sell your structured settlement at all?
If you are still undecided about whether to sell your structured settlement (and even if you are committed to the process), it is worth understanding that there are cons as well as pros.
First, you are giving up a certain amount of future security. The terms your lawyer initially negotiated will have taken into account your expected present and future financial needs. If your situation hasn’t changed, you need to think very carefully about whether your need for a cash advance is genuinely in your best interests. If not, the court will probably deny the sale anyway so you need to be honest.
However, for many people, their circumstances have changed enough to warrant the access to a lump sum of cash. In this case, a court is likely to approve the sale.
The other major disadvantage is that the lump sum you receive will be discounted so you won’t be getting the full value of your award. Discount rates vary and should form a large part in your decision over who to sell to.
Why Americans sell their future income streams?
Why do Americans decide to give up part of their future security for an immediate cash injection?
Broadly, there are negative and positive motivators. Negative motivators might include emergency car repairs or debt. The compound nature of debt means that it can start spiraling out of control unless urgent measures are taken. A cash advance from a sold structured settlement can provide that lifeline.
More positive motivators are funding a college course, making a down payment on a house or starting or investing into a business. Other positive factors might include an expected increase in future payments or reduction in expenses due to changed circumstances. Perhaps you are able to work longer than was initially expected or you no longer need to buy replacement wheelchairs due to a medical improvement.
Providing the benefits of early access to cash outweigh the reduction in future security, the court will usually find in your favor.
Why are cash advances on structured settlement payments so popular?
The above situations explain why you might want to sell your structured settlement but why would you need an advance on the monies?
Simply put, the transfer of assets from you to the buyer is a legal process which means it inevitably takes a long time. How long? This can vary wildly but the fastest transactions usually take a month at least. Others might drag on for a quarter of a year or more.
Without a cash advance, some structured settlement sellers would face weeks without the use of a car for work, months of extra debt interest or the loss of an investment opportunity.
In our experience, people who want a lump sum in lieu of structured settlement payments need the money yesterday.
Despite the urgency, it is important to do your due diligence prior to selling your valuable asset.
Before you sell: 7 precautions you must take
To help you make a wise decision on who to sell your structured settlement to, we have come up with seven issues you should address before signing any paperwork:
- Do you need top sell all of your structured settlement? Partial sales are possible and may be a better course of action if you need to preserve some future security.
- What is the discount rate offered? Can you get a better deal elsewhere?
- Does your chosen buyer charge interest or fees on a cash advance? How much are these?
- How and when will the repayment of the advance be collected? New Leaf Structured Settlements deduct advances directly from the final lump sum.
- For those companies which deduct the repayment from your bank, what happens if the funds aren’t there?
- How large an advance is available to you?
- How soon can the advance be in your bank account?
Why you should consider a cash advance from New Leaf Structured Settlements
We at New Leaf Structured Settlements are confident that we can provide our clients with a cash advance within 24 hours of them signing the sales contract for their guaranteed or life contingent structured settlements. In many cases, we can even have the funds over to them the very same day.
In fact, we’re so sure we can achieve this deadline that we will pay out a further $1,000 on top of the negotiated lump sum if we are late.
Our cash advance payment options are also very flexible. Depending on what our clients prefer we are able to send a check, wire the money to a bank or even top up a pre-paid card.
Having read through this article, if you are convinced that you need a structured settlement advance, your next steps are, as follows:
- Get a quote from a reputable structured settlement buyer. We recommend you take up the free quote offer from New Leaf Structured Settlements.
- When you’re happy with your choice of buyer, sign the contract.
- Fill out all the necessary paperwork and collect together any ID and other documents requested.
- Arrange a court hearing to obtain court approval.
If this process seems daunting, don’t worry. Most reputable companies offering money for structured settlements will hold your hand through the process.
We look forward to speaking with you and wowing you with our highly competitive structured settlement advance guarantee.