Sell Structured Settlement FAQs

We answer the sell structured settlement FAQs at the top of everybody's list when they are thinking about cashing in their annuity payments.

If the question you want answered is not listed here, then please contact us for confidential, no-obligation advice.

Structured Settlement FAQs

1) What is involved in the process of selling my structured settlement?

2) How much money will I be able to get?

3) How long before I can get my cash?

4) Are there any legal hurdles to jump?

5) Will I have to do a lot of paperwork?

6) Can anybody stop me from selling?

7) I have already sold part of my settlement. Can I sell the rest?

8) What are the downsides to selling?

9) Should I consult my financial advisor or attorney?

10) Where can I get professional advice?

11)Can I add another person's name (such as a spouse, child or parent) to my structured settlement benefit check?

12) How do I change my structured settlement beneficiary?

13)What if my settlement agreement or annuity policy contains anti-sale or anti-assignment language? Can I still sell it?

14) Can I sell only a portion of my payments or do I have to sell it all at once?

15)What if I already sold some of my structured settlement payments before? Can I sell more of them now?

16)What do I do if my settlement check doesn't arrive? Do they usually arrive at the same time each month?

17)Do I have to keep my paperwork?

18)Why were structured settlements created?

19)Who decides how much the payments will be and what the payment terms are?

Answers To Structured Settlement FAQs

1) What is involved in the process of selling my structured settlement?
A) There is a ten-stage process involved. You will need the approval of a judge and your insurance company. (Don't worry if the insurer tells you there is a no-sell clause; this is usually not an issue.) Further reading: Selling structured settlements: step-by-step guide

2) How much money will I be able to get?
A) There is no single answer to this question. Each structured settlement is different. The amount you can get will be based on the total settlement value, the number of payments remaining, and the discount rate available from your insurance company. The only way to answer this question is to contact us for a no-onligation quotation.

3) How long before I can get my cash?
A) The entire structured settlements sales process can take between 45 and 90 days, depending on your circumstances and the individual case.

4) Are there any legal hurdles to jump?
A) The judge must be convinced that cashing in your settlement is the right action for you. Normally he will allow it. A history of drug or alcohol addiction, or a gambling addiction, could be reasons for the judge refusing your request. 

5) Will I have to do a lot of paperwork?
No. Your structured settlement broker will be able to take care of that for you. There will be lots of papers to sign, but the hard work will be covered by your broker.

6) Can anybody stop me from selling?
As long as you are the legal owner of the settlement (the beneficiary of the agreement), and the settlement is not held in a legal trust which denies you the right to sell, then nobody can stop you if you want to sell structured insurance settlements. The judge may refuse your request to sell, but usually only if you have a history of addiction.

7) I have already sold part of my settlement. Can I sell the rest?
In most cases, yes. It depends on the remaining balance of your annuity. Without details of your case, we can't answer this questions. Contact us for a confidential consultation.

8) What are the downsides to selling?
Long-term, you will receive more money if you do not exchange cash for your annuity payment. However, this knowledge does not provide much peace of mind if you find yourself in dire financial difficulties, and need cash urgently. If in doubt, consult your financial advisor.

9) Should I consult my financial advisor or attorney?
Absolutely. Never make such a vital decision without consulting your trusted financial advisors. Your attorney will also be able to inform you of your right to sell, or absence of right to sell, if the annuity was inherited and its sale is prevented by a trust.

10) Where can I get professional advice?
Contact Direct Settlement for more answers to your questions. We promise never to divulge information to any other party. Absolute discretion is guaranteed.

11)Can I add another person's name (such as a spouse, child or parent) to my structured settlement benefit check?
If you have not yet sold your settlement, then the annuity company that makes your payments most likely will only make the checks payable to a single person - you. However, you may have options for giving your payments to someone else. You should contact your annuity company directly to ask them about their policy. However, when it comes to selling your structured settlement payments Direct Settlement may be able to make the check payable to someone else, depending upon your situation. Contact us to discuss it.

12)How do I change my structured settlement beneficiary?
It is extremely important that you designate a beneficiary for your structured settlement. This is the person who would receive your payments if something happened to you. It is also important that you update your beneficiary whenever you have a serious life change, such as marriage or divorce. To change your beneficiary simply call your annuity company. They can direct you to a website to change your beneficiary or will send you a simple form to fill out.

13)What if my settlement agreement or annuity policy contains anti-sale or anti-assignment language? Can I still sell it?
Some structured settlements may contain wording called "anti-assignment" or "anti-sale" language. This wording may seem to suggest that you cannot sell your structured settlement for a lump sum. For example, your structured settlement paperwork may say something such as, "Recipient may not accelerate, defer, increase or decrease their payments. Neither may such payments be anticipated, sold, assigned or encumbered." This language does not necessarily limit your ability to sell your payments. Federal law requires that a judge approve all structured settlement sales. The judge may decide to overturn such "anti-sale" language and allow you to sell your settlement. Even if the language in your settlement paperwork seems to be very clear, a judge may still allow the sale. Contact us today and we can help you assess your specific situation.

14)Can I sell only a portion of my payments or do I have to sell it all at once?
Yes, you can choose to sell part of your payments for a lump sum of cash. If you do this you will continue to receive payments for the balance you are owed. So, the choice is yours - sell all of your settlement or just sell enough of it to satisfy your immediate financial needs. Read what the experts are saying regarding selling structured settelments.And contact us today for details

15)What if I already sold some of my structured settlement payments before? Can I sell more of them now?
When you decide to sell your structured settlement you can choose to sell all or part of your settlement funds. So, maybe in the past you already sold some of your payments because you needed just a bit of money to get by. Now, something else has changed in your life and you need to sell more, or the entire remaining balance of your settlement payments. That's fine. You can sell some of or all of your remaining payments at any time. Contact Direct Settlement and we can provide you a quote on your remaining settlement balance.

16)What do I do if my settlement check doesn't arrive? Do they usually arrive at the same time each month?
Most annuity companies - that is the bank or insurance company who sends you your structured settlement checks - are very reliable. They generally send checks out on the same day each month, or the same time each quarter. Thus, it is unlikely that your check will not be sent out on time. Of course, sometimes the postal system can run slow, checks get lost in the mail or problems happen. If you have been regularly receiving checks and suddenly one check does not show up when you expect it to, just wait a couple of days. Most likely the check has just been delayed. However, if more than a few days go by you should contact your annuity company to ensure that there is not an unexpected problem. Also, if you are still waiting for your first payment, be sure to ask the annuity company when you should expect it. If you do not receive it within two days of the date they tell you, them call them to ask about it; do not wait. Feel free to call Direct Settlement and we will answer any questions that we can.

17)Do I have to keep my paperwork?
Yes, you should consider all of your structured settlement paperwork to be important legal documents. Treat them as you would any tax documentation, keeping all paperwork for at least seven years after the last settlement payment is made. Similarly, if you decide to sell your structured settlement, keep your sales papers in a safe place.

18)Why were structured settlements created?
Before 1982, most law suits were settled with a lump sum payment. However, for many people receiving a lump sum of money all at one time was not easy to manage. For most people the money that the court awarded was intended to cover years - perhaps a lifetime - of medical or emotional treatment. Other people were injured to the point of perhaps not being able to work. Thus, the point of the financial award was to help meet the plaintiffs' medical and living financial needs for a long period of time - perhaps their entire life. Unfortunately, many people had difficulty managing their money and would run out of money, leaving themselves no way to pay their medical and living expenses. So, the United States Congress passed the Periodic Payment Settlement Act of 1982, which called for structured settlements (that is periodic payments rather than a large sum) to be awarded in most personal injury cases.

19)Who decides how much the payments will be and what the payment terms are?
The judge decides how much money you will be awarded and whether it will be a lump sum or a structured settlement. Then, the plaintiff and defendant (or their lawyers) work together to decide the terms. Usually they consider medical bills, living expenses and other concerns when arranging the payment terms. Often, one or both parties hire a structured settlement broker to assist with deciding terms and making the annuity investment which will fund the payments.

If the question you want answered is not listed in our structured settlement FAQs, then please contact us for confidential, no-obligation advice.

Further Reading

MENU: Sell Structured Settlement
Advice and articles about turning your regular structured settlement payments into a lump sum of cash.

MENU: Structured Settlement Investment
The financial choices, benefits and risks of cashing in your settlement to re-invest in other ventures.

MENU: What Are Annuities?
If you're wondering what annuities are, these articles explain in simple terms.

MENU: Structured Settlement Loan
Need cash, but don't want to sell the balance of your structured settlement? A structured settlement loan could be the answer.

CONTACT: Confidential answers to strucured settlement questions
Everybody has questions. Direct Settlement is here to provide the answers you need, no strings attached. Click to ask yours.
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