In an ideal world, you would never have to worry about unexpected expenses such as home repairs or medical bills. You would never have to choose between feeding your family and getting a costly medical procedure. Unfortunately, every day people are faced with similar decisions. Sometimes their only option may be to sell their structured settlement annuity payments for a cash lump sum. While the decision to sell should not be taken lightly, occasionally sellers make costly mistakes that could be devastating to their financial future.
Some of the biggest mistakes made include:
Not doing your homework– Research the funding company by checking with the Attorney General’s Office in your state or look them up on the Better Business Bureau’s website to ensure there are no complaints about them.
Getting it in writing – Get a concrete offer in writing. If the company you are talking to won’t put it in writing go elsewhere. Reputable firms put their offers in writing and won’t give you the run-around.
Not deferring payments – Sometimes you need a small amount of money to get back on your feet such as money to move or start a business. You can defer selling your payments for several years, which allows you to get the cash now but your periodic payments won’t be reduced until later.
Only talking to one funding company – If you only talk to one company you may not get your best offer. It pays to shop around and not rush into a transaction with the first or only offer you receive.
Going with someone you don’t feel comfortable with – If your representative avoids your calls, gives you the run-around or doesn’t take the time to explain things to you they may not be the right company. Go with a company that provides you with excellent customer service and treats you with the respect you deserve.
Remember, selling your future structured settlement payments requires court approval. This process takes time and will vary from state to state. No funding company, no matter how big they are, can speed up the courts or get you your money immediately. Keep a clear head and do not let emotions to cloud your judgment.