For most beneficiaries of structured settlements, there are options available to convert the annuity payments into a lump sum of cash. Many individuals that won a lawsuit accepted a structured settlement annuity as their award in the case. However, over time their lifestyle or condition has changed, where the monthly or annual payments are not enough to cover ongoing expenses and medical bills. They find themselves seeking an annuity buyer that will help them convert the remaining worth of their annuity into cash.
Originally, the courts most likely accepted the offer of an annuity payment in lieu of a lump sum of cash to benefit the claimant that won the award. As a way to ensure an ongoing source of income in the years ahead, the judge agreed to a structured settlement. Many times, the courts are eager to allow structured settlements as a way to avoid specific problems when the claimant in the case receives large amounts of money that include:
Sometimes, the structured settlement annuity is simply not enough to meet monthly expenses. Although the annuity offers an income it might not be enough to provide a lifetime of financial security. Often, seeking an annuity buyer is the best option for converting a structured settlement into one large payment, or to sell off a certain portion of the annuity and have the remainder continue to provide a monthly check.
For most people, the choice of taking an annuity payout seems to make plenty of sense on the surface. Whether your annuity is from lottery winnings or a life insurance policy, it offers long-term financial security and stability, right? That’s the theory, at any rate. By taking annuity payments, you’re guaranteed a specific amount of income over a set period of time, which allows you to plan for the future and not have to worry that you will be completely bereft of income. However, life has a way of changing things so that annuity payments don’t always work the way you anticipate.
Why cash out an annuity? Many people find that one reason they need that money right now is so they can pay off mounting bills – medical or otherwise. A simple medical problem can cause havoc with your finances and while those annuity payments will help pay off your bills over time, there’s nothing they can do about your immediate need. This is particularly true in situations where you might have lost your job and creditors are hounding you, or your mortgage company is threatening you with foreclosure. Those annuity payments only offer so much help.
The real issue here is how to cash out your annuity. What should you do? You can’t just go to the bank and ask for money upfront. Technically, all the money remaining to you is held by the payer – it’s officially theirs until they have to pay it to you, despite your annuity agreement. You do have options, though. There are companies that will buy your annuity in exchange for a lump sum of money. This gives you access to almost all of your funds right away, to use as you see fit. You can pay bills, repair your home, repair your car (or get a new one), or put the money towards your children’s education.
When it comes to the world of structured settlements, there’s only one authority you need to know about – the National Structured Settlements Trade Association. What is this organization and what is their role in the industry? Why do you need to know who they are and what they represent? If you’re about to start receiving or are already the recipient of a structured settlement, then knowing this organization is important.
The National Structured Settlements Trade Association has been around for quite some time – it was founded in 1984, a year after the US tax code changes that made structured settlements much more common. The organization was created to help benefit individuals working within the structured settlement industry, including attorneys, consultants, insurance professionals and others. Currently, the organization represents almost 1,200 members across the nation.
The National Structured Settlements Trade Association is dedicated to a strict code of ethics and excellence in performance. They uphold integrity and fidelity, competence in service, fairness, honesty and due care. Of course, they are also dedicated to professionalism for all those they represent, as well as the confidentiality of all information in settlement cases on the part of their members.