Who has not dreamt of winning the lottery or some big lawsuit? Most of us have fantasized about coming into a large amount of money and what we would do if that happened. Would we quit our jobs? Surprisingly, almost half of all lottery winners keep working after they hit that jackpot. What many people may not realize is that most lotteries and lawsuit settlments are paid out over time. For example, if you win the Mega Millions jackpot and it is worth $50 million. You would get one payment of about $750,000 and the a yearly payment for nearly 30 years (each check would be about 5% more than the one before it). That is not bad but what if you need that money sooner? There are companies out there that will pay cash for structured settlement or lottery payments.
How You Can Get Cash for Your Settlemennt.
- Make sure you need to sell. You need to make sure selling your annuity to get cash for structured settlement is the best option for you. Not only should you do this for yourself but it will be required by the court. A judge has to approve all sales of structured settlements or annuity settlements. Carefully go over your finances with someone you trust. Common reasons for selling include: avoiding bankruptcy, paying medical bills, stating a busiess and paying for college. Others can range from buying a dream home to just investing your money better.
- Find a reputable company to buy your annuity. When you are looking to get cash for structured settlement, you have a lot of options of places to go to sell. Ask your friends and family and find out if they have sold an annuity. You would be surprised how many people have. For example, at the start of 2014, deferred annuity contracts were worth more than $2.58 trillion. That corrsponds to about 35 million people receiving these payments. You probably know someone who has gone through the process. Find out who they used, what kind of settlement they sold and what their experience was like.
- Research the companies online. When you have found a few companies, look into what current and former clients say about them. Look for reviews on Yelp and Facebook. Check their websites and see if they have listed any testimonials. Remember that people are far more likely to leave a complaint than to register a compliment so weigh the reviews you find accordingly.
- Get everything in writing. No matter how reputable the company you find to buy your settlement is, you still need to get everything in writing. Never is the saying “better safe than sorry” more true than when dealing with selling a structured settlement. You may want to consider selling only part of your annuity. You have a lot of options, make sure you understand all of them before you sign anything.
- Go to court. You have to have the sale approved by the court. The judge will want to know that you understand all of the raminifications of the sale and have a good reason for doing it. If you work on what you are going to say and have carefully though through your decision to sell, you should be fine. There are serious tax ramifications to selling an annuity so the judge will want to know you understand this.
- Get your cash. You should receive your cash for structured settlement about 45 days after the sale has been approved by the court. Some companies can get you that money a bit sooner but this is the average.
The decision to sell an annuity or lottery payments is a very personal one. It is worth noting that the vast majority of people who decide to sell remain happy they went that route (more than 90% say they are happy with the sale five years afterwards). Having said that, you need to talk your situation over with your family. With careful planning and research you can make sure you come to the right decision. Doing your research before you make any sale will help you make sure you are doing the right thing and will remain happy with this decision.