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Reviews of Structured Settlement Annuity Companies

 

A structured settlement is often the result of a personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff (the party injured) receives periodic payments as a compensation for the injuries sustained in an accident. This income (usually occurring monthly) comes through what is generally known as an annuity. However, some do not consider a long-term stream of payments as beneficial as compared to a one lump sum payment would be.

There are many structured settlement companies out there which are less than honest and which you should avoid at all costs. It is important for you to be very careful which settlement buyer you trust and hire to handle the delicate transaction of selling your future payments.

Best Structured Settlement Companies

Fairfield Funding is a top rated structured settlement company in Atlanta, GA. According to our research, this company will give you the highest payout while charging the lowest fees. That means more money can go into your pockets! Fairfield Funding seems to have the needs of consumers ahead of their own which is refreshing in this industry. For these reasons we fully recommend the services of Fairfield Funding.
SenecaOne is a structured settlement and annuity company. Started in 2002 and located in Bethesda, Maryland, also known as Lump Sum Capital, LLC.
An Illinois based structured settlement funding company.
Started in 2006 and located in Boca Raton, Florida.
Annuity.org purchases structured settlements and annuities.
Annuity Transfers, currently located in Plano, Texas, was started in 2002.
A structured settlement buyer based in Florida.
This settlement company is no longer in business.
structured settlement companies

Top Pick

overall score 9.4/10

Purchase Price: 9.8/10

Customer Service: 9.0/10

Company Reputation: 9.3/10

#1: DRB Capital
Updated March 2018

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structured settlement companies

overall score 9.4/10

Purchase Price: 9.8/10

Customer Service: 9.0/10

Company Reputation: 9.3/10

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  • The Lowest Fees
  • No Hidden Costs

* Signing bonus is redeemable after a Transfer Agreement is signed and availability and assignability of payments is confirmed.

So how exactly do we rate these companies? We take into account numerous factors, and we also look at recent acquisitions and mergers as well. The last thing you want to have happened to you is assuming you are getting two separate quotes for your structured settlement, only to find out AFTER you completed the deal, two of the companies were one and the same company. That is NOT getting a competing offer. We uncover these unethical tactics so you can make the right decision for you and your family.

There is a well-known phrase “It isn’t what you earn, it is what you keep that matters.” The same applies with your structured settlement. It isn’t what you are offered; it is the amount of cash you receive at the end that matters. It is for this reason why we chose Fairfield Funding as your to-go company to sell your payments and get the most cash.

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The Process of Working With a
Structured Settlement Company

 

There are a few things that you should know about these companies and how to prepare for selling your structured settlement. First, you want to make sure that you are working with a legitimate company like Fairfield Funding.

By calling Fairfield Funding, the company will collect some information from you about your structured settlement in order to give you a quote. This quote should not just be the amount of the offer, but also all fees involved.

You need to prepare yourself because the offer you receive will be substantially less than the money that you are owed. Typically, lump sum payments usually end up being about 30 or 40 percent lower than taking the payments over the specified time of your settlement. If you have a structured settlement for $500,000 that is supposed to be paid over ten years, you might end up getting an offer of $200,000 or $300,000 at best. However, that’s the price that structured settlement buyers are going to pay, and based on current demand; it could be even lower. If you need the money now, rather than later, it might be worth it, though.

Why are the offers much lower than what you are owed? It all is because over time the cost of living increases and the worth of a dollar today is worth more than it is in the future. For example, back in the early 80s, the average cost of daycare for a child was $162 per month. Today, according to the NACCRA, the amount is $972 a month.

When you sell your account, the broker or agent must give full disclosure on not just all the costs, but also on the commissions which may be paid to other agents. For example, New York State requires the Sharing of Commissions to be disclosed.

This shouldn’t be complicated. Fairfield Funding makes it easy and is our pick for who you should use for your structured settlement sale. Cut the confusion and the stress.

One of the most often asked questions is how I can get money for my payments as fast as possible? Unfortunately, this is often asked AFTER the transaction has been approved and they are STILL waiting for their money. Know your options BEFORE you accept any offer. We have counseled you throughout this page to understand it isn’t the “offer” that you should look at when making a decision, but it is the actual amount of cash you will be given at the end after all fees are paid. This is what most people do not understand or realize through this process. They think they are getting $37,000 because that was the offer, but after all the fees are subtracted, they get $22,000 in their account and they just don’t understand why. It is because they did not understand the full value of the transaction, nor did they completely read the offer they were given. They just simply accepted it because they trusted the company.

Getting your structured settlement cash is easy once you choose the right settlement buyer, but choosing the right company can sometimes feel like a nightmare, and what you would love to do is go to a structured settlement site similar to Expedia for travel and put in your details and get multiple offers. Unfortunately, because of the complexity of the industry and the importance of protecting your privacy, there is not a service which will do that for you.

Structured Settlement Loans – What Are They?

Also called a “pre-settlement funding”, this is where you have received the judgement in court, and you are awaiting your money which can sometimes take several weeks for the legal process to finalize. This loan will give you the money you need right now while you wait for your payments to start. Usually these loans typically are between $1,000 – $10,000.

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Common Questions and Answers

 

 

What is my structured settlement worth?

To make the proper calculation, using one of the many online calculators is often a waste of time as there are so many factors at play regarding what your annuity payments are worth. It is best to call the recommended source, Fairfield Funding at 800-591-7777. They are the top recommended company per our strict standards. Remember that calling the wrong company can be a costly decision for you.

I need a loan until I get my settlement, Can I do that?

Most companies do offer this option, and it is best to ask them before giving any personal information. This process is commonly called a pre settlement funding or a pre-settlement advance, and if the company says they do offer them, your next question needs to be “What are your pre settlement funding rates.” Be aware that this is a loan against a structured settlement, so when your agreement is reached, the credit will be deducted along with the agreed upon fees, if any. If you have questions about the process of legal settlement funding, make sure you speak to a company with the experience and ability to handle every step of the process. A cash advance structured settlement is a possibility, but it best to speak to an experienced broker to weight your options correctly. The advance settlement funding process can be confusing, make sure all your questions are answered before moving forward.

I’m looking for companies that buy structured settlements?

If you are like most individuals who are in a financial pinch and need your cash out now, you probably feel overwhelmed with all the different choices of companies, promises, expectations, and industry jargon that is just downright confusing. Read our reviews, do your homework, and in the end, make the decision that feels best for you.

What should I look for with so many structured settlement annuity companies?

As we have stated throughout our reviews, you want a company that is reputable, knowledgeable, has integrity and can handle your case from start to finish. The last thing you want is to have to reexplain your issue over and over again as you are assigned from person to person, or possibly, company to company.

Are structured settlements taxable?

By precise definition, nearly all (there are some rare exceptions) structured settlement payouts are not taxable. Our experts are here to answer your questions and help you sell all or part of your structured settlement for a lump sum.

What are some of the most approved structured settlements investments?

Furthering your education to get a better job or advancement in your present company. Paying off debt. Avoiding foreclosure. Medical bills or needed medical treatment. Starting or investing in a business.

What should I keep in mind?

Understand Your Legal Rights

Not knowing what your rights are before you start any significant financial transaction is not a wise move. First off, you should know that it is entirely legal (per laws passed in 2002) and ethical to sell your future entitlements. However, both parties in the original transaction may be required to meet state issued conditions as specified by state law.

Most US states have laws which protect you against risk, but even with these laws of protection in place, you must know the legalities of the transaction before starting down this path, so there are no surprises at the end. The key to this process is properly educating yourself to ensure the right decision is made in the end.

Ensure You Have a Viable Plan – Stick To The Plan

By keeping these common mistakes in mind and carefully evaluating your current financial status, you can understand and also communicate to the broker your exact status which will allow them to advise you better on the proper plan for you to take. Because once you sign on that dotted line, there is no going back. This is why it is wise to consider all other options first and only chose to sell your future entitlements if no better option exists.

 

What if I’m behind on my house payment?

If you have a past due mortgage or mortgages, you can use your structured settlement to get caught up, or even pay off your house completely, so you no longer have the debt. Most judges do not want to see people lose their homes and it is a need that is often approved.

When will my funds be made available?

There are many variables with each settlement account. Each is unique and often has specialized issues which must be properly addressed. Generally speaking, you should expect your funds in 3-5 business days from the judge’s ruling in your favor.

What does the word “discount” mean when I am getting quotes for my account to sell?

A lot of brokers will use terms which you think it means one thing but actually mean another. When you hear the word “discount” you are thinking in your head it is something in YOUR favor. Nope. The “discount” in this situation is referring to the “discount rate” or “discounted present value” of your account. In other words, it is the discount from which your account is worth and what they are going to pay you. The bottom line is the “deal” is there, the factors depending on which side of the table you are sitting.

What is Structured Settlement Protection Act and what it means for you?

What you don’t know can hurt you especially when it comes to your structured settlement annuity and the options you have in cashing it out for a lump sum payment instead of waiting for the duration of the annuity. By fully understanding the structured settlement protection act, you are ensured of making the right decision for your financial future. Never make the mistake of just taking someone’s word for it on what it means, actually read it.

Each state has their own, which vary from state-to-state, but the core is essentially the same. Just type in “Structured Settlement Protection Act (your state)” into Google (and replacing the parenthesis and “your state” with your actual state) to get the law of your state to review. We have posted the law per the state of Virginia.

Mostly, the Structured Settlement Protection Act of 2002, as it’s known officially, was designed to protect people who wish to sell all or part of their annuity the received as a result of a personal injury claim. As a result, any transaction involving a structured settlement must be approved by a judge in a state court before it can be sold. This is in the express interest of the current holder of the structured settlement and for their financial stability.

Another condition of the protection act is that insurance companies that are responsible for paying the settlements are also involved in the process of any sale. Before the law came into being, many times the insurance company wouldn’t be told the annuity had changed hands until after the deal was done. The act requires that all interested parties are now informed of any sale or part-sale involving structured settlements at least twenty (20) days before a court hearing takes place.

Requirements of the act are explained below:

The structured settlement act requires that a judge looks into the circumstances of any sale and decide whether or not it is in the best interest of the holder to sell their annuity. Therefore, the client needs to disclose all of their financial information regarding the terms of the proposed sale and their current financial circumstances, which must be handed over at least three (3) days before the signing of any contracts takes place.

The company looking to purchase the structured settlement is responsible for disclosing any information relating to the sale, not the client or the issuer of the settlement.

Following the signing of the documents, the act also requires a three-day “grace” period, during which the client is allowed to change his or her mind regarding the sale.

How does a structured settlement work?

If you were a claimant who was involved in an accident which resulted in a personal injury, wrongful death, or workers’ compensation case, instead of receiving a lump sum of your monetary award, instead, a structured settlement is created. This will pay you monthly or annually usually over the period of 10, 20 or 30 years the full price of your settlement amount.

This is for the claimant’s protection of their financial future. Per IRS Code § 104(a)(2), the settlement money within the annuity and any interest accumulated are 100% income tax-free. Because there is no income tax, the structured settlement, even though it is paid over time, far exceeds the value had it been paid in one-lump sum, and since it is paid over time, there is no chance of squandering the entire sum on a poor financial decision.

Here’s an outline of how a structured settlement works:

Once both parties have agreed to the details of the structured settlement, the claimant (the victim), accepts the monetary settlement and the defendant pays the gives full release of their claim to what is called an assignment company. The assignment company then assumes all liability and purchases an annuity from a structured settlement company or carrier. The carrier then sends the claimant structured settlement payments based on the amounts and timeline (usually monthly) selected by the claimant.

What is a lump sum settlement?

A lump sum settlement is when you are the victim of an injury, workman’s comp, or wrongful death, you are awarded a monetary judgment, and instead of taking the payments over time, you opt to take the money as one lump sum. The pros are obvious; you get your money up-front. The cons are the taxes, which are usually paid before you get your money and they can be a significant portion of your settlement.

Is a structured settlement considered income?

According to IRS Code § 104(a)(2), one of the benefits of a structured settlement it is not considered income, thus the money is not taxable. Because of this fact, the amount the annuity is worth far exceeds the settlement amount, due to no income taxes levied.

Are structured settlement payments taxable?

No, they are not as stated above. Since the money is not considered to be income, it is not eligible to be taxed.

Are lawsuit settlements taxable income?

It depends on how the settlement is arranged and in what capacity. If it is a settlement of an issue other than an injury, workman’s comp or a wrongful death, it may be taxable. There are differing laws in each state. It is best to consult with your tax advisor.

Are settlement payments tax deductible?

If your company is found guilty in a personal injury case, and you must settle with the injured party, since that is an expense, the cost is tax deductible. Consult with your tax specialist for more information.

What is a structured settlement loan?

This is also called a “pre-funding loan” where you have received the judgement in court, and you are awaiting your money which can sometimes take several weeks for the legal process. This loan will give you the money you need right now while you wait for your payments to start. Usually these loans typically are between $1,000 – $10,000.

Is money from a class action lawsuit taxable?

It depends on the type of class action lawsuit. If the lawsuit is over a physical injury, sickness, wrongful death, etc. the IRS treats these types of settlements as non-taxable. However, if the claimant received a tax benefit by deducting the related medical expenses related to the lawsuit on the previous years’ tax returns, then the amount would be taxable.

What is a lawsuit loan?

This is nothing more than an unsecured loan which can carry high interest and fees. Ensure that you get all the information before you sign any paperwork.

Can you borrow from a structured settlement?

The quick answer is yes you can borrow from your structured settlement. You have many funding options available to you depending on your needs. Having a solid understanding of how much money you need, you can sell just a portion of your structured settlement, so your future payments continue. There is also “pre-settlement funding” available if you have a judgment, but the payments have not started yet.

How long does it take to get a settlement?

Typically it can take between two and six weeks before your settlement payments begin. This is following the agreement of the amount of the settlement between the insurance company and your attorney, and not when the claim is filed.

Find Out How Much Your Structured Settlement Is Worth

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How We Rate Companies

We take many factors into consideration in how we rate the companies. These factors include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Number of years in business
  2. Location
  3. Number of employees
  4. Phone number clearly posted
  5. Phone call answered promptly without any/excessive transfers
  6. Spanish attendants available
  7. Knowledge level of staff
  8. Current privacy policy posted
  9. Terms of use posted
  10. Physical address posted and verified
  11. Website up-to-date
  12. Professional website design, navigation, etc.
  13. The speed/functionality of the website
  14. BBB Rating
  15. Ripoff Report complaints
  16. Results of searches of company name and CEO
  17. Customer reviews
  18. Reviews by former employees

While we may, or may not receive payment from the companies listed on this page, the amount in no way affects our rating and grading scale. Companies may be highly rated which we do not receive compensation.

Sources

http://www.nssta.com
https://nasp-usa.com

Our Score

With so many structured settlement companies claiming to be the best and giving you the best offer for buying your future payments, it can seem very overwhelming. Our reviews and detailed information about how the process is handled from start to finish can help you make a better choice because you are better informed, which will allow you to sell your payments for the cash you deserve and avoid getting ripped off.