by John Darer CLU ChFC CSSC RSP CLTC
Which company pays the most for structured settlements?
Sometimes one company will pay you the most. Other times a package that combines several companies (each funding different segments of the payment streams) will give you the most for structured settlements. Sometimes price is not the only consideration and it makes sense to diversify, to spread the credit risk among several companies even if it is not the most.
If you want to get the most for your structured settlements then seek the advice of a settlement planner. A settlement planner will help you through your financial transition when your case settles, by asking the right questions of you and your attorneys and may provide additional services and solutions. Work only with licensed and credentialed structured settlement brokers and consultants. When I say licensed I mean licensed for insurance in your state. It is easy to verify this by going to the website of your state's insurance department, or department of financial services (New York, Florida)
Shopping for a structured settlement is not like going to the local flea market or hondling in Tijuana, unless you are talking about part of the structured settlement secondary market, where you are seeking cash for your structured settlement.
The structured settlement secondary market is composed of settlement purchasers who buy the rights to your structured settlment payments in exchange for a discounted amount of cash now. A number of direct funders and intermediaries serve this market.
While information about many of these companies is readily available (some are public companies, and/or have regulatory oversight over their securitizations) there are "companies" that spring up like weeds that are little more than lead generation websites created by search engine optimization folks for the money people in exchange for a financial arrangement.
My investigation over the past several years continues to expose the seedy underbelly of the structured settlement secondary market. Some of these "companies":
- Operate in the shadows, possibly from outside the United States. You don't know who you are really dealing with up front.
- Promote imaginary people that endorse each other
- Promote imaginary academic degrees for the imaginary people
- Use social networks for search engine optimization, comprised of people from outside the United States to endorse their services even though these "endorsers" have never used the product or service being endorsed.
- Some involved with these companies have been found to have recent or past criminal records and yet are seeking to provide you with financial advice, and they can due to lack of regulation.
- Some can't even manage their own finances and yet are seeking to provide you with financial advice, and they can due to lack of regulation.
- "Brandjack" other companies brands and trademarks to deceive you into visiting their website. This brandjacking has taken the form of redirect schemes, "review" sites that merely capitalize on brands of others to generate leads for its owners.
- Manufactured complaints against competitors and people who seek to expose their sordid business practices.
- Create the illusion of an open bidding/auction system when this may not be the case
- Promote Better Business Bureau seals that contain false information, or violate the licensing rules of the Better Business Bureau because there is no ability to click through and verify.
- And there's more....
Regardless of whether you are seeking the company that pays most for structured settlements on the primary or secondary side of the structured settlement market, you deserve to understand what you are getting into and work with someone with relevant financial credentials and years of experience as opposed to no credentials and/or a few weeks training to work a call center with or without a script.
To be continued...