Beware of Scam Structured Settlement Companies!

A structured settlement is a financial or insurance arrangement between two parties wherein the insurer (defendant) is obliged to make payments to the claimant (you) at regular intervals until the whole amount is paid in exchange of the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by you against the defendant. In some cases, you simply cannot wait for the full payment that you decide to sell your structured settlement to a structured settlement company. This transaction presents favorable gains for a structured settlement company in the form of profit. If a structured settlement company offers a lump sum that is too good to be true, think twice for it might be one of the scam companies operating in your locality. Watch out for these scams to avoid losses on your part.

Hallmarks of a Trustworthy Structured Settlement Company
One characteristic of a good structured settlement company is stability. Stability is usually measured by the number of years the company has been in the business of buying structured settlements. Another characteristic is dependability. It is best to find a company who is willing to assist you and give you financial advice from the time you are about to accept a structured settlement until the time when you are ready to sell your structured settlement to them. Credibility is yet another important characteristic of a good structured settlement company. A determinant of a company’s credibility would be the number of satisfied clients they have. If they give you a lot of their past clients as references, then, most likely, you’ve found a credible company. Lastly, a good company puts customers’ needs first before business. If you think a structured settlement company does not give you a fair amount for your structured settlement, find a different company who will consider your needs.

Laws on Buying or Selling Structured Settlements
When structured settlements became popular, so is the concept of buying and selling structured settlements. When you decide to sell your structured settlement, the lump sum you would get from a structured settlement company will naturally be significantly lower than the total amount of your structured settlement. Selling it is tantamount to giving the company the rights to receive your future payments stated in the settlement agreement. Many states have enacted laws regulating the buying and selling of structured settlements. As a matter of fact, only four American states do not have structured settlement acts, namely, North Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. These structured settlement protection acts would serve as your protection should you decide to sell your structured settlement for quick cash. Prior to selling structured settlement to a company, the law provides that a detailed accounting of all the fees, charges, and expenses associated with the selling be made available to the structured settlement owner. Conditions surrounding breach of contract should also be discussed to the owner in accordance with the law. Transferring the rights to the structured settlement company is also governed by law as a judicial court is tasked to always mediate the transfer proceedings to ensure that the structured settlement owner is fully aware of the pros and cons of the transfer before approving the transfer.

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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keatmeat/8090844106/

How to Check if a Structured Settlement Company is a Scam
If the company you are considering does not possess the characteristics earlier mentioned, then most probably it is a scam. If, despite the absence of these characteristics, you are still unsure whether the company you’ve chosen is a scam, consult the authorities. You could make inquiries, either personally or via phone call, to the Better Business Bureau or the National Structured Settlements Trade Association (NSSTA).

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