If you are to receive a large sum of money from a company, you might have been offered a structured settlement. If so, there is nothing to worry about. In fact, unless you have precise plans for the use of such a large sum (such as buying a house), a structured settlement would actually work very well for all the parties involved in the settlement. Here's how:
To start with, a structured settlement does not in any way reduce the amount of money you are to receive. The difference between outright payment of the entire lump sum and a structured settlement is that, in the latter case, the amount is divided into small but significant sums of money and is paid at regular intervals. The structured settlement payment might either be done by the company itself or, the company might invest the settlement amount in an Annuity plan with some financial structured settlement companies (such as an insurance or bank), which in turn will pay out the amounts.
The introduction of such third parties into the selling structured settlement isn't anything to worry about in fact it ensures that the structured settlement is handled more professionally. The paying company often might not have the expertise in drafting a structured settlement document and then administering it. The introduction of third parties (known as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Assignment CompanyÃ¢â‚¬), therefore brings in an element of standardized professionalism to the deal. These Assigning companies are usually either banks or non-banking financial institutions such as Insurance companies. The Assignment Company will usually invest the money in long term government bonds or other forms of secured, long-term structured settlement investment and pay out the principle amount along with the interest in regular fixed amounts. The quantum and periodicity of such payments would naturally be dependent on the terms of the structured settlement.
Receiving regular fixed amounts enables you to plan ahead. You can plan your own or your child's education. Or use the payouts to fund an existing mortgage on your house, etc. The cash structured settlement is always legally enforceable. So once the structured settlement documents are signed, they cannot be altered and will remain in force the entire duration of the structured settlement term. In case the structured settlement payment is stopped for any reason and so long as you have kept your side of the bargain, you are free to initiate legal action against the Assignment Company as well as the paying company, i.e. the second party in the settlement.
Since no one knows how the future is going to play out, in the event you find yourself in need of a large sum of cash, you can mortgage the structured settlement documents and receive a loan against it. There are also companies that will buy your structured settlement for cash. This buyer of structured settlement payments will pay the residual value of your settlement less service charges and commissions.
A structured settlement should therefore be viewed more as a sound financial investment that not only secures you the long-term benefit of regular income but in a pinch, it can be mortgage or sold for cash.