What is a structured settlement?
If you’ve been awarded a structured settlement, you’re receiving periodic payments awarded to you by a court, an insurer, or other entity. The payments are often a result of a personal injury lawsuit or settlement, or a workers’ compensation settlement. These payments are usually made by an insurance company and are designed to meet your financial obligations over the coming years. But they don’t always keep up with the realities of your life. Selling some or all of your structured settlement payments can get you the money you need now.
Types of Structured Settlements
When a large sum is awarded by a jury, or offered as part of a settlement, the amount is often structured into periodic payments over months or years, instead of one lump sum payout. Examples of cases resulting in a structured settlement are:
Designed to cover medical bills and other damages, following an injury caused directly or indirectly by a defendant.
Damages awarded to the family of someone whose death has been deemed to be the fault of a liable party.
A form of insurance that pays for the medical bills, loss of wages, and future compensation when an employee is injured or disabled on the job.
Claims awarded as a result of damages incurred due to a product that has been deemed defective in nature.
Tobacco Lawsuits and other Mass Tort Cases
If you were a plaintiff in one of the thousands of lawsuits settled by tobacco, herbicide, or medical manufacturing companies, you were likely awarded a structured settlement.
Once you contact Peachtree, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Your dedicated representative will explain all of your options clearly, and make sure you’re comfortable with every facet of your structured settlement payment sale. If you ever have any questions, your representative can help you understand the details of your transfer, and keep you up-to-date on the process while we work to get you your money.
Selling your structured settlement payments is a legal process, and once you’ve gone through a few steps with Peachtree, we’ll get that process underway. As structured settlement payment purchasers, we’ll ask for documents to prepare your transaction for court approval and do our best to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
All transfers of structured settlement payments from you to a funding company must be reviewed by a judge to ensure the transaction is in your best interest. This court process is in place to protect you and your interests.
While we’ll do all the “heavy lifting” and keep you informed throughout the court process, you may need to appear in court before your sale to a structured settlement payment purchasing company is finalized. Whether court appearance is required varies from court to court. Your Peachtree representative will keep you informed as your case progresses.
When you’re ready to sell all or part of your structured settlement payments, the first step is to connect with a Peachtree representative. From there, the process works like this:
Step 1: We listen.
We’ll ask about the nature of your settlement, such as from whom you are receiving payments and how often. We’ll also ask about your financial needs, and your plans for the money you’ll be using, as these are relevant issues for the court that will review the sale of your payments.
Step 2: We discuss your options.
When we know more about your structured settlement payments, we’ll help you understand all the options you have, such as how much of your settlement payment stream you’d like to sell, how you’d like to structure the sale, and how much we feel your future payments are worth today.
Step 3: Paperwork
This step is one of the most important parts of the process – and it’s a process that Peachtree has practically down to a science. We will have you send us all the documentation you have from your settlement. If there are additional documents that we need, or that you do not have readily available, we will either use our many resources to obtain them, or help you obtain them.
Step 4: Court process
All transfers of structured settlement payments from you to a funding company must be reviewed by a judge, to ensure the transaction is in your best interest. This court process is in place to protect you and your interests. Peachtree has extensive experience with this court order process. As the filing party, Peachtree’s attorney files a petition with the court and requests a court date. Your Peachtree representative will keep you informed as your case progresses. Your representative will also let you know if you need to be at the hearing and what to expect.
Step 5: We transfer your funds
Once the court approves the sale of your structured settlement payments, we will receive a signed order from the judge and will complete our final underwriting review. We will then send you a check (or electronically transfer) for the purchase price. In most cases, you should receive payment within three business days of us receiving the signed court order.
Every structured settlement payment stream is unique. Peachtree does not apply a pre-determined discount rate to determine the value of your structured settlement. Instead, the present value is dependent upon the duration of your settlement, the timing of your payments and the total amount of your settlement. Or in simpler terms, the present value of your settlement comes down to time (how long until your settlement will be paid in full) and money (the total amount you are to receive from your settlement).
Time & Money
Time affects the purchasing power of money. The average price of a new car in 1990 was about $17,000. Today, it will cost you over $31,000 on average and you can bet that in 20 years it will cost even more. So while a dollar will always be a dollar, it won’t buy you as much in the future as it will now. It’s a simple example, but it might help you understand how the duration of time that your settlement is to be paid out affects what your settlement is worth today.
Obviously these sample amounts are fictional, but hopefully it helps you understand how time affects the purchasing power of money and the present value of your structured settlement.
If any or all of this is still confusing to you, don’t worry. A Peachtree representative is always standing by to talk to you and answer your questions person to person. We have years of experience helping people like you understand what their settlement payments are worth and how they can use them to achieve their goals.
It’s very important that you understand everything about the sale of your structured settlement payments, and your dedicated representative will do their best to address any questions you might have. Here, you can find the answers to some of the most common questions that arise during the process.
How long will it take?
Every case is different, and the total length of the process varies based on individual circumstances. We work as efficiently as possible for all aspects of the transfer that are in our control. However, it’s important to note that filing and preparing for court can take some time to ensure your transfer goes as smoothly as possible. The average transaction funds within 60 to 90 days of Peachtree receiving completed paperwork (individual transaction times vary based on individual circumstances). If you have a pressing need that cannot wait until funding, you can typically receive a cash advance of a portion of your purchase price within 24 to 72 business hours after we receive your required documents.*
*Advances are subject to approval at Peachtree’s sole discretion. Cash advances are not a loan. They are an advance of part of the purchase price for the sale of your structured settlement payments. Call 800-444-0916 for additional terms and conditions.
Will I need a lawyer?
In some states, you may be required by statute to consult with a professional advisor. If you have questions about the legal or financial implications of your transfer we encourage you to obtain independent advice, because we want our customers to have the best understanding possible of their transaction.
Who will I be working with at Peachtree?
You will work with one representative throughout the entire process. This representative will be familiar with all the ins and outs of your transfer, and will be available to answer any questions you might have.
What documents will I need?
Generally, we will need a copy of your annuity contract and settlement agreement. Your individual circumstances will dictate what additional documentation we need. This documentation could include: divorce decrees, child support documentation, bankruptcy documents, proof of domicile, and additional documents pertaining to your settlement and annuity.
Will I need to appear in court?
All transfers require court approval and the majority of jurisdictions will require you to appear in court for a best interest hearing. This is for your own protection, to make sure you understand all the details of the sale and to ensure the transfer is in your best interest.
Do I have to sell my entire structured settlement payment stream?
No. You can choose to sell only part of your structured settlement payment stream. When we discuss your financial needs with you, we’ll outline all your options to help you determine the best course of action.
Why does it matter what I’ll do with the money?
When you receive a settlement, it’s designed to help you for the duration of the structured settlement’s payments. But the reality is that sometimes you need more money during certain times in your life, and the original settlement can’t possibly predict when these times will occur. By demonstrating how that money can help you now, all parties involved can agree that the sale of your structured settlement payments would be in your best interest.
Why should I choose Peachtree?
Our experienced, dedicated representatives listen to your goals and then clearly explain all of the options available to help make those goals a reality. It’s all part of something we call the Peachtree Promise. Learn more about it now.