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Advising Attorneys' Clients on Selling Their Structured Settlements

It’s probably not a question you hear often from your clients: Instead of keeping my structured settlement payments going, can I sell them for cash? And when you do hear it, it probably makes you cringe. If you’re a personal injury attorney, that structured settlement arrangement was part of a plan put into place during settlement negotiations that you worked hard on, likely years ago. And if you are an estate planning attorney or a financial advisor, clients’ structured settlements are typically an asset that you’re planning around – not planning to change. Your knee-jerk reaction to your client’s question may be to advise against it but doing your due diligence to consider their options is good advocacy.

At CrowFly, we exclusively work to help people transfer the rights to their structured settlements, and we focus on getting them the most money possible. However, we didn’t write this post to try to steer you to motivate your client to sell – or to sell through us. The ethos of our company has always been to help people understand their options and make the best choices for them. To that end, we put together a few considerations so that you, as a trusted advisor, can explore this option with your client.

Questions to Ask Your Client

When evaluating whether selling their future structured settlement payments is the right move, we recommend that you ask your client the following questions:

  1. Do you need cash right now to cover an emergency or other immediate need, such as family changes, moving into a new home, or making a major repair?
  2. How much money do you need to cover this urgent expense? It is best to work with your clients to determine if they can get by with selling a portion of their future payments rather than all of them.
  3. Is there any other way to pay for this immediate expense besides selling structured settlement payments?
  4. Will selling the rights to future structured settlement payments negatively impact you or your family’s future financial security? As an attorney or financial advisor, you’ve probably already considered this question and maybe even talked it out with your client.

Relevant State and Federal Laws

Not everyone with a structured settlement can legally transfer the rights to their future payments. To qualify, your client must have future payments from a settlement as described in 26 U.S. Code § 5891. The court must then confirm that selling the payments would not violate another court order or other law and that it is in the best interest of your client and his or her dependents.

Each state also has its own individual law regarding the transfer of the rights to structured settlement payments. We have a state guide that can point you to the relevant state law.

Structured Settlement Factoring Companies

You know the big-name companies that buy and sell structured settlement payments. Each will offer a different price for your client’s future payments. Shopping for a quote, or advising your client to do so, will help them choose a company that will get them the most money.

No matter which company you move forward with, no one will be able to give your client the face value of their payments. We explain why here. CrowFly works to minimize transfer costs in order to help sellers walk away with more money in their pockets.

Additionally, we would encourage your clients to use our free online calculator to first get an idea of what their assets might be worth. The calculator will provide an instant estimate of what the future payments could be worth if they were to sell today. This knowledge can equip you and your client in order to best identify which factoring company will treat your client most fairly.

Use CrowFly as a Resource

As you research structured settlement sales for your client, we’re here to help. We welcome you to contact CrowFly at (888) 560-6629 or info@crowfly.com to discuss this option. An experienced member of the team will give you the information you need to think through this option. We also have a free, helpful ebook available for download. Then, if you and your client decide it’s the right move, call us back for a free, no-obligation quote.

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