Often, in the case of a structured settlement, neither the beneficiary nor the defendant has a clear idea of the costs involved in the settlement. A structured settlement broker can help the parties involved to get a fair assessment of the costs based on calculations and projections. A broker provides information that acts as a platform for conducting negotiations.
The right structured settlement broker will execute several responsibilities such as a financial analysis for the plaintiff, derive the present value cost based on that analysis, interact with Medicaid and SSI if required, mediate during negotiations, and offer tax-planning advice to the plaintiff. A broker works with the plaintiff or his attorney and negotiates a suitable agreement. Alternately, the broker can be the middleman when an individual decides to sell a structured settlement.
Ideally, a broker should help an attorney in the negotiation process and provide financial inputs relevant to the fiduciary position that they enjoy. This helps the attorney to create a scenario that takes into consideration things such as medical expenses, present income, loss of wages, and debt. The broker is involved during the negotiation and in the post-negotiation process. It is not often that attorneys are experts in structured settlements and they have to take recourse to the services of a broker. Their combined knowledge is critical for building a powerful case for the plaintiff.
A structured settlement broker provides various payment options and explains the salient features of each to the plaintiff. With inputs from the broker and the attorney, a person can take a call on the most suitable payment structure for him. The services of a knowledgeable structured settlement broker are in demand because of the nature of a structured settlement; it cannot be renegotiated.
One should research structured settlement brokers before availing the services of any of them. Ideally, the broker should be registered with the Department of Justice, have a registration in at least one state in America and at the minimum with one insurance company. The broker should be insured against errors and omissions. A broker who fulfills the above criteria is going to be one with the required experience and a clean track record so that the individual can trust him with sensitive information. One should also shop around a little and look out for brokers who can do the job at low commission rates.
While selling a structured settlement, it is important to ensure that a broker does not have any kind of exclusive arrangement with a buyer as this may lead to a poor deal for a seller. Brokers normally have access to several buyers and can obtain quotes from them on the seller’s behalf. This helps the seller to get the best deal possible for his structured settlement. The brokers can arrange for the sale of a structured settlement in a manner convenient to the seller; one can make a part sale of the settlement or opt for a lump sum in exchange for the entire structured settlement.
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