No, but the media will try to convince you that they are!
The press will go out of it’s way to find the worst case scenarios and highlight the worst possible situations in order to make the public believe that all structured settlement companies are out there to take advantage of people and make a buck. This is so false, its not even funny!
A recent article appeared in a prestigious newspaper with a headlight that caught readers attention- how structured settlement industry takes advantage of poor, lead poisoned blacks. The article featured a story primarily focused around one woman who felt like she was taken advantage of by a company when she sold hundreds of thousands dollars worth of future structured payments for much less in return. The woman, who received a structured settlement from a lead paint case, said she didn’t know what she was doing, couldn’t read the documents she was signing, and trusted the nice people who spoke to her. The article is quick to blame the company for taking advantage of the woman for her inability to read and understand. But what the article fails to mention is if the woman is a fully functioning adult with a job and has the ability to live a normal life. She does live with her family so they can help her, so why did none of the family members know this was happening? The article states that the woman sold all of her payments in four separate deals, all of which she would have had to appear in court in order to be approved in the state that she was in. The judge didn’t believe the woman was being taken advantage of, and her family somehow didn’t know this was occurring under their noses. So, was the woman really just a ploy for the company to make a quick buck? I think not. It sounds like a case of seller’s remorse. Perhaps the company didn’t make the greatest deal and give her the best return possible, but she know what she was doing and now she regrets selling her payments.
The structured settlement industry is not a scam. It is just tainted by stories like these from people who regret selling their payments for little return. When deciding to sell your structured settlement, take your time and think first. Research and ask questions. Make sure it is the right thing for you! In the end, it’s your money and you choose what to do with it.