I need advice on who to sell my settlement annuity to
December 20, 2012 6:28 PM   Subscribe

I was in an accident when I was young. I got a structured annuity and now need the money. I need advice on who I should sell the annuity to in order to cash it out. I don't want to go to a disreputable one. Do I have other options? What have been your experiences with this, MeFi? I'm pretty sure other people here have been in my boat. Metlife currently holds it.

My question is *not* whether or not I should sell my annuity. I am in a bad enough financial situation that I need to sell it.

I would like to know two things:

a) if you have cashed out your annuity, what firm did you use to do it? I don't want to use a sketchy one.

b) what other advice do you have for me?

Thank you.

posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A sketchy one? This isn't a company you're going to have a long term relationship with. This is a company that will give you a check, just the once. Unless it bounces, you don't give a fig.

Two main options here.

First, call MetLife and see if there's a cash-out option. Sometimes there are. They might be willing to just buy you out if it means they can end their liability today. And since there's no middleman, you might get the best settlement that way.

Second, just shop around. Call a few companies and get quotes. Then take the best one. The one and only thing you care about here is getting the most money.
posted by valkyryn at 6:38 PM on December 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

This is a simple arbitrage transaction for these companies. They give you a net present value based on a interest rate that is higher than the annuity rate so your present value is discounted. Get several quotes and ask to see their sample agreement. Take the two or three highest offers and try to play them against each other. A bonus to them is that it is held by MetLife which is a highly regarded firm with a great credit rating. Their risk of getting paid is much lower than it would be with a smaller firm or a firm struggling financially.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:23 PM on December 20, 2012

Have you read this? Obviously it's targeted at senior citizens, so not everything is going to apply, but it seems like a good roundup of guidelines and resources.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:02 PM on December 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

I had the same kind of structured settlement from an accident when I was young. When I was in high school we were able to petition the court for some of the money. I needed it for a specific reason and there was a specific dollar amount, and we were able to show that neither I or my parents could get that much money elsewhere. We had to go before a judge and explain why I needed it, how much, etc. It was certainly not a cut-and-dried issue and our lawyer was surprised it actually went through. It's possible my age (17 at the time) worked in my favour.

Can your lawyer help?
posted by Eumachia L F at 1:33 AM on December 21, 2012

Be sure to consider the tax implications. Although you will only be getting a percentage of the original award, you may be responsible for taxes on the entire amount. As always, consult someone who actually knows what they're talking about.
posted by jeporter99 at 6:17 AM on December 21, 2012

Is it possible to take out a loan against it?
posted by empath at 9:33 AM on December 21, 2012

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