Good news – you are coming closer to getting the lump sum of cash you need but there is still more to go. After you have executed the necessary documents. . .now you are in the “court phase”. Here is what to expect:
Petition FiledAlong with the contract you signed that details what payments you are selling and the lump sum you are receiving, the company you are now working with now file a Petition in the state where you live (in some states the “Petition” is called an “Application”).
The Petition is the first document filed in court and it is the first time the court knows you have decided to get cash for a structured settlement instead of waiting for the payments as they are originally due on the annuity.
The “First Wait”Once a Petition, the “first wait” is the wait for the court to process the Petition and set a Hearing. Nothing can happen without getting a hearing date set. Every court in the country moves this first wait along at a different pace. Some courts may allow the company buying your payments to set a hearing date immediately, and other courts may sit on the Petition for a month or more before even setting the Hearing.
The “Second Wait”At some point the Court will set a Hearing to review whether it is, among other things, in your best interest to sell your structured settlement payments. Generally speaking, this Hearing has to be at least 20 days out. This does not mean it will be 20 days out, it simply means that when the court eventually sets the hearing, it cannot take place sooner than 20 days out. This is the “second wait”.
Why does it need to be set 20 days out? The law, again generally speaking, requires that the you and the insurance companies that are associated with making the payments to you, have at least 20 days to review the paperwork filed with the court and to object before or attend the hearing. While rarely do the insurance companies object to you getting cash for your structured settlement, it does happen from time to time.
Notice of the PetitionOnce the Hearing is set, the company you chose to work with, through the attorney that represents them at the hearing, will send you a package that includes the Notice of the Hearing, the Petition, and other exhibits attached the Petition.
What will the Notice say: the Notice will include: The Court where your Hearing will take place, the time of the Hearing and in some cases, the Judge assigned to your case and the courtroom. It may also contain additional information that the court wants you to know about the day of the hearing.
Prepare for the HearingOnce you get the Notice of the Hearing, it is time to start Preparing for the Hearing.
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