If you are currently receiving payments on a loan you made to the buyer of your home (or another home or piece of land), you can exchange those payments for cash today. It's all cash flow, remember?

Just as in getting a mortgage to buy your home, the bank is giving you a lump sum of cash now in exchange for you paying them back over time. Likewise, an investor will advance money now in exchange for payments over time.

This can give you money for your down payment, your kids' school tuition, to pay off debts, or for any other use.