In a page one story that parallels an earlier expose of factoring company practices in Maryland, the Washington Post today published a lengthy, page-one article about factoring practices in Virginia.
“Perils of early payoffs in Virginia” by reporter Terrence McCoy describes the story of Terrence Taylor, whose legal battles against factoring companies are ongoing. The report described how many of the transactions involving Taylor were approved by a court in Portsmouth, Virginia, where a large proportion of Virginia SSPA proceedings have occurred over the years.
The Post reported that “industry experts say weaknesses in Virginia’s [structured settlement protection] law have made the state particularly appealing to purchasing companies looking for quick and easy profits that could shortchange sellers.” Structured settlement payees, according to the article, “are not obligated to attend hearings” and are permitted to waive their right to independent legal advice “and almost always do” – plus, factoring companies “can file their deals anywhere in the state.” The result? Wrote the Post’s McCoy: “The de fact clearinghouse for these transactions has become Portsmouth Circuit Court, where most deals are approved and few sellers attend hearings, according to an examination of thousands of public records and interviews with industry insiders.”
The full story (with the online headline “The flawed system that allows companies to make millions off the injured“) is available here.