The Maryland Attorney General’s office has sought to weigh in on a proposed settlement of a class action against factoring company Access Funding, with the AG saying that the structured settlement payees who make up the class should receive more compensation that the proposed deal calls for.
That’s the gist of a Baltimore Sun report (Attorney General’s office and attorneys spar over settlement for lead victims, by reporter Carrie Wells) that appeared today, which is the date of a scheduled hearing in the class action lawsuit against Access Funding.
Access Funding was sued by class members who alleged that the factoring company engaged in unfair and illegal practices in connection with more than 100 transactions, from 2012 to 2015, involving the sale of structured settlement payment rights by individual payees to the company.
The lawsuit is one of several against Access Funding relating to those transactions. The Maryland Attorney General also sued Access Funding last year, alleging that the company targeted victims of lead-paint poisoning and engaged in other improper practices. Reported the Sun:
The attorney general’s office sued Chevy Chase-based Access Funding last year on behalf of the victims, alleging the company took advantage of the lead-paint damaged clients from whom it bought structured settlements. The victims, who suffered brain damage and cognitive harm from lead paint in their homes, had [become entitled to payments under] . . . the structured settlements [as a result of] . . . lawsuits against former landlords.
The state argued that the lead-paint victims were entitled by law to advice from an independent third party to help them make the decision about whether to sell the settlements, but the third party was instead affiliated with Access Funding and not independent at all.
A few months later, a separate class action suit was filed by [Attorney Brian] Brown and other attorneys. Brown said during the discovery period in that case, the attorneys learned that Access Funding did not have enough money to fully reimburse the victims. So they worked out a deal that, according to the state, is worth about $1.1 million and will result in an average payout of $7,500 for each lead-paint victim.
The attorney general’s office has asked a six-month stay of the class-action proceedings while its separate case moves forward. . . .