Even before the Maryland legislature adopted a revised Structured Settlement Protection Act (as described in this post), the Maryland judiciary had responded to the attention focused on alleged abuses in structured settlement factoring company practices in that state.
Maryland’s courts had adopted a new statewide rule for matters filed under the state’s SSPA, to go into effect January 1, 2016.
Maryland’s judicial rule for SSPA proceedings requires:
- Payees to appear in court at hearings (a required later also reflected in the revised Maryland SSPA);
- Attorneys to submit biographical information about payees, including whether the payee had sold any portions of payments in the past; and
- The biographical information about payees also must state whether the payee was a victim of lead-paint poisoning, or has some other cognitive-impairment.
Maryland is not the only state with a statewide judicial rule for SSPA proceedings, as Arizona, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island adopted rules before Maryland did so in 2015. (Connecticut also adopted a rule, but the rule became a dead letter when the state revised its SSPA in 2003.) The Arizona rule probably lead the way in adding some potentially useful protections for payees – until Maryland’s rule came along, and imposed more stringent protections.
Many local jurisdictions also have adopted judicial rules for consideration of matters filed pursuant to state SSPAs. Prince Georges County, Maryland, adopted a new rule in 2015, before the statewide rule was adopted, requiring the personal appearance of payees at hearings, and the use of the full name of payees in captions (rather than initials).
For more about the Prince Georges County judicial rule, see a prior Secondary Insurance Market Blog post here.
For more about the statewide judicial rule, see a prior Secondary Insurance Market Blog post here.