Appellate Court Deals Setback To Couple Trying To Recover More Than $150,000 Invested In Structured Settlement Factoring Transaction That Later Unraveled

Appellate Court Deals Setback To Couple Trying To Recover More Than $150,000 Invested In Structured Settlement Factoring Transaction That Later Unraveled

In 2012, Robert and Linda Wall signed a contract with Altium Group, LLC, as part of a deal for the purchase of the right to receive structured settlement payments.

The Walls were to pay Altium more than $150,000 for these payments, which – once purchased – would be paid to them from 2014 to 2019.

Altium agreed to provide the Walls with a “Closing Package” that was to include a certified copy of an order approving the transfer of the payments – a court order that, as per the Florida Structured Settlement Protection Act, is the only way for the transfer to become legally effective.

Altium provided the Walls with the package, including a copy of the order issued by a Florida court.  The order approved a transfer from the original payee, Kenneth Stevens, to the factoring company, Corona Capital, LLC.  Corona then sold the payments to Altium, according to the Third Circuit.

All of that occurred in 2012.  In 2014, a few weeks before the first payment was due, the court that approved the transfer vacated its order, because it had learned that Mr. Stevens never signed the contracts transferring the payment rights – instead, his signature had been forged by his wife.

The Walls then sued Corona and Altium.  A judge dismissed Corona from the lawsuit, saying that that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the factoring company.  That same court then ruled that Altium breached its contract with the Walls by failing to provide the Walls with the payments that they contracted to purchase.

Altium appealed that decision, and the Walls cross appealed on some of the court’s other rulings.

This month, the federal appeals court reversed the trial court’s decision, concluding that its contract did not include a promise by Altium to make sure that the Walls received the payments.

The opinion, available here, is worth reviewing.

Some things to keep in mind, during such a review, are the following facts:

  • Six years after paying Altium $150,000, the Walls have not recovered from Altium (or Corona).
  • The Walls did not receive any of the structured settlement payments.
  • The Walls do not have a legally effective right to those payments.
  • The litigation apparently will continue, as the appeals court has said the Walls may pursue their unjust enrichment claim against Altium.

For previous Secondary Insurance Market Blog posts about the Wall v. Corona Capital litigation, see the following:

  • A May 17, 2017 post, Latest Development In Lawsuit Over Invalidated Settlement Factoring Order: Court Awards Fees To Re-Assignees, here;
  • An April 3, 2017 post, In Lawsuit Over Settlement Payment Transaction – Approved By A Court Order That Was Later Invalidated For Fraud – Court Says Financial Advisers Breached Contracthere;
  • A January 14, 2017 post, One Of Two Counts Survive Motion To Dismiss By Finance Company, In Litigation Over Invalidated Structured Settlement Factoring Transactionhere.
  • A November 3o, 2016 post, After Court Invalidates Structured Settlement Payment Transfer Order, Re-Assignees Sue Financial Adviser, Factoring Companyhere.
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