Judge Points Out That Courts Are Not Meant To Be Rubber Stamps In Structured Settlement Protection Act Proceedings

Judge Points Out That Courts Are Not Meant To Be Rubber Stamps In Structured Settlement Protection Act Proceedings

As described here, a New York judge concluded it was not fair and reasonable for a structured settlement payee to sell more than $470,000 in future settlement payments for an immediate sum of $10,000.

In Matter of J.G. Wentworth Originations, LLC (Kwant), Index No. 52903/2018, 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5584 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Dec. 4, 2018), the judge, Dutchess County, New York, Supreme Court Justice James D. Pagones, also pointed out that, in a New York Structured Settlement Protection Act proceeding, court are not meant to be “mere rubber stamps” when reviewing proposed transfers of structured settlement payment rights.

Some of the courts comments echo many of those in other opinions of judges in New York SSPA proceedings.  Among those are the following:

  • “The SSPA was enacted to protect the recipients of long-term structured settlements from being victimized by companies aggressively seeking the acquisition of their rights . . . .”
  • “Companies were using aggressive advertising, plus the allure of quick and easy cash, to induce settlement and cash out future payments, often at substantial discounts, depriving victims and their families of the long- term financial security their structured settlements were designed to provide . . . .”
  • “[T]he Legislature in enacting the SSPA did not intend for the courts to be mere rubber stamps for the proposed sale; on the contrary, the courts are intended to examine the various statutory criteria and determine whether the proposed sale will truly serve the ‘best interest’ of the payee . . . .”

The full opinion in Kwant is available here.

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