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Author: Peter Vodola

Class-Action Complainant Alleges Scheme By Factoring Companies, With Virginia Judges, To Deprive Structured Settlement Payees of Rights to Counsel, Rights to Future Payments

Class-Action Complainant Alleges Scheme By Factoring Companies, With Virginia Judges, To Deprive Structured Settlement Payees of Rights to Counsel, Rights to Future Payments

A putative class-action plaintiff filed a complaint last week alleging that some Virginia judges were complicit in a scheme, arranged by factoring companies and their lawyer, that was designed to deprive structured settlement payees of their rights – namely, their rights to get legal advice about proposed sales of payment rights to the companies, their rights to having an impartial arbiter decide whether sales of the payees’ payments met statutory standards, and their rights to the payments themselves. The lawsuit…

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What’s Happened With the Virginia Structured Settlement Protection Act

What’s Happened With the Virginia Structured Settlement Protection Act

Following the series of Washington Post articles that began in August, 2015, about structured settlement factoring, a number of legislators and other officials focused their attention on efforts to rein in factoring company business practices that were questionable, or worse.  (See the Secondary Market Blog post here about the activity in the two years since the first article appeared.) While many of the articles focused on practices in matters filed in Maryland, under that state’s structured settlement protection act (SSPA), some articles…

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What’s Happened with Maryland’s Judicial Procedures for Structured Settlement Factoring Cases

What’s Happened with Maryland’s Judicial Procedures for Structured Settlement Factoring Cases

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…

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Minnesota Attorney General – Like CFPB – Sues Pension Advance Company

Minnesota Attorney General – Like CFPB – Sues Pension Advance Company

The Minnesota Attorney General has followed the lead of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and filed suit against a pension advance company, alleging that the company violated state lending laws, took unfair advantage in other ways, when it had veterans and senior citizens sign their pension rights to the company in exchange for immediate, but highly-discounted, cash payments. The Minnesota AG has sued Future Income Payments, LLC, which is the same company that is being sued by the CFPB over alleged…

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What’s Happened with the Maryland Structured Settlement Protection Act

What’s Happened with the Maryland Structured Settlement Protection Act

As described here, it’s been two years since the Washington Post began a series of stories about the structured settlement factoring industry and alleged factoring company abusive practices, such as those involving the targeting of cognitively-impaired structured settlement payees. One change that has taken place in the past two years is that Maryland has adopted a revised structured settlement protection act. In fact, Maryland’s SSPA, some say, is the strictest of the 49 state structured settlement protection acts.  It  requires…

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A Lot Has Happened in Two Years – And There Could Be More to Come

A Lot Has Happened in Two Years – And There Could Be More to Come

On August 25, 2015, The Washington Post ran a front-page article about structured settlement factoring.  The story focused on the alleged practices of a factoring company that aimed to buy the structured settlement payment rights due to be paid to cognitively-impaired lead-paint-poisoning victims in Baltimore. The article appeared under the headline, “How companies make millions off lead-poisoned, poor blacks” with the subheading “Lead paint victims are lured by quick cash and unload their financial future for dimes on the dollar“.  (The article is…

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Factoring Company’s ‘Exploitation’ of Payee’s ‘Sense of Desperation’ Leads Bay State Court to Rejected Proposed Settlement Payment Transaction

Factoring Company’s ‘Exploitation’ of Payee’s ‘Sense of Desperation’ Leads Bay State Court to Rejected Proposed Settlement Payment Transaction

The “severity” of a factoring company’s “exploitation” of a structured settlement payee’s “sense of desperation” lead a Massachusetts judge to reject a proposed transfer of structured settlement payment rights that the judge said had the hallmarks of a usurious loan. Boston Superior Court Judge Robert B. Gordon, in In Re J.G. Wentworth Originations, LLC (Laudano), Opinion No.: 137624, Docket Number: SUCV2017-02188-C, 2017 Mass. Super. LEXIS 119 (Mass. Super. Ct. Aug. 11, 2017), reviewed the proposed transaction, whereby payee N. Laudano…

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Will 19-Year-Old, Employed in Cannabis Business, Use Factoring Proceeds to Buy Land? Unclear, Says Judge in Rejecting Transaction

Will 19-Year-Old, Employed in Cannabis Business, Use Factoring Proceeds to Buy Land? Unclear, Says Judge in Rejecting Transaction

The reason that a 19-year-old California man gave for seeking to sell more than $900,000 in future structured settlement payments – in exchange for a present sum of about $186,000 – was that the proceeds of the sale would be used “for his best interest, such as Purchase Land.” That was not sufficient for the court to give the go ahead and allow the man – who “is employed, earning $3,250 per month cultivating, growing, harvesting, analyzing and storing cannabis” – to sell those…

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‘Impulsive’ Transaction ‘Is Diametrically Opposed To The Very Purpose’ of New York’s Structured Settlement Protection Law, Says Court

‘Impulsive’ Transaction ‘Is Diametrically Opposed To The Very Purpose’ of New York’s Structured Settlement Protection Law, Says Court

An “impulsive transfer” of structured settlement payment rights was unrelated to any “real urgency” and, in fact, was “diametrically opposed to the very purpose of the” New York structured settlement protection act, an Empire State judge said in a recent opinion. New York Justice Peter J. Kelly issued the opinion in Matter of J.G. Wentworth Originations, LLC (McMichael), 2000-59/A, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2915, 2017 NY Slip Op 50989(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Aug. 2, 2017), about a payee, Nigel Criss, and…

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Life Partners Bankruptcy Provides Litigator with Strange Day in Court

Life Partners Bankruptcy Provides Litigator with Strange Day in Court

Law360 publishes a regular series of articles about lawyers’ unusual or interesting experiences.  Last month, the publication ran a piece entitled “My Strangest Day In Court: The Life Partners Bankruptcy”, by Texas attorney Joseph Wielebinski.  Among his observations were the following: In 1992, Life Partners Inc. (LPI) began developing a multilevel marketing network to sell a life insurance derivative known as a ‘viatical.’  . . . . These life insurance products essentially pit investors against life insurance companies.  The investors…

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