What part of "NO CAN DO" with structured settlements owned by the United States do factoring companies not understand? There is already a body of appellate decisions throughout the country which demonstrates this foundation.
Spinning whatever response that can be anticipated, it still appears that a number of factoring companies, knowing of the fortifications that Uncle Sam has built up around structured annuities purchased as part of resolution of claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act, continue to waste time and appear to create more anguish for consumers.
The latest story emanates from a Consent Judgment in an interpleader action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York captioned Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Plaintiffs v United States of America, et al., Stratcap Investments, Inc. Betty Martinez-Lee Frankie Lee. Defendants.
May 21, 2002 Lees enter into a settlement Agreement with the United States to resolve Federal Tort Clams Act action against the United States arising out of wrongful death of their son. The Agreement sigend by the Lees provided that $501.310.00 was paid to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company to purchase an annuity contact to fund future periodic payments to the Lees of certain amounts on certain dates. As usual under FTCA cases the annuity contract is owned by the United States and the documents provided that "the annuity company shall be the sole source from which Plaintiffs shall receive the future payments provided for in this agreement"
July 1, 2002 Betty Martinez Lee attempts to sell rights to future periodic payments under the US owned annuity, to Stratcap.
October 24, 2003 Frankie Lee makes a separate attempt to sell rights to future periodic payments under the US owned annuity, to Stratcap.
December 5, 2003, November 4, 2004 and April 21, 2008 New York Supreme Court issues orders approving the transfers of periodic payments from the Lees to Stratcap.
Stratcap serves the state court orders upon MetLife, confirms receipt by Met and THEN disbursed $101,144 to Frankie Lee and $22,000 to Betty Martinez-Lee
The US moved to void the orders on the basis that they were entered into without waiver of sovereign immunity and without subject matter jurisdiction, thus unenforceable against the United States as owner of the annuity contract.