by Structured Settlement Watchdog
FACT OR FICTION? "Instead of taking the entire settlement or judgment in cash, you have the option to “structure” all or a portion of your recovery in order to generate future payments designed to coordinate with your future needs. The original defendant will generally “assign” his/her obligation to make the future payments to a major life insurance company (such as New York Life, MetLife etc) and the payments are then paid to you by the life insurance company in the form of an annuity." Jack Meligan, Settlement Professionals, Inc. from "What are Structured Settlements?" on SPI website 01/18/2007
The Missing Details
- You do NOT have the option to structure a judgment if the final appeal has been exhausted.
- In a New York State case, pursuant to Articles 50A and 50B. the future payments generated by structured judgments are NOT coordinated with your needs. In a case in which there is high pain & suffering, or future medicals, a structured settlement is often negotiated in lieu of a judgment, because a structured judgment is NOT customized like a structured settlement
- The manner in which such structured judgments are paid is set forth in the Articles 50A or 50B of the New York CPLR and is related to what the judge ( or jury) awards.
- A "qualified assignment" can be made by either the original defendant(s), the insurer(s) for the defendant(s) or the trustee of a qualified settlement fund
- Settlement Professionals, Inc. account of the structured settlement process is incorrect. Their description of the assignee, to whom the obligations are assigned, is inaccurate.The assignee is generally NOT a major life insurance company and certainly NOT the one issuing the structured settlement annuity. Most are special purpose qualified assignment companies. However, in most cases the performance of the assignee is guaranteed by the annuity issuer.