In The Matter Of The Petition Of Philip Hanks, Jr., No. 10575/11, 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 32512(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Sept. 14, 2011) , Justice Thomas Feinman was not impressed with the 19.99% discount rate rate that Settlement Funding of New York, LLC a/k/a Peachtree Settlement Funding (recently acquired by J.G. Wentworth) was offering for Phil Hanks structured settlement payment rights, opining they were not “fair and reasonable” as well as “excessive.”
If an annuitant wants to sell structured settlement payments in Nassau County, New York they've got to visit Judge Thomas Feinman's "house".
The Long Island judge also stated that the structured settlement factoring transaction was not in Hanks' best interest because he planned to use the money to make repairs to his mother’s home. Hanks', 22, claimed his mother would give him the house at a future date but did not provide any proof to his claim. Therefore, the judge thought Hanks did not fully understand the consequences of the transaction.
While Phil could have muttered "Hanks alot!" for being saved from becoming low hanging fruit, it is important to note that 47 states as well as our national government enacted legislation to protect those receiving structured settlements. While there is some state by state law variation, court approval is necessary in order for an annuitant to be able to transfer structured settlement payment rights. The Hanks case is yet another example of a New York judge doing what is necessary to protect the annuitant. New York plaintiff personal injury lawyers concerned about the factorability of structured settlements should take comfort that it "just"ain't that easy" for someone to cash out in the State of New York.