by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
A woman whose structured settlement was set up when she was a minor, was scheduled to receive structured settlement payments beginning at age 18, discovered that the payments were sold twice to a factoring company and that she has nothing left. The purported transactions took place during the late 1990s in the days before structured settlement protection acts.
The woman who recently contacted me believes that the transaction documents were forged.
I told the woman she should seek the advice of an attorney.
Fortunately for consumers with structured settlement transfers since 2005, under the structured settlement protection act of the woman's state of residence, court approval is required before transfers of structured settlement payment rights. One would think that court approval (and the ID checking that is common in other financial transactions) would be a means to prevent what is being alleged. Structured settlement protection act requirements have been criticized by insiders as being burdensome and adding to the cost of the transfers, however, if the allegation about this factoring forgery is true it will underscore the importance of these structured settlement consumer protection measures.
Stay tuned for further developments.
Postscript February 2016
The possibility that there are clusters of structured settlement transfer forgeries has proved not to be far fetched. Recent years have seen a lot of criminal activity strike the structured settlement secondary market, including a front page story about 234 structured settlement transfer forgeries in New York by Thomas Rubino, a paralegal employed at the time of his purported crimes with the New York City personal injury law firm of Paris & Chaikin and 104 structured settlement transfer forgeries, by a Miami lawyer Jose Manuel Camacho Jr., who forged 7 judges signatures before the discovery of his crimes and Camacho's subsequent arrest in October 2015.
In a Leon County Florida case filed in 2015, an Indiana woman alleged that a settlement purchaser entered into multiple unauthorized lottery transfer transactions when she only authorized one.