by Structured Settlement Watchdog
In my opinion the Florida structured settlement transfer laws need to be changed to eliminate forum shopping. Here are some changes that I believe should be made to the law in Florida.
1. Require that petitions for structured settlement transfers be filed in the jurisdiction in which the annuitant resides as opposed to any court in the State of Florida. For example, Sumter County can only be a venue for Sumter County residents. Brings Florida consistent with the structured settlement protection acts of other states.
2. Require proof that the petitioner/seller has resided in that Florida county for a minimum of 12 months
Read The Sumter County Factoring Forum Shop? October 21, 2013. A time limit needs to be set far enough out so that someone can't come down to Florida for a couple of days or weeks and create the illusion of domicile with the assistance of the settlement purchaser.
I also interiewed a young man from North Carolina, which has a discount rate cap and he claims to have been forum shopped into Florida with the transfer petition using as the address of "domicile" the address of his grandmother who he had not visited in over 20 years. He claims the settlement purchaser also inveigled a "friend relative" to receive payment for his expense money (ostensibly to cover the tracks so there would be no trace of payment to a North Carolina resident).
3. Impose stiff punishment for anyone who is caught violating the law.
4. Require an in-person review by a judge.
and further, to protect Florida citizens
Require that any company engaged in structured settlement factoring transactions, with residents of the State of Florida, be registered with the Florida Secretary of State and have all filings current. Said requirement would include a disclosure of all DBAs.
Registrations should require the address where the company conducts its operations as opposed to a UPS store mailbox, P.O. Box or virtual office mail drop.