by Structured Settlement Watchdog
Intervenor is Blanked Over "Poached" Structured Settlement Egg After They Thought They'd Get "Over Easy"
VIP Services Corporation tried to poach a structured settlement factoring deal involving a resident of Pennsylvania with a more attractive rate and lost. It then appealed and lost in a case that brings Pennsylvania's "best interest" test into the fore. The operative question is if the reasons for selling are purely financial, why wouldn't a better deal be in the Payee's best interest?
According to Court records, VIP Services Corporation (Appellant) appealed from an order entered in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, granting the joint petition to transfer structured settlement payment rights filed by payee Tyecia Hutchins (Payee) and transferee TBT Services, LLC (TBT). According to court records, TBT is a limited liability company organized under and pursuant to the laws of [the] state of Wyoming. [P]ayee . . . is an adult individual of full age who resides in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. As a result of personal injuries [received when she was a minor, Payee] was entitled to receive future structured settlement payments. Court filings state that the Annuity owner is Pacific Life and Annuity Company and the Annuity issuer is Pacific Life Insurance Company.
Upon information and belief, the Annuity Owner would likely be Pacific Life and Annuity Services, Inc.(PLASI) not Pacific Life and Annuity. Pacific Life Insurance Company became the underwriting company for structured settlements established pursuant to settlements in all states except New York, in 2012. Pacific Life and Annuity, which since 2012 is the Pacific Life underwriting company in New York settlements is not a qualified assignment company. PLASI is the qualified assignment company for Pacific Life and as such, would be the owner of any structured settlement annuities issued by any of the Pacific Life underwriting life insurance companies.
VIP Services Corporation was granted permission to intervene in this matter. On appeal, Appellant contends the trial court erred when it scheduled a hearing despite defects in the joint petition, and when it determined the transfer was in Payee’s best interests. IN RE: TYECIA HUTCHINS APPEAL OF: VIP SERVICES CORPORATION IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLANIA J-A28035-20, Appeal from the Order Entered February 12, 2020 In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Civil Division at No(s): GD-20-000414 Download J-A28035-20m - 104631710121860271 Hutchins VIP Services Corporation Appeal
According to the December 11, 2020 Appellate decision, "on or about January 2, 2020, [Payee] executed an “Absolute Sale, Transfer and Assignment of Structured Settlement Payment Rights” (the “Agreement”). The Agreement provided for the assignment of future payments to TBT and/or its designated assignee. TBT provided a Disclosure Statement, setting forth, inter alia, the amounts and schedule of payments to be transferred to [Payee]. The Disclosure asserts that [Payee] intends to sell future payments at a discounted present value of $27,131.88. The Disclosure stated the total amount [Payee] would receive for the transaction, as well as . . . the specific payment amounts and timing of the individual structured settlement payments. The disclosure also included the fee applied for [Payee] to enter into he [Agreement,] effectively, . . . an interest rate of 22.14% per annum[.] In paragraph twelve (12) of [Payee and TBT’s] Joint Petition, they state, “[a]fter due consideration, Payee . . . is satisfied that the transfer is in her best interests for the reasons set forth in the Affidavit attached hereto as Exhibit “C”. Again, [Payee] is an adult individual of full age. Further, paragraph fifteen (15) of the . . . Joint Petition maintains that “Payee . . . has executed an Acknowledgment confirming that she has waived independent legal advice, including consideration of any tax ramifications of the transfer.[”]
"Next, Appellant argues the trial court erred when it approved the joint petition since the transfer was not in Payee’s best interest. Appellant’s Brief
at 21. Appellant insists that because Payee’s reasons for transferring her settlement payments were “purely financial,” the trial court should have found
that its proposed transfer, which included more favorable terms than the TBT offer, was in Payee’s best interests. Id. at 21-22. Indeed, Appellant
maintains the trial court neglected its guardianship role when it ignored “uncontroverted evidence” that the settlement offer from Appellant had
“better financial terms” than the offer in the joint petition". [Ibid.]
VIP Services Corporation raised the following two issues on appeal:
1. Did the trial curt err when it approved the TBT Petition because Pa.R.C.P. 229.2 required the trial court to deny the TBT Petition?
2. Did the trial court err when it approved the TBT Petition, finding it to be in [Payee’s] best interests to do so, because the financial terms of the assignment in the TBT Petition were worse than those contemplated by [Payee’s] agreement with [Appellant]?
VIP Services Corporation claims concern the interplay between the Structured Settlement Protection Act (SSPA), 40 P.S. §§ 4001-4009, and Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 229.2. The SSPA mandates court approval for the transfer of any future structured settlement payments.3 See 40 P.S. § 4003(a). In particular, the Act requires the payee establish that “the transfer is in the best interests of the payee or his dependents.” 40 P.S. § 4003(a)(3).
But it was the allegation by the annuitant in the Court record that VIP Services Corporation threatened that "They Were Going To Send People" to her house (for nixing the deal) that really got my attention.
"At the hearing, Payee acknowledged that she had entered into a contract with Appellant in late November or early December of 2019, to transfer two future settlement payments. N.T., 2/12/20, at 11, 17. However, she later decided to “cancel[ ]” that contract and enter into an agreement with TBT. Id. at 11.
She explained: I was being threatened that [Appellant] would intervene today. They’ve harassed me and said they were going to send notaries
to my house, and if I didn’t deny the court hearing with [TBT],that they were going to send people to my house"
Who is VIP Services Corporation?
Upon information and belief VIP Services Corporation has an association with Genex Capital Corporation. While there is no website for VIP Services Corporation, as far as a reasonable web search can tell, a Connecticut application for transfer filed in the same time frame states Applicant, "VIP Services Corporation (the “Transferee”) is a corporation duly organized and validly existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, and maintains a principal office at 73 Green Tree Drive, #99, Dover, DE 19904". The Dover Delaware address is a UPS store mailbox that is known to be the address of record for Genex Capital Corporation in the United States. It is the address that Genex Capital Corporation states on its website at the time of posting [ In Re VIP Services Corporation v Favio Torres Superior Court CT JD-New Haven NNH-CV19-6097971]. The Structured Settlement Annuity Sale and Assignment attached to that application as an exhibit, is signed by Roger Proctor, CEO of Genex Capital Corporation.