by Structured Settlement Watchdog
What is Structured Settlement Forum Shopping?
Forum shopping is an insidious practice in the structured settlement secondary market in which structured settlement annuitants are groomed by out of state predators to fabricate a residence address for the purpose of increasing chances of judicial approval of a sale of structured settlement payments. It's a devious and calculated scam which inveigles the annuitant in a fraud on the Court ensuring that the factoring company has a defense and landmines the path to annuitants seeking a recovery for the deception. Nearly two decades since the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001, which begat IRC 5891, the structured settlement secondary market continues to have little regulation and no licensing standard. Enforcement of state structured settlement protection acts is far from uniform. For every Matthew Murphy, Lisa M. Fisher and Alexander Hunter (New York Supreme Court judges in Niagara, Greene and Bronx counties, with notable rejections of questionable structured settlement factoring transactions),there are judges that have appeared to make judicious use of their rubber stamps. The victims are young adults, quite often people of color. In one case forum shopping was used in the repeated financial rape of a Pittsburgh area child's structure from age 10 through his teenage years. I've chronicled a number of them on this blog.
I am conducting research for a structured settlement forum shopping victim impact study.
Have you ever received any communication from a buyer of structured settlement payments in which you've been encouraged to use an address other than the place where you live on an application to sell your structured settlement payments? If so, I'd like to hear from you.
Historically popular venues for forum shopping
- New York to Florida
- New York to Connecticut
- New York to Virginia
- Anywhere to Portsmouth Virginia
- Anywhere to Florida
- North Carolina to Georgia
- North Carolina to Florida
- West Virginia to Virginia
- Anywhere to South Carolina
Any communications concerning efforts to induce you to state that you lived in a place you didn't actually live
- asking you for the names of relatives that lived in the forum shopping state
- having already researched your relatives and making suggestions based on that information to lie about your actual residence
- actions that you were advised to take concerning creating the appearance of a residence, such as: signing a short term lease, obtaining driver's license
- Details of which persons accompanied you
- Any payments made by the settlement purchaser into a bank account set up in your name in a state where you were not a resident
- Any effort to discourage you from seeking independent professional advice, including, but not limited to stating that it would hold up or delay the transaction.
- Names and firms of any financial advisor that the settlement purchaser referred you to in connection with the sale of your payments for pennies on the dollar to place the net proceeds in an investment portfolio with projected returns