by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
I am receiving call after call from structured settlement annuitants who have been induced into forum shopping from their home state to the state of Florida by representatives of the structured settlement secondary market . Many of the victims are then systematically churned and "raped" of their structure settlement payouts by a system that fails them.
Common points that I have observed from the callers on these forum shopping cases
1. Spending money and air fares to Florida are paid by the cash now pushers using gift cards that they give to the sellers upon arrival in Florida or send to them.
[ Question: If you are going to fly someone down to Florida why not just buy the ticket? Is this for administrative convenience or is it so that the specific expenses cannot be traced? ]
2. Selling structure settlement annuitants spend only 4-5 days in Florida getting a Florida ID, getting a driver's license and/or setting up a bank account with a de minimis deposit,. before returning home
3. Selling structured settlement annuitants rarely appear in the Florida Court at the hearing. Judge's have no opportunity to question the annuitants in person. This had led to many questionable decisions by Florida judges.
4. Churning of the annuitant's structured settlements is facilitated by Florida judges perhaps deceived by the fiction created by the paperwork submitted to them, or perhaps the Florida judges are simply not doing a good enough job in assuring compliance with "best interest". For example someone who has failed to get court approval in their home state applies to do 3 sell transactions in a short time and the judges don't question. What's up with that? What other explanation is there for that many approvals and incurring so much transaction expense from serial transactionsin such a short tme period?
People are being left destitute by seller exploitation and failures within the Florida system. Residents of many states are affected. This must be addressed sooner rather than later.
How much excise tax would the IRS be able to collect from the settlement purchasers who engage in these practices in luring holders of structured settlement payments to Florida? Should a Federal government investigation and attorney general investigation of these business practices begin, or is one underway? The money trail needs to be followed.