by Structured Settlement Watchdog
"In a post JG Wentworth Complaints -RIP OFF", Sandra, a deaf, now homeless, mother of 4 alleged that she was victimized by both JG Wenworth and John Hancock, the company that issued the annuity contract that funded the structured settlement that she apparently received as the result of the settlement of a lawsuit or claim when she was younger.
From what I can deduce from her admission, sometime in 2007 the woman saw a JG Wentworth advertisement on TV. She does not say which of the notoriously misleading JG Wentworth cash now pitches she fell for. Was it the "talking head" Mr. Wentworth, "The Screaming Balcony Idiots", "The Aliens That Came Out of the Closet" or "The Zaftig Viking Crooners" that gave her the itchy trigger finger? Yet as she puts (understands) it "they offered me a quote to get $40K out of my annuity". She says that the judge then approved (so it was submitted pursuant to a state structured settlement protection act for court approval) $38,000. One presumes that the $2,000 discrepancy was for legal fees.
She reveals in a Rip Off Report that she was sexually abused (one can deduce somewhere between 2007 and 2009), her "ex-abuser took the $38K and left her pregnant and homeless". The unfortunate woman contacted JG Wentworth in 2009 and was told they "don't have enough transaction". From the garbled post one can deduce that she sold payments through 2024 to JG Wentworth in 2007 and that all she could do at the time of her post was to sell what was left- worth $5,500 today.
The woman blames this on John Hancock who she accuses of "irresponsibility, fraud, discrimination whatsoever" because she perceives has issued a crappy value annuity.
So what do we have here? To Who Should the Blame Be Assigned?
1. We don't know if the woman was represented by a qualified and credentialed settlement consultant. It does not appear so. She states " "my old attorney rushed me into sign the annuity contract with John Hancock". Had she been represented by a qualified advisor she might have had a better apparent understanding of what she was doing in the first place-even at a young age. At the very least she could have had a contact to call independent of JG Wentworth. Plaintiff attorneys should be calling in settlement consultants to meet with their clients to (1) protect their clients (2) document the file that an independent consultant was consulted and that the independent consultant and the attorney feel comfortable that the plaintiff has a reasonable grasp of the concepts, proper disclosures have been made and there is a good comfort level in what they are doing.
It appears to this author that either $100,000 was put into it when the lawsuit was settled, to fund the structured settlement and she gets a total of $43,500 in value out of it from the factoring. Or less was put into it to begin with and it was scheduled to pay $100,000 over time. Either way she doesn't get it based on what has been written.
2. What do the Court transcripts say with respect to the "best interest" hearing?
The woman admits that a judge approved the transaction was in her best interest, taking into account the welfare of her dependents. Unless the judge simply "rubber stamped" the approval one assumes that a judicial review took place. A review of the court transcript would set the record straight.
3. Did the annuity actually go down in value?
The annuity DID NOT go down in value! A fixed annuity contract was issued to make specific periodic payments (John hancock does not offer variable annuity structured settlements). Where has John Hancock not performed? The annuity payments will be going to someone, just not the woman who decided to sell he rights to those payments, who was able to convince a judge that even with 4 children the sale was in her best interest. John Hancock likely performed under the judge's order to transfer the payments. The woman decided to sell and paid the price for selling early, not unlike someone breaking a CD and incurring a penalty (albeit with bigger stakes),
4. How is John Hancock or JG Wentworth responsible for the abusive ex?
From what this author is able to deduce, Sandra appears to have sold structured settlement payment rights she was scheduled to receive through 2024, to JG Wentworth, in 2007. The alleged abuse of the ex and his alleged absconding with her funds occurred sometime later... as late as 2009, when she wrote the online complaint. There was no evidence presented to suggest that either company hooked her up with "the cad" in the first place or was responsible for getting her pregnant.
- Extra care must be taken when setting up financial plans (including but not limited to those which have a structured settlement annuity or treasury component) for those with health impairments that could affect comprehension (e.g. deafness, loss of sight, traumatic brain injury, mental and learning disorders
- Extra care must be taken by judges and other interested parties when someone with the above characteristics attempts to transfer structured settlement payment rights.
- While JG Wentworth proudly displays the deserved awards it has earned for its absurd, at times misleading and memorable advertising, the story of Sandra is certainly not a moment to be proud of, regardless of fault. It was the impetus to sell.
- Consumers need to be careful about throwing words around like fraud unless they have a clear understanding of what that legally means.
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