by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
Structured Settlement "Science Fiction" Day
Yet another story of a structured settlement annuitant who has decided to sell structured settlement payment rights and lived to regret it. In this case a Hiawatha Kansas man blames it on a mythical prehistoric bird and drugs.
On ComplaintsBoard.Com the Hiawatha Kansas man states "Due to my Disability I am on very strong medication for Depression and Pain. I hardly remember doing so called business with JG Wentworth back in 2008. I can just remember being swooped on like a Giant bird had gotten a hold of me and took 3/4 of my Annuity from my 4 year old and my self (sic) " January 19, 2011
He goes on to say "We are struggling! That money was fought for by myself and my son when my wife died unexpectedly in a Doctor's Care (sic). I just now have a question. Can you legally sign a Contract (sic) while being under the influence? Is the Contract Binding(sic)? Please email me at [email protected]. Thank you!?" (email sanitized)
Courts are usually not very sympathetic to people who claim they were intoxicated when they signed a contract
According to FindLaw, "if a person signs a contract while drunk or under the influence of drugs, can that contract be enforced? Courts are usually not very sympathetic to people who claim they were intoxicated when they signed a contract. Generally a court will only allow the contract to be avoided (sic) if the other party to the contract knew about the intoxication and took advantage of the intoxicated person, or if the person was somehow involuntarily intoxicated (e.g. someone spiked the punch)".
Taking that into account and setting aside all due sympathy for the tragedy of this man's loss (of his spouse and his son's mother) and the financial predicament he finds himself in now, if the man transferred his and his son's structured settlement payment rights in 2008, then the transfer will have had to have been approved by a Court as being in the best interest of the man and his dependents. The fact that the man claims that he cannot now remember the transaction with J.G. Wentworth 3 years ago, does not mean he was not competent to make a regretful decision then. At the very least a state judge believed he was.
Moreover, depending on the state the structured settlement transfer is to take place, there is a mandatory statutory "cooling off period "of between 3 to 10 days during which time the transaction must not proceed. As expressly set forth in Section 2(h) of the Kansas structured settlement protection act, the payee has the right to cancel the transfer agreement, without penalty or further obligation, not later than the third business day after the date the agreement is signed by the payee.
A 75% discount to future value would likely have meant that a long term cash flow was sacrificed. It is not
clear whether the man sought independent financial advice and/or shopped around for the best deal (although it is doubtful), or whether the sight of a zaftig Viking crooning on TV provided sufficient "stimulus" to trigger an impulsive decision to sell structured settlement payment rights to J.G. Wentworth.
Judges Ruling on Structured Settlement Transfers Not Seeking Best Discount Rate
A judge reviewing a structured settlement transfer is most likely looking for reasonable discount rate, as opposed to the best discount rate. If every judge was charged with looking for the best effective discount rates the high discounting factoring companies like Imperial Structured Settlements, Peachtree Settlement Funding and others would not be in business or would be much less profitable. However, this is not the law.
If you need cash now, but don't shop around, you can ride the J.G. Wentworth bus with this dude, at your own peril!