by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
Maryland's Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure has approved structured settlement factoring reforms that are making the settlement purchasing industry cranky.
Highlights of the approved structured settlement protection reforms include that
- All structured settlement transfer petitions to be filed in the residing jurisdiction of the payees,
- Payees now must attend court hearings to help the judge decide whether the proposed deal is in their best interest.
- Companies must now say whether the underlying case involved any claim of lead paint poisoning or “mental or cognitive impairment.”
- Independent professional advisers — who counsel payees about the (structured settlement payments for cash) deals’ implications — must now appear at the hearings, divulge how frequently they’ve done business with the settlement purchasing companies and detail their investigation into the seller’s mental capacity.
In a letter to the Baltimore Sun, Easl S.Nesbitt, the Executive Vice President of the National Association of Settlement Purchasers opines (1) that such reforms are excessive, laying the blame on a single company, Access Funding.Access Funding was the focal point of blame in the Baltimore Lead Paint settlement "Blacksploitation" exposed by the Washington Post in August; (2) that all bad conduct in the structured settlement secondary market is the work of companies which are not members of the National Association of Settlement Purchasers.
In advocating for the members of NASP, Nesbitt selectively ignores allegations of bad business conduct by NASP members upon structured settlement annuitants and by NASP members on other NASP members. He offers no solutions.
When it comes to the State of Maryland , Access Funding is not the only actor in the structured settlement secondary market that has engaged in questionable business conduct. In addition to Access Funding there is/was
A. Sovereign Funding Group, David Springer of Mount Airy, MD Woodbridge Structured Funding, LLC vs David Springer Civil Action 1:11-cv-03421-MJG, where there was a judicial finding that David Springer was:
Ironically Elyce Strickland, a lawyer engaged by David Springer, for his defense from mid-2013 to January 2014, and was recently quoted by the Washington Post concerning the reasons that transfer petitions might be submitted with initials, raised the question of NASP membership in her deposition of a Woodbridge employee in July 2013. The irony was that David Springer was not a member of the National Association of Settlement Purchasers.
B. Einstein Structured Settlements/ Edison Settlements, Greenspring Funding, AnnuitySold.Com, brands associated JRR Funding and Owings Mills natives Richart Ruddie and Ryan Blank
Documented that conduct associated with one or more of these brands has included
Upon information and belief, JRR Funding and/or one or more Ryan Blank/Richart Ruddie entities has provided services to members of NASP as well as non-members
If these examples are not enough to give one pause, one only need to follow filed court cases in state and federal courts, or look to the websites of companies in the settlement purchasing industry where allegations of bad conduct is on display. One company even refers to other companies in the industry as zombies. If everything were wholesome, why would that be?
To his credit, Nesbitt agrees that Maryland's Judiciary Review Committee should pursue a solution that both protects consumers, including their right to privacy, and maintains the flexibility the structured settlement purchasing industry provides.
As I wrote in my October 10 post, the Maryland Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, is a great first important step. Lawmakers must pass reforms to establish licensing/registration, establish rules of business conduct, appoint a regulator, or expand the powers of an existing regulator who can oversee business conduct and have the power to fine suspend or revoke business authority for violations of the law.
Comments and Trackback Policy