by Structured Settlement Watchdog
After two years of inexplicable delays Terrence Taylor will get his day in court, after a favorable judicial ruling in the Portsmouth Circuit Court on October 27, 2017. The ruling also permits New York Life to bring in investors as additional parties and to go forward with its interpleader action, while litigation over the legitimacy of his structured settlement transfers goes forward. The investors bought structured settlement derivatives originated by 123 Lump Sum and Isettlements from Terrence Taylor's structured settlement.
Who is Terrence Taylor?
Terrence Taylor is an African American structured settlement annuitant, a severe burn victim since he was 6 year child, who was allegedly duped by various companies offering cash now for structured settlements. Despite Virginia state laws and Federal tax laws that required that transfers of structured settlement payment rights are in the best interest of the payee and any applicable dependents, judges in Portsmouth Virginia routinely allocated only a few minutes for each case reviewed, according to sampling of docket reports available on line. The result was that Taylor was allowed to complete an astounding 11 transfer orders in 2 years (sometimes in back to back months), many in the "three ring circus" that was the Portsmouth court room of former Judge Dean Sword, in a state where it has been alleged that Terrence Taylor did not even reside. Shortly after Taylor's story was publicized Virginia passed structured settlement protection reforms that might have prevented or at least mitigated a financial disaster that was not supposed to happen.
Taylor's plight was the subject of an article in the Wall Street Journal in March 2015 and "The flawed system that allows companies to make millions off the injured", an expose by Terrence McCoy of the Washington Post in December 27, 2015. Leslie Scism's article in the Wall Street Journal said "People like Mr. Taylor — those who have received settlements designed to provide income for many years — aren’t supposed to be able to easily cash it out. Since the late 1990s, 48 states and the federal government have passed consumer-protection laws requiring a state judge to determine whether it is in a seller’s best interest to do such deals".
Taylor originally filed suit February 26, 2015 in Eastern Virginia Federal Court, seeking jurisdiction in Alexandria Virginia partly on the basis that the Order of the federal judge in the underlying 1989 personal injury settlement precluded transfers. The case ended up in the Portsmouth Circuit on Rooker-Feldman grounds. SAF immediately filed for a Declaratory Judgment and Taylor counterclaimed in March 2015. Judge Hawks recused himself after he was mentioned in the aforementioned Scism article and justice was at a complete standstill until the June 2017 hearings and 4 months later Judge Johnny Mo's ruling.
Implication for Investors
The ruling has serious implications for investors in structured settlement derivatives originated by Structured Asset Funding and Isettlements. The October 27, 2017 ruling by Portsmouth Judge Johnny Morrison follows a contentious June 2017 hearing during which Portsmouth VA lawyer and Virginia delegate Steve Heretick said "Part of me, Judge, would suggest that maybe you should consider sending him (Terrence Taylor's lawyer) to jail for a few days for contempt, to let New York attorneys understand that when they come down Route 95 they have to mind their manners and they have to act like grown-ups and professionals, but I'm not going to ask you to do that". Heretick has his own problems. Heretick was alleged to be the central figure in an Annuity Fraud Enterprise involving potentially thousands of cases, according to a Civil RICO complaint filed September 14, 2017.