After unanimous passages in both houses of the state legislature, Virginia’s governor signed senate bill six two one into law this week with the goal being to strengthen consumer protections in the structured settlement purchasing industry. Months of joint work between members of the state legislature and the National Association of Settlement Purchasers and other interest groups resulted in this new legislation which increases standards and disclosure requirements in Virginia’s secondary market for structured settlements.
The following are some significant provisions of the bill: Payees will appear at the hearing when judges consider their proposed structured settlement transfer so they can directly evaluate the payees personal and financial circumstances. Court proceedings will now be conducted and approved in the payees county of residence so there is more familiarity of the payee’s background and court history. The bill also mandates that the payee disclose of prior structured settlement transactions and attempted transactions within a designated number of years.
This issue with structured settlements was highlighted by a series of articles in the Washington Post where they touched on the Freddie Gray death and how he had sold off his structured settlement payments for pennies on the dollar. Similar legislation is being worked on in Maryland.