This is Peter Vodola's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Peter Vodola's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Peter Vodola
Recent Activity
A federal court in Illinois let stand a murder suspects claim against an insurance company for life insurance proceeds, but also ruled that the insurer's interpleader lawsuit was proper. In Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Johnson, No. 11 C 8210, 2012 WL 2192283 (N.D. Ill. June 13, 2012), the dispute focused on the payment of death benefits from a life insurance policy issued by MetLife to cover the life of Geraldine Johnson. Geraldine died of stab wounds in 2003, "and the manner of death was determined to be a homicide," said the court. Her surviving spouse, Danny Johnson Sr., and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2012 at Insurance Developments
A recent decision from the federal court for the District of Nevada reveals not only the nature of a dispute about a life settlements business, but also some interesting aspects of that business. The case is Turnbow v. Life Partners, Inc., No. 3:12-cv-00290-HDM (WGC) (D. Nev. Aug. 20, 2012), and the district court granted the plaintiff's motion to compel responses to a subpoena. And here is what the court had to say, in part, about the dispute: This matter arises from litigation currently pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 3:11–cv–01030–M. . . .... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
The New York Structured Settlement Protection Act requires that a factoring company's petition for court approval include "a statement setting forth whether there have been any previous transfers or applications for transfer of the structured settlement payment rights and giving details of all such transfers or applications for transfer." WHat happens if the court reviewing the proposed transfer finds out that there have been prior transfer applications which were not disclosed to the court? The court denies the transfer approval request. At least, that's what happened in the case of In The Matter Of The Petition Of Fortress Funding NY,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
There are forty-eight structured settlement protection acts (SSPAs), each of which provide that sales and other transfers of structured settlement payment rights are not legally effective unless and until they are approved by a court and meet other requirements. One common requirement, and a condition for court approval, is that the transfer must be in the "best interest" of the payee. Recently - and in at least two blog posts that have appeared this month - some have said that the California SSPA is the only SSPA that defines the term "best interest". That is incorrect. No SSPA defines the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
The case of Fender v. State Treasurer, No. 12-cv-10823, 2012 WL 3112386 (E.D. Mich. July 31, 2012), is not a secondary insurance market case, but illustrates an issue that can arise in secondary market transactions involving structured settlement payment rights. In Fender, the payee of a structured settlement was incarcerated in 2008. The Michigan state treasurer filed a lawsuit against him, pursuant to the Michigan Correctional Facility Reimbursement Act, seeking 90% of the payee's assets to be put towards reimbursing the state for the cost of incarceration. The lawsuit led to a judgment against the payee, awarding the state 90%... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
"Barratry" or "barretry" is "the offense of frequently exiting and stirring up quarrels and suits between other individuals" and is a "form of maintenance . . . defined as an officious intermeddling in a suit that in no way belongs to one, by maintaining or assisting either party with money or otherwise, to prosecute or defend the suit." So said the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina (quoting Osprey, Inc. v. Cabana Ltd. P'ship, 532 S.E.2d 269 (S.C. 2000)) in the case of Hickey v. Resolution Management Consultants, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:12-0707-PMD (D.S.C. Aug. 20,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
J.G. Wentworth is for sale, according to news reports from earlier this month. The New York Post reported that private equity firm JLL Partners had been seeking to sell J.G. Wentworth - a secondary insurance market company that has repeatedly been referred to over the years as the largest purchaser of structured settlement payment rights. According to the Post's story, available here, JLL Partners is looking for $1 billion as a purchase price. Said the Post: "[a]pparently, the owner of JG Wentworth needs cash now." The Post stated that the requested purchase price was a potential roadblock to the sale,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Expressing its concerns that a payee did not appreciate the consequences of the proposed transaction, a New York trial court denied a proposed transfer of structured settlement payment rights earlier this year, on the grounds that the transfer was not in the payee's best interest and the transfer terms were not fair and reasonable. The decision was in the case of In The Matter Of The Petition Of J.G. Wentworth Originations, LLC (Pretto), No. 4344/2012, 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 51311(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. July 9, 2012). The matter was brought by a factoring company, J.G. Wentworth Originations, L.L.C., under the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
What happens when a structured settlement payee represents to a court that there was only one previous attempt at obtaining court approval of a secondary market transaction involving her future payment rights - but there was, in face, more than one? The judge denies the request for court approval of the pending transaction for one. In Fortress Funding of New York, L.L.C. v. Lanier-Montez, No. 20635/2012E, 2012 N.Y. Slop Op. 51357(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. July 13, 2012), the court said the following about such a situation: More troubling to this court is the fact that, notwithstanding respondent’s representation that she... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
Several posts this week (here, here and here) focus on a case, involving third party debt collection, where the court also discusses the principles of champerty. Another 2012 judicial opinion goes into more detail about champerty, and briefly mentions third party debt collection. In Frank v. Tewinkle, No. 1142 WDA 2011, 2012 PA Super 104 (Pa. Super. Ct. May 22, 2012), the Pennsylvania Superior Court considered an appeal from a decision of an Erie County Court of Common Pleas. The lower court had concluded that assignments of some legal malpractice claims were champertous and therefore void. The appellate court affirmed.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
As described in posts here and here, a proposed transfer of structured settlement payment rights that went before a New York judge received considerable criticism, much of it aimed at the factoring company that was requesting the judge's approval. The case was captioned In the Matter of the Petition of Peachtree Settlement Funding, LLC (Longe), RJI No. 2012-0039, 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 30465(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Feb. 28, 2012), and it was filed by a factoring company pursuant to the New York Structured Settlement Protection Act, a statute which establishes that such transfers are not effective without court approval. The... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Recent posts (here and here) have been about a recent New York court's opinion that discusses, among other things, champerty (and hence, the connection with secondary insurance markets), as well as the judge's serious questions about third party debt collection matters. The judge also invoked the movie The Sixth Sense. What happens if you search for the opinion? One site that shows up high on a Google search is this computer-generated animation version of the judge's imagined conversation between the lawyer and the potential client: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tJrJfTkl4A This YouTube page includes the following: This dialogue was taken almost verbatim from Centurion... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Yesterday's post (here) about Centurion Capital Corp. v. Guarino, No. 11117/05, 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 50749(U), Civil Court, City of New York, Richmond County (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Apr. 30, 2012) (Straniere, J.), discusses some of what the judge said in that opinion. For example, he discussed the possibility that the judgment obtained against a debtor was void due to champerty. And he mentioned the fact that there were, apparently, numerous other defects with the judgment. And he compared the situation - where he repeatedly saw evidence of lawsuits filed by defunct corporate parties, represented by law firms that have ceased... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
What happens when a judge starts to see - repreatedly - what he thinks are lawsuits filed by defunct corporate parties, represented by law firms that have ceased to exist? Perhaps the judge says what New York Supreme Court Justice Philip S. Straniere said in a recent case, faced with that situation: This is another case which is slowly convincing me that I am the judge in the 'Sixth Sense' part of the [New York] Civil Court where, like characters in that film who only see dead people, I am relegated to seeing cases with 'dead corporations' represented by 'dead... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
First, she wanted to buy a home in Freeport, New York. Then, she wanted to buy a home in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Next, she wanted to buy a home in Far Rockaway, New York. Those were some of "different reasons" given by a structured settlement payee for three different transactions involving her structured settlement payment rights - one of which was court approved in 2010, while the other two were rejected by courts in, first later in 2012 and then most recently in 2012. All of the proposed transactions went in front of a court, pursuant to the New York Structured... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
A New York trial court recently reviewed a proposed transfer of structured settlement payment rights and concluded that the petitioner, J.G. Wentworth Originations, L.L.C., had failed to prove that the transaction was in the best interests of the structured settlement payee. The court in In The Matter Of The Petition Of J.G. Wentworth Originations, LLC v. Rymell Lynn, No. 27694/2011 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. June 25, 2012), based its decision on circumstances of the case, which included the following details: In his affidavit, Lynn averred that he is 21 years old and has two minor children, ages one and three. He... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
Some claims in a lawsuit arising out of a deal to finance the securitization of a life settlements business have been dismissed, while others survived a federal court's recent ruling. In Foxworthy, Inc. v. CMG Life Services, Inc., Civil Action File No. 1:11-CV-2682-TWT (N.D. Ga. Apr. 16, 2012), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted in part, and denied in part, a motion to dismiss by the defendants in the case. CMG, said the court, "is a viatical settlement provider" that entered into two agreements ("Agreements") with Foxworthy, Inc. "Under the Agreements, Foxworthy would finance CMG's... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
A Michigan appellate court earlier this year affirmed a trial court's decision to reject a legal malpractice claim by a plaintiff who alleged that her attorney should have advised her not to enter into usurious litigation funding agreements. In Shanks v. Morgan & Meyers, P.L.C., Docket No. 302725 (Mich. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2012), the Michigan appellate court affirmed a decision by the trial court, which had concluded that the claims of plaintiff Nancy Shanks failed as a matter of law. Some of the facts, as set forth in the appellate court's opinion, included details about the plaintiff's underlying personal... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
Vermont this year has enacted a structured settlement protection act, as described in posts here, here and here. Vermont becomes the 48th state with an SSPA that governs the effectiveness of structured settlement protection acts. Only New Hampshire and Wisconsin are now without SSPAs. The 47th state to enact a structured settlement protection act was North Dakota, whose statute went into effect in August, 2009 (as described in this post). What happened in 2010 and 2011 in Vermont that might have moved thngs along toward passage of an SSPA? A number of circumstances, one of which was the issuance of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
The Vermont Structured Settlement Protection Act went into effect this week. As described in posts here and here, the Vermont SSPA is the 48th state statute governing the transfer of structured settlement payment rights and, like the other statutes, requires that such transactions receive court approval in order for them to become legally effective. While much of the Vermont SSPA follows the Model Structured Settlement Protection Act provisions, some portions do not. Besides the list of factors to be considered by a court in making the best interest determination, there are also provisions in the Vermont SSPA dealing with the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
What kind of contract violates Georgia public policy? The Georgia legislature has provided a list of contracts that violate public policy - although the statute says that the list is not exclusive. As set forth in Section 13-8-2(a) of the Official Code of Georgia, "[c]ontracts deemed contrary to public policy include but are not limited to: (1) Contracts tending to corrupt legislation or the judiciary; (2) Contracts in general restraint of trade, as distinguished from contracts which restrict certain competitive activities ...; (3) Contracts to evade or oppose the revenue laws of another country; (4) Wagering contracts; or (5) Contracts... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
The Vermont Structured Settlement Protection Act, which goes into effect July 1, governs the sale (and other transfer) of structured settlement payment rights from structured settlement payees to secondary market purchasers. As described here, like the other, already effective forty-seven state structured settlement protection acts, the Vermont statute says that a transfer of structured settlement payment rights is not effective without court approval. The Vermont law also says that courts are authorized to give approval only under certain conditions. One condition is that the court must find that the transfer is "in the best interest of the payee taking into... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
There are 47 state structured settlement protection acts that are now in effect, regulating proposed transfers of structured settlement payment rights. As of July 1, that number becomes 48, because the Vermont Structured Settlement Protection Act goes into effect. Like the other 47 state structured settlement protection acts, the Vermont statute provides that a proposed secondary market transaction involving structured settlement payments cannot become effective unless and until the transfer receives court approval. Also like most SSPAs, the Vermont statute provides that a court is authorized to give its approval only when and if it can make specific findings that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
As described here, New York Supreme Court Justice Cynthia S. Kern issued an opinion earlier this month denying a request for court approval of a transaction whereby a New York resident would sell her structured settlement payments to a factoring company. It turns out that that was not the only opinion from Justice Kern issued that day in a case brought under the New York Structured Settlement Protection Act. In both cases, the judge concluded that proposed transfers of future structured settlement payments would not be in the best interests of the respective payees, and were not "fair and reasonable"... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog
Image
A New York trial court this month rejected the third request, in less than a year, for court approval of factoring transactions involving an unemployed nineteen-year-old's structured settlement payments. The case is captioned In The Matter Of The Petition Of J.G. Wentworth Originations, L.L.C., For Judicial Approval Of Transfer Of Structured Settlement Payment Rights With Gloriel Phipps, Index No. 101030/12, Supreme Court, New York County, N.Y. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. June 1, 2012), and the opinion was written by New York Supreme Court Justice Cynthia S. Kern. In Phipps, the court stated that the "payee is nineteen years old, single and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2012 at Secondary Insurance Market Blog