Because we work closely with legal professionals, we keep an eye on developments in the field. The state of Vermont recently enacted the Vermont Structured Settlement Protection Act which became effective July 1, 2012.
Interesting Points to Call Out
The statute is similar other states structured settlement protection acts, though we did note some intriguing sections for attorneys to be aware of.
- Court is able to order the transferee to pay independent professional advice costs up to $1,500.
- The payee needs to obtain independent professional advice or a written request needs to be made to the court that such advice is considered unnecessary.
- Expanded filing requirements by the Transferee include filing of the application with the VT Attorney General’s office, VT Office of Child Support, the VT Department of Taxes and the VT Department of Financial Regulation.
- Certain documents, if filed (e.g. annuity contract, settlement agreement) must be filed under seal of the court.
- The court needs to consider several factors in determining whether the transfer is in the payee’s best interest. One interesting consideration is whether the payee has obtained more than one quote for the same or a substantially similar transfer.
- Payee can cancel the transaction at any time before the court enters a final order. This language is required in the disclosure statement.
Legislative Intention: Structured Settlement Agreements
We also want to highlight the passage regarding the statement of legislative intent:
“Structured settlement agreements, which provide for payments to a person over a period of time, are often used in the settlement of actions such as personal injury or medical claims and serve a number of valid purposes, including protection of persons from economic victimization and assuring a person’s ability to provide for his or her future needs and obligations. It is the policy of this state that such agreements, which have often been approved by a court, should not be set aside lightly or without good reason.”
A Resource You Can Rely On
We wholeheartedly agree that undertaking a sale of structured settlement payments should be well considered and for the right reasons. That’s why we stay current with developments and work closely with our network of referring professionals to meet the client’s needs.
Strategic Capital – A High Standard
We don’t engage in predatory advertising and we take the time to understand the client’s needs – both short and long term. We make suggestions to help the client find other sources of funds to avoid selling payments. We treat our clients fairly and with compassion.
In short, we’re concerned with doing business the right way – We believe that how we do business is as important as why.
If you’d like to read the entire statute, click here, or contact us for more information on what it means to you and your clients. Drop us a note at Info@StrategicCapital.comor call toll free:
Statute link: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2012/Acts/ACT168.pdf