A disservice to those receiving settlements
The Nov. 4 editorial “Better safeguards for lawsuit payouts” endorsed rules proposed by Maryland’s judicial review committee that would expand regulation of Maryland’s settlement purchasing industry to ensure transparency and protection of people who need access to structured settlement payments. The proposed rules could harm the very people the committee aims to protect. Structured settlements occur when individuals elect to receive compensation from lawsuits in installments rather than a single payment. For some, the settlements are not sufficient in times of need, such as in cases of child support arrears, foreclosure, eviction or medical emergency. In these pressing circumstances, structured settlement purchasers offer an essential resource to settlement recipients — immediate value for their settlements that would otherwise pay out over many years. The committee’s goal is to protect settlement recipients, and much of what it drafted provides this protection, but some changes would significantly lengthen court procedures, increase the burden on the individual and inhibit a settlement payee’s ability to readily access needed money. The National Association of Settlement Purchasers supports consumer protection through greater disclosure and transparency requirements while maintaining the flexibility that the structured-settlement-purchasing industry provides to consumers. NASP does believe that legislation is needed and is ready to work with lawmakers in their ongoing efforts to standardize industry best practices. Click here to read on the Washington Post.
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