What is the Alabama structured settlement protection act?

If you are a resident of the State of Alabama and are considering selling your structured settlement income for a cash lump sum you need to take the time to read over and make an attempt to understand the Alabama Structured Settlement Protection Act. This legislation was put into place in 2001 and outlines your rights, the process and potential legal issues you might face as you work through this important decision.

http://www.legislature.state.al.us/searchableInstruments/2001RS/Bills/HB466.htm

Beyond just reading the law however, you also need to recognize that one of the biggest issues in the transfer of annuity payments is the selection of the company you work with on this vitally important transaction. Often times people will simply call an 800 number off a TV or radio ad, or respond to a direct mail solicitation, with out any idea whether or not they are getting the right price or working with someone familiar with Alabama law and the nuances of the Alabama Structured Settlement Protection Act. This directory is designed to work with a wide range of professionals, from transfer attorneys, to purchasers of cash flows, Independent Professional Advisors and structured settlement experts. 

If you are serious about finding someone in Alabama, or at least who is familiar with the transfer law and structured settlement law in the state, please use our contact form listed here and we will be happy to refer an expert for you to speak with. This is an important and often lifetime financial decision which requires careful analysis and pricing to make sure you are getting the best possible price. 

The end of single claimant Qualified Settlement Funds?

This week Mark Wahlstrom looks at the often careless and frequently dishonest method's certain plaintiff experts have used to try and justify the use of a single claimant case to settle a personal injury case, when often the only true motivation is simply taking control of the structured settlement funding process away from the defendant. The plaintiff experts who push the single claimant settlement fund strategy as an effective planning tool and selling "fools gold" to their attorney clients and now run the risk of profound professional embarrassment by continuing this tactic.

Single claimant QSF, Fools Gold for settlement planners.

Single claimant QSF, Fools Gold for settlement planners.

As someone who has worked exclusively as a plaintiff settlement expert for over 25 years now Mark has a personal understanding of why plaintiff brokers and trial lawyers feel so aggrieved about the process of structured settlements and what they view as excessive defense control and interference in the process. However, the answer to that process should not be the careless and casual use of the IRC 468B qualified settlement fund process to add additional expense, process and potential IRS audit scrutiny to the settlement process simply so they don't have to split a commission with a defense broker. 

As Mark mentioned in the earlier commentary, there is plenty of blame to go around for the past, but we can't continue to live in the past, we need to move forward. However, the result of this over reach by plaintiff brokers on single claimant cases has led to a situation where there are no life companies that will underwrite a structure on a single claimant case, forcing brokers to look at alternative products or approaches, or to go back to their clients and explain how their time and funds on setting up a QSF were wasted.

The primary purpose of a Qualified Settlement Fund should be to administer a multi-claimant case in cost effective and compliant fashion so as to provide the best planning option to MULTIPLE claimants. Single claimant cases should be legal but used on truly exceptional cases, not as a short cut to close defendants out of the process. There is little to be gained by past practices on BOTH sides of this issue and eventually there needs to be a set of industry standards developed and agreed to by all stakeholders or we run the risk of further shrinking our profession in both numbers of brokers, life markets and premium written.