A. Ethics Concerning Solicitation and Creation of Structured Settlements
Structured Settlement Affidavit and Structured Settlement Declaration
4structures.com, LLC offers transparency and protection from fraud and misrepresentation through a Structured Settlement Affidavit ("SSA") or Structured Settlement Declaration ("SSD"). The SSA or SSD maintains the integrity of the structured settlement process, provides a full disclosure of terms, and carries all penalties for perjury.
Why do we offer the SSA and SSD?
1. Transparency. Certain business practices, or past allegations of certain business practices involving other members of the industry, undermine consumer confidence in the settlement process thereby hurting both the consumer and those casualty insurers who do not engage in these alleged practices that may be unethical, perceived as unethical, or even illegal. We are committed to protect the integrity of the process as everyone ultimately benefits from an honest system.
2. It is well established in two IRS Private Letter Rulings that knowledge of the structured settlement cost does not put the payee in constructive receipt and does not affect the income tax exemption afforded to structured settlement recipients. New York State General Obligations Law and the laws of several other states, require cost disclosures as part of their structured settlement protection acts. There is no reason to hide the cost of any structured settlement being offered as on any significant case both sides are likely to have engaged a structured settlement expert.
3. While most states have legal and regulatory prohibitions against rebating or "pay to play" schemes. for years it was common knowledge that such regulations were ignored as some structured settlement brokers, or their firms, paid a part of their commission to their casualty insurer clients, or even in response to the request to some plaintiff lawyers! While it is rare to encounter such behavior today the fact that there is any perception by some in the plaintiff’s bar that it still exists is reason enough to address it.
4. It is common knowledge that many structured settlement consultants who place structured settlements also consult with structured settlement annuitants in response to queries about transferring the structured settlement payment rights to a settlement purchaser in exchange for cash. We believe that such compensation is acceptable if professional services have been rendered and the nature of the compensation is disclosed to the selling annuitant, the amount of compensation is reasonable and there is no law or local court rule being violated. Bronx, New York is one example where the court's required structured settlement affidavit for infant compromise cases prohibits the structured settlement broker from participating in factoring of payments from the structured settlement in the case that is the subject of the affidavit.
The Structured Settlement Affidavit is a series of affirmative representations and warranties issued in writing for a case on which we are involved. These certify among other things that we:
- Do not pay commission rebates to any party or insurer, or evade the anti-rebating statutes through "service fee" or "administrative fee" arrangements
- Fully disclose age ratings and never misrepresent the cost of a structured settlement by engaging in post settlement medical underwriting
- Always disclose the true cost of the structured settlements that we participate in or negotiate, regardless of whether there is a statutory obligation to do so.
- Do not attempt to artificially inflate the value of any settlement by using unrealistic present value calculations
- Are not an "in house" or captive broker owned or controlled by an insurance carrier
Insist on the Structured Settlement Affidavit
All parties and the courts can feel comfortable that the facts and the numbers are indeed as they are represented when we handle, or participate in the handling, of a case. The warranty section of the SSA or SSD would expose us to civil and criminal liability if any statement were false.
Sample Bronx New York Structured Settlement Affidavit click here
B. Ethics Concerning Structured Settlement Annuitants AFTER The Structured Settlement Is Created
For the complete position of 4structures.com LLC on structured settlement factoring, please click here