Maryland’s Attorney General’s office has taken aim at predatory settlement purchasers that are buying legal settlements for pennies on the dollar, specifically ones targeting lead paint settlements. The Attorney General feels most of the victims here are not able to make sound financial decisions and wants his office to oversee these types of transactions more thoroughly. The current law says those who want to sell their settlement must meet with a financial adviser and get approval from a judge who deems it a quote “reasonable” decision by the seller. Critics argue the standard should be if its a reasonable deal for the victims and claim companies also shop around for favorable judges. An example given was a car accident victim who was due a one hundred thousand dollar settlement in 2021 but in 2013 JG Wentworth offered to buy thirty thousand dollars of the settlement for an immediate ten thousand dollar payment, which the man accepted.
The National Association of Settlement Purchasers President Patricia LaBorde says the association is for additional regulations but opposed to giving the Attorney General’s office the power of overseeing the regulations. Given these new regulations the industry would have very little opportunity to participate in an abbreviated process.
An Attorney General’s office study found that twenty one million dollars in settlement payments were bought by companies for six million dollars.