TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 458 into law, following the bipartisan legislation's unanimous passage in both houses. SB-458 is the product of more than 24 months of work between members of the Florida state legislature and the National Association of Settlement Purchasers (NASP), as well as other industry advocates including the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA). In particular, the organization wants to highlight the leadership of Rep. David Santiago and Senator Garrett Richter in tackling this issue. This legislation increases standards and disclosure requirements in Florida's secondary market for structured settlements, improving consumer protections in the state.
"NASP applauds the action of the Florida state legislature and Governor Rick Scott in implementing legislation that will improve protections and outcomes for payees in the state's secondary market for structured settlements," said NASP President Patricia LaBorde in a statement. "NASP is glad to have played an integral part in this important legislative passage, and looks forward to building on momentum in Florida to further strengthen consumer protections in other states' secondary markets."
Key aspects of SB-458 include provisions that will:
- Mandate that payees appear in person at the hearing when judges consider their proposed structured settlement transfer. When payees appear in court, judges are able to address the transaction with payees directly in order to thoroughly evaluate payees' personal and financial circumstances.
- Require court proceedings to be conducted and approved in the payee's county of residence. By requiring approval in the county where a payee lives, judges are more likely to be familiar with a particular payee's background and court history, and therefore also likely better able to understand and appreciate local economic conditions and other factors.
- Mandate payees' disclosure of prior structured-settlement transactions and attempted transactions within a designated number of years. These disclosures help judges' comprehensive evaluation of whether a proposed transfer is appropriate in light of such prior transactions, the remaining payments, and other payee circumstances.
The National Association of Settlement Purchasers is the sole trade association representing structured settlement purchasers. The Association advocates for state-level legislative developments that improve transparency and disclosure requirements in the structured settlement purchasing industry.
SOURCE National Association of Settlement Purchasers