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Cummings Investigates Predatory Buy-Outs of Structured Settlements

Aug 27, 2015
Press Release

Cummings Investigates Predatory Buy-Outs of Structured Settlements

 

Washington, DC (Aug. 27, 2015)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to a company known as Access Funding requesting a meeting and information about how it purchases structured settlements in exchange for lump-sum payments, as well as the adequacy of existing legal protections for settlement recipients.

Today’s letter follows a front-page Washington Post article entitled “How Companies Make Millions Off Lead-Poisoned, Poor Blacks.”  The article reported on transactions between Access Funding and Baltimore City residents who received settlements from lead-paint litigation in the form of future payment streams. 

The article indicated, for example, that Access Funding purchased $146,000 worth of the lead-paint structured settlement awarded to Freddie Gray for “around $18,300.”

“I am troubled by these allegations because it appears that American families—many of whom are African Americans who have been subjected to devastating lead poisoning—are now being targeted for their financial settlements,” Cummings said.  “I want to understand not only how this company has been engaging in these practices, but also whether broader reforms are necessary to protect vulnerable families from dishonest financial predators.”

Click here to see today’s letter. 

114th Congress