The Washington Structured Settlement Protection Statute
Cite as Washington Laws Chapter 19; ยง178 et al.


Passed Legislature – 2001 Regular Session
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By Representatives Benson and Hatfield
Read first time 01/24/2001. Referred to Committee on Financial
Institutions & Insurance.
AN ACT Relating to creating the structured settlement protection 1 act; and adding a new chapter to Title 19 RCW. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON: 3 NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. This chapter may be known and cited as the 4 structured settlement protection act. 5 NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. The definitions in this section apply 6 throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise. 7

(1) “Annuity issuer” means an insurer that has issued a contract to 8 fund periodic payments under a structured settlement. 9

(2) “Dependents” means a payee’s spouse and minor children and all 10 other persons for whom the payee is legally obligated to provide 11 support, including alimony. 12

(3) “Discounted present value” means the present value of future 13 payments determined by discounting such payments to the present using 14 the most recently published applicable federal rate for determining the 15 present value of an annuity, as issued by the United States internal 16 revenue service. 17
p. 1 EHB 1347.SL

(4) “Gross advance amount” means the sum payable to the payee or 1 for the payee’s account as consideration for a transfer of structured 2 settlement payment rights before any reductions for transfer expenses 3 or other deductions to be made from such consideration. 4

(5) “Independent professional advice” means advice of an attorney, 5 certified public accountant, actuary, or other licensed professional 6 adviser. 7

(6) “Interested parties” means, with respect to any structured 8 settlement, the payee, any beneficiary irrevocably designated under the 9 annuity contract to receive payments following the payee’s death, the 10
annuity issuer, the structured settlement obligor, and any other party 11 that has continuing rights or obligations under such structured 12 settlement. 13

(7) “Net advance amount” means the gross advance amount less the 14 aggregate amount of the actual and estimated transfer expenses required 15 to be disclosed under section 3(5) of this act. 16

(8) “Payee” means an individual who is receiving tax-free payments 17 under a structured settlement and proposes to make a transfer of 18 payment rights thereunder. 19

(9) “Periodic payments” means (a) recurring payments and (b) 20 scheduled future lump sum payments. 21

(10) “Qualified assignment agreement” means an agreement providing 22 for a qualified assignment within the meaning of section 130 of the 23 United States Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. Sec. 130), as amended. 24

(11) “Responsible administrative authority” means, with respect to 25 a structured settlement, any government authority vested by law with 26 exclusive jurisdiction over the settled claim resolved by such 27 structured settlement. 28

(12) “Settled claim” means the original tort claim or workers’ 29 compensation claim resolved by a structured settlement. 30

(13) “Structured settlement” means an arrangement for periodic 31 payment of compensation for injuries or sickness as described in 26 32 U.S.C. Sec. 104(a)(1) or (2), as amended, or an arrangement for 33 periodic payment of benefits under a special needs trust as described 34 in 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396p(d)(4), as amended. 35

(14) “Structured settlement agreement” means the agreement, 36 judgment, stipulation, or release embodying the terms of a structured 37 settlement. 38
EHB 1347.SL p. 2

(15) “Structured settlement obligor” means, with respect to any 1 structured settlement, the party that has the continuing obligation to 2 make periodic payments to the payee under a structured settlement 3 agreement or a qualified assignment agreement. 4

(16) “Structured settlement payment rights” means rights to receive 5 periodic payments under a structured settlement, whether from the 6 structured settlement obligor or the annuity issuer, if: 7

(a) The payee is domiciled in, or the domicile or principal place 8 of business of the structured settlement obligor or the annuity issuer 9 is located in, this state; 10

(b) The structured settlement agreement was approved by a court or 11 responsible administrative authority in this state; or 12
c) The structured settlement agreement is expressly governed by 13 the laws of this state. 14

(17) “Terms of the structured settlement” means, with respect to 15 any structured settlement, the terms of the structured settlement 16 agreement, the annuity contract, any qualified assignment agreement and 17 any order or other approval of any court or responsible administrative 18 authority or other government authority that authorized or approved 19such structured settlement. 20

(18) “Transfer” means any sale, assignment, pledge, hypothecation 21 or other alienation or encumbrance of structured settlement payment 22 rights made by a payee for consideration. However, “transfer” does not 23 mean the creation or perfection of a security interest in structured 24 settlement payment rights under a blanket security agreement entered 25 into with an insured depository institution, in the absence of any 26 action to redirect the structured settlement payments to such insured 27 depository institution, or an agent or successor in interest thereof, 28 or otherwise to enforce such blanket security interest against the 29 structured settlement payment rights. 30 (19) “Transfer agreement” means the agreement providing for a 31 transfer of structured settlement payment rights. 32

(20) “Transfer expenses” means all expenses of a transfer that are 33 required under the transfer agreement to be paid by the payee or 34 deducted from the gross advance amount, including, without limitation, 35 court filing fees, attorneys’ fees, escrow fees, lien recordation fees, 36 judgment and lien search fees, finders’ fees, commissions, and other 37 payments to a broker or other intermediary. “Transfer expenses” does 38 p. 3 EHB 1347.SL not mean preexisting obligations of the payee payable for the payee’s 1 account from the proceeds of a transfer. 2

(21) “Transferee” means a party acquiring or proposing to acquire 3 structured settlement payment rights through a transfer. 4 NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. Not less than three days prior to the date 5 on which a payee signs a transfer agreement, the transferee shall 6 provide to the payee a separate disclosure statement, in bold type no 7 smaller than 14 points, setting forth: 8

(1) The amounts and due dates of the structured settlement payments 9 to be transferred; 10

(2) The aggregate amount of such payments; 11

(3) The discounted present value of the payments to be transferred, 12 which shall be identified as the “calculation of current value of the 13 transferred structured settlement payments under federal standards for 14 valuing annuities”, and the amount of the applicable federal rate used 15 in calculating such discounted present value; 16

(4) The gross advance amount; 17

(5) An itemized listing of all applicable transfer expenses, other 18 than attorneys’ fees and related disbursements payable in connection 19 with the transferee’s application for approval of the transfer, and the 20 transferee’s best estimate of the amount of any such fees and 21 disbursements; 22

(6) The net advance amount; 23

(7) The amount of any penalties or liquidated damages payable by 24 the payee in the event of any breach of the transfer agreement by the 25 payee; and 26

(8) A statement that the payee has the right to cancel the transfer 27 agreement, without penalty or further obligation, not later than the 28 third business day after the date the agreement is signed by the payee. 29 NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. A direct or indirect transfer of structured 30 settlement payment rights is not effective and a structured settlement 31 obligor or annuity issuer is not required to make any payment directly 32 or indirectly to any transferee of structured settlement payment rights 33 unless the transfer has been approved in advance in a final court order 34 or order of a responsible administrative authority based on express 35 findings by such court or responsible administrative authority that: 36 EHB 1347.SL p. 4

(1) The transfer is in the best interest of the payee, taking into 1 account the welfare and support of the payee’s dependents; 2

(2) The payee has been advised in writing by the transferee to seek 3 independent professional advice regarding the transfer and has either 4 received such advice or knowingly waived such advice in writing; and 5 (3) The transfer does not contravene any applicable statute or the 6 order of any court or other government authority. 7 NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. Following a transfer of structured 8 settlement payment rights under this chapter: 9 (1) The structured settlement obligor and the annuity issuer shall, 10 as to all parties except the transferee, be discharged and released 11
from any and all liability for the transferred payments; 12

(2) The transferee shall be liable to the structured settlement 13 obligor and the annuity issuer: 14

(a) If the transfer contravenes the terms of the structured 15 settlement, for any taxes incurred by such parties as a consequence of 16 the transfer; and 17

(b) For any other liabilities or costs, including reasonable costs 18 and attorneys’ fees, arising from compliance by such parties with the 19 order of the court or responsible administrative authority or arising 20 as a consequence of the transferee’s failure to comply with this 21 chapter; 22

(3) Neither the annuity issuer nor the structured settlement 23 obligor may be required to divide any periodic payment between the 24 payee and any transferee or assignee or between two, or more, 25 transferees or assignees; and 26

(4) Any further transfer of structured settlement payment rights by 27 the payee may be made only after compliance with all of the 28 requirements of this chapter. 29

NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. (1) An application under this chapter for 30 approval of a transfer of structured settlement payment rights shall be 31 made by the transferee and may be brought in the county in which the 32 payee resides, in the county in which the structured settlement obligor 33 or the annuity issuer maintains its principal place of business, or in 34 any court or before any responsible administrative authority which 35 approved the structured settlement agreement. 36 p. 5 EHB 1347.SL

(2) Not less than twenty days prior to the scheduled hearing on any 1 application for approval of a transfer of structured settlement payment 2 rights under section 4 of this act, the transferee shall file with the 3 court or responsible administrative authority and serve on all 4 interested parties a notice of the proposed transfer and the 5 application for its authorization, including with such notice: 6

(a) A copy of the transferee’s application; 7

(b) A copy of the transfer agreement; 8

(c) A copy of the disclosure statement required under section 3 of 9 this act; 10

(d) A listing of each of the payee’s dependents, together with each 11 dependent’s age; 12

(e) Notification that any interested party is entitled to support, 13 oppose, or otherwise respond to the transferee’s application, either in 14 person or by counsel, by submitting written comments to the court or 15 responsible administrative authority or by participating in the 16 hearing; and 17

(f) Notification of the time and place of the hearing and 18 notification of the manner in which and the time by which written 19 responses to the application must be filed, which may not be less than 20 fifteen days after service of the transferee’s notice, in order to be 21 considered by the court or responsible administrative authority. 22

NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. (1) The provisions of this chapter may not 23 be waived by any payee. 24

(2) Any transfer agreement entered into on or after the effective 25 date of this act by a payee who resides in this state shall provide 26 that disputes under such transfer agreement, including any claim that 27 the payee has breached the agreement, shall be determined in and under 28 the laws of this state. Such a transfer agreement may not authorize 29 the transferee or any other party to confess judgment or consent to 30 entry of judgment against the payee. 31

(3) Transfer of structured settlement payment rights do not extend 32 to any payments that are life contingent unless, prior to the date on 33 which the payee signs the transfer agreement, the transferee has 34 established and has agreed to maintain procedures reasonably 35 satisfactory to the annuity issuer and the structured settlement 36 obligor for

(a) periodically confirming the payee’s survival, and

(b) 37 EHB 1347.SL p. 6 giving the annuity issuer and the structured settlement obligor prompt 1 written notice in the event of the payee’s death. 2

(4) No payee who proposes to make a transfer of structured 3 settlement payment rights may incur any penalty, forfeit any 4 application fee or other payment, or otherwise incur any liability to 5 the proposed transferee or any assignee based on any failure of such a 6 transfer to satisfy the conditions of this chapter. 7

(5) This chapter does not authorize any transfer of structured 8 settlement payment rights in contravention of any law, nor does it 9 imply that any transfer under a transfer agreement entered into prior 10 to the effective date of this act is valid or invalid. 11

(6) Compliance with the requirements set forth in section 3 of this 12 act and fulfillment of the conditions set forth in section 4 of this 13 act is the sole responsibility of the transferee in any transfer of 14 structured settlement payment rights, and neither the structured 15 settlement obligor nor the annuity issuer bear any responsibility for, 16 or any liability arising from, noncompliance with the requirements or 17 failure to fulfill the conditions. 18

NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. Sections 1 through 7 of this act constitute 19 a new chapter in Title 19 RCW. 20