Our Message for Legislators
Many states have tried to put in place their own legislation and laws to protect individuals selling payments. Every state has their own variation of The Structured Settlement Protection Act, derived from the Federal Structured Settlement Protection Act.
Unfortunately, those efforts are all failing miserably at the expense of the policy holders. Not one state has solved the problem, but not due to a lack of effort. Some states have periodically shut down all structured settlement payment transfers because of the uncertainty and previous horror stories that have taken place, including illegal activities by certain purchasing companies.
Currently, there is no law, regulation, or process that specifically ensures the seller is getting a “fair and just” deal when it comes to the numbers. This includes regulation requiring sellers to obtain “Independent Professional Advice” from a licensed attorney, which has proven to be just as manipulative/borderline illegal with regards to what we’ve encountered. We can share stories and provide case examples to back up this information, and it’s very concerning.
Another example, the recent 2017 changes to the Texas Structured Settlement Protection Act that aims to protect sellers personal and financial information. The reality is that purchasing companies want this in place to wall policy holders from competitors who could essentially offer thousands/hundreds of thousands/millions more. Plus, The Negotiator Guys are making it even tougher to short change individuals with structured settlements. The state of Texas has since become a very appealing jurisdiction where purchasing companies go for a quick and easy profit that is short-changing sellers with no outside interference and zero oversight in terms of available public information. We have our opinions, but The Negotiator Guys believe that there are many reasons that redacting information from court documents IS a positive step. However, without having other measures in place to protect the policy holders, right now, this change has made the problem far worse. Texas made a good change but without the necessary supporting guidelines in place. Without supporting line items added to the law, Texas had very good intentions but this change has made the problem far worse and left individuals selling their future payments, more vulnerable.
Another example is the State of North Carolina, where there is a state-wide policy of not approving transactions with an effective annual interest rate above 8.25%. That is a convoluted approach. Putting a cap on the rate of purchase, does nothing. The reality is that some transfers can be well above 8.25% and still be a “good deal” for the policy holder, at least as it relates to transfers. (Not saying 8.25% is a good interest rate in general but in terms of how the business within the industry works, there can be deals at 29% where the purchasing company has been very fair on the offer). In other cases, a rate of 8.25% can actually leave hundreds of thousands of dollars in purchasing company profits on the table, for a single transaction. So essentially, this flawed policy shows just how uneducated the legislators are when reviewing/deciding on these matters. We need each other’s expertise. We are the first and only company with the same level of expertise as all of the structured settlement purchasing companies, but with a commitment to ensure the seller receives the best offer possible for their own best interests. The victims who receive structured settlements, need all of us in order to be fully protected during this process.
Individuals with structured settlements are constantly contacted via phone calls to not only their phone, but their mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, by multiple companies daily. They are sent mailers with checks, gift cards, gift packages, false insurance notices, they are told lies to ensure they talk to no one other than the company purchasing their payments. Some are convinced to “restructure” or “reset” their structured settlement, which is a tricky way to get the annuitant to sell the entire policy for a dream of investment riches. Many, have no business in doing so and/or no intention of it. In many cases, it’s simply a method of gaining a Judge’s approval. They are baited and distracted with false friendship, cash-advances, and trips. People with structured settlements who sell payments are in many cases are handicapped and they are very susceptible to many forms of manipulation.
We are excited to speak with more State Legislators who share our vision, which is finally having legislation that makes the system bullet-proof. We have a number of customizable solutions that we would suggest including consultation of future legislation and any testimony we can provide in order to put effective legislation in place, once and for all.
Before making any more changes to your state’s Structured Settlement Protection Act, call us. We are confident that we can assist any legislative body to achieve justice for these individuals and would love to discuss our ideas with you anytime.