In the third and final installment of their conversation on marketing abuses by the factoring industry Mark Wahlstrom and John Darer turn their attention to what the major stakeholders can be doing to reclaim the term "structured settlements" from the factoring industry's worst players.The efforts, on in some cases the non-efforts, of the respective trade associations that are interested in promoting structured settlements, are discussed as well as the subtly corrupting influence of allowing the companies that are in the business of undoing structured annuities to be a factor in the underwriting of the respective trade associations.
As every industry insider is aware, there are life markets that have entered the factoring industry through subsidiary operations, thus selling structures on one hand, and then cashing them out on the other. There is also the issue of the primary plaintiff planner associations embrace of settlement factoring companies as a major source of funding and income. These are issues our profession needs to discuss openly and with out hostility, as factoring companies are here to stay and will continue to market their services to the claimants who take their settlements in periodic payments. The question is going to be what is the best way for the respective markets to coexist and protect the interests of the end user, the personal injury victim.
Through our first series with Matt Bracy, counsel for Settlement Capital, and now these programs with John Darer and his blog at structuredsettlements.typepad.com, we have tried to frame the respective sides of the issue, and in the next year will expand the debate to discuss the life company role in providing liquidity, conflicts of interest of brokers by accepting payment from factoring companies when annuitants cash out, the methods of calculating present value on the contracts and most importantly, who do you trust if you are someone looking to sell part of your payments. By bringing this issue to the forefront we hope to give both sides of the debate plenty of opportunity to discuss their positions, while educating the various stakeholders on the costs and benefits of the decisions they make in this process.