Note: This post references the Washington Post report published on 9/13/2015 at 9:06 PM, written by Terrence McCoy. You can read the article here.
Such reforms are not extreme or radical reactions to problems being blown out of proportion. Anyone involved in the secondary market knows about the big issues: court scraping, forum shopping, deal poaching, aggressive solicitation often in violation of TCPA regulations. Some in the secondary market will cry foul and say that these reforms in Maryland are a result of nothing more than sensationalism; however, the reality is that the reason it all sounds so much like media sensationalism is not because they’re actually being blown out of proportion, it’s because they’re actually, shockingly, true. The truth is that annuitants have every right to be angry. They’re being relentlessly targeted and harassed.
These changes are a good first step. Annuitants should show up to their own hearings. They should be fully aware of what they’re doing and the possible implications of it. They should seek real independent professional advice, and they should know if they’re doing the right thing at the right time. Perhaps buying a new luxury car isn’t appropriate… but avoiding bankruptcy is. Not getting hammered by overwhelming medical bills is too. Life happens. IPAs having to show up at hearings now too will certainly make the apparent quid pro quo of IPAs with factoring companies more difficult too.
The structured settlement industry should be aware of who is doing something unacceptable; which companies are conducting themselves inappropriately. Factoring has a legitimate purpose for those in need of liquidity and we all want to be the company that you turn to in assisting your clients. That said, companies with a clean, ethical track record should be chosen to consult with annuitants who have legitimate needs when considering a factoring transaction. Yes, I do mean Bentzen Financial. Those of you reading this are aware of our stance and our record. Referring to us means you’re avoiding the headlines because we keep our brokers and annuitants happy; no one ends up in the news because our business as usual is based on positive results for everyone, not just our bottom line. How? We don’t scrape. We don’t aggressively solicit. We don’t break any rules. We treat our brokers and annuitants with honesty and respect; nothing more or less. We do our jobs properly and ethically. It’s really not as hard as some companies might lead people to believe.
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