by John Darer CLU ChFC CSSC RSP
In " An ELNY Nightmare" Patrick Hindert draws a strange conclusion to the tragic story of Glenn Arensdorf, a 49 year old ELNY structured settlement recipient who is one of the worst impacted by the liquidation of the shipwrecked insurer.
Before I continue, I would like to express that it is tough to write these pieces because I am truly sympathetic to the tragedies of the victims. Who wouldn't be? But isn't the truth also important, even though it may not seem politically correct?
Patrick Hindert was one of the pioneers of the structured settlement industry. He founded and led a firm called Benefit Designs, Inc., that was active at the relevant times that ELNY was actively underwriting structured settlement annuities.
- Did Patrick Hindert, or any of the folks that he supervised with Benefit Designs Inc., place any annuities with ELIC or ELNY?
- Did Patrick Hindert, or any of the folks that he supervised with Benefit Designs Inc., place any claimant 100% into ELIC or ELNY?
- What percentage of the structured settlements that were placed by Benefit Designs, Inc., that were underwitten by ELNY, were "buy and holds"?
- What percentage of the structured settlements that were placed by Benefit Designs, Inc., that were underwitten by ELNY, used a "qualified assignment" to First Executive?
- If the answer to questions 1 and 2 is yes then it would be helpful for Patrick Hindert to share why he, Benefit Designs Inc., under his supervision, or any of those that he supervised placed these annuities with ELIC and/or ELNY.
I think these are valid questions to ask of Patrick Hindert at this time. I think that if Patrick Hindert or Benefit Designs placed any ELNY structured settlement annuities that he owes his readers (including National Underwriter and Insurance News Net) an upfront disclosure.
Keep this in mind when viewing Hindert's comments "Some proponents claim that structured settlements are "the ultimate safeguards to guarantee the long term financial health of people harmed in accidents". For Glenn Arensdorf and similarly situated ELNY shortfall payees, however, the structured settlement system has failed them. To protect their rights, they have been forced to challenge the legality and unfairness of Judge Galasso's liquidation order and restructuring agreement against long odds and powerful opponents.
Is it the "structured settlement system" or is it the "insurance regulatory system" which Mr. Stone and Mr. Christiansen have addressed in their class action complaint?
That being said, who was responsible for placing all of Mr. Arensdorf's structured settlement with ELNY in 1984? What was the rationale for doing so, by those responsible, for someone as profoundly disabled as Glenn Arensdorf when that was all Glenn Arensdorf had?
That is unfortunately a question that may never be answered because insolvencies are not typically covered by errors and omissions policies and any such claims regarding the placement may be time barred.
In 1982 Charter Corporation, the largest seller of SPDAs, abandoned the annuities after a rush by worried policyholders; the second-largest seller, Baldwin-United, went bankrupt, leaving FE in the lead in sales. That year, FE acquired Bay Colony Life Insurance Company of Delaware, which was renamed First Delaware Life Insurance Company. SPDA sales slowed, but the company's life insurance sales increased tenfold between 1981 and 1983. Clients were reassured by the 12.6% yield that FE's portfolio averaged during the first half of 1983, compared with an industry average of 9.9%. Policy surrenders remained at a minimum. First Executive was writing more new policies than industry notables Aetna and Connecticut Mutual, but Carr's unconventional investment practices attracted the attention of insurance regulators. (emphasis added)
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