by John Darer CLU ChFC CSSC RSP CLTC
In theory an online structured settlement payment exchange or online structured settlement payment marketplace conjurs up the image of a technology platform that facilitates the bidded buying and selling of structured settlement payment rights from multiple unrelated financing sources.
If truly independent and transparent, such structured settlement payment exchanges could be useful to both buyers and sellers of structured settlement payment rights because of the potential efficiencies they provide.
However achieving transparency is difficult due to a lack of regulation in an industry, where there is no FINRA, SEC, OCC, or insurance regulator , that has recently seen instances of forum shopping, the alleged forging of court orders in New York and other issues which potentially fall out of compliance with structured settlement protection acts.
The number of websites that purport to be online structured settlement payment exchanges, or have a company name that includes the word "exchange" is increasing. Are these really exchanges, or is the term "exchange" as currently used, a misnomer that could be misleading consumers who hold structured settlement payment rights from their lawsuit recoveries?
Is the "exchange" or "marketplace" really the lipstick on someone or some entity that is simply brokering several funding sources, or providing leads to a funding source for compensation?
Some claim to have "certified funders" and list criteria for those funders, yet may fail to disclose the extent to which funding sources or brands are interrelated or the true ownership of the "exchange" itself. Moreover, the domain for their website may be registered anonymously, the "exchange' address could simply be a virtual mailbox with mail forwarded somewhere else, or even out of the country.
All individuals looking to receive a lump sum of cash for part or all of their structured settlement can shop for competitive bids or offers from numerous structured settlement purchasing companies. Whether those selling a structured settlement go to a single online structured settlement shopping mall, or shop through multiple sources, or use a financial advisor or structured settlement expert with recognized financial credentials, the job can be accomplished by several different methods.